"Upon the Suddaine View": State, Civil Society and Surveillance in Early Modern England
Swen Voekel
University of Rochester

Voekel, Swen. "Upon the Suddaine View": State, Civil Society and Surveillance in Early Modern England." Early Modern Literary Studies 4.2/ Special Issue 3 (September, 1998): 2.1-27 <URL: http://purl.oclc.org/emls/04-2/voekupon.htm>.

  1. In 1592 Robert Beale, a diplomat clerk to the English Privy Council, wrote a lengthy tract entitled A Treatise of the Office of a Councellor and Principall Secretarie to her Majestie in which he noted that "A Secretarie must . . . have the booke of Ortelius' Mapps, a booke of the Mappes of England, w[i]th a particular note of the divisions of the shires into Hundreds, Lathes, Wappentaes, and what Noblemen, Gent[lemen] and others be residing in every one of them; what Citties, Burrows, Markett Townes, Villages; . . . and if anie other plotts or maps come to his handes, let them be kept safelie." [1] By the time this advice was proffered it had long been the policy of Queen Elizabeth's first minister, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, to collect maps of all kinds. These ranged from Christopher Saxton's detailed county maps of England and Wales to the Ortelius world atlas mentioned by Beale. Accompanying every one of the Saxton county maps the first minister appended lists of justices of the peace, the agents of Tudor government at the local level; accompanying the Ortelius atlas are notes on routes to the West Indies.[2] These maps are the palimpsests of a new kind of political entity, the nation-state, whose gaze looked inwards, over a firmly demarcated national territory to be described, anatomized and controlled, and outwards towards the Atlantic with an eye to colonial expansion. This essay will trace the genealogy of these maps by correlating forms of political and economic organization with cartographic practice, beginning with the medieval mappamundi and ending with the rise of the estate map in the late sixteenth century.

  2. I

  3. Benedict Anderson has noted that before the rise of the nation-state, states were defined by centres, borders were porous and indistinct, and sovereignties "faded imperceptibly into one another".[3] The cartographic correlate of this can be found in the universalizing gesture of the medieval mappamundi centered on a Jerusalem surrounded by the three known continents (the divisions of the earth apportioned to the three sons of Noah) with little regard given for geographic specificity or locational accuracy. Here is a graphic illustration of Anderson's observation that in the imagining of pre-national cultures "the fundamental conceptions about social groups were centripetal and hierarchical, rather than boundary-oriented and horizontal."[4] Jerusalem's location on these maps was dictated by an exegetical system which subordinated geographical verisimilitude to the overarching typological concerns of a Christian, "figural-vertical" (to use Erich Auerbach's terms[5] ) narrative: in the Ebstorf mappamundi of the thirteenth-century, for example, the world-picture is superimposed on a background of the figure of Christ crucified; His head is at the top (East), His feet at the bottom (West) and His hands pointing North and South, an orientation that dominated medieval European cartography. Physical geography is subsumed in the metaphysical body of Christ, and the map's function is to prioritize certain "regions" over others: Jerusalem, for example, or the Garden of Eden flanked by Christ's head.[6] In the Ortelius atlas, the world could be shown without a religious or ethnic center; indeed, the world could be broken down into "horizontal" units, countries, which are stripped of any overarching purpose, becoming simply constituent parts of a larger whole.[7] In the medieval mappamundi, the opposite is the case: as Benedict Anderson says of the sacred language of the "great transcontinental sodality of Christendom," the mappaemundi "offered privileged access to ontological truth," a truth that transcends and dominates the physical geography represented on these maps.[8]

  4. The Christian topography of maps such as the Ebstorf mappamundi provides the overarching interpretive framework within which the viewers were to situate themselves. Whether used by crusader, pilgrim or cleric, these maps provided spiritual rather than geographical guidance. This did not, however, exclude other discourses from the space of the map; indeed, the dissonance of the dominant, Biblical narrative with many of the map's features is jarring to the modern viewer. One finds, for example, the golden fleece, hanging from its tower, next to Ararat, identified by Noah's stranded ark; level with Christ's left hand are troglodytes riding stags. The sources used in producing the Ebstorf map range from the ancients, such as the Alexander Romance and the writings of Mela and the elder Pliny; Greek and Roman mythology; ancient Roman road-plans; contemporary medieval texts such as material from the maps and legends of the Imago Mundi of Honorius Augustodunensis and various tales of the eleventh and twelfth centuries such as that of the island discovered by St. Brendan of Ireland; and of course, the Scriptures, augmented by the writings of the Church Fathers and various holy legends. Richard Halpern has written of Medieval exegetical practices which aimed to "reduce the heterogeneous texts that composed the Bible to a coherent and simplified narrative order" in a totalizing gesture that at the same time "granted a local or parcellized authority" to intellectual fields that might seem to be at odds with this overarching narrative order. In much the same way, medieval mappaemundi served to elucidate the truths of the Bible and structured all geographical elements (sometimes literally) around a sacred center.

  5. The way space is structured in the Ebstorf mappamundi is a direct correlate of the internal heterogeneity of the feudal polity. James Given writes that in the late middle ages
  6. Kings . . . confronted not a planar social field of citizens each formally equal with respect to the law and the state, but a highly unequal array of subjects, some individual, some corporate, each possessed of varying rights and duties vis-a-vis the state and some endowed with their own legitimate right to wield coercive authority.[9]

    In a manner which mirrors the parcellization of sovereignty noted by Given, medieval maps also, to borrow Halpern's words, "[parcelled] out . . . autonomous discursive areas under the dominance of a narrative apparatus."[10] Much as the medieval monarch exercised sovereignty over a "highly unequal array of subjects" and not over "a planar social field of citizens," so the medieval map presents a "vertical / hierarchical" surface in which a central discourse (the Christian) dominates the rest without eradicating the latter's autonomy or "privileges."[11] The pre-Christian, the fantastic, the legendary, the mythical: these may be marginal, often quite literally, on the medieval mappamundi; but they have yet to be banished completely by the geometrical, rational, empty surface of the map of the modern period, just as the state had yet to completely reduce a heterogeneous population to the condition of subjects of a sole sovereign authority.

  7. Burghley's annotations thus represent a very different mode of power from the Ebstorf mappamundi. His marking of routes to the West Indies on the Ortelius atlas indicates his desire for the state to monitor or promote colonial enterprises, and also the ways in which the competition between the emerging nation-states of Western Europe led to such a desire (it is not by accident that Ortelius had dedicated his atlas to Philip II of Spain).[12] His lists of JPs on the Saxton county maps indicates the ways in which a newly centralized government reflexively monitored its own workings and the concomitant importance that abstract and uniform, as well as geographically specific, territorial units of governance had gained. The Ebstorf map, and other medieval mappaemundi, served very different audiences, products of an expansionist upper class of aristocrats and clerics whose loyalties were to estate and lord (or Lord); the colonial impulse behind these maps was that of the Crusade, in which, as Robert Bartlett notes, "participants bore the common symbol of Christians, the cross, not a dynastic or national badge."[13] Unlike the Ortelius atlas, which was published in forty-two editions in seven languages from 1570 to 1612, and could be found in all European royal libraries, the Ebstorf mappamundi, like other mappaemundi, was a unique sacred object which served no "rational" / administrative purpose (much as "the kingdom of Jerusalem was not simply yet another dynastic lordship, but a new colony of Holy Christendom").[14] The Ebstorf mappamundi was the product of a culture which was particularist and universalist; Burghley's Ortelius atlas of one in which a centralized state was attempting to eradicate the particular (the semi-autonomous provincial magnate) and extricate itself from the universalist (the extra-national jurisdiction of the Roman Church); attempting, in the words of Benedict Anderson, to exert sovereignty "over each square centimetre of a legally demarcated territory"[15] while maintaining that sovereignty safe from encroachment by other states. Maps were crucial to this enterprise.

