Board of Health Minutes: 1850-65

Pages 537-549

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

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


Minutes of the Cardiff Local Board of Health.1850–1865.

Borough of Cardiff, 16 September 1850. (fn. 1)

At a Meeting of the Council of the Borough of Cardiff, held at the Guild Hall in the said Borough on Monday the sixteenth day of September in the year of our Lord 1850, at twelve o'clock at noon, in pursuance of a Notice of three clear days, given by Charles Vachell, Esquire, Mayor of the said Borough, for the purpose of carrying into effect the purposes and provisions of the Public Health Act 1848 and the Public Health Supplemental Act 1850 (No. 3), so far as respects the said Borough.


Charles Vachell, Mayor.


Walter Coffin.
Thomas Morgan. Charles Crofts Williams.
James Lewis. William Bird.
John Moore.


Morgan Lisle.
Thomas Evans. William Harris.
James Pride. David Lewis.
Griffith Phillips. John Williams.
William Williams. W. A. Bradley.
W. B. Watkins.

The Mayor in the Chair.

The Town Clerk having produced Letters addressed to him by the Assistant Secretary to the General Board of Health, dated the 21st and 29th days of August last, with a copy of the Provisional Order for the application of the Public Health Act 1848 to the Borough of Cardiff, and the Public Health Supplemental Act 1850 (No. 3), with a Minute of the Board of Health relative to the required surveys of towns under the Public Health Act, And the same having been read:

On the Motion of Alderman C. C. Williams, seconded by Alderman Walter Coffin, Resolved and ordered:

That the Council do now proceed to execute the duties imposed upon them by such Provisional Order and Acts.

On the Motion of Alderman Walter Coffin, seconded by Alderman C. C. Williams, Resolved: That Mr Thomas Watkins be and he is hereby appointed Clerk for the purposes of such Acts.

On the motion of Alderman C. C. Williams, seconded by Morgan Lisle, Resolved: That Mr John Lloyd be and he is hereby appointed Treasurer for the purposes of such Acts.

On the motion of Alderman C. C. Williams, seconded by Alderman James Lewis, Resolved: That Mr Benjamin Bowen be and he is hereby appointed Collector of Rates for the purposes of such Acts.

On the motion of Alderman C. C. Williams, seconded by Alderman William Bird, Resolved: That the Salaries to be paid to each officer this day appointed, be reserved for future consideration.

On the motion of Alderman Walter Coffin, seconded by William Bradley Watkins, Resolved: That all Meetings and Proceedings of the Council, as Board of Health, be kept separately and distinctly from the other Meetings and Proceedings of the Council, and that no general business relating to the Council as a Municipal Body, be transacted at any Meeting held for the purposes of the Board of Health.

Ordered: That this Meeting for the purposes of the Board of Health be adjourned to Thursday the 26th day of September instant at 11 o'clock A.M.

C. Vachell,

T. Watkins,

1850 September 26.

George Clinton is appointed Surveyor to the Board until further order.

Ordered That the Clerk, with the assistance of Mr. Clinton, prepare an Estimate of the money required for the expenditure of this Board for the ensuing three months.

Resolved That the Clerk solicit the assistance of the General Board of Health to procure a Survey of this Town, under the direction of the Board of Ordnance.

Ordered That the Clerk prepare handbills for circulation, pointing out the responsibilities and duties, under the Public Health Act, of persons about to build any house or street, and of the keepers of common lodging-houses.

Ordered That the Surveyor be directed to cleanse, sweep and water (when required) all the streets, lanes and highways within the Borough, to remove therefrom all nuisances and accumulations of filth, dirt &c, and to repair the streets, drains and highways, where necessary.

General District Rate of 1s. in the £ ordered. Rateable value of property, £23774: 0 : 0.

Street sweepings are to be deposited on Longcross Common.

1850 October 30.

William Colstone's tender is accepted for scavenging the streets.

