The Cotton Collection at the British Library

“The manuscript collections of the antiquary, Huntingdonshire landowner and administrator, Sir Robert Cotton (1571-1631) contain many maps, charts and plans. Cotton’s collecting was driven by a blend of patriotism and a passion for antiquity. The latter accounts for the presence of one of the earliest detailed European world maps, the so-called ‘Anglo-Saxon world map’ of about 1025-50 (Cotton MS Tiberius B.V. f.56v), for the mid-thirteenth century maps and itineraries of Matthew Paris, a monk and chronicler of St. Albans (Cotton MSS Julius D.VII; Nero D.I and V; Claudius D.VI.), and for the pioneering maps of England, Scotland and Ireland created in the early 1560s by Laurence Nowell (Cotton MS Domitian D. XVIII). These maps are all to be found bound into volumes, usually with accompanying texts.”

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