Council Minutes: 1855-62

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

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'Council Minutes: 1855-62', Cardiff Records: Volume 4, (Cardiff, 1903), pp. 441-449. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "Council Minutes: 1855-62", in Cardiff Records: Volume 4, (Cardiff, 1903) 441-449. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

. "Council Minutes: 1855-62", Cardiff Records: Volume 4, (Cardiff, 1903). 441-449. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

Cardiff Borough Council Minutes. 1855–1862.

1855 November 9. Alderman Charles Vachell elected Mayor.

Thomas Rees appointed Water Bailiff, at a salary of £10.

Edward Jenkins, Inspector of Weights and Measures.

"The Mayor named Alderman David Lewis as his Deputy to act in his absence pursuant to the Act."

Decr. 17. A letter from the Water Bailiff respecting damage to the river by deposit of mud near the entrance of the river. Committee to make such arrangements as they may deem best.

1856 Febry. 4. Ordered that all articles required by the Corporation be obtained from the different tradesmen in the town, and not confined to one person, in order that the distribution may be more general.

That permission be given to Colonel Wheatley to erect a temporary Guard House for the Militia in the yard behind the engine house.

March 17. Committee to watch the Local Dues on Shipping Bill.

August 4. That the Town Clerk enquire into the rights of the Corporation to the piece of land on the east side of the Glamorganshire Canal, between the Custom House and the site of the old lime kiln.

Also into the rights of the Corporation to the waste land in Whitmore Lane near the new erection for the County Gaol.

Septr. 5. Town Clerk reports that, with regard to the land on the Canal, it appears on an old Corporation map to be 2r. 10p., and to be the property of the Corporation. He cannot find the entry of any payment made for such land by the Glamorganshire Canal Co. or the Merthyr Ironmasters. He apprehends, therefore, that the Canal Co. either possessed the land by purchase from the Corporation or by adverse possession, and he considers that the Corporation cannot now establish any claim to it.

The Council recommend the names of ten persons to be appointed Borough Justices, and a Petition to Her Majesty is to be prepared accordingly.

The Town Clerk is to call the attention of the Glamorganshire Canal Co. to the dangerous state of the Canal Bridge near the Custom House.

November 10. Monday. Councillor Sydney Dan Jenkins elected Mayor.

Charles Vachell Deputy Mayor.

May 5. Mr. Edward Priest Richards resigns the office of Town Clerk.

Mr. John Lloyd the Treasurer does likewise.

15. Councillor Benjamin Matthews resigns and is appointed Town Clerk.

The Corporation oppose the Taff Vale Railway Bill.

Ordered, that a new buoy be placed on the spot referred to by the Harbour Master, the former one having been recently carried away by a vessel, and that the Town Clerk take proceedings to recover the cost from the master of such vessel.

The vestibule of the New Town Hall is to be appropriated as a Corn Exchange. (fn. 1)

Piece of land and court on the south side of the Town Hall to be sold to the West of England Banking Co. for £133. (fn. 2)

William Davies appointed Borough Treasurer.

1857 August 4. The Surveyor to open the well in Crockherbtown.

£105 subscribed towards the Bath and West of England Agricultural Society, which is to meet at Cardiff next year.

Mr. Gaius Augustine Stone to be permitted to open through the Town Wall on the Tunnel, and to pay £1 per annum therefor.

Mr. John Lloyd receives the like permission for the Wall in the Hayes, on premises near the Wesleyan Schoolroom.

Septr. 15. Old Town Hall to be insured for £500, and also to be sold and removed.

The well in Crockherbtown to be cleaned out.

A letter from Lord Panmure promises a Russian gun, and offers to have a gun carriage made if the Council will pay for it. The Town Clerk is to apply for two guns, other towns of less importance having had that number.

9 Novr. 1857. Charles Crofts Williams elected Mayor.

Mayor's allowance £150.

Lord Panmure writes that he cannot supply two Russian guns.

Advertizements in future to be inserted in the "Cardiff Times."

The Water Bailiff writes that, having been informed by Edward Stelfox, (fn. 3) fisherman, that Mr. Mitchell's mud boats had deposited mud about 100 yards to the westward of the Long Dyke, he went over the mud in the slide and found the report correct. It should have been deposited half a mile east of the Long Dyke. He cautioned Mitchell, who promised the offence should not be repeated. The mud was discharged in the night time.

Resolved, that Mr. Mitchell be summoned by the Harbour Master before the Magistrates.

1858 Feby. 2. Resolved, that a salaried Police Magistrate be appointed for the Borough, at a salary of £600.

Nisi Prius Court to be erected forthwith by Mr. Horace Jones, architect. (fn. 4)

"That no resolution passed at a Meeting of the Council be rescinded without a month's previous notice having been given, and there being a greater number of Members present at the subsequent Meeting."

