Council Minutes: 1843-55

Cardiff Records: Volume 4. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1903.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Council Minutes: 1843-55', in Cardiff Records: Volume 4, ed. John Hobson Matthews( Cardiff, 1903), British History Online [accessed 18 July 2024].

'Council Minutes: 1843-55', in Cardiff Records: Volume 4. Edited by John Hobson Matthews( Cardiff, 1903), British History Online, accessed July 18, 2024,

"Council Minutes: 1843-55". Cardiff Records: Volume 4. Ed. John Hobson Matthews(Cardiff, 1903), , British History Online. Web. 18 July 2024.

Cardiff Council Minutes. 1843–1855.

THIS volume contains beautiful samples of penmanship. Each year's Minutes are prefaced by an ornamental page, surmounted by the Borough Arms tricked in lines and dots, with fine texting and ornamental Latin letters.

1843 April 10. Ordered, that Mr. Strawson be directed to ascertain in whose possession the Town Wall is, from the New Inn to the Cock's Tower.

May 1. Ordered, that the Town Clerk take steps to protect the property of the Corporation on the whole of the Town Wall, and particularly that part of it in the occupation of Robert Thomas, who has lately removed the Town Wall opposite the land leased to him by Mr. Frederick Wood.

June 12. New Bylaws.

1. At all Meetings of the Council every Member who has any Motion or observation to make shall rise and address the Mayor or other presiding Chairman, and shall not be interrupted unless he be called to order. And in that case the Member calling him to order shall be heard in preference to all others; and the question of order shall first be disposed of, before the subject be resumed or any other subject entered into.

2. No person shall speak more than once on the same subject, unless it be in reply or in explanation; and every Member who moves a Resolution shall be entitled to a reply.

3. Penalty not exceeding £5, for ringing bells or knocking at the doors of houses without lawful business or excuse; or for taking off knockers, bell-pulls, door-knobs, latches or scrapers; or for creating a false alarm of fire.
Also for defacing public Notices.
Using insulting behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
Fighting, or assisting others to fight.
Prostitutes loitering or soliciting in public streets.

Playing at ball, football, pitch-and-toss, quoits or any other game, to the annoyance of the inhabitants ; or sliding upon ice or snow to the common danger of passengers.

The foregoing Bylaws are to be engrossed on parchment, and the Seal of the Borough affixed thereto.

August 14. The Committee of the Cardiff Infants' (fn. 1) School are to be allowed to pull down the Town Wall adjoining their playground, on payment of an acknowledgment of 1s. per annum.

Robert Thomas is to pay £1. 1s. per annum for the portion of the Town Wall pulled down by him.

Longcross house and land have been purchased by the Ordnance Department for the purpose of erecting barracks. (fn. 2)

The Mayor is to ascertain the sentiments and wishes of the Marquis of Bute with respect to the Corporation's proposed purchase of the old Workhouse, with a view to the erection of a new Town or Shire Hall on the site.

November 9 Thursday. Henry Morgan, alderman, elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.

1844 March 1. Samuel Jones, of Long Dyke, Cardiff, elected an Assessor for the South Ward.

May 6. Ordered, that it be referred to the Watch Committee to report to the Council the best means of preventing vagrants and bad characters from remaining in the lodging-houses in Whitmore Lane.

September 8. The Corporation presented to General Nott an Address of congratulation on the occasion of his return to Wales. The Mayor and Council were received by General Nott at the Cardiff Arms.

23. Counsel Mr. Archibold has given his Opinion that the Corporation is not liable to be assessed to the harbour dues and the tolls taken at fairs. The Town Clerk is therefore to prepare an Appeal against such assessment.

Notice having been given that a public meeting for the purpose of promoting a line of railway from Stonehouse, through Chepstow, Newport, Cardiff, the agricultural districts of Lantrissent, Cowbridge, Bridgend, Porth Cawl and Pyle, thence to Neath, Swansea, Pembroke and Fishguard will be held at the Town Hall: Resolved, that this Meeting is of opinion that such railway will be a great national benefit and of considerable advantage to the localities through which it is proposed to pass.