  8. II

  9. "In the beginning" of the European state-formation process, writes Wolfgang Reinhard, "the ruler's task was limited to the maintenance of justice and peace and he was not even the only one engaged in this. In the end the state claims competence over the whole reach of human existence and in addition is able to extend this at its convenience, because the state in the meantime has acquired the competence to decide the limits of its own competence."[16] In the sixteenth century, the English state began not only to make good its omni-competence in the area of justice, but also to claim the same omni-competence over religious practice and organization, military and fiscal matters, and even to extend its administrative reach to a newly scrutinized "society," for example in the licensing of ale-houses or in the Elizabethan poor laws more generally.[17] First and foremost, it launched an attack on rivals to its claims to a monopoly of the legitimate exercise of sovereignty, aimed both at its internal, "private," provincial magnates, and at its extra-territorial rival, the Catholic Church. The Act of Supremacy of 1534 and the split with Rome made sovereignty over church and state a national, and not an international, issue, and made the monarch head of both secular and sacred realms. Securing national sovereignty from the claims of extra-national bodies went hand in hand with the withering away of competing forms of sovereignty and jurisdiction within England itself. A variety of statutes assured that the privileges and liberties enjoyed by territorial units, such as the palatinate county of Lancaster or the Marches of Wales, would be subsumed under the unified legal control of the state and its courts. The idea of England as a nation, conceived as "boundary-oriented and horizontal" (in Anderson's words), was given further impetus by the loss of its last continental possessions in the mid-sixteenth century. Securing England from continental foes, both secular and sacred, surveying and reducing internal enemies, and competing with continental nation-states in the New World became the foci for English government.

  10. The expansion of royal government and the development of modern statecraft in the international arena can be charted cartographically beginning with Henry VIII. The break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries left the crown in a weak position internationally while at the same time temporarily giving government a financial surplus with which to defend itself against foreign invasion and internal dissension. When, in 1538-39, following a papal bull excommunicating Henry VIII, Charles V and Francis I seemed on the point of reaching an alliance between the Catholic houses of Habsburg and Valois, Henry commissioned certain "sadde and expert men of every shire in Ingland [and Wales] beyng nere the see . . . to viewe all the places alongest the secost wher any daunger of invasions ys like to be and to certifie the sayd daungers and also best advises for the fortification thereof." Surveys of England's southern coasts were begun in February 1539, and by April of that year Cromwell was able to compile a list of twenty-eight sites "where fortification is to be made" based on written and cartographic surveys returned to him by the commissioners.[18] In the North, maps contributed to England's victories over the Scots in 1544 and 1547; under Edward VI, engineers in royal pay produced a wealth of architectural plats and large-scale maps of the border country to accompany the many new Italianate forts and fortifications being erected in that region, and other maps were commissioned to illustrate the English claims to the so-called "Debatable Lands" on the English-Scottish border.[19] The Reformation led England to extricate itself from the extra-national body of the Roman Church, while the pressures of inter-state competition forced English monarchs to firmly demarcate the boundaries of an increasingly compact territorial unit over which they exercised complete sovereignty.

  11. Equally as important to European state-formation as the planning of fortifications whose guns were pointed outwards, across increasingly well-surveyed borders that they in turn helped to define, was the reorganization of internal spaces; indeed, the two are intimately related. Geoffrey Parker has cogently described what he terms a "military revolution" in the early modern period, in which increasingly sophisticated and costly arms and fortifications forced governments to gradually escalate tax burdens and increasingly rely on sophisticated financial arrangements with international bankers and, as a result, both rein in competitors for revenue (such as the Church, or provincial magnates) and create centralized institutions for effective collection, organization and disbursement.[20] Related to this was the need for more effective methods of recruitment, as well as for the means to effectively train and discipline an ever-growing number of men-in-arms. Warfare in early modern Europe was the catalyst that spurred the growth of states that were bordered power-containers, confronting rivals in the international arena only through increasing demands made on a subject population that increasingly needed to be shorn of loyalties to sub- or extra-national groups that might impede the hold the state had over them. As we have seen, pre-modern polities exhibited a heterogeneous political landscape, with many rivals to monarchical authority. These rivals often mediated state authority, and did so both as over-powerful purveyors of royal prerogatives, as "private" subjects exercising "public" jurisdictions, or as members of extra-national bodies like the Catholic Church. The intertwined processes of religious reformation, state centralization, and inter-state competition necessitated the reduction of these sub- and extra-national units, for the monarchies of Renaissance Europe increasingly required that the state be able to effectively interpellate subjects as atomized individuals, without the "screen" of mediating figures, be they lords demanding services of their peasants, or priests demanding tithes. As Charles Tilly notes, European state formation largely "consisted of the state's abridging, destroying or absorbing rights previously lodged in other political units" and goes on to state that it was warfare which "tended . . . to promote territorial consolidation, centralization, differentiation of the instruments of government and monopolization of the means of coercion."[21]

  12. We have already seen how surveying and pictorial description could serve the state in delimiting and defending borders. Peter Barber has written that the Reformation
  13. was to result in England's largest military building program before the nineteenth century, and the creation of many of the earliest surviving local and regional maps of the kingdom. As a by-product it was also, once and for all, to establish maps and plans as one of the English government's everyday tools in the formulation of policy and in the processes of administration.[22]

    Cartography proved crucial to England's ability to demarcate and defend its borders after it became isolated in the 1530s from continental, Catholic Europe. But increasingly, and for reasons described above, the country began to be anatomized and surveyed, and not just the border areas. In his influential Boke named the Governour Thomas Elyot recommended that "in visiting his own dominions [the governor] shall set them out in figure, in such wise that at his eye shall appear to him where he shall employ his study and treasure."[23] Maps were increasingly used for administrative purposes such as militia musters, taxation and as aids in diplomatic negotiations. They thus documented the complementary development of national borders and internal surveillance.

  14. Territorial consolidation thus presupposed both fixed boundaries and an administrative control exercised by a centralized state.[24] As important as fortifications on the ground was the newly self-reflexive character of a more centralized English state, a state which needed to know more than its predecessors about its relative situation in a field of competitive states and about the population it now governed. The inventories of the "new Librarye" in Whitehall executed at the death of Henry VIII from 1547 to 1549 demonstrate how centralization and surveillance were intimately woven together in the development of early modern monarchies. These are summarized by Peter Barber:
  15. "The little study called the new Librarye" in Whitehall was the kingdom's nerve center, where the king worked and consulted his ministers and his records . . . . Here were dispatches "from sundrie places beyond the sea," copies of acts of parliament, "treatises and commissions for the peace." . . . But here also were "a black coffer covered with fustian of Naples full of plattes . . . a cuppbourde full of tilles [drawers] viz. [in] the lower parte sondrie wrytinges concerning rekoninges with plates and petygrees. The next rowme [drawer] above the same, sondrie plattes and wrytinges, twoo tilles next above the same with sondrie wrytinges in them . . . the thirde having bookes declaring thordre of battel . . . upon two shelves patternes for Castles and engynes of warre." . . . This then seems to have been the original home of the smaller manuscript maps and of the architectural plans, all generically called "plats," which had been created in the 1530s and 1540s.[25]

    Anthony Giddens has noted that "administrative power is based upon the regulation and co-ordination of human conduct through the manipulation of the settings in which it take place" and that it "can only become established if the coding of information is actually applied in a direct way to the supervision of human activities, so as to detach them in some part from their involvement with tradition and with local community life."[26] It is above all associated, of course, with the keeping of written documents (including maps and plans) by a centralized government, and the inventory of Henry's "new Librarye" at Whitehall indicates that more and more it was the king's eye (and his ministers' eyes), restlessly reviewing his kingdom and its continental competitors from Westminster, which was overriding local and extra-national communities and not so much forging as surveying and co-ordinating a nation-state.

  16. Westmininster increasingly served as an archive with which to review the nation; indeed, as Barber notes, "in the 1580s and 1590s Elizabethan statesmen were able to lay their hands on Henrician plats with relative ease when they wanted to consult them."[27] On the one hand, central government increasingly delved into previously local affairs, as when in 1541, in pursuance of the act of abolishing many of the places of sanctuary that had survived from the Middle Ages, Henry demanded that the mayor of Norwich produce a plat showing the bounds of Norwich as a sanctuary;[28] on the other, monarchies increasingly formed part of a reflexively monitored international system of states in which ever-greater care and expense was taken in demarcating and defending borders, sizing up competitors and fielding steadily larger and better-equipped armies. In the Privy Gallery at Whitehall, where courtiers and foreign envoys awaited their audiences with the king, hung "the disciption of the siege and wynnynge of Bolloigne" as well as a "little mappe of Englande, parte of Scottlande Ierland and Brytayne"; added in 1549 was "a new, probably woodcut world map, which was regularly to be described by visitors for the next century and a half," designed by Sebastian Cabot, which "had inscriptions pinpointing the other North American discoveries that Cabot claimed to have made while in English service at the beginning of the century."[29] The Ebstorf mappamundi, produced by a man born in England but who spent his life as part of a trans-national clerical elite, presented a spiritual and mythical landscape whose topography was informed by the dictates of the sacred script of Latin Christendom; Cabot's world map was designed by a state servant whose skill was in the sciences of navigation and cartography, and which served to legitimate the claims of one European nation-state against others. Both maps promoted colonization, the difference of course being that the Ebstorf mappamundi legitimized a "universal" and spiritual quest for repossession of a unique sacred space, promulgated by the Papacy and undertaken by a trans-national aristocratic class, while Cabot's map was seen as proof to a community of nations that a single, bordered nation-state could claim a defined (by latitude and longitude, for example) portion of a territorially segmented world, a project eventually undertaken by the state in conjunction with a national, capitalist class of merchants and landed gentry. The former was hung as an altar-piece; the latter at the center of state power. The world became knowable through scientific practices that anatomized, located and segmented space in ways that made it seem in need of possession, of administration, of surveillance. These were the practices associated with early modern cartography, and they were intricately bound up with the development of the omni-competent nation-state and, later in the sixteenth century, with capitalism, especially in England.

