FIRST EDITION, engraved map from Ligon’s ‘True and Exact Historie of the Island of Barbadoes’, illustrated with camels, chivalric knights on horseback, stylised figures of indigenous men as well as cows, boards and sheep, fold lines, slight repairs including to title with slight loss, light staining, overall size 520 x 390mm, London, Humphrey Moseley, 1657.
First edition of the earliest printed map exclusively of the island of Barbados. Ligon based his map on information given him by Captain John Swan, the island’s leading surveyor of the time. The map depicts the island’s outline fairly accurately, but makes it about a third longer than its correct length. It identifies 285 plantations by the owner’s name. The majority of the plantations are along the south and west coasts. Four churches are shown and there are fortifications at Carlisle Bay protecting the island’s principal town, Bridgetown. In the middle of the map is the notation, “the tenn Thousande Acres of Lande which Belongeth to the Merchants of London.” This is a reference to the land leased by Lord Carlisle to a group of merchants after Charles I rescinded the original grant of the island to Sir William Courteen. Scattered throughout the interior, most of which was overgrown with primeval forest, are quaint vignettes of the island’s inhabitants and wildlife. There are knights in full armor, indentured servants, and a scene of a plantation owner chasing runaway slaves. The animal life is also illustrated; cattle, sheep, asses, wild hogs and even camels. Besides the hogs, which had been introduced to the islands by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the other animals had been brought to the island by the English settlers, including the camels that were used as beasts of burden on the plantations. According to Ligon, “several planters imported these beasts and found them useful in Barbados, but did not know how to diet them.”