On this page you will find hyperlinks to some beautiful and fascinating historical maps relating to Tom’s travels.
Clicking on each link will take you to an external website. Most of the maps that you find there will be ‘zoomable’.
This is John Speed’s Map of Europe, which he entitled as follows: “Europ, and the cheife Cities contayned therein, described; with the habits of most Kingdoms now in use. By Jo: Speed Ano.Dom: 1626”. It also shows the northern coastline of Africa, including the so-called Barbary Coast. In the margins are illustrations of people from different countries in period costumes. Along the top are miniature plans of some key cities of the time.
Another John Speed map, this time of the Isle of Wight. Tom’s home village of Mottistone is represented as “Motson”, to the west of the island. Portsmouth is shown in the top right, and the village of Ryde (“Ride”) on the north east coast of the island. The “downs” spanning the island are clearly visible as a series of hills. A plan of Newport, where Tom stays overnight in the latter stages of his memoir, features in the inset. And the clandestine stretch of water known as the Meade Hole (“Medhole”) is shown off the coast, just to right of the northern most part of the island. Here is a link to a slightly later (early 1700s) and more accurate map of the island by Herman Moll.
A map of Algiers by Antonio Salamanca, 1541 (a little before Tom’s time). It is sourced from Civitates Orbis Terrarum, edited by Braun, Hogenberg and Novellanus (Cologne, 1575). Like most Braun and Hogenberg maps, this one features a “native” in local attire. The words behind the Ottoman gentleman lament the disastrous defeat of Charles V in 1541. Key landmarks in Algiers that would have been familiar to Tom are shown and are marked in the key below (in Italian). These include: the ‘mole’ (i.e. the breakwater sheltering the harbour); the Pasha’s palace (“Palazzo del Re”) ; the mint (“La zecca”); various ‘bagnios” for accommodating slaves; the fortified quarter of the Kasbah, at the top of the city; and just below it the Janissaries headquarters. Great Market street is shown running horizontally through the centre of the city.
The first two maps linked above were engraved by Henry Raignauld and are entitled: ‘Valletta citta nova di Malta.’ They were engraved in Paris in 1629. In the second map the engraving has been coloured. The maps show the towns of Valletta, Borgo (Birgu – in Tom’s memoir), Sanglea and the church of St. Salvator – collectively known as the Three Cities. In the lower left corner is an inset with Malta and Gozo. The map is decorated with various sailing ships. The top right corner of the map displays the coat of arms of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. In the lower part is the coat of arms of the bishop of Nicosia. The map is extracted from the Histoire des Chevaliers de l’Ordre de S. Iean de Jerusalem. by Baudoin (Jean), ed. François-Antoine de Naberat. The third map by Mortier (1730) hyperlinked above focuses on Valletta and provides more detail on some of the key buildings such as the Magisterial (i.e. Grand Master’s) Palace in the centre of the city, the Marine Gate leading down to the Grand Harbour at the top of the map, and Fort St Elmo on the leftmost point of the city.
This links to a large and detailed bird’s-eye view of Venice. It is a copper engraving, published by Matthaeus Merian in 1641 and included in the book: ‘De rebus publicis hanseaticis’ by Johann Angelius von Werdenhagen (the map itself may date back to 1630). St Mark’s Basin (the main harbour) is clearly visible, with the Doge’s palace behind it on the Piazza San Marco. Streets and canals are depicted in detail with many individual buildings identifiable. The Grand Canal is full of sailing ships and merchant vessels, gondolas and smaller fishing boats. The map bears the coat-of-arms of the Venetian Republic, crowned by the Doge’s cap and the Venetian Lion.
This first hyperlink will take you to a simple (modern) map of Portsmouth c.1600. The Greyhound – Captain Mason’s house – is clearly marked. The so-called Spice Island or ‘Point’ juts out to the west of the city, beyond the Point Gate, and provides natural protection for the inner harbour, known as the Camber.
And finally, here is a map showing the outward voyages during Tom’s adventures and key places featured in the novel: