Hertfordshire antique map published 1812 by cartographer John Cary. Hertfordshire, (often abbreviated Herts) is a county in southern England, bordered by Bedfordshire to the north, Cambridgeshire to the northeast, Essex to the east, Buckinghamshire to the west and Greater London to the south. The five modern principal towns are Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Watford, St Albans and Hertford. Hertford, once the main market town for the medieval agricultural county, derives its name from a hart (stag) and a ford, used as the components of the county’s coat of arms and flag. Elevations are high for the region in the north and west. These reach over 240m in the western projection around Tring which is in the Chilterns. The county’s borders are approximately the watersheds of the Colne and Lea; both flowing to the south; each accompanied by a canal. Hertfordshire’s undeveloped land is mainly agricultural.
John Cary (c. 1754 – 1835) was an English cartographer. Cary served his apprenticeship as an engraver in London, before setting up his own business in the Strand in 1783. He soon gained a reputation for his maps and globes, his atlas, The New and Correct English Atlas published in 1787, becoming a standard reference work in England. In 1794 Cary was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey England’s roads. This resulted in Cary’s New Itinerary (1798), a map of all the major roads in England and Wales. He also produced Ordnance Survey maps prior to 1805. In his later life he collaborated on geological maps with the geologist William Smith. His business was eventually taken over by G. F. Cruchley (1822–1875).