John Speed was an historian and cartographer from Farndon in Cheshire. He published the theological works ‘A direction to finde all those names expressed in that large table of genealogies of scripture, lately gathered’ (1595) and ‘A Clowd of Witnesses: and they the Holy Genealogies of the Sacred Scriptures’ (1616). He also produced an atlas titled ‘The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’ (1610), which was the first attempt at an English atlas on a grand scale and the first atlas to include a set of county maps, consistently showing territorial divisions. By 1625 he had lost his sight. He died at the age of 77.
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