Cardiff - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
CARDIFF, called by the Welsh CAERDYDD, a seaport, borough, and market-town, and the head of a union, locally in the hundred of Kibbor, county of Glamorgan (whereof it is the shire town), South Wales, 158 miles (W.) from London; containing 10,079 inhabitants. This place is by most antiquaries supposed to have been originally built by Morgan ab Hywel ab Rhŷs, on or near the site of an ancient station, or fort, occupied probably by Aulus Didius, successor of Ostorius in the command of the Roman legions in Britain; and, with great probability, is thought to have derived from that circumstance its Welsh name of Caerdydd. The opinion is strengthened by the discovery of Roman relics within the walls of the castle, by the direction of the Roman road between the stations Isca Silurum and Bovium, and by other corroborative circumstances. The Roman station anciently occupying this site is supposed by Camden to have been the Ratostabius, or Ratostibius, of Ptolemy, from which the adjoining parish of "Rath," called by the English "Roath," is said to have obtained its name; and, by others, to have been the Tibia Amnis of Antonine, which Richard of Cirencester places near this town, between the stations Isca Silurum and Bovium. Others think that the present name of Cardiff is modernised from Caerdâf; signifying "the fortified place on the river Tâf," which equally shews it to have been a fortified town, or military post, from a period of remote antiquity; but the arguments adduced in favour of the former etymology are the more cogent.
From the departure of the Romans from Britain till the conquest of Glamorgan by Fitz-Hamon, only a few slight notices are found of Cardiff, scattered in ancient manuscripts; according to which it appears that, to avoid the frequent predatory incursions of the Saxons into the kingdom of Gwent, the seat of government was transferred, on the death of the renowned King Arthur, by his son Morgan, from Caerlleon to this place. Cardiff thus became the capital of the kingdom called from that prince Morganwg, a district including only that portion of Gwent situated to the west of the river Usk; and so continued till its destruction by Cadwaladr, after which it was rebuilt by Morgan ab Hywel, about the year 900. Having been again destroyed, it was, according to Caradoc of Llancarvan, rebuilt in 1080 by Iestyn ab Gwrgan, who also erected here a strong castle. Iestyn, the last native sovereign of Morganwg, between whom and Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, Prince of Dynevor, a series of retaliating inroads had been commenced, entered into a compact with Einon ab Collwyn, one of the leaders of an unsuccessful insurrection against Rhŷs, pledging himself to give him his daughter in marriage, with the lordship of Miskin, provided the latter would secure the assistance of some of the Norman knights with whom he had served abroad under the Conqueror. Einon accordingly repaired to London, and having engaged the services of Robert Fitz-Hamon, a relation of the king's, aided by other Norman knights, Iestyn and his auxiliaries commenced active hostilities against Rhŷs, whom they defeated, with the loss of nearly all his troops, on an extensive common called Hîrwaun Wrgan, and, according to the Welsh Chronicle, afterwards beheaded in a secluded valley, some miles southward, whither he had fled for concealment. But Mr. Jones, in his History of Brecknockshire, thinks that Rhŷs escaped, after the battle, to the territory of his brother-in-law, Bleddyn ab Maenarch, and was present at the battle fought between the latter and Bernard Newmarch, near Caer-Bannau, after which he is said to have been beheaded at a place called, from that circumstance, Penrhŷs. Iestyn, having thus subdued his enemy, refused to fulfil his contract with Einon; whereupon the latter hastened to Fitz-Hamon, who was preparing to embark his forces for England, and having represented to him the faithless conduct of Iestyn, and shewn the facility of obtaining possession of his dominions, induced the Norman commander to retrace his steps. Being joined by other native chieftains, whose fidelity and allegiance the tyrannical and unprincipled conduct of Iestyn had alienated, the confederated forces advanced against him, and found him posted near Cardiff, with the few forces which the suddenness of the revolt had enabled him to muster. A conflict then took place, which ended in the total defeat of the Welsh prince, who was obliged to seek safety in flight; and who, having for a short time been a destitute wanderer in his former dominions, found an asylum in a neighbouring convent, where he passed the remainder of his days, and died at the advanced age of one hundred and twenty-nine years.
