Cardiff Council Minutes: 1883-5

Pages 84-97

Cardiff Records: Volume 5. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1905.

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Cardiff Council Minutes, 1883–1884.

1883 November 9 Friday. Present:—

The Mayor (Councillor G. A. Stone), Chairman.




Thomas Bird,
D. E. Jones,
D. Jones,
E. Jones,
R. E. Jones,
Le Boulanger,

Councillor Robert Bird elected Mayor; salary £300.

Councillor G. A. Stone appointed Deputy Mayor.

Councillor G. A. Stone elected Alderman.

Thomas Davies and Joseph Monk, Serjeants-at-Mace; salary £10 each and a suit of clothes.

Joseph Mountstephen, Town Crier; salary £5.

Memorial from the inhabitants of Castle Road prays for an improvement to the narrow and dangerous entrance from Castle Road into Newport Road, and for the removal of Hemmingway's house on the west side of Castle Road, as "an eyesore and a reproach to all living in Castle Road and others passing through it."

Great Western Railway Co. are to be again urged to provide a separate entrance to their down platform at Cardiff Station.

Museum Curator's salary increased to £150.

1883 December 10.

Petition of the inhabitants against the proposed new tramway along St. Andrew's Crescent, Salisbury Road and Woodville Road.

1884 January 14.

Vote of sympathy with the relatives of Mr. John Winstone, lately deceased, who was formerly an Alderman of the Borough.

Alderman Elliott calls the attention of the Free Library Committee to the supposed existence at St. John's Church of an old map of Cardiff, which if found would, it is believed, be placed at the disposal of the Corporation.

Town Clerk is authorised to affix the Common Seal to an agreement with Penry Williams, esq., for the sale and purchase of farms at Crewe in the parish of Cantref, and in the parish of Penderyn, in the county of Brecon.

At the request of Mr. John Stuart Corbett, the name of Angel Street is to be altered to Castle Street; but his desire to plant rows of lime trees on both sides of the street is not acceded to except as to the north side, by the Castle boundary.

Health Committee call the serious attention of the Public Works Committee to the deplorable condition of the roads.

Colonel Barnes, commanding the 41st Regiment, has written the Head Constable asking that the Police may be utilised for obtaining recruits, and stating that the constables would receive 5s. for each recruit to the army, and 2s. 6d. for the militia. The Watch Committee declined to sanction the proposal.

1884 February 11.

Cardiff will co-operate with Swansea in endeavouring to obtain an improved service of trains on the Great Western Railway between Paddington and South Wales.

Letter from Lord Tredegar's solicitors, that his Lordship would wish to reserve the sporting rights on the reservoirs to be constructed in the Taff Vawr Valley, and to have power to put a boat thereon. Resolved that his wishes be acceded to.

Minnit's Field bridge, on the Taff Vale Railway, is to be rebuilt.

The supposed map of Cardiff, at St. John's Church, proves to be a view of the town in 1748.

1884 March 10.

£400 added to the Mayor's salary.

1884. April 7.

Address of condolence to Her Majesty the Queen, on the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Albany.

The like to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Albany.

£6,500 to the School Board.

Council petition Parliament for the total suppression of the sale of intoxicating liquor on Sundays.

Daniel Jones appointed Water Bailiff, in the place of the late Thomas Thomas deceased. Salary £30.

William Read appointed Serjeant-at-Mace, in the place of Thomas Davies deceased.

Resolved That the triangular piece of land in the Hayes be enclosed and planted as an ornamental garden for the use and recreation of the public.

Resolved That the road leading from Roath Court to the north end of Castle Road, which has hitherto been known as the Merthyr Road, be in future called Albany Road.

1884 May 12.

Council petition Parliament to legalize marriage with a deceased wife's sister.

The members for the Roath Ward are to ascertain whether land can be obtained in that district suitable for a public recreation ground.

In consequence of the death by drowning which occurred at the Corporation Swimming Baths on 10 May 1884, a skilful swimmer and diver is appointed to take charge of the Swimming Baths during the summer months, and to teach swimming at a fixed rate of fees to be paid to the Baths account. Life-buoys are to be provided. The question of closing the Baths on Sundays is referred to the Council for decision.

A new flag is purchased for the Town Hall, at a cost of four guineas.

