Monmouthshire antique map from English Counties by Sidney Hall published 1860. Monmouthshire, although considered an English County in 1860 has, since the Local Government Act 1972, been part of Wales (Cymru.)
Monmouthshire also known as the County of Monmouth ( Welsh: Sir Fynwy), is one of thirteen historic counties of Wales and a former administrative county. It corresponds approximately to the present principal areas of Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Newport and Torfaen, and those parts of Caerphilly and Cardiff east of the Rhymney River. The eastern part of the county is mainly agricultural, while the western valleys had rich mineral resources. This led to the area becoming highly industrialised with coal mining and iron working being major employers from the 18th century to the late 20th century. The largest five towns today which lay within the historic boundaries are Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool, Ebbw Vale and Abergavenny.
Sidney Hall (1788–1831) was a British engraver and cartographer well known and popular for his early nineteenth century atlases containing maps of the United Kingdom and of the ancient world reproduced from Hall’s engravings. Hall made engravings for a number of international atlases at a time when cartography and atlases were very popular. He also engraved a series of cards for the various constellations, published c.1825 in a boxed set called Urania’s Mirror.
Steel engraving is a technique for printing illustrations based on steel instead of copper. It has been rarely used in artistic printmaking, although it was much used for reproductions in the 19th century. Steel engraving was introduced in 1792 by Jacob Perkins (1766–1849), an American inventor, for banknote printing. When Perkins moved to London in 1818, the technique was adapted in 1820 by Charles Warren and especially by Charles Heath (1785–1848) for Thomas Campbell‘s Pleasures of Hope, which contained the first published plates engraved on steel. The new technique only partially replaced the other commercial techniques of that time such as woodcut, wood engraving, copper engraving and later lithography.