William Leybourn, The compleat surveyor
When Leybourn’s Compleat surveyor was first published, in 1650, political pressure exerted by the Civil War on land use and appraisal was so great that he used a pseudonym, Oliver Wallinby. By its second printing, Leybourn could openly display his name alongside a dedication to Edmund Wingate, a noted Cromwell intimate. This surveying text, unlike those by Benese or Digges, depicts as though from above the property that is to be measured. In this, it is a practical and aspirational guide, offering techniques first for assessing and then memorializing property and the sociopolitical hierarchy to which it is attached: “These things being well performed, your plot will be a neat Ornament for the Lord of the Manor to hang in his Study, or other private place, so that at pleasure he may see his Land before him, and the quantity of all or every parcell thereof without any further trouble” (Nn2, 275). The image displayed here does not seem quite the diagrammatic “sufficient…example” of clear and standardized surveying Leybourn suggests it is, but it certainly reflects the political and economic aspirations described by the text.