3. Robert Oliver Jones, esquire, (fn. 5) was appointed Stipendiary Magistrate for the Borough.

March 16. Town Clerk to take steps for procuring advance of £8,000 on security of the harbour dues and other Corporation property.

Petition presented by the Corporation against the Llandaff and Canton Markets Bill.

The Town Clerk to call upon the West of England Bank to close their windows which open on the Corporation property.

20. House of Commons petitioned to make Cardiff a harbour of refuge.

Augt.3. Town Clerk to enquire into the payment of £5. 13. 7½ made to Lord Bute's Trustees, and report to the next Meeting.

Mr. Stockdale is to terminate his engagement as Superintendent of the Fire Engines.

The Treasurer is to call in a public accountant to analyse and arrange the accounts of the Corporation.

Septr. 14. "The question of tolls claimed by Lord Bute's Trustees (£5. 13. 7½) was left in the hands of the Town Clerk."

November 9. Charles Crofts Williams re-elected Mayor.

The Town Crier, William Llewellyn, is henceforth appointed "during the pleasure of the Mayor."

Treasurer's salary to be £50.

Trustees of the English Baptist Chapel apply for a piece of ground in St. Mary Street, near the Stogumber Hotel. (fn. 6)

1859 Jany. 28. Edward Priest Richards elected Alderman, vice Charles Vachell deceased.

Council to co-operate with Newport and Swansea to obtain a down day mail.

Mr. E. P. Richards declined the Aldermancy.

May 10. Notice received of the opening of the Canton Cattle Market.

Colonel J. F. D. C. Stuart returned to Parliament for the Borough.

New pews in Saint John's church provided for the Corporation.

Iron gates to be erected between the vestibule and lobby of the Town Hall.

June 28. Leave granted to Captain Bennett, of the Militia, to use the cells at the new Town Hall and mount guard there.

Augt. 9. Town Clerk to take the necessary precautions for preserving intact the rights of the Corporation to their own freehold sittings called the Alderman's Aisle, adjoining the chancel of Saint John's church.

Council are to be entertained to dinner at the Heath tomorrow, on the occasion of W. W. Lewis, esq., entering into possession of his property.

Paid the Trustees of Lord Bute four years' Town tolls £22. 14. 6.

Septr. 5. Committee appointed to take necessary steps to ascertain and enforce the rights of the Corporation to dues payable by vessels frequenting the Ely harbour.

Septr. 20. Vote of sympathy accorded to Lady Jane Stuart on the death of her husband, Lord James Stuart.

The waste paper belonging to the Corporation is to be sold.

Spare buoy to be replaced by the Harbour Master.

Novr. 9. William Alexander elected Mayor.

Water Bailiff's salary raised to £30.

Town Clerk reported sale of old Registers of Voters, waste papers, for £4. 8s.

Town Clerk to take steps to enforce the payment of the balance of the Borough rate by the Overseers.

Decr. 19. Colonel Stuart, M.P., writes offering to the Corporation a portrait of his uncle, the late Marquess of Bute. The offer is thankfully accepted. (fn. 7)

1860 Feby. 13. Waterloo Buildings in the Hayes, being dilapidated and unsafe, are to be pulled down.

Committee appointed to enquire into and report upon the condi tion of the harbour.

March 26. Committee appointed to enquire into the regulations under which the pilots of the Port of Cardiff are governed.

William Peake, having been superannuated from his late office of Collector of Customs, writes that he must resign that of Collector of Town Dues.

His successor as Collector of Customs, D. Williams, applies for the post of Collector of Town Dues.

May 14. Committee appointed to confer with the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway and other companies, lately amalgamated, relative to making Cardiff the place of import and export.

Mr. Councillor George Smart gave notice of motion that the Mayor convene a meeting of the Burgesses to consider the propriety of establishing a Free Library and Reading Room under the powers of the Public Libraries Act, 1855.

Septr. 24. The Council decline to establish baths and washhouses in the Borough.

Octr. 9. Report of Pilotage Committee considered.

The limits of the Cardiff pilotage are those of the Port of Cardiff declared by Order in Council of 20 December 1847, to commence at the river Rhymney and continue along the coast of the County of Glamorgan to Nash Point (with the exception of Swansea.)

Except Swansea and Penarth, the channel pilotage is under the exclusive direction of the Bristol Town Council. Each port has also a local pilotage authority, under the Trinity House of Deptford.

Cardiff, however, stands in the exceptional position of having no local pilotage authority, being in this respect entirely within the jurisdiction of the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the City of Bristol, by whom Cardiff pilots are appointed. The sole local representative of the Bristol Corporation is the Dock Master for the time being of the Bute Docks. A sum amounting to several hundreds a year is paid to Bristol as Haven Master's dues, by vessels entering the Port of Cardiff.