  17. III

  18. Beale's stipulation that a "Secretarie must . . . have the bookes of Ortelius'[s] Mapps" and "a booke of the Mappes of England" captures the outward and inward gaze of the states of early modern Europe, and the ways in which a state system dictated the consolidation of national borders and increasing levels of state surveillance of national populations. Indeed, Beale's treatise is a remarkable demonstration of how interconnected were state centralization, inter-national competition, and internal surveillance and social control. Immediately before giving his cartographic requirements, Beale notes that "[i]t is convenient for a Secreatarie to seeke to understande the State of the whole Realme, to have S[i]r Thomas Smithe's booke, althoughe ther be many defects, w[hi]ch by progresse of time and experience he shalbe able to spie and amende."[30] Seeking to "understande the State of the whole Realme" for Beale means anatomizing its population in increasingly exact ways: he "could wish that the Secreatarie should make himself acquainted w[i]th some honest Gentlemen in all the shires, Citties and principall Townes and the affecc[i]on of the Gent[ry]" and that the secretary "have a booke or notice of all the Noblemen, their Pedegrees and Alliances amonge themselves and w[i]th other Gentlemen"; indeed, he should, according to Beale, "provide for himselfe . . . a coppie of the bookes of the Undersheriffs and Coroners in everie Sheire; by w[hi]ch meanes he shall know the names of the Gent[ry] as also of the wealthier sort of yeomen in the whole Lande." Knowledge of "society" was to be recorded and carefully sorted by types, and kept in such a way that the country as a whole ("all the Noblemen," "everie Sheire") could be known in its social and geographic entirety (right down to "the wealthier sort of yeoman") by anyone with access to a central archive of information located in a geographically specific place, Whitehall.

  19. Information about the "internal" composition of the country was paralleled by a desire for information about its borders and frontier regions. Beale insists that, among the matters that ought to be "digested into X or XII severall bookes," a secretary include
  20. matters concerninge Religion, of Recusants in every shire, or their bondes, placinges, children. . . . The Com[m]mission and Instrucc[i]ons of her Ma[jes]tie's Councel in the North, the Com[m]ic[i]on of the L[ord] Lieutenant, the Com[m]ic[i]ons of the wardens over against Scotlande, the establishm[en]t of Barwicke, a role of the officers and bandes, the Lawes of the Marches. . . . A note of the fortes alonge the Sea Coastes of this Realme. . . . A Collec[i]on of the late Musters in everie sheire for some few yeares [and a book] Of the affaires of the Realme of Irelande and the ordinarie com[m]ic[i]on and Instrucc[i]ons of the L[ord] Deputies and Presidents, the speciall l[ett]res to be kept that are sent thither.[31]

    Here we have moved beyond the narrow Henrician concern with fortification and defense, and see clearly that control of space by centralized government began to require specialized order-enforcing agencies monitored by the state; social discipline enforced by central government, and not simply military force, was seen as the necessary precondition for turning turbulent frontiers (dominated by local magnates) into abstract borders. The connection between internal policing and surveillance and the control and demarcation of borders is seen in the stipulations regarding recusants and musters: a monopoly on jurisdictional legitimacy and a monopoly of the legitimate use of force were seen as coterminous with securing national borders.

  21. Beale is not satisfied with simply noting what kinds of information a secretary should know: he is very eager that he should also collate, store and access it in very specific ways. Early in the Treatise, Beale notes that
  22. The Secretarie must have a care that the Clercks of the Councell keepe a perfect booke of the L[ord]s' sittinges, of the place, daye and number and likewise of their l[ett]res signed; and when everie mounth is ended, let the Clercke attendinge make up in order the bundell for the mounth and keepe a speciall note in a paper booke of everie l[ett]re or other specialtie in the saide bundell in forme of a Calender, so as by the said Callender he may know in what month and bundell to finde that w[hi]ch shalbe asked for.[32]

    An ever more minute anatomy of the country was paralleled in the centralized state's record keeping practices. Keeping "a perfect booke" meant precision in the co-ordination of the timing and spacing of individuals, of both those recording the actions of others and those being recorded. Precise forms of record keeping meant not only larger amounts of information regarding any one point of government, but also increasingly compartmentalized ways of regarding phenomena: foreign or domestic, national or local, religious or secular, public or private. Compartmentalization and the division of labor in state agencies that both produced it and were produced by it in turn served to heighten the desire to view the nation in more precise ways. A self-reflexive state apparatus recording its own workings with greater chronological and geographical precision, and in greater detail and volume, demanded that a recognizable national society be surveyed and known in equally precise terms.

  23. Elizabethan government did not have the resources at hand that had been available to Henry at the dissolution of the monasteries. The Henrician revolution in cartography had accompanied the break with Rome and had been geared towards fortification and defence, towards, in other words, securing England's national sovereignty from Papal, Valois and Habsburg threats. With Elizabeth, the emphasis changed to internal consolidation and competition with continental powers in reaping the benefits of colonial settlement and trade. Both of these projects required, as much as or more than financial resources, what Giddens has called "authoritative" resources, the "collection and storage of information, used to co-ordinate subject populations."[33] As he continues, "Surveillance control of information and the superintendence of the activities of some groups by others is in turn the key to the expansion of such resources."[34] It is in this context that we must situate the outpouring of atlases and local maps, treatises on government and finance, collections of acts of parliaments, treaties and legal precedents, calendars of state papers, volumes of dispatches from abroad and letters and books from the provinces (especially from local magistrates) that Beale is concerned his secretary safely store and consult in reviewing the nation.

  24. Lord Burghley, the premier architect of Elizabethan government, had not only, by his death in 1598, amassed the library that Beale had in mind for his principal secretary; he also showed the kinds of critical skills in collection, annotation, collation and categorization that Beale thought equally important as the content of that library. Cecil had long been associated with leading men of learning, especially those involved in practical applications of scientific techniques; indeed, he married the daughter of the mathematician Sir John Cheke in the 1540s, and it was the latter who introduced him to the polymath and proto-imperialist John Dee in 1551, a relationship that would be continued into the 1590s.[35] Dee had amassed, by the 1580s, the largest library in England, and Cecil could not have been far behind; he had, for example, stipulated in the plans for his great palace at Theobalds that "an evidence howse" be located in a "single chamber at the west end of the gallery" so that it would be relatively fire- and burglar-proof.[36] He was, as Peter Eden notes, "a glutton for parchment and paper": he augmented Beale's required treatises and treaties with numerous tracts by such scientific theorists and practitioners as gunner and mathematician William Bourne and surveyor and cartographer John Norden. From a large collection of maps which he originally kept loose, he formed first one atlas of domestic maps, which by the 1570s was superseded by two larger volumes: one relating to foreign affairs whose core was Ortelius's 1570 atlas (the first edition), the other on British affairs and centering on the proof sheets for Saxton's atlas.[37] On the one hand, he was able to view the world through the grid of latitude and longitude, to know it as a world of states whose borders could be shown with reasonable exactitude, whose colonial claims could be demarcated with scientific precision, seen exactly as other monarchs and ministers viewed this mechanically reproduced landscape, the sphere of inter-state diplomacy, of "foreign affairs"; on the other, the nation appeared before him as a collection of fairly uniform administrative units that increasingly served the surveillance capabilities of a centralized state, the sphere of domestic government.