Fitz-Hamon, after thus acquiring possession of Iestyn's territories, parcelled them among his followers and allies, retaining to himself the towns, castles, and manors, constituting the body of the lordship of Morganwg, of which Cardiff was the chief place. He is said to have enlarged and almost rebuilt the town, and to have taken down the castle built by the Welsh sovereign, which was of wood, erecting in its place that durable and magnificent structure, the remains of which have been converted into a modern castellated mansion. In this castle the lords of Glamorgan, who exercised jura regalia throughout their lordship marcher, held their county courts and courts of chancery and exchequer; and here also the twelve knights, who owned the different baronies subject to this paramount lordship, were obliged by their tenures to appear on a certain day in every month, each having separate apartments for his accommodation in the outer ward of the castle. On the day after holding the county court, at which the sheriff presided and the knights attended, the chancellor was accustomed to sit in the chancery of the castle, to determine causes of equity arising within his jurisdiction; on which day also the knights gave attendance on their lord, and on the next withdrew to their respective baronies, where they held their own courts, each having a distinct jurisdiction, similar to that of the lordship marcher, except that, in cases of supposed wrong decision, the unsuccessful suitor had the privilege of appeal to the court of the latter. The strict servitude of the feudal tenures, thus introduced into the newly-established lordship, being ill suited to the independent spirit of the native landowners, and the Norman settlers continuing to extend their conquests westward into Gower, the Welsh of Glamorgan rose in great force, in the year 1094, and, under the command of Payne Turberville, one of Fitz-Hamon's feudal knights, having seized upon several castles, and put the garrisons to the sword, advanced to the castle of Cardiff, in which they surprised Fitz-Hamon, who, unprepared for effectual resistance, was obliged to grant a restoration of their ancient laws and customs. Robert, Duke of Normandy, having unsuccessfully endeavoured to maintain his right to the English crown, and being made prisoner by his younger brother, Henry I., was committed to the custody of FitzHamon, and immured in this castle. Here, as it has been related, after being deprived of his eye-sight for attempting to escape, he lingered out a miserable captivity of twenty-eight years; but this act of barbarity is denied by the most respectable historians. One of the towers over the principal entrance served as his prison, and he is said to have obtained a release from close confinement, and liberty of twelve miles round the castle, through the intercession of Ivor ab Cadivor, called also Ivor Bâch, or the Little, a chieftain who resided among the hills to the north of Cardiff. Robert, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of King Henry, having succeeded to the lordship of Glamorgan, by marriage with Mabel, Fitz-Hamon's only daughter and heiress, attempted to enforce the feudal system among his tenants, whose spirit being again roused, they advanced, under the command of Ivor ab Cadivor, to besiege the castle of Cardiff. This they took by storm, and made the earl and his lady prisoners, but released them in pursuance of terms entered into with the English monarch, the Welsh of Glamorgan being allowed the unmolested enjoyment of their ancient usages. To protect himself against further insurrections, the earl immediately began strengthening the defences of Cardiff; and having built a wall round the town and castle, he encompassed the whole with a ditch, communicating with the river Tâf both above and below the town. In 1172, Henry II. passed through Cardiff, on his expedition against Ireland; and again, shortly afterwards, on his return.
In the reign of Henry IV., the town and castle were besieged in 1404, by Owain Glyndwr, who assumed to himself the sovereignty of Wales, and laid waste the territories of all who adhered to the king's cause. Having obtained possession of the town, he destroyed the whole, with the exception only of one street, in which was situated the convent of the Friars minor, a religious fraternity that had publicly espoused his side. He then made himself master of the castle, which in a great measure he destroyed, carrying off a considerable quantity of treasure, deposited in it for security. In the year 1570, a congress of the bards of Glamorgan assembled at the castle, under the auspices of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, for the purpose of collecting and digesting the laws of their order. During the parliamentary war the fortress was garrisoned for the king, and is said to have been assaulted by Cromwell, by whom it was bombarded for three successive days; the garrison, however, made a valiant and spirited defence, and all his efforts might have been unavailing, but for the treachery of a deserter, by whom his forces were introduced by a subterraneous passage communicating with the open country, and whom Cromwell caused to be hanged as a warning to his own troops. Some doubt has recently been thrown on this hitherto generally-received story, by a writer in the Cymmrodorion Transactions, who considers that Cromwell never came to Cardiff. Charles I. slept three nights in the castle, in August 1645, and thence wrote a letter to Sir Edward Nicholas, Secretary of State.