November 9 Saturday. Councillor William Jonas Watson elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
Edmund Jones, shoemaker, and James Richards, trumpeter, Serjeants at Mace.
A Navigation and Harbour Committee appointed.
Allowance of £65. 15. o to the late Mayor for the past year.

1845 February 3. At the instance of the Right Honorable John Nicholl, M.P. for this Borough, the Mayor was requested to convene a public meeting to consider the expediency of memorialzing the Post Master General that the London mail should be forwarded to Cardiff as soon as the railroad from Cirencester to Gloucester should be opened.

March 17. The Mayor is to request Mr. Nicholl to suggest to the Government the expediency of adding Glamorganshire to the Oxford Circuit, and to state that, in the event of the Glamorganshire Assizes being held at Cardiff, the Council were ready to erect a new Hall with two Courts and accommodation for the Judges.
Ordered, that the fairs and cattle-markets be removed from Crockherbtown to Frederick Street (fn. 3) and streets adjoining.
Committee appointed to watch the proceedings of the South Wales Railway Bill, and to adopt such measures as may be necessary in respect to diversion of the river Taff at Cardiff.
June 23. Ordered, that the Harbour Master make a written report of the state of the river and buoys quarterly, and that he attend with such Report at each Quarterly Meeting of the Council.
Ordered, that the tolls on the sale of horses and cattle at fairs be discontinued until further notice.
The Town Clerk is to apply again to Mr. William Jenkins for payment of £60 rent due from him, and to take proceedings in default.
The old Workhouse premises purchased for £1000.

September 22. Ordered, that Mr. Richard Tredwen and Mr. William Bird purchase a buoy for the Old River, to be fixed as early as possible.
William Jonas Watson, esquire, Mayor, being incapable of executing his mayoral duties through ill health: Ordered, that Alderman Henry Morgan perform them in his stead, and he is hereby appointed and elected accordingly.
Councillor William Prichard died this month.
William Jonas Watson, esquire, the Mayor, died at Saint Nicholas, in October.

October 27. Resolved, that no Mayor be appointed for the remainder of the current municipal year. (fn. 4)

November 10 Monday. Alderman Richard Reece elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
John Ballard, Town Crier.

1846 August 3. Sir Charles Morgan having applied for permission to enclose part of the waste in Whitmore Lane adjoining his field: Ordered, that a final arrangement be made with Sir Charles.

The Treasurer is to take possession of the Cross Bakehouse premises, the Lease whereof has expired, and to appropriate the same for the purpose of the Markets.

September 21. The Town Clerk is to take steps to sell the Heath Farm and other parts of the Corporation property on the Heath, for dicharging the Corporation's Mortgage and other liabilities.
Ordered, that Sir Charles Morgan be allowed to erect a dwarf wall with an iron railing in Whitmore Lane on the property of the Corporation.

November 9 Monday. Councillor James Lewis elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.

December 14. House near Canal Bridge taken for Police Station.
South Wales Railway require the ship and timber yard and premises in Saint Mary Street.
Fairs and cattle-markets are to be held in Saint Mary Street, instead of Frederick Street.

1847 August 2. Application is to be made to the Treasury for their sanction to the sale of the following Corporation properties:—
1. House, garden and closes containing 17a. 0r. 30p., formerly in occupation of Llewelyn Prosser, in Llanishen parish.
2. Closes of land containing 116a. 3r. 15p., formerly in occupation of John Davies, in Llanishen parish.
3. House, barn, stable and garden at the Black Weir in the parish of St. John Baptist in Cardiff, in occupation of Joseph Butler.
4. Several parcels of land at or near Longcross in the said parish of St. John, containing 3r. 13p., in occupation of the Ordnance Department of the War Office.
5. Messuage called the Old Boring Mill, on the Old Quay in St. Mary's parish in Cardiff, in occupation of Joseph William Hall.
6. Stable and court at the Golate in the parish of St. Mary, in occupation of the Penydarran Iron C°. (subject to a Lease for 99 years from 8 Sept. 1750.)
According to a prior list there were included properties on the eastern Town Wall, and part of Little Troy.

August 30. Public subscriptions towards the proposed Courts of Justice amount to £1687.
Ordered, that the Committee apply to those noblemen and gentlemen who are interested in the prosperity of the town and gentlemen who are interested in the prosperity of the town and neighbourhood, for subscriptions towards the same object.

