I have just been to Kingston Lacy (a great National Trust house) where there is currently a small exhibition of maps relating to the Bankes estate, which covered Corfe Castle as well as Kingston Lacy.
One map displayed, I almost passed over, as it is the very fine map of the Isle of Purbeck which I have known for many years. It was drawn in 1586 by Ralph Treswell for Sir Christopher Hatton, an important member of Queen Elizabeth’s court, who then owned Corfe Castle. Fortunately I didn’t pass it by, as I had only previously seen reproductions, and the map displayed was the original, newly restored and removed from the book in which it had been bound.
As I looked at it, I realised that some of the deer, which have been drawn all across the map, had been highlighted in gold leaf. I hadn’t realised this before as colour reproductions do not bring out the glister of gold.
I pointed this out to my wife, who immediately said, ‘golden hind’, I at once realised that she was absolutely correct. Sir Christopher Hatton’s badge was a ‘golden hind’ and, as he was one of the main supporters of Sir Francis Drake’s great voyage, Sir Francis renamed the Pelican, his flagship, the Golden Hind.
The golden hinds on the map would have been a ‘conceit’, added in recognition of the man who commissioned the map. I have seen numerous comments about this map, referring to the deer, but nobody has mentioned the golden hinds, am I the first person to notice them, and recognise what they mean?
The picture of the map I found online.