1611 John Speed

This very early map was made soon after Queen Elizabeth had died and King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne. He became King James the First of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. For the first time the two countries were united and John Speed was asked to map the two countries as if they were peaceful friends, instead of enemies which had been at war for centuries. James I wanted one United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Making the map was a gigantic task. Speed’s maps show rivers but very few roads and he still drew hills as small pyramids. This style of cartography was soon to become old fashioned.

The map shows a river starting somewhere near Muswell Hill and flowing into the River Lea. This was the Moselle, a river which has disappeared today into the sewer system. The Hackney Brook, which we shall come across later, has been left out. It was the reason for the names Grazebrook School, Brook Road and Sandbrook Road, but it too is now lost in the sewer system.

This small section of the map shows Newington, Canbury (Canonbury) and Kingsland, among other villages.