Resolved That all persons requiring to give notice to this Board of intention to build or rebuild any house, shall send such notice to the Surveyor, accompanied by a plan shewing the intended level of the lowest floor or cellar, and the situation and construction of the ashpits, cesspools &c. in connection with such house.

That the Surveyor, on receipt of such plan, shall forthwith inspect the premises; and shall, if he think fit, alter such plan and present same to this Board. A tracing of the plan shall be kept in a book provided for the purpose.

Resolved That every house about to be built or rebuilt shall be provided with an ashpit and with one sufficient necessary-house or privy, with proper doors and coverings.

1850 November 27.

John James' tender is accepted for broken stones to mend the roads.

The Clerk is to write to Mr. Owen, the Engineer of the South Wales Railway Co., to prevent the leakage of the bridge crossing Bute Street.

£13 a year is to be allowed the Clerk for providing an office for the Board.

1850 December 23.

Ordered That the Clerk write Mr. Forest to cause the door recently put up near the Canal in Crockherbtown to be removed, as the thoroughfare along the towing-path from Crockherbtown to the North Road is thereby stopped.

1851 January 8.

Benjamin Philips is elected Surveyor to the Board.

Resolved That the Meetings of this Board be held henceforth at the New Courts of Justice.

Jany. 24. Mr. Forest having declined to remove the door near the Canal Tunnel in Crockherbtown: Ordered That unless the same be removed within 14 days the Surveyor have it taken down.

Feby. 7. The naming and numbering of streets is to be carried out where it has not already been done.

Feb. 21. In accordance with a request received from the Canal Co. through the Mayor, the taking down of the door in Crockherbtown is to be delayed.

The whole of the houses in Kington's Court, Court Colman Row and Harris' Court are reported by the Surveyor to be without sufficient privies, and same are to be put up within 21 days.

Notice is to be served on the Bute Trustees, to make a covered drain of the open ditch on the west side of Bute Road.

A pavement is to be laid down in the Hayes, by Rising Sun Court.

1851 March 7. Letter was read from Mr. Crawshay, Chairman of the Glamorgan Canal Co., declining to remove the door at the junction of the canal towing-path with Crockherbtown.

Resolved That the Clerk write to the General Board of Health, to ascertain whether this Board are the proper parties to protect the right of way, which the public undoubtedly possess, to the towingpath above mentioned, and whether this Board can legally defend any action which may arise in consequence. (fn. 2)

March 21. Letter was read from the General Board of Health relative to the obstruction of the canal footway by the Canal Co. having erected a gate. The General Board recommend, in preference to the pulling down of the gate (and so becoming liable to an Action), to proceed against the Canal Co. for the penalty imposed by the Highway Act for the obstruction of footways.

West Bute Street is ordered to be macadamised and paved.

Ordered That the railing in Bute Street be continued and completed in accordance with the plan and specification of the Surveyor.

1851 April 28. Ordered That the Clerk write to Mr. Brunel pointing out the nuisance and injurious effects to the Public Health, arising from the old bed of the river Taff in consequence of the diversion of the river by the South Wales Railway Company, and urging him to take such measures on behalf of the Company as may abate the nuisance.

May 16. Ordered That the South Wales Railway Co. be served with Notice to efficiently cleanse within seven days from the date thereof the open ditches adjoining their railway in New Town.

Resolved That the Clerk call Mr. Brunel's attention to his letter relative to the nuisance caused by the diversion of the river Taff and request an early reply to the same.

May 30. Resolved That in future the Town manure be deposited on Mr. Woolcott's land at Placeturton.

Septr 19. Ordered That a paling fence be put up in Smith Street.

1852 Feby. 6. Ordered That the Surveyor have Notices put upon the Bulwarks to prevent the deposit of ashes and rubbish on the street.

That the Surveyor pay particular attention to the keeping of Whitmore Lane, from the Customhouse to Bute Street, in a clean and wholesome condition.

May 14. Letter read to the Board:—

"Roath Court,
3rd May 1852.

T. Watkins Esqr.,

Clerk to the Local Board of Health.