  25. These collections served Burghley in ways that would have been recognizable to his Henrician forebears. On the southwestern coasts of the Saxton maps we find him noting "Dangerous places for landing of men in the county of Dorcett"; in the North, his annotations relate to military stores and military divisions of the counties of Westmorland, Cumberland and Northumberland.[38] Even here, in the area of defense, however, he went far beyond Henry and his ministers, both in the amount of cartographic information demanded and in his self-reflexive and critical collation and use of such information. On his maps of Ireland and the Anglo-Scottish border he notes the names of native lords, while making corrections to his copy of Ortelius's map of Ireland. Threats from within are also mapped: his concern with the resurgence of recusancy in 1590 "led to the drafting of a map of the hundred of West Derby, which depicts the location of JPs, other gentry, and the churches and chapels in the hundred." The manuscript map of Durham in the Saxton atlas, probably compiled at the time of the Northern Rebellion, notes routes taken by government agents and by potential enemy foreign auxiliaries.[39] Administering borders, as well as defending them, became a priority for central government, as did the precise delineation of the geographical contours of dissidence within the realm.

  26. Administration and defense of the borders of the realm and the control of internal dissidence were the main foci of the late Tudor regime; however, government increasingly took it upon itself to administer and survey a population. The poor law is one example: as Elton remarks, though "originally especially concerned with the punishment of rogues and vagabonds, the justices ultimately found themselves also supervising and enforcing the collection and administration of a compulsory rate for the relief of the deserving poor."[40] This movement from punishment and deterrence to administration is one we have noted before; it can be linked to the growth of state power, for as A. L. Beier notes
  27. In the Middle Ages [vagrancy] involved the breaking of manorial ties, and so was a form of rebellion. It continued to signify rebellion, although for different reasons, under the Tudors and early Stuarts. Governments reacted vigorously to suppress vagrants and in the process brought about major new developments in state control.[41]

    Weber writes that "the claim of the modern state to monopolize the use of force is as essential to it as its character of compulsory jurisdiction and of continuous operation."[42] As the Elizabethan state appropriated the rights and privileges previously lodged in extra- or sub-national groups, those rights and privileges changed in both scope and character. They became "nationalized," abstracted from their local contexts by a central government claiming ultimate jurisdiction and competence to deal with matters both judicial and administrative. Government in the modern sense was initiated in this way in large part through the self-reflexive record-keeping we have examined above. As it secured its sovereignty at the international level, so, in a later phase, it reduced internal competitors, replacing (for example) heterogeneous manorial and local courts with uniform petty and quarter sessions run by government commissioners (JPs, whose charge included administration of the poor laws), who received increasing amounts of paperwork from London, and in turn fed Whitehall with their briefs on the state of "the country" (the newly important county unit of government). This loop of information elicited a desire for more precise and uniform ways of knowing and administering a population, for better methods of supervising the magistrates themselves, as well as creating an administrative permanence ("continuous operation"), based on precise administrative boundaries, which made it increasingly easy to identify a "nation" as a well-defined yet abstract conglomeration of counties, or as those being interpellated by government (as magistrates or as subject to magistrates).

  28. Tudor cartography underwent three stages of refinement, according to Victor Morgan:
  29. In the first, the existing images derived ultimately from the mappa mundi and from Ptolemy were modified on their outer boundaries by information derived from rutters, portolans and nautical charts. . . . In the second, the emphasis was on the larger-scale plans and sketches required for military purposes. . . . It was only in the third phase, from the 1570s, and initially to meet the needs of the central government that the internal morphology of England, both topographical and political, was finally determined. Moreover, the provision on a smaller scale of general maps of the country as a whole that indicated the relationships between the various constituent parts represented by individual county maps of somewhat larger scale ensured that the visual image of England provided by this means fully articulated the constituent parts of that image. It was this integrated depiction of "country" and "countries" that received the widest dissemination amongst the political nation.[43]

    What is important is to note how interconnected state centralization, inter-national competition, and internal surveillance and social control had become by the late sixteenth century. Morgan notes, apropos Burghley's "domestic" atlas centered on Saxton's proof-sheets, that "the whole volume of both printed and manuscript maps and plans, with their notes and emendations, epitomizes the fusion of the varied and increasing preoccupations with both external relations and internal administration which had prompted its creation."[44] For "fusion" I would instead substitute "co-ordination": spheres of domestic and foreign policy were beginning to be compartmentalized, and their interconnections mapped by central government. As David Harvey has noted of the Enlightenment:

    Increased competition between states and other economic units created pressure to rationalize and co-ordinate the space and time of economic activity, be it within a national space of transport and communications, of administration and military organization, or the more localized spaces of private estates and municipalities.[45]

    This Enlightenment project has roots in the Renaissance, for it "rested upon the link between Renaissance perspectivism [which "generates a coldly 'geometrical and systematic' sense of space"] and a conception of the individual as the ultimate source and container of social power, albeit assimilated within the nation state as a collective system of authority."[46] It is to this individual, the product of the nation-state and capitalism, that I now turn.


  30. Maps were not only, or even especially, the tools of royal government in Elizabethan England. Though the government continued to utilise maps extensively (and with increasing sophistication) in the late Tudor and early Stuart period, the real impetus for the production of maps passed to the landed class, in their multiple and often overlapping roles of private landowner, merchant, local government official, member of the House of Lords or the Commons.[47] This is not simply the result of increasing economic prosperity; rather, it is the result of the fundamental split effected in the English polity between state and civil society. The English landowner forged the space between the two in the wake of the Reformation that both gave the nation an insular sovereignty and opened up the land market when the Tudors alienated the monastic and chantry lands seized in the 1530s. The revenue from these sales facilitated Henry's break with Rome by allowing an extensive renovation of England's defences (which, as we have seen, promoted the use of cartography and related scientific practices as tools of government), while securing the compliance of important sectors of England's landowning class, those who most readily were able to secure the fruits of monastic estates. Because of the sale and giving away of vast amounts of monastic and chantry lands, "a vast vested interest in Protestantism was created to guarantee the Reformation settlement."[48] Feudalism was "nationalized" in the sense that the crown was the principal heir of the powers of the feudal baronage (whose strength as such was sapped by escheat and other tactics of royal government), and as Derek Hirst notes "[t]his left the gentry looking only to the crown when the humanists indoctrinated them into the duty of service to the commonwealth."[49] The position of the English gentry was far from subservient, however: as John Breuilly notes, as opposed to continental, absolutist centralization,
  31. in England the major institution through which collaboration was secured for further centralization was a central representative assembly, Parliament. It was through agreements with Parliament and informal links with local,above all, gentry interests that the Tudor monarchs reduced noble and church power.[50]

    Because the crown had to in some respects "buy off" the landed interests in the realm, and because of the increasing nationalization and centralization of the market radiating out from London, the English gentry (the group that most eagerly took advantage of this expanding market) enjoyed a position of power unique in Europe, a power above all vested in the Commons.

  32. The Crown's patrimony was severely reduced while a class of landowners was created whose prosperity depended on securing a sphere of exchange outside the purview of the state; the latter did so, however, by participation in the state itself. Whereas in France (which, like England, had long had a centralized state) encroachments on provincial independence and lordly jurisdiction strengthened the Crown (and, in the long run, French absolutism) at the expense of, or through direct absorption of, the semi-autonomous jurisdictions of lord or priest, for the most part the English land-holding classes did not suffer from the above-mentioned state encroachments on their extra-economic jurisdictional privileges; nor did they need to be appeased with "political" property created by the state. As Robert Brenner writes, in England
  33. The affirmation of absolute private property by the landlords over and against peasant possession went hand in hand with the gradual rise of a different sort of state, one which attained a monopoly of force over and against the privatized powers of feudal potentates. The state which emerged during the Tudor period was, however, no absolutism. Able to profit from rising land rents, through presiding over a newly emerging tripartite capitalist hierarchy of commercial landlord, capitalist tenant and hired wage labourers, the English landed classes had no need to recur to direct, extra-economic compulsion to extract a surplus. Nor did they require the state to serve them indirectly as an engine of surplus appropriation by political means (tax/office and war).[51]

    In France state centralization took the form of competition with lordly and provincial jurisdiction for the extra-economic extraction of peasant surplus; it was a nation characterized by parcellized and overlapping jurisdictions, multiple legal codes, and a plethora of internal tariffs and taxes that signal the absence of any unified, fluid national capitalist market. England, by contrast, had become by the late sixteenth century a remarkably unified state not so much by the forceful destruction of lordly and provincial rights and privileges, nor by the coercive extension of the powers of the Crown over other competing jurisdictions, but rather by the extension of capitalist modes of production that allowed the landholding class to forego extra-economic forms of surplus extraction such as the fruits of manorial jurisdiction or venal office holding in the state apparatus. As Ellen Wood notes,