1884 June 9.

Borough Engineer submitted plans for a belfry and bell to the Catholic chapel at the Cemetery.

The attention of the Head Constable is called by the Watch Committee to the great and increasing prevalence of gambling and general lawlessness in various parts of the town, especially on the Sabbath.

Mr. John Ballinger, late Librarian of Doncaster, is appointed Chief Librarian of Cardiff, in the place of Mr. Henry Allpass, who has accepted the Chief Librarianship of Derby; salary £120.

Borough Engineer is instructed to prepare plans showing the manner in which it is proposed to form a public park near Roath Church.

1884 July 14.

The Vicar of St. John's has issued a writ against the Corporation for recovery of possession of the old Vicarage Garden in Working Street, late glebe land, alleged to have been conveyed to them in error by the Marquis of Bute.

A cholera hospital to be opened on the Flat Holm; the tenant of the farm there to be compensated for loss.

1884 August 11.

Burgesses borrowing books from the Free Library shall be required to sign a guarantee form and to obtain the additional signature of another Burgess as a guarantor. Non-burgesses shall obtain the signatures of two Burgesses as guarantors.

1884 September 8.

A tender is selected, by the Property and Markets Committee, for the removal of the wreck of the schooner "Tredegar," which came into collision and sank in the fairway of the channel, a little to the westward of the Cefn-y-wrach shoal.

A letter from Mr. L. V. Shirley, on behalf of the Marquess of Bute, informs the Town Clerk that he had instructed Mr. McConnochie to remove the wreck. The Corporation are at liberty to remove it provided they do so promptly; but he cannot admit the Corporation have any rights in the matter.

The Town Clerk replied that "the Corporation, who have always undertaken the removal of obstructions in the entrance of the Cardiff Docks," are removing the wreck with all proper dispatch.

Three cholera patients were taken to the Flat Holm, one of whom died there. They were sailors from Marseilles.

1884 October 13.

Members of Council.

Councillor Robert Bird, Mayor.


William Alexander,
William Bradley Watkins,
Daniel Jones,
Joseph Elliott,
William Taylor,
Daniel Lewis,
John McConnochie,
David Duncan,
Richard Cory,
Gaius Augustine Stone.


Thomas Vaughan Yorath,
Alfred Thomas,
Andrew Fulton,
David Edgar Jones,
Thomas Windsor Jacobs,
David Jones,
William Sanders,
Thomas Rees,
John Evans,
Thomas Waring,
Morgan Morgan,
Valentine Trayes,
Charles James Jackson,
Richard Edwin Jones,
Solomon Andrews,
Joseph Reynaly James,
Daniel Lloyd Lougher,
John Guy Proger,
William Edmund Vaughan,
William John Trounce,
Ebenezer Beavan,
Patrick William Carey,
Evan Jones,
Thomas Reynolds,
John Gunn,
Dominick McGettrick Watson,
John Amice Le Boulanger,
Joseph Ramsdale,
William Callow Hurley.

Joseph Larke Wheatley, Town Clerk.

1884 November 3.

Mr. W. E. Williams, Assistant Librarian of Cardiff, has been chosen to succeed Mr. Ballinger at Doncaster.

Colonel Page has presented to the Free Library a complete set, 86 volumes, of the "Illustrated London News."

Cardiff Council Minutes, 1884–1885.

1884 November 10 Monday.

Councillor Andrew Fulton elected Mayor; salary £300.
Alderman Daniel Lewis appointed Deputy Mayor.
Joseph Monk and William Read, Serjeants-at-Mace.
Joseph Mountstephen, Town Crier.

Council accept with thanks the offer from Mr. B. S. Marks of his portrait of the late Daniel Thomas, (fn. 1) "whose early death in an attempt to save the lives of men in extreme peril closed a career which had been adorned by many similar heroic efforts."

The Mayor read a letter from the Town Clerk suggesting that the Corporation should take over the staff in his Department.

Resolved That the officials in the Town Clerk's Department be engaged and paid by the Corporation instead of by the Town Clerk, and that the said officials be under the control of the Corporation.

Resolved That the salary of the Town Clerk be £800; he to devote all his time to the duties of his office, with the option of acting as Clerk to the Governors of Wells' Charity.

Vote of condolence forwarded to the family of the late Rt. Hon. Henry Fawcett, M.P., Postmaster General.