Dear Sir,—I will thank you to submit the following statement and proposition to the Board. When I consider the Town of Cardiff, with a population of nearly 20,000 persons, with scarcely any drainage—that cesspools and privies are almost the only places for the deposits of the Town—that water thereby is much deteriorated—that it's inhabitants have suffered severely from fever and other diseases, which in some measure have been brought on and much aggravated by the want of drainage—that only a few weeks since, fever raged so severely in some parts of the Town that the medical officers found it necessary to report it—that water works have recently been established, which now partially supply the Town and afford the means of great sanitary improvement—yet it is much to be dreaded, that until drains are made for carrying the waste water away,disease will be increased by the feeding of cesspools and saturating the ground. Fearing that if the plans for the drainage of the Town, which have been approved by this Board and sanctioned by the General Board of Health, be not carried out, Cardiff must for many years remain in its present unhealthy condition and without drainage; having no private interest, I am induced, solely for the benefit of my native Town, to prevent disease and, I trust, to prolong the lives of many of it's Inhabitants, to guarantee the efficiency of the pipe mains in every street in which they shall be laid down, to carry off the sewage matter for twelve months after the completion of the work; and if any obstruction should occur, to remedy it at my own cost. And further, if at the end of that period it should be thought desirable, I would engage to find responsible persons who would for a small annual sum guarantee their efficiency for any term to be agreed upon, the time and terms to be fixed by arbitration.

Truly yours,
Chas. C. Williams.

P.S. If the Local Board should for the present omit Bute Town, there may be no objection."

Resolved That this Board cannot accept the proposition made by Mr. Williams, but that the best thanks of this Meeting be tendered to that gentleman for his liberal and generous offer, and that a copy of his letter be inserted in the Minute Book.

November 29. Resolved That permission be given to the subscribers to the statue of Lord Bute, to erect the same in front of the Old Town Hall; and that the Surveyor communicate with Mr. Thomas the sculptor, as to the necessary arrangements.

Novr 27. R. D. Grainger, esq., Superintending Medical Inspector of the General Board of Health, stated the experience of the General Board as to the best mode of preparing for and treating cholera in the event of its again visiting this country.

1853 January 18. Resolved That Whitmore Lane, east of the Taff Vale Railway, be henceforth called Adam Street, and that Crockherbtown be called Park Street. (The latter Resolution was later rescinded, in consequence of the protest of Mr. Dalton.)

March 8. Resolved That Mr. Stockdale be requested to procure the removal of the obstruction caused by parties loading iron between the Canal and the South Wales Railway.

1853 June 3. Resolved That a temporary shed for the reception of the Town Fire Engines be put up on the premises adjoining the New Town Hall.

July 1. Ordered That the Clerk inform Mr. Owen that, in consequence of some defect in the sewer under Bute Street, that locality is frequently flooded; and that the South Wales Railway Co. be requested to prevent this in future.

Gas Committee consider it desirable that all the lamps in the Town should be lighted throughout the entire year, and it is ordered accordingly.

July 22. The Clerk is to advertise for tenders for keeping the public pumps in order, and for painting and repairing the lamps.

The Surveyor is to cause a drain to be made for carrying away the waste water from the Wharf Pump.

Septr 30. Ordered That the Clerk represent to the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute the danger to the public health likely to arise from the proposed heightening of the weir at the back of the Castle; which will have the effect of stopping the water-course running from that point to the tan-yard and slaughter-house, into the old bed of the Taff.

1854 Feby. 10. Resolved That the proprietors of property in Crockherbtown, having no pavement in front thereof, be immediately served with Notice to pave in front of their respective premises, from Mr. Grover's house (fn. 3) to the railway bridge on the north side, and from Miss Vaughan's to the Railway Hotel on the south side.

Ordered that the Surveyor lay down a good gravel path from the Taff Vale Railway bridge in Crockherbtown to the East Gate.

March 24. Ordered That the bed of the stream behind the slaughter-houses be cleansed and levelled.