    The political corollary of [English] economic relations was a formally autonomous state which represented the private, "economic" class of appropriators in its public, "political" aspect. This meant that the "economic" functions of appropriation were differentiated from the "political" and military functions of rule or, to put it another way, "civil society" was differentiated from the state while at the same time the state was responsive, even subordinate, to civil society.[52]

    Indeed, what characterized English political institutions was the strength of the landholding class in its representative body (the House of Commons) and in its power in the localities the extension of capitalist modes to the outlying shires was accompanied by increased participation (as MPs, JPs, constables, etc.) of the gentry in government and law enforcement.[53] This power was exercised not, of course, by local privileges and the fruits of jurisdiction, but rather through the enforcement of an impartial code that, to borrow Anderson's words, was "fully, flatly, and evenly operative over each square centimetre of a legally demarcated territory": the common law. In turn it was this legal code that secured civil society, and thus capitalist forms of surplus extraction, from intervention by King or feudal lord, for increasingly it gave recognition to individual "interest" in property separated from any "extra-economic" claims, privileges, or obligations. To rephrase Anderson, it was the rise of capitalism, and not just print-capitalism, that "creat[ed] unified fields of exchange and communication," fields unbroken by competing forms of sovereignty and jurisdiction.

  34. The consumption of cartographic texts by the landowning class, texts ranging from national to estate maps, was thus the product not of alienation from central government, nor simply the exuberant expression of pride in property of private, landowning individuals, but rather reflected the two faces, "civil" and political, of the English gentry. This is made manifest in the kinds of maps consumed by the gentry: national / county and estate maps. Of the first, Donald Hodson notes that
  35. The printed county atlas of the British Isles has always been a distinctive cartographic publication, not exactly paralleled in other countries. Until the adoption of national sheetlines, with the coming of the Ordnance Survey at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the county was seen as the basic unit of mapping.[54]

    We have already noted the administrative importance of the county unit; what was particular about this English administrative unit was that it represented neither local autonomy nor Crown predominance, reflecting the peculiar road to centralized government that England took in the sixteenth century. Major landowners found county atlases (and even individual sheet maps) appealing because they represented the ways in which the landed class exercised its own power, as Lords Lieutenant, JPs, MPs, etc. These powers were "planar" in the sense described above: they were derived from central government, but were exercised locally, in a geographically specifiable and bordered space, over subjects increasingly shorn of the privileges and liberties that made for the social heterogeneity characteristic of the middle ages. Here the gentry especially found its public, political face represented; this was the interface of local and national, the same interface found in their political roles (as local representative to a central body of the realm, as representative of central power in the localities).[55]

  36. The English property-owning individual stood in marked contrast to the corporate privilege of his French counterpart. As Peter Robert Campbell writes, in France
  37. privilege pertained more to groups and institutions than to individuals. . . . The first two orders in society were privileged, numerous courts of justice had privileges of jurisdiction, whole provinces were privileged in that they were exempt from, say, the salt tax, or direct taxation by royal bonnes villes were privileged towns because they had acquired fiscal exemptions. Thus, a peasant or town labourer could be privileged in relation to someone in another village or town, and the concept may be seen to have permeated society at all levels.[56]

    The first French atlas, Maurice Bouguereau's Théƒtre fran‡oys of 1594, proclaims in its prefatory matter the ideal of "un Dieu, un Roy, une Foy, & une Loy"; the atlas itself was composed, however, of heterogeneous territorial units ("Le Dauphiné Languedoc," "La Lorraine vers le Septentrion," "La Duché de Berry," "La Comté de Lymosin," etc.) arranged arbitrarily at widely varying scales.[57] Unlike the English atlases, which relied on native talent, the maps of Bouguereau are of varying provenance, some taken from Ortelius, Hondius and Mercator, some from previous French map-makers; and they were incomplete in their territorial coverage (to be achieved only in 1642 by Jean Boisseau). The atlas is dominated by the prefatory material dedicated to the king, his relation to the realm nowhere better expressed than in those versions of the atlas in which his portrait covers, quite literally, the entire map of France. Provincial fissiparity could only be overcome by the overwhelming presence of the king. The geographical heterogeneity of the French polity contrasts markedly with the English county atlas, with its uniform divisions and "planar" surface; this surface was the result of the peculiar interaction of state and civil society in early modern England.[58]

  38. In 1534 Elyot had advocated that "in visiting his own dominions [the governor] shall set them out in figure, in such wise that at his eye shall appear to him where he shall employ his study and treasure"; some seventy-five years later, John Norden's surveyor could boldly assert that "a plot rightly drawne by true information, describeth so lively image of a Manor . . . as the Lord sitting in his chayre, may see what he hath, where and how it lyeth, and in whose use and occupation every particular is, upon the suddaine view."[59] We have moved from the tentative steps of Henry's ministers to map England's coasts and borders in a desperate effort to secure national sovereignty, to an increasing sophistication in the use of maps for internal administration of the realm, and finally, with Norden, to the capitalist landlord trying to maximize his returns through a minute ("every particular") anatomy of his private property. Though the use of maps for national defense, overseas exploration and colonization, and internal administration was increasing on the continent at the end of the sixteenth century, England was alone in terms of the production of the estate map. In Spain, where the Casa de Contrataci¢n in Seville began to compile its master map of the world, the padr¢n real, in 1508, there would be no estate maps until the eighteenth century;[60] in the German-speaking regions, a number of surveying manuals were available by the early seventeenth century, but estate mapping and "improving" uses of land were negligible;[61] while in Scandinavia, Sweden produced the first national mapped cadaster in the seventeenth-century, antedating the first local plans of any kind by a century.[62] In France there was no impetus for ruling elites to survey their seignuries until well into the eighteenth century: as the authors of The Cadastral Map in the Service of the State put it, "when land was important to landowners not so much in its own right in terms of acres or precise physical extent but rather for the seigneurial rights and dues that accompanied it, there was no need of maps when the written word could precisely identify rights, obligations, and taxes associated with land ownership."[63] It was only in England in the sixteenth century that "the concept of landed property as a bundle of assorted rights over different bits of territory gave way to the idea that property lay in definable pieces of soil."[64]

  39. We need not go so far afield to perceive the uniqueness of the improving English gentleman farmer and his estate maps; for what most characterized both Crown and Church estates in late-Tudor and early-Stuart England was their lack of an improving, surveying eye to guide their management. The latter had been irreparably damaged by the Dissolution, and Elizabeth continued to alienate ecclesiastical estates throughout her reign. Equally as important was the granting, by the Church, of long leases at old rents, and episcopal sees accordingly suffered a drastic drop in revenue. At the local level, the tithes of many parishes had been impropriated by laymen, thus furthering the incomes of the landed elite at the expense of the clergy.[65] While much land was secularized during the sixteenth century, the Crown itself was not the main beneficiary, as we have seen. Equally as important was the management of those lands in the Crown's possession which were not alienated; a contemporary wrote that Burghley's son, Lord Treasurer Robert Cecil, upon commissioning a series of surveys of Crown lands "found the King's Mannors and fairest possessions most unsurveyed and uncertain, rather by report then by measure, not more known then by ancient rents; the estate granted rather by chance then upon knowledge."[66] At the end of Elizabeth's reign in 1603 Crown estates produced only £22,319 more than they had at the beginning; by 1630, the average yield from these estates was less than the 1603 figure. As Gordon Batho concludes, "the Crown lands had ceased to be an important part of the royal income, where a century before the Crown had been the principal landowner in the country and might have been rendered independent of parliamentary sources of supply."[67]

  40. As with the French nobility, the English crown neither surveyed nor improved (in any systematic fashion) its own estates, though like the former they lacked neither the financial nor cartographic resources to do so. The fundamental problem is posed by Brenner:
  41. Part and parcel of the same process by which capitalism emerged within the shell of commercial landlordism, coercive powers and jurisdictional rights were, for the first time, clearly separated from the private property and private proprietors, to which and for whom they had historically been integral, and concentrated in a unified state structure, formally possessed by the patrimonial monarchy. At the same time, patrimonial monarchs in England could actually exert only restricted control over the state in consequence of their restricted material resources and their quite limited patrimonial following of political dependents, as well their difficulty in taxing the land, given the ownership of most of it by a powerful landlord class, rather than by peasants.[68]

