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How many acres? A cartometric exercise of 1642

J. H. Andrews


In 1642 the English Parliament proposed to finance the pacification of Ireland by rewarding investors with allotments of confiscated Irish land. This project was the subject of a letter from Richard Delamain to Viscount Mandeville, recently acquired by the British Library and here printed in full. Delamain sought to allay doubts as to whether the requisite area (2.5 million acres) would be available, partly by citing current estimates and partly by measuring the area of each province on John Speed's map of Ireland with a grid of 10,000-acre squares. Although his methods were flawed, he was right in predicting that enough land would be available.

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