November 9 Monday. Councillor Richard Lewis Reece elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
Mayor's allowance to be £80.

December 22. There being only three Members present, no business was done.

1848 February 22. The Lords of the Treasury consented to the sale of the scheduled properties, except the land near Longcross held by the Board of Ordnance.
Town Clerk to enquire into the Corporation's title to the land on the Heath, in respect of the property agreed to be purchased of Mr. Griffith Lloyd.

March 15. The plans of Mr. Horace Jones, architect, for the new Courts, is accepted.

May 3. Edward Hyde appointed Water Bailiff, vice John Owen resigned.
Resolved unanimously: That this Council deeply regrets the death of the Most Honorable the Marquis of Bute—an event that has deprived this town of its most powerful and munificent friend, whose purse was always open to every call for its improvement and for the promotion of every charity. A Copy of this Resolution is to be forwarded to the Marchioness. [Her acknowledgment was entered on the next Minutes.]

November 9 Thursday. Alderman Walter Coffin elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
Richard Dauberry Hyde appointed Water Bailiff, at a salary of £20 per annum.

1849 March. Notwithstanding an Amendment by Mr. Charles Vachell, seconded by Mr. Richard Lewis Reece, it was resolved that lot 4 of the Corporation's freehold property on the Heath, in the parish of Llanishen, be sold to Wyndham William Lewis, esq., for £3100. The Amendment reads: "That it is undesirable to part with the lands of the Corporation, as future advantage may accrue to the Inhabitants of the Town from holding them."

November 9 Friday. Charles Vachell elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record within the said Borough.

1850 March 18. The King's Head inn and other houses in front of the new Courts are to be pulled down.
William Llewellyn appointed Town Crier vice Edward David, deceased.

May 6. The Corporation property at the Black Weir was sold to Mr. Richard Tredwen.

June 14. William Peake, Collector of Customs, is appointed Collector and Receiver of Harbour Dues, vice Robert Daw.

September 16. Benjamin Bowen appointed Collector of Rates.
Meetings and proceedings of the Council as Board of Health are to be held and kept distinct from the other Meetings and proceedings of the Council.

November 9 Saturday. Alderman William Bird elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.

1851 February 3. Councillor George Bird, draper, disqualified for non-residence, and his office declared vacant.

March 17. An application having been made by the Committee of the Cardiff Athenaeum for the inspection of the public records and documents of the Corporation by such persons as might be desirous of consulting them for elucidating the history of the town (a prize for such history having been offered by them): Resolved, that the Town Clerk allow the inspection of the Charters or such of the records of the Corporation as will assist in writing the history of Cardiff, to any person who will produce a letter from the Secretaries of the Athenæum stating that he is likely to be a candidate for the prize; such inspection to be made between the hours of 10 and 4 o'clock between the 20th day of March instant and 1st day of May next; and that a Copy of this Resolution be transmitted by the Town Clerk to such Secretaries.

May 5. The "property on the Goo-late and the Old Skin House" are to be sold by auction.

16. The Mayor is to write to the last Judge of Assize at Cardiff, requesting him to ascertain from the Judges whether they would prefer lodgings near the Hall or in Crockherbtown.

September 15. It having been intimated that possession of the Aldermen's Aisle in Saint John's church might be given up before the termination of the Lease to the late Marquis of Bute: Ordered, that a Committee (named) consider what steps may be necessary to be taken consequent thereon in reference to the present alterations in the church.

November 10 Monday. Griffith Phillips elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
The subscribers to the weighing machine are accorded a vote of thanks for having placed the same at the disposal of the Council.
The Corporation advertisements are in future to be inserted in the two Cardiff newspapers.

December 22. The Town clock is to be kept according to Greenwich time.
The Old Workhouse is to be pulled down.

1852 March 15. A communication from the Marchioness of Bute was made by the Town Clerk, stating that so soon as her Ladyship should restore the Herbert Aisle, the Aldermen's Aisle would be given up to the Corporation; but before doing so her Ladyship was anxious to put in the latter two new windows, one having the Bute arms, and the other the Town arms, in consideration of the seat having been so long occupied by the family. (fn. 5)
The thanks of the Corporation were conveyed to her Ladyship.

