Engravings show 17th-century Scotland

Some of the first drawings made of places in Scotland are now online more than 300 years after they were produced.

In Slezer's Scotland we provide the complete first edition of Theatrum Scotiae. This volume of engravings of towns, castles and palaces was produced and published in 1693 by a military engineer. It was the first time that Scotland had been portrayed in pictures.

Rural life and the nobility

John Slezer made his initial drawings as part of a military survey. The activities of the figures he added to his drawings illustrate various aspects of rural life and the pastimes and interests of the Scottish nobility.

Our web feature includes the text that the Geographer Royal at the time, Sir Robert Sibbald, wrote for Slezer's book. There are also a few engravings Slezer planned to use in a follow-up work. All the digitised views are zoomable, so you can examine them in close detail. Where relevant we have supplied a link to our Scottish town plans.

30 April 2008

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