One of five known sets of proof maps prepared for John Speed's 'The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine' which was published in 1611/12. Speed is probably the most famous early modern English mapmaker and his atlas was the first to contain maps of all the counties of Britain; many also contained town plans. The maps were printed from copper plates which had been engraved, in reverse, by Jodocus Hondius in his workshop in Amsterdam. Maps printed from the plates - proofs - would have been sent back to England for checking. The maps in this set of proofs are in a late state of preparation, but many were altered before being published.