The atlas was probably commissioned by Mary I as a gift for her husband, Philip II of Spain, a few months after their marriage in June 1554. Its creator, Diogo Homem, belonged to a distinguished Portuguese mapmaking dynasty. Diogo had fled Portugal to escape a murder charge in 1544 and the atlas shows he had no qualms about working for Portugal’s enemies: the maps in the atlas all reveal a strong pro-Spanish bias, even at the cost of truth.
Philip never received the atlas. It seems only to have been completed after Mary’s death in November 1558.
This eBookTreasures facsimile edition contains the complete manuscript.