May 3. Ordered, that the coins &c. found in the ruins of the Old Workhouse be sent to the Cardiff Museum.
That the Mayor be requested to make enquiry whether Mr. Corbett obtained any permission of the Corporation for making the bridge below the South Wales Railway bridge over the river Taff.

June 14. "There was no business transacted at this Meeting."

September 20. Resolved, that some mark of respect be paid by the Council to the memory of the late Duke of Wellington on the day of his funeral; which was left to the Mayor to carry out in the best manner he should think fit.

November 9 Tuesday. William Williams elected Mayor, by the casting vote of the outgoing Mayor; an equal number having voted for David Lewis. He was also appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
Corporation property in Smith Street to be pulled down for street improvements.
Town Clerk to apply to Parliament for the appointment of a Stipendiary Magistrate for the Borough.

December 20. John Hurry Riches appointed Water Bailiff, at a salary of £30.
Town Clerk to take Counsel's Opinion as to the legality of the payment of the Justices' Clerk by salary, and the appropriation of the Justices' fees to the Borough fund.

1853 February 7. Part of the Old Town Hall is to be allowed the County for the deposit of the arms, accoutrements and clothing of the Glamorgan Militia.

March 29 Evan Leyshon appointed Clerk of the Market.

May 2. The Water Bailiff is to get a new chain for the Red Buoy.

August 9. Ordered, that a boat be purchased not exceeding in value £100, and that two men and a boy be constantly employed therein to sail between the Glamorganshire Canal, the Bute Dock sea gates and the limits of the Port of Cardiff, for the sole purpose of watching and detecting persons throwing out ballast or other rubbish into the sea; and that the men and boy reside at Penarth.
That the Water Bailiff purchase a boat and fix the wages to be paid the men and boy subject to the approval of the Mayor and others.

October 3. "Mr. John Batchelor having informed this Meeting that Frank Howard Esq. have [sic] offered to present to the Corporation a Picture of the Surprize of Cardiff Castle by Ivor Bach on condition of its being framed by the Corporation and hung in the New Town Hall at their expence: Ordered, that such offer be thankfully accepted and that a Copy of this Resolution be transmitted to Mr. Howard." (fn. 6)

November 9 Wednesday. Councillor John Batchelor elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
John Richards appointed to take care of the scales and weights.
A Memorial from the Churchwardens of the Parish of Saint John praying the consideration of the Council in granting a portion of the Alderman's Aisle for the use of the parishioners and others having been read: It was resolved, that a Committee (named) be appointed to carry out the wishes of the Churchwardens; and that £50 be allowed towards the necessary improvements to be made in the aisle.
Committee appointed to examine into the nature of the duties of the Water Bailiff, and clearly to define them and to report thereon at the next Meeting.
Resolved, that a Memorial be presented to the Lord Lieutenant, Col. Tynte and Sir Charles Morgan, baronet, in order to have Cardiff continued the headquarters of the Glamorganshire Militia.

December 19. Ordered that the boat purchased by the Water Bailiff for £30 be paid for by the Treasurer, and that the same be sold.

1854 February 6. Male and female prisoners to be in future separated at the Police Court.
Petition to be presented in favour of the decimal coinage, and signed by the Mayor on behalf of the Corporation.
The Water Bailiff to attend at the next Meeting, in order to explain why certain duties supposed to belong to the Water Bailiff are not efficiently performed.

March 20. The room in the basement of the Hall is to be devoted to the use of the public and entitled the Exchange News Room; to be managed by a Committee of 7, the majority of whom are to be Members of Council. The room is to be held by them rent free, and the Members of the Corporation are to be honorary members of the News Room. (fn. 7)

An iron gate is to be erected at the entrance of the corridor, to prevent strangers from entering the Town Hall.
Permission granted to the executors of the late Mrs. Mary Charles to put up a monument in the Alderman's Aisle, in memory of the late Mrs. Mary Evans and Mrs. Margaret Bowen.
The cordial thanks of the Council are respectfully tendered to the Most Honorable the Marchioness of Bute, for her Ladyship's munificent donation of the two windows in the Alderman's Aisle; the tracery and stained glass of which have been most beautifully executed and form a characteristic and ornamental addition to the recent restoration of Saint John's church.