    The patrimonial character of the crown had been sapped by the weakening of its hold over the land, the real basis of lordship (whether the lord in question was king or magnate). Power over land, for the crown though not for the new capitalist class, meant a hold over the rights and duties attendant on land, rights and duties that bound local communities together within the customary bonds of "good lordship."[69] That these bonds were threatened by the surveyor was acknowledged by surveyors themselves, and Norden has his tenant object that the former "are the cause that men loose their Land: and sometimes they are abridged of such liberties as they have long used in Mannors: and customes are altered, broken, and sometimes perverted or taken away by your means."[70] These concerns did not weigh heavily on gentry landowners who, as Brenner makes clear, reproduced themselves by means of the market and whose power was not manifested in direct, political control of tenants; the Crown, on the other hand, had to rely on "extra-economic" means to sustain itself, such as control of wards, creation of "political property" in the state and patronage. Indeed, the Jacobean decision to sell estates rather than improve rents (even after surveys demonstrated an incredible disparity between existing rents and improved values) was made partly because of the resistance put up by customary, copyhold tenants and royal clients to increased rents.[71] For the gentry class, a patrimonial state in England was seeming more and more an absolutist one, infringing the sphere of civil society that the former were demarcating in debates like those over the king's rights of wardship and extra-Parliamentary taxation, and ever more forcefully in the years leading up to the crises of the 1640s.[72]


  42. English landowners profited from direct production for a national market and competitive leaseholds; French landowners by state office holding, corporate privilege, and the fruits of lordly jurisdiction. Thus, while in sixteenth-century France Bodin was describing the state as a unity of "families, colleges or corporate bodies" under a sovereign power, Sir Thomas Smith wrote of a "commonwealth" or "societie civill" in the following manner: "A common wealth is called a society or common doing of a multitude of free men collected together and united by common accord and covenauntes among themselves, for the conservation of themselves aswell in peace as in warre."[73] Bodin's "corporate bodies" and Smith's "multitude of free men collected together" points to the increasing importance of the landowning individual in England, over against corporatist representations of society. Indeed, the reduction of territorial and lordly privileges, of the parcellized sovereignty, corporatism and personal ties of dependency characteristic of feudalism more generally, and the subsequent internal pacification of England achieved by the Tudor ruling class, was the precondition both for the consolidation of a sovereign state apparatus and for the development of agrarian capitalism, and its representation in the outpouring of national, county and estate maps of the later sixteenth century.[74]

  43. Michel Foucault has written that "discipline proceeds from the distribution of individuals in space," to which end it employs the techniques of enclosure ("the specification of a place heterogeneous to all others and closed in upon itself") and partitioning, in which "each individual has his own place; and each place its individual." Disciplinary techniques are "exercised according to a codification that partitions as closely as possible time, space, movement."[75] Burghley's annotations, his notes on the locations of JPs (whose function was largely to enforce local social discipline), of postal routes throughout England, or of recusants, are examples of the ways cartography partitioned time, space and movement in the service of a centralized state claiming ultimate sovereignty over all (national) individuals and communities. So too is the prefatory verse, spoken by "Geometry," that accompanied Robert Recorde's Pathway to Knowledge, the first text to argue for the applicability to surveying of contemporary advances in geometry:
  44. Survayers have cause to make muche of me.
    And so have all Lordes, that landes do possesse:
    But Tennauntes I feare will like me the lesse.
    Yet do I not wrong but measure all truely,
    And yelde the full right to everye man justely
    Proportion Geometricall hath no man opprest,
    Yf anye bee wronged, I wishe it redrest.[76]

    The surveying, disciplinary gaze is one which "meaures all truely," its fantasy one of a "perfect booke" that anatomizes social formations into their individual components. The surveyor Ralph Agas thought the chief advantage of the estate map that it could locate the manor house, tenements, fields, etc., "in their full number measure and forme"; a map could display chases, warrens, parks, woods, fields, closes, pastures, and "euery parcel of land lying within the boundes thereof, in their exact measure: fashion and quantitie." The ultimate aim of these exact divisions and partitions was as a tool of management: "Heere have you also every parcel ready measured, to all purposes: you may also see upon the same, how conveniently this or that ground may be layd to this or that messuage."[77] As Andrew McRae notes, estate surveying was only part of a larger trend away from "manorial community and moral economy toward a modern landscape of capitalist enterprise."[78] We have moved from a heterogeneous collection of territorial units which fused economic and political functions, which were governed by localized customs and the reciprocal relations of "good lordship," to a national-monarchical state and likewise national capitalist class of landowners constituting an atomized civil society. In England above all other European countries, the homology between a bordered nation-state, the firmly delimited administrative units comprising that state (county, hundred) and the enclosed field is striking. These are the enclosed, partitioned spaces of surveillance that were crucial in the formation, not only of the English state and of English capitalism, but of the colonies in North America, and, in some senses, of the modern world.[79]


    [1] Beale's Treatise is printed as an appendix to Conyers Read's Mr. Secretary Walsingham and the Policy of Queen Elizabeth (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1925) 428-429. [Back]

    [2] Peter Barber, "England II: Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps, 1550-1625," in David Buisseret, ed., Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1992) 74-75. [Back]

    [3] Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism 2nd ed. (London: Verso, 1991) 19. [Back]

    [4] Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities 15. [Back]

    [5] In a suggestive (for a discussion of cartographic practice) passage on figural interpretation, Auerbach writes that "a connection is established between two events which are linked neither temporally nor causally -- a connection which it is impossible to establish by reason in the horizontal dimension (if I may be permitted to use this term for a temporal extension). It can be established only if both occurrences are vertically linked to Divine Providence, which alone is able to devise such a plan of history and supply the key to its understanding. The horizontal, that is the temporal and causal, connection of occurrences is dissolved; the here and now is no longer a mere link in an earthly chain of events, it is simultaneously something which has always been, and which will be fulfilled in the future; and strictly, in the eyes of God, it is something eternal, something omni-temporal, something already consummated in the realm of fragmentary earthly event" (Eric Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard R. Trask (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1953) 73-74). In Imagined Communities Anderson, drawing on Auerbach, contrasts this view of time with the "empty, homogeneous time" of the nation; as he notes, "The idea of a sociological organism moving calendrically through homogeneous, empty time is a precise analogue of the idea of the nation, which also is conceived as a solid community moving steadily down (or up) history" (26). This "organism" is the "horizontal community" of the nation-state. The ever more precise coordination of "homogeneous, empty" time and space (the time and space of administration, of management, of discipline) are crucial to the development of the nation-state and capitalism, as I demonstrate below. [Back]

    [6] Much of this discussion of medieval cartography is based on David Woodward's article "Medieval Mappaemundi" and Woodward and J. B. Harley's "Concluding Remarks" in J. B. Harley and David Woodward eds., Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, vol. 1 of The History of Cartography (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987) 286-370, 502-510; specific information on the Ebstorf map (including reproductions) can be found at pages 307, 309-10, 351. The probable author of this map was Gervase of Tilbury, an English teacher of canon law in Bologna, who was later in the service of the Guelphs as a provost in the Benedictine monastery in Ebstorf (an interesting example, in his own "career path," of the extra-national nature of the medieval clerical world which produced most of the mappamundi). [Back]

    [7] In contrast, for example, to the geographical prominence (in both location and area) given to Jerusalem and the Holy Lands on most mappaemundi. We must be a bit more precise here: in the Ortelius atlas, only 45 per cent of the maps have boundaries; this increases to 62 per cent in a Hondius edition of Gerard Mercator atlas of 1616, while 79 per cent of those in Blaeus' Theatre du monde, ou nouvel atlas of 1644 are given boundaries. This charts the rise of national as opposed to simply dynastic sovereignty, as will be discussed below (figures from James R. Akerman, "The Structuring of Political Territory in Early Printed Atlases," Imago Mundi 47 (1995), 141). [Back]

    [8] Anderson, Imagined Communities 36. See also Walter D. Mignolo, The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1995): "The Ebstorf map provides a paradigmatic illustration of territorial representation in Christian cosmology . . . Jerusalem and Christ's navel coincide, which justifies the metaphor "the navel of the world" given to a place that is at the same time the center of the human body and the center of the cosmos . . . Space, religious belief, and ethical order come together in an ethnic rationalization of space where the center is determined by a semantic configuration originating in the human body and extending to the space and life of the community as a center" (228-230). [Back]

    [9] James Given, State and Society in Medieval Europe: Gwynedd and Languedoc under Outside Rule (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990) 248. [Back]

