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Blogging On History, Science, and Education

A Map of this New Land Is Worth Pounds

A 1499 map of the new world turned up recently in a rolled-up parchment in the UK's National Archives. Included were details on a reward William Weston received from King Henry VII for drawing the map. That was in 1500, just a year after England sent its first British-led expedition to "Terra Nova" (the so-called New World).

 

The reward (30 British pounds sterling) was hefty.  William Weston was a Bristol merchant who traveled on the 1499 voyage.  That sum of money was the equivalent of about six years' salary for a laborer. King Henry VII must have been pleased. The map would help with later British claims to discovery of the New World.

 

In 2018 explorers at the National Archive discovered the parchment detailing Weston's payment. They had to use ultraviolet light to see what the text said.

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