That the Clerk apply through Mr. Collingdon to the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute, to allow sufficient water to flow over their feeder weir to cover the old bed of the river Taff— without prejudice, however, to any right to such water vested in this Board.

April 21. A letter was read from Mr. Richards, declining, on the part of the Trustees of Lord Bute, to allow any water to flow from the feeder into the old bed of the river Taff.

Resolved That the following gentlemen be a Committee to prepare and submit a Case to Counsel, in order to ascertain whether any rights of the Board of Health to the waters of the river Taff or the overflows of the Glamorganshire Canal or any part thereof have in anywise been impinged by the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute.

B. Matthews,
M. Grover,
R. Lewis Reece,
W. A. Bradley.

Augt 1. Ordered That all dogs suffered to be at large without a proper muzzle be destroyed by the Police, during the months of August and September, and that notice be issued to that effect.

Octr 6. Resolved That the pump under the Old Town Hall be removed to within the railings in front of that building.

1855 May 11. Ordered That the Surveyor inspect the Plucca Lane Road (fn. 4) and that leading from the Crwys to Fair-Oak, (fn. 5) and report to the Board on the most advantageous mode of arranging with the Parish of Roath for the repairs of such roads.

1856 July 25. Thomas Waring is appointed Sanitary Inspector.

A letter was read from Mr. Hawkshaw, on the subject of the delay in the drainage in consequence of an inadequate supply of bricks.

1856 Augt 29. Ordered That the open space in Smith Street, abutting on Queen Street, be railed in.

Septr 26. Resolved That the Clerk apply to the General Board of Health for their opinion as to whether Margaret Street has been improperly built upon by the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute, after a plan of the street had been passed by this Board.

Ordered That public lamps be erected between Cardiff Arms and West Gate.

Octr 31. Resolved That the correspondence and papers in reference to the encroachment in Margaret Street be sent to the Town Clerk, and that his opinion thereon be requested.

Novr20. Committee appointed to arrange for the construction of a bridge over the Glamorganshire Canal near the Custom House.

1857 Augt 28. Ordered That the Clerk ascertain whether the South Wales Railway Co. can be compelled to renew the bank of the old river bed, so as to remedy the nuisance created by the insufficiency of water.

1857 October 30. Resolved, that it be permitted to deposit rubbish from the Golate to the back of the New Town Hall.

Decr 29. Ordered, that the pump near the feeder be repaired.

1858 February 26. Resolved, that the Town Clerk be requested to advise this Board as to the course it may be advisable to take for the protection of their interest in the property adjoining the river Taff at the opening in Saint Mary Street, which has lately been enclosed by the South Wales Railway Co.

March 26. Resolved, that the sum of £100 be paid to Mr. David Harris for his interest in the piece of land near the Customs Bridge, required for the improvement of the thoroughfares.

That Messrs. David Lewis, C. E. Bernard and R. Lewis Reece be a Committee to confer with Mr. Matthews on the course which it may be expedient to take for the protection of the interests of this Board in the piece of land abutting on Saint Mary Street, part of which has been claimed by the South Wales Railway Co., and that the Committee be empowered to take such steps as they may deem advisable.

Resolved, that the appeal against the General District Rate made by the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute be allowed to stand over to abide the issue of the appeal against the Poor Rate.

1858 July 2. Ordered, that the Clerk write to the Trustees of the Marquis of Bute, to ascertain if it is intended to dedicate the Sophia Gardens to the Public in a formal manner.

July 30. Committee appointed to enquire and report on the rights of the Inhabitants in any public walks, and the best mode of conserving the same.

Ordered, that the Clerk inform the Ecclesiatical Commissioners that the Board are unable to accede to their application for permission to drain into the river Taff.

August 27. The Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the interest of the Board in the property forming the old bed of the Taff, abutting on Saint Mary Street, having been read:

Ordered, that the unenclosed part of the said property, belonging to the Board, be filled up and fenced off by the Surveyor.

1858 Septr 24. Committee appointed for the purpose of obtaining an interview with the Trustees of Lord Bute, to ascertain whether Cathays Park can be obtained as a park for the Public.