The town is situated on the great road from Bristol to Milford Haven, in an extensive plain, and on the eastern bank of the river Tâf. It has a handsome stone bridge over the stream, of three arches, with two smaller land-arches to carry off the water in floods, which are here very violent, and by which two unfinished bridges, from designs by the same architect, Mr. Parry, had been previously destroyed. The present structure was finished in 1796; its site was judiciously selected, and the new entrance which it opened to the town formed a great improvement. The situation of Cardiff, within a mile and a half from the sea, and in a tract of country remarkable for its fertility and the beauty of its scenery, renders it desirable as a place of residence; nor has the recent construction of docks lessened its attractions in this respect, as they are at some distance from the bulk of the population. Its appearance is highly prepossessing; the streets are regularly formed, and paved, the houses handsome and well built, and the town abundantly supplied with excellent water: an act for better lighting it was obtained in 1837, under the powers of which a company erected considerable buildings. It was formerly surrounded with a moat, and defended by high walls, in which were gates in the direction of the four cardinal points, at the entrance to the principal thoroughfares. The suburb of Crockerton, or Crockherbtown, which forms the eastern entrance, is a spacious street, consisting entirely of handsome houses, adapted to the residence of opulent families. The theatre, erected by a proprietary of twenty-seven shareholders, of £60 each, is a neat edifice, ornamented with a receding portico in the Grecian style of architecture. The Glamorganshire races were formerly held annually on Cardiff heath, continuing for two days; but they have not taken place since the year 1839. A museum and library have been instituted at a private house: the library is indebted for some splendid gifts to the late Marquess of Bute, and other gentlemen, but especially to the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, for a complete and unique collection of State Papers and historic documents, which places the department of English history in this infant library higher than that of many others of similar kind and size. The environs of the town abound with interesting scenery, ornamented with ash, oak, and elm of luxuriant growth; and a fine promenade on the castle ramparts, planted with shrubs and evergreens, is open to the public. The castle, which was built in the time of William Rufus, abuts on the town, from which it is shut out by gates; its proprietors, the Stuart family, Marquesses of Bute, are the principal landowners, and lords of the manor.
The trade of the PORT, which comprises within its jurisdiction the creeks of Barry, Sully, and Aberthaw, and forms the outlet for the produce of the Tâf Vale, Aberdare, &c., consists in the exportation of bar-iron, tin-plates, and coal, in immense quantities; and in the importation of various articles of general consumption, necessary for supplying the surrounding district, and especially of corn; also iron-ore, and timber to a great extent. In the year 1839, the quantity of iron brought down the Glamorganshire canal, to be shipped at the port, was 132,781 statute tons; of coal, 211,214 tons; and more than 80,000 tons of miscellaneous articles. In 1843 the value of the exports from Cardiff was, iron, at £6 per ton, £843,690; tin-plates, at 40s. per box, £160,000; and coal, at 8s. per ton, £140,000: total, £1,143,690. In the year 1845, as many as 222,491 tons of iron, and 626,443 tons of coal, were shipped: of these numbers, 70,085 tons of iron, and 353,890 of coal, were exported from the docks; and 152,406 tons of iron, and 272,553 of coal, shipped on the canal. During the same year, there were 3227 vessels entered inwards at the docks, and 3439 vessels entered outwards; in 1846, 3805 vessels inwards, and 3816 outwards. The quantity of coal and coke brought down the Tâf-Vale railway in 1847 was 360,158 tons, and down the Glamorganshire canal 262,078 tons; making a total of 622,236 tons. These particulars, chiefly derived from Mr. Cliffe's "Book of South Wales," show the important position which Cardiff holds among the ports of the Bristol Channel. The custom-house is a neat plain building, well adapted for the purpose.
Cardiff is indebted for its commercial prosperity to its facility of communication with the manufacturing districts in the Vale of Tâf and places adjacent, by the Glamorganshire canal, upon the completion of which, in 1798, the place considerably increased in importance and extent; and by the Tâf-Vale railway, opened in April 1841. The great South Wales railway, also, now in progress, runs on the south side of the town, and will have a station here. The Glamorganshire, or, as it is sometimes called, the Cardiff, canal, commences about a mile and a half below the town, near the entrance of the river Tâf into Penarth harbour, and extends to MerthyrTydvil, a distance of twenty-five miles. In its course, which is nearly parallel with the river, it passes by the city of Llandaf, and is carried over the Tâf by an aqueduct, within a short distance of which it is joined by the Aberdare canal, and then, winding round the base of the Twyn-Mawr hills, is continued to Merthyr-Tydvil. At its junction with the tideway of the river Tâf is a floating-dock, sixteen feet deep, with a sea-lock, capable of admitting vessels of 300 tons' burthen. The proprietors are limited to eight per cent. on the capital subscribed, after dividing which, and reserving an adequate sum for necessary and incidental expenses, the remainder is to be returned to the parties freighting goods. The freight per ton per mile on iron and pitwood is eighty-five per cent. off of 5d. per ton; manufactured goods, corn, &c., fifty per cent. off of 5d. per ton; and for ore, coal, culm, and stone-bricks, seventy-five per cent. off of 2d. per ton. A notice of the two railways will be found under the head of the county.
