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Pont Maps of Scotland, ca. 1583-1614 - History

The Numbering of the Pont maps by Christopher Fleet

Numbered lists were made of the Pont maps (as well as of maps by Robert and James Gordon, and John Adair) by Sir Robert Sibbald in the 1680s, and by Richard Gough in 1780. But the list most widely used in the twentieth century was based on the work of Caleb Cash. In 1907 he published a list of manuscripts by Pont, the Gordons, and Adair, ordering the maps of each essentially from north to south. Most subsequent research up to the 1960s used his references. However, new work by Dr Jeffrey Stone in 1974 showed that Cash had made some errors, attributing three maps by Pont to Gordon, and erroneously attributing a chart of the Tay estuary (called Pont 31 by Cash) to Pont.

To maintain consistency with earlier published work and with the way the maps are labelled and bound within the National Library of Scotland, these three Pont maps are still referred to with their Cash references as [Gordon 20], [Gordon 23], and [Gordon 54], the square brackets indicating their authorship by Pont. However, Jeff Stone did alter Cash's list of maps within each sheet of paper, replacing Cash's alpha-numeric system (e.g. 4A-4F) with a more comprehensive dual-numerical system (e.g. 4(1)-4(6)). It is this listing that we use in this website. Stone (1989, pp. 14-15) contains a useful cross-reference between the Gough, Cash and Stone listings.

In 1925 an additional Pont manuscript was discovered, with extensive text and maps of South Uist, Inverkeithing, and West Lothian (Stone, 1983). For convenience, this has tended to be allocated the next number in the Cash sequence, Pont ‹36›, although with chevron brackets to indicate its different provenance.

As Pont added titles to only a very few of his maps, Robert Gordon and Robert Sibbald both added various titular statements and endorsements on each sheet to describe the area covered. Cash recorded these quite faithfully in his listing, but as these titles tend to use older names (eg. 'Murray' for 'Moray'), ignoring some of the smaller maps on each sheet, we have, in this website, followed Jeffrey Stone's more comprehensive list of 1989 with its modern area titles.