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An Important Prototype Map of Jamaica

Jamaica. OGILBY, J. [London, 1671]
Novissima et Accuratissima Jamaicae Descriptio. 17 x 20 7/8 inches.
Fine hand color, excellent with full margins.


“The prototype for most of the maps of the 17th century and many beyond” (Kapp). It was also the first large scale map of Jamaica, and aside from a small outline map, it was the first English map of the island. The map was based on a survey made by order of Sir Thomas Modyford, which was done only a year before this map was published. The island is shown on the map divided into 13 Precincts, 11 of which are named. The names of the landholders in each Precinct are given in the table below the map. It is clear from the map that the southern area of the island around Port Royal was by far the most densely settled part at the time.

Unlike most of Ogilby’s other maps that appeared in his work America, this one originated with Ogilby and was not a re-engraving of a work by Montanus.

MCC No. 42, map 13.

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