1884 December 8.

General District Rate 1s. in the £.

W. J. Newbery appointed Committee and Managing Clerk of his department, at a salary of £200, and to be directly responsible to the Town Clerk.

A Shorthand and General Clerk is to be appointed in place of J. T. S. Eaton.

T. H. Middleton is appointed Shorthand and General Clerk.

William J. Board is appointed Junior Clerk; salary £15. 10s.

Resolved That the whole of the clerks be placed under the direct control and authority of the Town Clerk; and that he have power to suspend any clerk for misconduct or neglect of duty, reporting any such case to the next meeting of the Special Finance Committee.

Resolved That the office-hours of the clerks in the Town Clerk's Department be from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., allowing one hour for dinner, except on Saturdays, when the office shall be closed at 1 p.m.

The Town Clerk read the following resolution, passed at a meeting of the Roath Ratepayers' Protection Association:—

"Resolved That the attention of the Corporation be called to the large increase of the Town Clerk's salary; and that the Corporation be requested, in view of the great depression of trade in the Town, to take every care not to increase the present expenditure."

Resolved That the clerks appointed by the Corporation shall not be allowed to do any work for gain, other than Corporation work.

A. H. Collingwood appointed Chief Clerk in the Legal Department; salary, £200.

F. C. Lloyd appointed Shorthand and Engrossing Clerk; salary, £91.

D. D. Davies appointed Assistant Conveyancing and General Clerk; salary, £85.

The tender of Mr. S. Treseder for planting trees in Richmond Road is accepted.

Resolved That in future the Minnitsfield bridge be called St. Andrew's Bridge.

Thomas Hughes appointed Borough Analyst, under the Foods and Drugs Act.

Memorial from the Council, addressed to the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., praying that the Borough of Cardiff be represented by two Members in the House of Commons, under the new Redistribution of Seats Bill.

1885 January 12.

The following letter was read to the Council:—

"Horse Guards, Whitehall.

Sir,—I beg to inform you that the two groups of sculpture (fn. 2) in the Town Hall at Cardiff belong to me as the heir and executor of my late brother. They are original works of great merit, by the late J. Evan Thomas, F.S.A., J.P. and D.L. of the County of Brecon. They were deposited by him, with permission, in their present position after the Exhibition at Cardiff in 1871. He died in 1873. They are no doubt a great ornament to the Hall, and a great attraction to visitors, especially strangers. The group of Science is the original model, and is peculiarly appropriate to such a progressive town as Cardiff. The Distressed Mother is also an original model, and has been executed in marble. I am willing to dispose of them to the Town, for the sum of 100 guineas. I need not say that this is far below the value of original works of such magnitude, by such a distinguished native sculptor, who is well known in Cardiff by his statues of the late Marquis of Bute and the late Mr. H. Vivian. I request that you will lay this letter before the Corporation, who will, I trust, become possessors for the Town of the noble works in question, and thus prevent their removal from the place they have so long adorned.—I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

J. Lewis Thomas, F.S.A., Chief Surveyor, War Department.

To His Worship the Mayor of Cardiff."

Resolved That the letter be allowed to lie on the table.

Address of congratulation to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, K. G., on the attainment of the majority of his eldest son, H.R.H. Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward, K.G.

1885 February 9 Monday.

Letter from Mr. D. Tudor Evans, Secretary of the Cambrian Society of South Wales and Monmouthshire, asking permission to use the Assembly Room on March 2nd next for a banquet in celebration of the anniversary of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales.

Resolved That the same be granted.

1885 March 9.

In accordance with a letter from the Lord Mayor of London, the Mayor of Cardiff is requested by this Council to open a subscription-list towards a national memorial to the late General Gordon.

Council petition in favour of the Cardiff and Monmouthshire Valleys Railway Bill.

1885 April 13.

£7,500 to the School Board.

The Medical Officer found a whole family down with typhus fever in a house in Carpenters' Arms Court, the Hayes.

Mr. S. J. Thorp having accepted the Town Clerkship of Bury, Lancashire, Mr. John Ballinger, the Chief Liberarian, is appointed Secretary to the Free Library Committee.

Letter from Colonel Hill, C.B.:—

"Rookwood, Llandaff.

April 25th, 1885.

