I am currently working on a number of different projects, with varying degrees of attention to them, as follows:
- My most recent effort has been on a detailed study of the Gough map, in particular on the distribution of the settlements shown on it and with the variation in accuracy of the locations of the settlements. This has led to some suggestions about the procedures used in the choice of the settlements to be shown and in assembling the data required for drawing the map. An article reporting this work is now with the editor at Imago Mundi.
- The life and work of a little-known Yorkshire mapmaker, Thomas Strother (1695-1767), who acted as agent for a number of land-owners in the area to the northwest of Leeds, especially Sir Walter Calverley. Two maps produced for Sir Walter and signed by Strother are at the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and there are other more sketchy maps there that are probably by him. Other members of Thomas's family were of some minor importance in the Leeds area and he himself became the founder of the branch of the family who became known as 'the squires' of Killinghall, a village a few miles north of Harrogate.
- A study of the latitudes and longitudes given by John Speed in his Britannia. Where did they come from, how accurate were they and how do they relate to those given by other authors in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries?
- A detailed investigation of the map of the parish of Bolton Percy, dated c.1596, held at the Borthwick Institute at the Universiy of York. The map is actually three maps at different scales on a total of 38 sheets, bound as an atlas. The map at the highest scale has details of individual strips in the the open fields. The map has sometimes been attributed to Christopher Saxton, but this attribution seems to me unlikely to be correct for a number of reasons.
- I am working on a detailed catalogue of the early maps at the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, those dated before 1750 in particular. It will also include maps not dated but which were probably produced in the eighteenth century or earlier. The study is already bringing to light some local mapmakers whose names do not occur in the Dictionary of Surveyors and Local Mapmakers or whose active period is longer than shown there.
- A study of the relationships among the Weston map tapestries and their relationships to Saxton's maps.