    [10] Richard Halpern, The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation: English Renaissance Culture and the Genealogy of Capital (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1991) 187-188. [Back]

    [11] As Halpern writes: "the lines of an intellectual field were drawn not as a consequence of its internal protocols but rather to establish domains of privilege" (Poetics of Primitive Accumulation188). [Back]

    [12] Geoffrey Parker, "Maps and Ministers: The Spanish Habsburgs," in Buisseret, ed., Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps 127. Parker notes that "throughout the 1570s Benito Arias Montano, librarian of the Escorial and a noted humanist who had resided in Antwerp for several years, sent Ortelius various maps of Spain and Portugal, and of their overseas colonies, for future editions" (127). [Back]

    [13] Robert Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950-1350 (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993) 261. Bartlett cites Matthew Paris, who in his thirteenth-century History of the English wrote that "It does not seem to me irrelevant in chronicles and histories of English affairs . . . to describe briefly this glorious war, especially because on this depended at that time the whole state and condition of the entire Church, or indeed of the Catholic faith itself" (260-261). [Back]

    [14] Making of Europe 261 (his citation is from Guibert de Nogent's Historia quae dicitur Gesta Dei per Francos). [Back]

    [15] Communities 19. Early modern maps (and especially atlases like that of Ortelius) certainly chipped away at the universalizing tendencies of Medieval Christendom by giving it a (small) geographical home: John Dee maintained that they would be useful "to view the large dominion of the Turk: the wide Empire of the Muscovite: and the little morsel of ground where Christiandom (by profession) is certainly known" (cited in J. B. Harley, "Meaning and Ambiguity in Tudor Cartography," in Sarah Tyacke, ed., English Map-Making 1500-1650 [London: British Library, 1983] 27). [Back]

    [16] Wolfgang Reinhard, "Introduction: Power Elites, State Servants, Ruling Classes, and the Growth of State Power," in Wolfgang Reinhard, ed.., Power Elites and State Building (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996) 1. [Back]

    [17] Legislative omni-competence being, of course, the real standard of the nation-state. Bacon could remark regarding Parliament that "a supreme and absolute power cannot conclude itself, neither can that which is in nature revocable be made fixed" (i. e., Parliament could be bound neither by other bodies nor by its own previous pronouncements), whereas Sir Thomas More, scarcely fifty years earlier, thought statute hemmed in by "the laws of God and His Holy Church, the supreme government of which or of any part whereof may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him, as rightfully belonging to the see of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Saviour himself personally put upon earth, only to St Peter and his successors, bishops of the same See, by special prerogative granted" (G. R. Elton, ed. The Tudor Constitution: Documents and Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1972) 238-39). What is at stake here is not simply competing jurisdictions, but rather the kinds of jurisdictions involved (one "vertical" / hierarchical and scalar; the other "horizontal" and omni-competent). Here the English case departed from its continental competitors: John Morrill remarks that Spanish and French state formation "did not include the development of a single law-making parliament or states general or Cortes general for the whole polity; [nor] the development of an integrated judicial system or courts with a supreme jurisdiction across the whole of each composite kingdom (that is, there may have been congruity of judicature between parallel hierarchies of courts, but there was no more a parlement g‚n‚ral than an evolving states general)" ("The Fashioning of Britain," in Steven G. Ellis and Sarah Barber, eds., Conquest and Union: Fashioning a British State, 1485-1725 (London: Longman, 1995) 20-21). I delve into some of the reasons why they did not below. [Back]

    [18] Peter Barber, "England I: Pageantry, Defense, and Government: Maps at Court to 1550," in Buisseret, ed. Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps 34. [Back]

    [19] Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 35, 40-41. [Back]

    [20] Geoffrey Parker, The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988). See also Anthony Giddens' succinct discussion of "Military Power from the Absolutist to the Nation-State" in The Nation-State and Violence, vol. 2 of A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism (Cambridge: Polity, 1985) 103-116, in which he notes that "it was war, and preparations for war, that provided the most potent energizing stimulus for the concentration of administrative resources and fiscal reorganization that characterized the rise of absolutism" (112). [Back]

    [21] Tilly, "History of European State-Making" 35, 42. [Back]

    [22] Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 34. [Back]

    [23] Cited in Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 32. [Back]

    [24] Giddens sums this up nicely: "The development of the European states begins to diverge from the pre-established pattern of the rise and fall of empires. This involves, above all, the formation of a new type of reflexively monitored state system, associated substantively and conceptually with the development of sovereignty. The conception of sovereignty, tied simultaneously to the position of the absolutist ruler and to the formation of a heightened bureaucratic centralism, is one of the most important elements binding the "internal" development of the state with the "external" solidifying of the state system" (Nation-State and Violence 103). [Back]

    [25] Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 44. [Back]

    [26] Giddens, Nation-State and Violence 47. [Back]

    [27] Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 45. [Back]

    [28] Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 37. Sanctuaries were "ecclesiastical places where the king's writ did not run" (Baker English Legal History 585). Elton writes that "sanctuary -- the right of refuge in certain places enjoyed by escaping criminals -- was altogether dealt with in the reign of Henry VIII when the greater sanctuaries (usually ecclesiastical liberties) were brought under the king's writ"; as he notes, sanctuary and benefit of clergy "cannot be regarded as more than minor manifestations of the greater problem -- the liberties of the Church" (Tudor Constitution 320). The example of Norwich given above thus demonstrates how the state used cartography to exert sovereignty "over each square centimetre of a legally demarcated territory" and against rival jurisdictions exercised by sub- and extra-national bodies. [Back]

    [29] Barber, "Pageantry, Defense and Government" 44. [Back]

    [30] Beale, Treatise 428. [Back]

    [31] Beale, Treatise 428, 430. [Back]

    [32] Beale, Treatise 429. [Back]

    [33] Beale, Treatise 426. [Back]

    [34] Giddens, Nation-State and Violence 2. [Back]

    [35] Barber, "Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps" 70. I have relied on Barber for much of my information about Burghley. [Back]

    [36] Cited in Peter Eden, "Three Elizabethan Estate Surveyors: Peter Kempe, Thomas Clerke and Thomas Langdon," in Tyacke, ed., English Map-Making 69. Dee's library was "a place where court, city, and university could meet" and its visitors included Francis Bacon, Richard Hakluyt, Queen Elizabeth accompanied by her Privy Council (including Burghley), Francis Walsingham and Robert Beale, who on 12 June 1591 borrowed a manuscript of the Chronica Hollandiae Magna (William H. Sherman, John Dee: The Politics of Reading and Writing in the English Renaissance (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1995) 45, 40-41). [Back]

    [37] Barber, "Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps" 70, 73. [Back]

    [38] Victor Morgan, "The Cartographic Image of 'The Country' in Early Modern England," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 29 (1979): 139; Barber, "Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps" 74. Eden notes that in Burghley's own collections of maps there is even a sketch in his own hand, dating from 1561, of Liddesdale on the Scottish border ("Three Elizabethan Estate Surveyors" 69). [Back]

    [39] Barber, "Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps," 74-75, 70; Morgan, "Cartographic Image of "The Country"" 137. [Back]

    [40] Elton, Tudor Constitution, 454-55. [Back]

    [41] A. L. Beier, Masterless Men: The Vagrancy Problem in England, 1560-1640 (London: Methuen, 1985) 3. Self-reflexive record keeping was essential to the administration of the poor law; Beier notes that "Elizabeth's leading minister, William Cecil, drew up a memorandum defining vagabondage. Local magistrates sent him and other ministers their remedies for the problem, took lengthy depositions from suspects, and made returns of arrests to the Privy Council" (xx). These local magistrates were, of course, often responding to the dictates of printed statutes, proclamations and less formal injunctions emanating from Westminster. Record keeping facilitated not only surveillance of a population, but also of state functionaries themselves, whose reports and actions were increasingly surveyed / administered by the administrative tier above themselves. [Back]

    [42] Max Weber, Economy and Society, vol. 1 (Berkeley: U of California P, 1978) 56. [Back]

    [43] Morgan, "Cartographic Image of 'The Country'" 153-54. [Back]

    [44] Morgan, "Cartographic Image of 'The Country'" 138-139. [Back]

    [45] David Harvey, "The Time and Space of the Enlightenment Project," in The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1989) 259. [Back]

    [46] Harvey, "Time and Space of the Enlightenment Project" 258, 244. [Back]