May 1. Letter received from the Marchioness, dated Mountstuart, Rothesay, 30 March 1854. Lady Bute acknowledges receipt of the Corporation's vote of thanks.
The New Town Hall is to be opened Thursday 1 June. There is to be a public ball on the occasion, the profits to go to the Infirmary.

November 9 Thursday. David Lewis elected Mayor and appointed Judge of the Court of Record.
Francis May appointed to take care of the scales and weights.
Aldermen: William Bird, Charles Crofts Williams, James Lewis, Walter Coffin, John Moore, Thomas Morgan.
Councillors: Wm. Alexr. Bradley, Charles Vachell, Wm. Thos. Edwards, Edward Evans, junior, Benjamin Matthews, John Williams, Richd. Lewis Reece, Montague Grover, Griffith Phillips, David Lewis, William Prichard, John Owen, Wm. Bradley Watkins, John Batchelor, William Alexander, William Williams, William Vachell, Joseph Elliott.
Town Clerk, Edward Priest Richards.
Other officials as last named.

December 18. It having been intimated that the Queen and Prince Albert would pass through Cardiff on their way to visit the Royal Dock Yard at Pembroke; and this Meeting being desirous, in such case, that every respect should be paid Her Majesty and her Royal Consort on their arrival at Cardiff, by the Municipal authorities and the nobility, clergy, gentry and inhabitants of the neighbourhood: Ordered, that the Town Clerk apply to the Home Secretary to ascertain Her Majesty's gracious pleasure, that arrangements may be made by the Council accordingly.

Resolved, that the unanimous thanks of this Council be given to the Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire officers, non-commissioned officers and privates forming part of the Army in the Crimea, for the great ability and courage displayed by them in their contests with the enemy; and that this resolution be communicated to as many of their friends as may be known.

Letter received:—
"St. John's Vicarage,
Decr. 16th, 1854.


I beg very respectfully to lay before you the following representation of circumstances, in which I feel, as I am sure you will believe, other and more than a personal interest.
On my accession to the Curacy of Cardiff in 1822 the Services of the Church were limited on Sundays to one morning service with sermon and one in the afternoon without a sermon. At the request of many of the Parishioners an Evening Service with a Sermon was substituted for that of the afternoon as soon as the consents of the Bishop and Vicar were obtained, and this additional Sermon has uninterruptedly been preached by me and other Curates from that time to the present.
In the following year the Bailiffs and Corporation of Cardiff were pleased to mark their approval of this alteration and additional service by sending me a Gratuity of Ten Guineas; and this amount I continued to receive, as other Curates have likewise done, annually until this time.
I need not disclaim an eagerness for the mere money to a generous mind in laying this statement before you, but I think it due to those who may come after me to the labours of this large and ill paid Cure, to inform you that on application for the amount this year to the Treasurer of the Borough I am advised that he has received no instruction from the Mayor to make such payment.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your faithful Servant,
T. Stacey.

The Mayor of Cardiff."

The allowance is ordered to be continued.
Proceedings are to be taken to obtain an Order of Council for closing the old burial grounds of one or both parishes within the Borough, and for opening a Cemetery.1

December 26. A motion for a Petition for extending the limits of the Borough was negatived in Council, by 6 to 4.

1855 Jan. 9. James Pride, of Charles Street, ship owner, elected Councillor vice Charles Vachell elected Alderman.

March 19. The Classical Harmonist Society are to be allowed the use of the Assembly Room for their annual meeting.

September 17. "There not being a sufficient number of the Council present, no proceedings took place."


  • 1. Saint John's Schools, Crockherbtown.
  • 2. The old Militia Barracks, Roath Road.
  • 3. Frederick Street runs off the south side of Crockherbtown.
  • 4. Probably this Resolution was illegal.
  • 5. See Vol. III., p. 514.
  • 6. This cartoon still hangs in the Assembly Room of the Town Hall.
  • 7. About 1895 this was turned into the Members' Room of the Corporation.