Dear Dr. Taylor,—A friend of mine, whose name I am at present not at liberty to disclose, is possessed of a valuable collection of works of art, the result of many years' labour and research, worth more than £1,000. He is prepared to hand over this collection to a Committee of a Museum or Art Gallery, upon the condition that it, as well as the other works of art and objects of interest in such Museum, be open gratis to the public upon every Sunday in the year, during three hours of daylight. I have pleasure in informing you that I am authorised to make the first offer to the Committee of the Cardiff Free Library and Museum. I am also authorised to state that, in the event of its acceptance, a relative of my friend is prepared to secure to the Committee a sum of £20 a year for a period of seven years, wherewith to provide the needful attendance during the three hours of Sunday. I therefore address this letter to you, as Chairman of the Committee, and ask you to be good enough to lay it before them. I venture to express a personal hope that this munificent offer may commend itself to the minds of the Committee as worthy of acceptance. To give that large portion of the public whose occupations are of such a character as practically to preclude them from visiting Museums upon weekdays an opportunity of seeing the treasures of art at their leisure on Sundays would, in my opinion, tend to induce others to follow the example of the late Mr. Menelaus and that of my friend, and to place within the reach of the working classes, their wives and families, works of art the contemplation and study of which, I strongly urge, is of an elevating, improving and ennobling character.—I am, dear Dr. Taylor, yours very truly.

Edward S. Hill.

To W. Taylor, Esq., Chairman,
Cardiff Free Library Committee."

It was proposed and seconded that the thanks of the Committee be conveyed to Col. Hill for his offer, but that it respectfully declines to accept the munificent gift on the conditions named.

An amendment to defer the question of acceptance was lost by one vote.

The resolution was then put, and carried by 7 votes to 6.

The original motion was then declared to be carried.

1885 May 11.

Petition presented by Councillor Carey:—

"We view with deep concern the late decision of the Free Library and Museum Committee as to the opening of the above institution on Sundays, and hope you will take into your favourable consideration the question of opening the same on the whole or a reasonable part of Sunday, Christmas Day and Good Friday." (1,191 signatures.)

Proposed by way of amendment by Councillor Carey, seconded by Councillor Morgan: That the clause of the proceedings in question be eliminated, and that Colonel Hill's letter be referred back to the Committee for further consideration.

The amendment was carried, 15 voting in favour of, and 7 against the same. For: Aldermen Taylor and Duncan, Councillors D. E. Jones, Jacobs, Sandors, Lougher, Vaughan, Carey, E. Jones, Morgan, Jackson, R. E. Jones, Watson, Ramsdale and Hurley—15. Against: Alderman Cory, Councillors Thomas, D. Jones, Rees, Proger, Trounce and Beavan—7. Neutral: Councillor Andrews.

General District Rate 11d. in the £.

Thomas Rees appointed Serjeant-at-Mace, in the place of William Read deceased.

Resolved That the Council cordially approves of the proposal to weir the river Taff at Cardiff, if on enquiry it is found to be practicable, and provided no injury be done thereby to property in the neighbourhood.

Committee appointed to confer with the promoters of the above scheme.

New bronze bell for the Catholic chapel at the Cemetery, to be purchased of James Barwell, Birmingham, for £36. 8s. 6d.

The Head Constable's attention is called to the obstruction caused by street hawking in Trinity Street on Saturdays.

The tenants of the farm on the Flat Holm complain that, since the Cholera Hospital was established there, they have suffered heavy pecuniary loss. There has been a great falling off in the moneys received from visitors to the island, and the complainants have had a difficulty in selling at Cardiff the vegetables etc. grown on their farm.

"Rookwood, Llandaff.

8th May, 1885.

Dear Dr. Taylor,—I have communicated the suggestion contained in your letter to my friend, and he desires me to say that he is not prepared to waive the condition attached to the proposed gift. The parting with personal possession of his cherished collection is a sacrifice only to be contemplated for the advancement of a great national work, viz., the education and healthy amusement of the working classes upon Sunday, their one day of leisure. I am, however, pleased to be able to inform you that, in consequence of the warm manner in which the subject has been taken up by those for whose benefit the gift was intended, my friend has consented to keep his offer open for three months, thus giving time for the possible reconsideration by the Committee of the Cardiff Free Library and Museum of their decision—after public opinion has had free expression. Very truly yours.

