Coloured map of the British Isles from the Bassett and Chiswell edition of John Speed’s “Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain”. The map served as a general introduction to the series of regional and county maps in the atlas. Engraved by Jodocus Hondius shortly after the union of Scotland with England and Wales, the map contains views of London and Edinburgh celebrating the union. Also shown are numerous vignette illustrations showing ships, sea monsters and coats of arms as well as ancient coins showing Britannia and "Cunobilin", Shakespeare's Cymbeline - King Coel. There is a pencil notation in the bottom margin stating that this map is from the Countess of Carnarvon’s collection. A description of the British Isles appears on the verso in English. A finely coloured example of this very sought-after map with wide margins in excellent condition. 38 cm x 51 cm