Governor of Duck Island

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This 1734 map of St James’s Park in London shows a strange, small territory – that of Duck Island. Charles II created the post of “Governor of Duck Island” as a sinecure for one of his favourites, and it was revived by Queen Caroline the year before this map was made, and given to the poet Stephen Duck, presumably because of his name. If you’re a queen, you can do that kind of thing. (Then again, he’d earlier been her hired hermit in the crazy Merlin’s Cave in Richmond, so maybe he had a talent for that sort of work.) Duck Island itself was described as on the one side a wilderness and a desert, and on the other “like a paradise in miniature”. It later had a strange little Swiss cottage built on it.
Map from the British Library Crace Collection, which has quite a few nice maps of London parks:
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