Theodore de Bry (1528-1598) was born in Liége, and worked as a
cartographer in Frankfort am Main.
The stamp from Jersey reproduces part of a map
engraved by Theodore de Bry, which, in turn, may have been based on a
map, now lost, by John White. White accompanied the first of Walter
Raleigh’s colonizing expeditions, and was the governor of Raleigh's
colony on Roanoke Island. The map was printed in A Brief and True
Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, by Thomas Hariot, published
Hariot wrote, “Because of the many islands on the
seacoast of Virginia it was difficult to discover an entry to the
mainland....Before we came upon an entrance we made many attempts at
different places.... Sailing farther, we reached a large island.
“As soon as the inhabitants of this island caught sight
of us, they set up a loud and terrible outcry, as if they had never
before seen men dressed as we were, and they ran off screaming like
beasts and yelling like madmen. But we called them back and offered
them presents....Convinced of our good intentions and kindness, they
slowly approached and made us welcome.... Thus we reached the part of
the world called Virginia.”
A close examination of the stamp shows a shipload of
colonists headed toward the island, the figures of the inhabitants
running away from them, a fish-weir off the coast of the island,
shoal-waters, indicated by patches of dots, and the Indian villages of
Roanoac and Pasquenoke.
In 1594 de Bry published a
collection of maps, Collectiones Peregrinationum in Indiam....
One of the maps, Tabula Chorographica, is the basis for the
stamps from Anguilla and Jamaica.
The design of the Anguillan stamp shows little of the detail
on the original, and it covers a slightly smaller area. The coat of
arms in the upper left cornter, and the cartouche in the upper right
corner of the original are missing, as are several ships. The ships
that appear on the stamp are not on de Bry's map. They are Columbus'
The map of the island of
Jamaica is a detail from de Bry's map. There is an inscription on the
original below the island, Hoc loco prima dessensio orta, et pugna
commisea inter Hispanos, a reference to a mutiny by some members
of Columbus' crew during the fourth voyage.