Edward S. Hill."

It was proposed and seconded: That in the opinion of this Committee, seeing the logical issue of opening Museums on Sunday must involve an enormous increase in Sunday labour, and so lead to the virtual enslavement of working men and to the prejudice of national interests, it is undesirable to accept the offer made through Colonel Hill on the conditions named, and it therefore respectfully declines to accept the same.

It was proposed and seconded as an amendment: That the Corporation be respectfully asked to ascertain the opinion of the Burgesses of Cardiff in regard to the opening of the Museum on Sundays, by means of a plebiscite or public town vote.

For the Amendment: Alderman Taylor, Councillors Lougher, Watson, Hurley, Dr. Vachell, Messrs. Price, Ronnfeldt, Wheatley— 8. Against: The Mayor, Alderman Cory, Councillors Sanders, Rees, Proger, Trounce, Beavan, Gunn, Dr. Wallace, Rev. W. E. Winks, Messrs. Davies, Thomas.—12. Neutral: Mr. Heywood.

The Amendment was therefore declared lost.

It was then proposed and seconded as a further amendment:

That the generous offer made through Colonel Hill be accepted.

For the amendment: Alderman Taylor, Councillors Lougher, Watson, Hurley, Messrs. Heywood, Price, Ronnfeldt, Wheatley—8. Against: The Mayor, Alderman Cory, Councillors Sanders, Rees, Proger, Trounce, Beavan, Gunn, Dr. Wallace, Rev. W. E. Winks, Messrs. Davies, Thomas—12. Neutral: Dr. Vachell.

The original motion was then put and carried.

1885 June 8.

On the adoption of the Minutes of the Free Library and Museum Committee being moved, it was proposed by way of amendment by Councillor Jackson, seconded by Councillor Lougher: That in the opinion of this Council the time has arrived for affording the working classes of Cardiff and its vicinity the opportunity of inspecting and studying the pictures, works of art, and other objects of interest in the Free Library buildings; and that arrangements be made forthwith for opening the Museum to the public on Sundays between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m., provided funds be forthcoming from voluntary sources.

For the amendment: Alderman Taylor, Councillors Jacobs, Lougher, Carey, Waring, Morgan, Trayes, Jackson, R. E. Jones, James, Le Boulanger, Hurley—12. Against: The Mayor, Aldermen Lewis, Cory, Councillors Thomas, Bird, D. Jones, Sanders, Proger, Beavan, E. Jones, Andrews, Gunn—12. Neutral: Alderman Jones, Councillors Vaughan, Evans, Ramsdale.

The Mayor gave his casting vote against the amendment, which was therefore lost, and it was then

Resolved, That the Minutes of the Free Library and Museum Committee be deferred for further consideration.

Resolved That the Town Clerk be requested to report to the next meeting of the Council whether the Corporation have power to veto the proceedings of the Committee, and, if necessary, to take the opinion of Counsel thereon.

Borough Engineer is to prepare plans for a new bridge over the Roath Brook, near Pengam.

The Free Library has received from Her Majesty's Stationery Office a donation of 236 volumes of Record Publications.

1885 July 13.

Town Clerk reported that the Council had no power to veto or control the proceedings of the Free Library and Museum Committee.

The attention of the Bute Trustees is to be called to the dredgings which have been deposited both within and beyond the limits of deviation of the Bute Docks Act 1882, on the Cardiff Flats, east of the low-water pier.

Borough Engineer reports that the new buildings at the corner of Church Street and St. John Street have been completed, and the footpath and carriage-way duly improved there.

Head Constable reported upon the excellent manner in which the Fire Brigade worked at the extensive fire which took place at the new Market Buildings in St. Mary Street, on the 28th June.

1885 August 10.

Address of congratulation to be sent to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice, on her marriage with H.R.H. Prince Henry of Battenberg.

1885 September 14.

Mr. John Amice Le Boulanger has been selected by the Lord Chancellor as a Justice of the Peace for the Borough. The Council announce their approval of the same.

1885 November 3.

The General Purposes Committee by vote nominated Councillor D. E. Jones as Mayor for the ensuing year.


  • 1. He died in rescuing miners entombed in the Pen-y-graig explosion.
  • 2. They are still to be seen in the vestibule of the Town Hall.