Monthly Archives: September 2019

14th September, 2019 County maps of East Yorkshire 6.

Emanuel Bowen’s county map of East Yorkshire is well known for a number of reasons; it is detailed (for a county map) and is very elaborate – incorporating the image shown above and a fine panorama of Hull’s townscape as viewed from the Humber Estuary. I am not sure when this map was first published but Bowen was not long-lived, 1720 – 1767. Bowen was an engraver and publisher based in London and was appointed Engraver of Maps by George II. In the bottom left hand corner of the map are the words ‘To the Noble and Right Honorable  Arthur Ingram Viscount Irwin Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire. This map is dedicated by his Lordship’s most obedient humble servant Eman: Bowen’, despite this deferential tone Bowen presumably had a workforce of surveyors as he produced other county maps also. Incidentally Bowen’s map is contemporary with the early surge of Parliamentary parish enclosures across eastern England and the Midlands so the surveying techniques and implements used by enclosure surveyors would also have been used in the research needed before a county map was produced.

The illustration that decorates the title (see above) is curious. Spilling-out from the mouth of the built structure appears to be the contents of a sewer or a culverted stream (on to a beach?). The built structure is ‘classical’ in style. To the left of the orifice lies a wicker fish trap with a couple of pike-like fish (fresh water fish) lying alongside. To the right a lady with a wicker basket watches a man working a very large cheese press. Is this image allegorical, informative or artistic license?

In the top right-hand corner of Bowen’s map is a smaller copy of the main map, apparently to make clear its ‘several divisions’ (wapontakes – s.p.b.s), this odd because the wapontake names and boundaries are clearly shown on the main map.

(to be continued).

9th September, 2019 County maps of East Yorkshire 5.

The third map being considered (see above) was compiled by Wenceslaus Hollar (well known in this area for his engraving showing a bird’s-eye view of Hull, 1640), probably in the 1640s and, allegedly, produced on the orders of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil Wars. It is entitled ‘The Bishop=ricke of Durram and Cumberland, Westmoreland, Yorke=shire, Lancast=shire, and parte of Linconshire’. In covering much of northern England the detail in East Yorkshire is compromised. Communities are shown by little circles plus a stylised symbol of a cluster of houses to denote the larger communities at Hull, Hedon, Howden, Bridlington, Beverley, Pocklington and Kilham in the East Riding. Rivers are located very prominently but, like in the two previous county maps (s.p.b.s), higher land, i.e. the Yorkshire Wolds, is only casually identified by hill symbols in the highest areas of the Wolds. Again, coastal features lack precision with Flamborough Head having a strange shape and no mudflats or reference to Sunk Island shown in the Humber Estuary.

Principal roads are shown on the map but these would still have been maintained by the system of parish responsibility created under Tudor legislation, and pre-date the development of turnpikes. The only principal road shown in East Yorkshire is that between Hull and York and passing through Cottingham before crossing the southern Wolds to Hotham and Bishop Burton and on across the Vale of York south of Pocklington. No large woodland areas are located in East Yorkshire such as those identified south and north of York, south of Leeds and on Tees-side. On Humberside it seems to have been the first map to have distinguished between the two Ferribys by the terms ‘North’ and ‘South’.

5th September, 2019 County maps of East Yorkshire 4.

As may be seen from the extract shown above Robert Morden’s county map as reproduced in Gibson’s edition of Camden’s Britannia, 1695 is very similar, if not identical in some respects, to the county map of 1645 already studied (s.p.b.s). For example, settlements are located by a stylised church symbol with the name nearby and Morden’s depiction of the coastline appears to be a carbon-copy of the 1645 map. Morden identifies the wapontakes (and divisions of Harthill wapontake) but does not clearly define their boundaries. As with the 1645 map, the source of the River Derwent is shown by Morden to be just north-west of Filey, this stream and the River Derwent itself forming the northern and western county boundary except that at Stamford Bridge the county boundary crossed south-west overland to the River Ouse just south of York, the Ouse then forming the county boundary to the Humber Estuary.

To focus on a couple more of Morden’s details. Enclosed parklands are shown at Swine in Holderness (?), Burstwick in Holderness, Risby, Leconfield, Wressle and Church Eaton both beside the River Derwent and at Everingham.

Morden’s map seems to be moving towards some settlement name standardisation, for example, he writes Pretorium now Patrington, Godmundingham now Goodmanham and Petravia now ‘Beverly’ – but he gives no update for Wighton al Delgovitia (Market Weighton).

Bridlington and Bridlington ‘Key’ were then two distinct places (see David Neave’s book on the History of Bridlington).

‘Gole’ (Goole) was then a village (no port before the 1820s) and in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

As with all map evidence the closer they are studied the more can be gleaned, they are a snap-shot in time.

2nd September, 2019

One interesting feature of our mid 17th century county map (s.p.b.s) is that it records and gives the boundaries of the ‘wapontakes’ of the Eat Riding. The six so defined are; Dickering W. (north-east section of the Wolds), Holderness W., Buckrose W. (north-central section of the Wolds), Harthill W. (southern Wolds and the River Hull Valley, by far the largest W. and thus divided into ‘divisions’ – Bainton D., Huntley D., Holme D. and Wilton D.), Howden W. and Ouse and Derwent W. Wapontakes were subdivisions of certain English shires including Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, they were equivalent to the ‘hundreds’ of other English counties, that was a subdivision having its own court. In the middle ages and early modern eras justices of the peace would have administered the law in their wapontakes/hundreds.

As with all sources of historical evidence the reliability of the evidence needs to be considered. For example the map extract above shows that although the cartographer chooses to identify communities by church symbols these are stylised and do not correspond with what is known of these buildings in the 17th century. Also Hull is shown detached from the lower part and mouth of the River Hull (in fact this curiously corresponds with an idea promoted by certain local historians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that early Hull developed west of the current ‘Old Town’ beside Limekiln stream this being then the mouth of the River Hull – but the current course of the lower River and the development of Hull on the west bank happened long before the 17th century.

The map’s terms for the North Sea are interesting – ‘The Germain Ocean’ and below the latin ‘Mare Germanicum’. Off the coastline of south Holderness the terms ‘Belgis’ and ‘De Noordzee’ are written. The term German Ocean was certainly out of favour and the term North Sea in favour by the Great War.