Saxton’s map was a tool of governance, utilised for surveillance to monitor the kingdom. In this way, Saxton’s atlas can be regarded as a precursor to the surveys carried out by the Ordnance Board. The Ordnance Board oversaw munitions, fortifications and national defence during Saxton’s time. While the first Ordnance Survey map was published in 1801, 222 years after Saxton’s atlas, both cartographic ventures were a product of an emergent impetus to utilise cartography for security purposes. Hole’s maps, on the other hand, marked an understanding of landscape as tied to natural voices. This disparity between works reflects the period of greater political stability within which Drayton and Hole worked. The once precarious and violent border between England and Scotland was unified with the ascension of James VI in 1603. Hole personified the landscape in his engraving to remind his literate and elite audience that the kingdom was unified, alive and steeped in ancient history. Maps, therefore, can be used to understand the nature of politics, power and warfare, as well as conceptions of landscapes.
by Natasha Robinson
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