Foreign-going vessels frequenting the Port of Cardiff in 1859 numbered 4434, those frequenting the Port of Bristol only 984.

The Bristol Act was obtained in 1807, when the coasting trade of Cardiff was altogether insignificant and its foreign trade had no existence.

Mr. John Boyle, Agent to the Bute Trustees, writes approving the above Report and suggesting it would be fair that Lord Bute should have the power of regulating the Cardiff pilotage.

Town Clerk to issue advertisements for the sale and removal of the old Town Hall (excepting the Town clock.)

The new Collector, Mr. T. S. Miller, is appointed to collect the Town dues.

Novr. 9. Alderman Charles Williams David elected Mayor.

Jenkin Jones appointed Water Bailiff.

Mayor and ex-Mayor to be ex officio Members of all Committees.

Materials of the old Town Hall sold for £100.

Reported that the Meeting of Burgesses had decided not to adopt the Public Libraries Act, 1855.

Board of Trade waive certain rights connected with the anchors which should be raised in Cardiff roadstead with the sanction of the Corporation.

Portion of the site of the Bulwarks granted to Aldn. Alexander for the use of the Artillery Corps for 6 months.

Mayor gave notice of motion to divide the Borough into Wards under a new scheme.

Decr. 17. Letter from Town Clerk of Birmingham relative to the legal right of the Mayor to precedence "in all places," and inviting co-operation to vindicate same.

John Bird, Deputy Mayor.

1861 Feby. II. Council accept Stelfox's tender to raise anchors and chains in Penarth Roads at £6 per ton, to the satisfaction of the Harbour Master.

Harbour Master to remove the tree on the Black Bench off Penarth Point, also the deposit of mud and stones.

Resolved, that the attention of the Trustees of Lord Bute be called to the loss of one of the buoys placed as a mark for deposit of mud, with a view of another being put there.

Edward David appointed Town Crier during the pleasure of the Mayor.

Property Committee to select a suitable site for the erection of the fountain presented by Alderman Alexander.

19. Council to petition against the Penarth Harbour Dock and Railway Company's Bill, and the Rhymney Railway Leasing Powers Bill.

May 13. A much larger buoy is to be substituted for the present red buoy in the river Taff.

Barrel buoys are to be substituted for the present buoys.

Mr. E. P. Richards, on behalf of the Bute Trustees, consents to the raised anchors being deposited on a certain piece of land at the Docks.

Augt. 12. Cardiff Pilotage Bill has passed.

Harbour Master to procure a bell buoy and have the other buoys repaired.

Borough to be divided into North, Middle and South Wards.

Mr. Waring appointed Architect and Surveyor to the Council, at a salary of £90.

Novr. 9. Aldn. Charles Williams David elected Mayor.

Edward Jenkins appointed Weigher at the Market.

John Bird, Deputy Mayor.

The Serjeants at Mace are to receive £5 each and a suit of clothes. (They are no longer stated to be officers of the Courts of Record.)

On behalf of the Volunteer Force of Cardiff, Aldn. William Alexander applies for a piece of land in Saint Mary Street for the purpose of erecting an armoury and forming a drill ground, adjoining the Stogumber Hotel.

Decr. 30. Vote of condolence with Her Majesty the Queen on the death of the Prince Consort.

Aldn. Alexander's fountain to be placed in front of the Town Hall.

Letter from Messrs. Hill and Sons:—

"Permit us, as persons largely interested in the well-being of the Port, to call your attention to its present totally defenceless condition. In the event of war we are liable to be attacked at any moment, and our property destroyed in a few hours, without even the means of returning a shot." Suggests a strong application to Government for the construction of a Battery and the sending of some gunboats, as has already been done for Liverpool.

Resolved, that the Town Clerk call the attention of the Government to the defenceless state of the Bristol Channel.

The "Havannah" ship has been appropriated as an industrial school.

Property Committee to enquire when the encroachment was made on the Town Wall on the site proposed for a Weighing Office. (fn. 8)

The Electric Telegraph Co. are to be asked to erect a time-ball on the summit of the Town Hall.

1862 March 24. Site of the cottages in Mill Lane to be let.

Admiralty applied to, to raise three sunken wrecks; they reply they have no such power, but refer the matter to the Board of Trade. They also have not the power.

New weighing-machine for Crockherbtown; the old one to be taken down.


  • 1. The Corn Exchange is still held there, on Saturday afternoon.
  • 2. Here now stands the London & Provincial Bank.
  • 3. This man was murdered in 1876. He was shot in the Shrimp House, on the shore near the Docks. The crime figures as the central incident in a novel entitled "Stelfox the Fisherman."
  • 4. This gentleman had built the Town Hall.
  • 5. Of Fonmon Castle, Glamorgan.
  • 6. Now the Queen's Hotel.
  • 7. This portrait hangs in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall.
  • 8. On the south side of Queen Street.