October 29. Ordered, that the Surveyor present a Plan to the next meeting, for passing the Tanyard Brook into the Town sewers.

1859 April 19. Resolved, that Angel Street be pitched with granite by way of experiment, in accordance with the specification of the Surveyor.

May 27. Proposed by Mr. J. Batchelor and Resolved: That the Clerk be directed to make enquiries as to the rights (if any) of the Public to the use of a pathway on the west side of the river Taff.

Septr 30. Ordered, that the Clerk write to the tenant of the lands through which runs the footpath from Park Place to Plucca Lane, requiring the removal of the obstructions created by the alteration of the stiles.

Decr 30. Ordered, that posts and chains be put up from the Little Mill to the Custom House Bridge.

1861 June 28. Ordered, that the Surveyor take the necessary proceedings to prevent the slaughtering of cattle in unlicensed houses.

That the Surveyor take down the building in High Street purchased from Mr. Homfray.

That the Surveyor procure enamelled street-names for the future.

That the necessary steps be taken to recover the value of the stones removed by the Surveyor of Roath from Plucca Lane.

July 26. Resolved, that tenders be advertised for, for executing the drainage works near Whitehouse bridge.

August 30. Resolved, that the Public Works Committee be requested to report on the best site for the statue of Lord Bute.

That lamp irons be substituted for pillars, on the bridge over the Taff.

Septr 27. Resolved, that the Electric Telegraph Company be allowed to put up a lamp pillar opposite to their offices.

1862 April 25. Resolved, that the pitching of Duke Street be relaid with granite on a concrete bed, as in Angel Street.

That the Public Works Committee be requested to report on the general condition of pitched streets in the Town.

That the County Roads Board be applied to, to join with this Board in the expense of constructing a footpath from the Rose and Crown (fn. 6) to Maindy.

That the Canal Co. be requested to fence the canal effectively, from the North Road bridge to Black Weir.

May 30. Ordered, that the part of High Street where the east side of the road is now pitched be macadamised, and that the other part of the street be repaired.

Novr 28. Resolved, that the advertisements of this Board be not in future inserted in the Star of Gwent. (fn. 7)

That the Railway Companies in the district be requested to put up hoardings to screen their bridges passing over public roads.

1863 May 29. Ordered, that the bank proposed over the bed of the old river, at the back of Saint Mary Street, be constructed.

June 26. Resolved, that it be referred to the Public Works Committee to report on the expediency of purchasing the cottages in Saint John Street, with a view to the improvement of the street.

That it be referred to a Committee of the whole Board, to consider the desirability of removing the statue of Lord Bute from High Street, and the best site for the same.

1864 March 29. Committee appointed to negotiate for the purchase of the middle houses in Saint John Street, and to communicate with Lord Bute's Trustees and the other parties interested, or the removal of the present Vicarage.

Septr 30. Resolved, that representation be made to the County Roads Board of the advisability of removing the present toll gate at Pengam.

That this Meeting express their satisfaction at the clear and conclusive statement of the Mayor, on the subject of the Grierson Lease; and that the aspersions so unscrupulously made in reference to that transaction are false and without foundation. And this Board desire to express their fullest confidence in the Mayor, and in the manner in which he has conducted the public business of the Town.

Decr 30. Resolved, that it be referred to the Public Works Committee to report on the expediency of taking steps for procuring the removal of the turnpike gates within the limits of the Borough.

1865 March 31. Cabs Committee arrange for the running of two busses, from Broad Street and Queen Street respectively, to the Pier Head. One omnibus to leave each starting-point every twenty minutes.



  • 1. The first Minutes are here printed in full.
  • 2. The towing-path runs under the street, through the tunnel. The gate on the street, here referred to, still exists, on the side next Saint John's schools. It is kept open.
  • 3. South-west corner of Park Place.
  • 4. Castle Road.
  • 5. Pen-y-waun Road.
  • 6. South-east corner of North Street.
  • 7. This journal was published at Newport, Monmouthshire.