Shropshire antique map by Georgian cartographer John Cary. Published 1812 in Cary’s, “Traveller’s Companion.” Shropshire; alternatively Salop abbreviated, in print only, Shrops; demonym Salopian is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Powys and Wrexham in Wales to the west and north-west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, Worcestershire to the south-east and Herefordshire to the south. The area was once part of the lands of the Cornovii, which consisted of the modern day counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of Powys. This was a tribal Celtic iron age kingdom. Their capital in pre-Roman times was probably a hill fort on the Wrekin. Ptolemy’s 2nd century Geography names one of their towns as being Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), which became their capital under Roman rule and one of the largest settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain ended in the 5th century, the Shropshire area was in the eastern part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys; known in Welsh poetry as the Paradise of Powys. It was annexed to the Angle kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the 8th century, at which time he built two significant dykes there to defend his territory against the Welsh or at least demarcate it. In subsequent centuries, the area suffered repeated Danish invasion, and fortresses were built at Bridgnorth and Chirbury
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).