16 William Redmayne 1676


In the same year as Robert Morden (15) produced his pack of playing cards William Redmayne advertised a pack of cards in the Trinity Term catalogue. Although presumably in competition with Morden the cards do not bear comparison with either Morden’s, nor even with W Bowes’ cards from the turn of the century (2, 3).

The maps in this set are very small and distorted, and have neither compass indicator nor scale. They have an indifferent text above and below the crudely engraved map. On the face of each map the suit mark is engraved in outline and was then filled in by hand; the value is engraved on the right. The arrangement of suits is different to that of Morden and court cards have a regal figure beside the map. The cards were reprinted in 1677 when red was represented by engraved vertical bars and black by cross-hatching. The names of the editions below come from the Term Catalogue (states 1 and 2) and magazine advertising (state 3).

John Lenthall specialised in playing cards and from 1711 to 1734 regularly advertised his collections. These included in January 1716/17 the modified Redmayne set and this date has been adopted here. He also offered another set of county map cards, copied from the Morden cards of 1676, for sale (23).

According to Mann and Kingsley there were three different stamps used on cards during the period 1711-1717 including two 6d tax stamps. On the evidence of these and the corresponding stamp on the King of Spades they suggest the third state might have appeared as early as 1711.1

Size of card 91 x 55 mm.          Scale 1M = 1 mm.

Map panel 30 x 55 mm.

DEVON - SHIRE at top of card. VII with suit mark, Clubs, superimposed on map.

1. 1676  Recreative pastime by Card play  
    London. W Redmayne, H Mortlock, R Turner, H Cox, and B Billingsley. 1676. S96, M&K4, BL2 , W, CB.
2. 1677 The suit mark is engraved with cross-hatching. Cards are known with and without stencilling over the suitmark.   
    Geographical, Chronological and Historiographical Cards of England and Wales S97, M&K4, CB.
    London. W Redmayne. (1677).  
3. 1717 A narrow foliated border has been engraved in place of the previous border.  
    Historiographical Cards  
    London. J Lenthall. (1717). M&K4, H146, [GL].


[1] See Mann and Kingsley; PLAYING CARDS; The Map Collectors’ Circle; No. 87, 1972; pp. 18-19.

[2] Illustration courtesy of the British Library.