    [47] See Barber, "Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps," 57-59, 79-84; Morgan, "Cartographic Image of 'The Country'"; Eden, "Three Elizabethan Estate Surveyors"; Andrew McRae, God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996) esp. chapter 6, "'To Know One's Own': The Discourse of the Estate Surveyor"; and Richard Helgerson, "The Land Speaks," chapter 3 of Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1992) 105-147. For a more theoretical and general approach to the consequences of capitalism for mapping and space, see Harvey, "Time and Space of the Enlightenment Project." [Back]

    [48] Christopher Hill, The Century of Revolution, 1603-1714 (New York: Norton, 1980) 21. [Back]

    [49] Derek Hirst, Authority and Conflict: England, 1603-1658 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1986) 56. [Back]

    [50] John Breuilly, Nationalism and the State (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1982) 54. Ellen Meiksins Wood notes that "feudal centralization in England was the collective project of the dominant propertied class" (The Pristine Culture of Capitalism: A Historical Essay on Old Regimes and Modern States [London: Verso, 1991] 27). [Back]

    [51] Robert Brenner, "The Agrarian Roots of European Capitalism," in T. H. Aston and C. H. E. Philpin, eds., The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987) 298. As Brenner notes in another work: "as successful commercial landholders overseeing an emergent capitalist agrarian economy, English landlords ceased to require forms of state, of political community, either local or national, that had as one of their central functions the economic support of members of the dominant class by means of the maintenance of politically constituted forms of private property -- either by making possible direct lordly levies from the peasants, based on lordship, or by constituting property in central or local offices, based largely on peasant taxation" ("Postscript" to Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London's Overseas Traders, 1550-1653 [Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993] 652). [Back]

    [52] Wood, Pristine Culture of Capitalism 28. [Back]

    [53] Elton notes that "The Commons had always been more numerous than similar institutions in more populous countries of the continent, but in the sixteenth century they grew vastly -- from 296 to 462, or by some fifty-six per cent. . . . The century witnessed what has been called "the invasion" of Parliament by the country gentry" (Tudor Constitution, 243). Keith Wrightson notes that even for lesser gentlemen, "the true test of status was selection for county offices" (English Society, 1580-1680 [New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1982] 26). As Helgerson notes, "There was a marked resemblance between the genre [chorography] and the political institution [Parliament]. If a chorography was a representative body, so was parliament. The same anatomical metaphor -- the 'body of all England' -- was used repeatedly for both, as it was for the land itself" ("The Land Speaks," 136). [Back]

    [54] Donald Hodson, "County Maps," in Helen Wallis, ed., Historians' Guide to Early British Maps (London: Royal Historical Society, 1994) 16l. [Back]

    [55] As Brenner perceptively notes, "in any trans-European perspective, what is most striking about the English localities, and especially the propertied interests based in those localities, is emphatically not their parochialism or hostility to the central government, but rather the extent to which they saw their most fundamental interests as dependent on the strengthening of the unified national state. . . . Local landed proprietors initially looked to a more effective national monarchical state, of which county government was an integral part, to defend their property from peasants and neo-feudal magnates" ("Postscript" to Merchants and Revolution 655-56). [Back]

    [56] Peter Robert Campbell, The Ancien Regime in France (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988) 37. [Back]

    [57] See the facsimile edition, with an informative introduction by PŠre Fran‡ois de Dainville (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1966); see also Tom Conley, "An Atlas Evolves: Maurice Bouguereau, Le th‚ƒtre fran‡oys," in The Self-Made Map: Cartographic Writing in Early Modern France (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996) 202-247.) [Back]

    [58] Compare Richard Helgerson's comments on the English atlases of the period: "What we see when we open The Theater of the Empire of Great Britain -- or, for that matter, any other chorographical book -- is not the king but the country. The function of such books is precisely to make the land visible, to set it before us in such a way that we will know both its greatness and its particularity, a particularity in which its primary viewers, the landowning gentry of England and Wales, had their part" ("The Land Speaks" 145). [Back]

    [59] John Norden, Surveiors Dialogue (cited in McRae, God Speed the Plough 192). [Back]

    [60] David Buisseret, "Estate Maps in the Old World," in David Buisseret, ed., Rural Images: Estate Maps in the Old and New Worlds (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996), 6; on Spanish mapping of the New World, see Barbara E. Mundy, The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geogr ficas (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996); reference to the Casa at page 13. [Back]

    [61] Buisseret, "Estate Maps in the Old World" 11. [Back]

    [62] Kain and Baigent, Cadastral Map, 332; Buisseret, "Estate Maps in the Old World" 23. [Back]

    [63] Kain and Baigent, Cadastral Map 206. As Buisseret observes, "The French nobility, many of whose members by the middle of the seventeenth century had passed through the map-conscious Jesuit educational curriculum, were alert to the uses of cartography, but they generally commissioned detailed maps, not of arable farms, but of forests, mines, and property boundaries. Marc Bloch observed as long ago as 1929 that there seemed to be no seigneurial 'plans parcellaires' before 1650, and very few in the century after that" ("Estate Maps in the Old World" 6). It is thus not a lack of "map consciousness," nor even a lack of concern for revenues, that delayed the production of estate maps on the continent; we must look to the distinctive ways in which state and civil society developed in England in the sixteenth century in order to explain their widespread use there. [Back]

    [64] F. M. L. Thompson , Chartered Surveyors: The Growth of a Profession (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968) 10. [Back]

    [65] On these developments, see Joyce Youings, "Landlords in England: The Church," in Joan Thirsk, ed., The Agrarian History of England and Wales, vol. 4, 1500-1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1967) 306-356; and Elton's commentary in Tudor Constitution on "Secularisation of Land" 369-374. The clergy's social position is cogently discussed by Wrightson, English Society 206ff. [Back]

    [66] Cited in Daniel W. Hollis, III, "The Crown Lands and the Financial Dilemma in Stuart England," Albion 26, no. 3 (1994): 422. [Back]

    [67] Gordon Batho, "Landlords in England: The Crown," in Thirsk, ed., Agrarian History of England and Wales 265, 273. [Back]

    [68] "Postscript" to Merchants and Revolution 657. [Back]

    [69] As James notes in his study on "The First Earl of Cumberland and the Decline of Northern Feudalism": "Just as the two-fold character of a fief as a piece of property and as the basis of a system of service contained contradictions not easily reconciled, so there was a latent tension between the 'good lordship' which the head of a great estate was expected to dispense and his role as a landlord. Cumberland in fact seriously damaged his image in his country by unpopular estate policies aiming at maximum economic gain, which gave him the reputation of a harsh landlord" (in Society, Politics and Culture 158). The monopolization of legitimate use of force by the crown and the extension of capitalist modes of production "released" landowners from the necessity of relying on "extra-economic" modes of extraction and the need for servile, service-based or military tenures. [Back]

    [70] Cited in Crystal Lynn Bartlovich, "Boundary Disputes: Surveying, Agrarian Capital and English Renaissance Texts" (Ph.D. diss, Emory U, 1993) 206n. 17. [Back]

    [71] Hollis, "Crown Lands" 423; Batho, "Landlords in England: The Crown" 269. [Back]

    [72] Debates over wardship, which would heat to a fever pitch in the 1640s, are indicative of how scalar, feudal forms of property threatened the newer sense of absolute private property; they were due to the king on the basis of a form of military tenure rendered obsolete by the internal pacification of the realm and the lack of a large standing army in England (intimately connected to continental absolutism, especially in the minds of contemporaries who associated them with the kinds of extra-parliamentary revenues they thought James was trying to procure). The Court of Wards was established in 1540 to tap, in an "extra-economic" and archaic manner, the windfall passed on to the gentry at the Dissolution. [Back]

    [73] Cited in Wood, Pristine Culture of Capitalism 43. [Back]

    [74] Thus it is no surprise that it was this period that produced the first abstract, uniform, national standards of measurement. [Back]

    [75] Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Random House, 1977) 141-143, 137. [Back]

    [76] Cited in McRae, God Speed the Plough 182. [Back]

    [77] Cited in Kain and Baigent, Cadastral Map 4-5. [Back]

    [78] McRae, God Speed the Plough 7.[Back]

    [79] The structure of county government, rapidly established from Massachusetts to Virginia in the seventeenth century, was one of the very few areas in which almost no calls for reform were made during the American Revolution (Bruce C. Daniels, "Introduction" to Bruce C. Daniels, ed., Town and County: Essays on the Structure of Local Government in the American Colonies (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1978) 8. [Back]

Works Cited

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