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  • Estate map of Deuddwr, Montgomeryshire, 1748 [image 1 of 6]

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Description

This hand drawn and handcoloured map describes lands belonging to John Newport in Deuddwr, Montgomeryshire and was engraved by John Rocque, a significant surveyor and engraver of the mid eighteenth century. Watercolours and black ink were used to illustrate the woods, lands, river and fields, while gold was used to inscribe the names of the particular townships. A black ink border surrounds the image and a decorative compass of approximately 230mm in length can be seen in the top left area. The map itself measures 294cm in length and 357cm in width.

The Newport Estate was that of the Earls of Bradford, who in addition to this part of Montgomeryshire administered large estates in Shropshire and Staffordshire. In 1734 Henry, third Earl of Bradford died and left all his estates to John Harrison. John, an infant, was the reputed son of Lord Bradford by his mistress Anne Smyth. Not surprisingly this gave rise to litigation but in 1739 the will was established in Chancery, and at the same time an act was passed to enable John Harrison to take the name of Newport. Despite a commission of lunacy which was issued against him in 1740, John came into Lord Bradford's estates in 1747 at the age of 26.

The Newport family seem to have long associations with Montgomeryshire and were Lords of the Manor of Deuddwr. The 1748 map of Deuddwr was probably drawn up to mark John Newport finally coming into the Newport estates at the age of 26 although it is also likely that John Newport employed Rocque, one of the most notable surveyors in Britain, to add merit to the fact that as an illegitimate son he had fought in Chancery for his father's will to be established.

The map is one of four that Blackwells Rare Books sold in 2002. The other three relate to Shropshire and were purchased by the Shropshire Records and Research Service. All originally form part of the Newport Estate records of the Earls of Bradford, Weston Park who administered large estates in Shropshire and Staffordshire. The majority of estate records for Weston Park are held by the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service.

The primary support for the map is a medium weight, wove, cream paper (20 sheets) and is adhered to a fine weave, lightweight canvas. A wooden pole that is attached with nails weights both supports. The canvas overlaps at the top and has 3 small leather belts sewn into it which are used to secure the map when rolled.

The map was purchased by Powys Archives with the assistance of the Resource/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

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