Monmouthshire Wales antique print by Georgian map-maker John Cary. Published 1812 in Cary’s “Traveller’s Companion.” Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy) is a county in south east Wales. The name derives from the historic county of Monmouthshire of which it covers the eastern 60%. The largest town is Abergavenny. Other towns and large villages are Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth, Magor and Usk. The historic county of Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535 and bordered Gloucestershire to the east, Herefordshire to the northeast, Brecknockshire to the north, and Glamorgan to the west. The Laws in Wales Act 1542 again enumerated the counties of Wales and omitted Monmouthshire, implying that the county was no longer to be treated as part of Wales. However, for all purposes Wales had become part of the Kingdom of England, and the difference had little practical effect. For several centuries, acts of the Parliament of England (in which Wales was represented) often referred to “Wales and Monmouthshire”.
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).