In the early 1600s, John Speed embarked on one of the world's greatest cartographical missions: the creation of the world's first truly accurate country atlas. He travelled around England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland for 15 years collecting data and sketches, and employed the master Dutch engraver Jodocus Hondius to create the maps which were finally published in the The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in 1611.
These maps are still some of the finest ever made, and they're the most collectible of all British Isles & Ireland maps.
In 1627 he would add to his atlas by publishing the Prospect of the most famous Parts of the World, a series of nation and world maps from beyond Britain.
Most of the maps from these two atlases are available here, in both the original handcolour and monochrome forms, lovingly restored by The Unique Maps Co.