In 1830 an act of parliament was obtained, and in 1833 was amended, for constructing the Bute Shipcanal, at the sole expense of the late Marquess of Bute. It was finished and opened in October 1839. The float consists of a safe basin, entered by seagates forty-five feet in width, and occupying an area of about an acre and a half, capable of accommodating vessels of the amount of 1200 tons. The main entrance-lock is north of this outer basin, and is 152 feet long, and 36 wide, being calculated to admit ships of 600 tons. The ship-canal is entered from this, and extends towards the town above 1400 yards, having a width of 200 feet and a depth of 19 feet: its quay walls are most massive, admirably fended and coped with gigantic blocks of tooled granite. The amount of money expended on this undertaking up to May, 1840, was about £250,000, in addition to the value of the land, and of the stone, lime, and piles, which all belonged to this munificent nobleman, and are not included in the foregoing estimate. A line of railroad branching out of the Tâf-Vale railroad has been since formed down to the eastern bank of the basin, affording facilities in loading and discharging cargoes. The benefits of this great work are felt extensively; trade has improved beyond all expectation, and the promise held out of inducing foreign ships to frequent the harbour, now by far the most accessible and commodious in the Bristol Channel, has, especially with the Americans, been more than realized. It has a most convenient communication with the Glamorganshire canal and the South Wales railway, as well as with the Tâf-Vale railway: the water is supplied by a feeder from the river Tâf, about a mile north of Cardiff Castle, forming a very pleasing object at the eastern entrance to the town. Ships of from 1000 to 1200 tons, and sometimes ships of still larger tonnage, enter the docks, and take out full cargoes. The only manufacture at present carried on is that of iron, for which there are two foundries, giving employment to about thirty men.
There are weekly markets on Wednesday and Saturday; the former is but thinly attended, but the latter market affords an abundant supply of provisions of every kind, besides various articles of merchandise. A very handsome and convenient market, with two elegant Grecian porticoes to the east and west, has been built within the last few years, at a cost of nearly £11,000; and substantial slaughter-houses have been built by the town-council, which contribute greatly to the health and comfort of the inhabitants. The fairs are on the second Wednesday in March, the second Wednesday in April, the second Wednesday in May, on June 29th, September 19th, and November 30th; they are all great cattle fairs, and are numerously attended.
The town received a charter of incorporation either from lestyn ab Gwrgan, the last of the native sovereigns of Glamorgan, or from the first of its Norman lords: the oldest charter extant is one from Hugh le Despencer, in the reign of Edward III., dated October 14th, 1338, and confirming the grants and privileges of his predecessors, Lord William de la Zouche and Elinor his wife. Subsequently to this period, charters which are in the possession of the corporation were bestowed in the 14th, 32nd, and 33rd of Edward III., the 20th of Richard II., the 2nd of Henry IV., the 19th of Henry V., the 29th and 31st of Henry VI., the 5th and 17th of Edward IV., the 23rd and 42nd of Elizabeth, and the 6th year of James I. Of these charters, that of the 42nd of Elizabeth, and that of James I., which latter confirms all customs, privileges, fairs, jurisdictions, &c., of previous sovereigns, were the governing charters until the recent passing of the Municipal Corporations' Act. A further charter appears to have been bestowed by James II., in the 3rd year of his reign; but this document is not in the possession of the borough officers, nor, with the exception of the appointment of a deputy-constable, does it appear to have been ever acted upon, if, indeed, it was accepted, which is very doubtful. The government was vested in the constable of the castle, two bailiffs, twelve aldermen, twelve chief burgesses, a steward, and two serjeants-at-mace, all of whom were named in the governing charter; also in a town-clerk, a deputy town-clerk, two common-attorneys, a waterbailiff, two clerks-of-the-markets, and others, of whom no mention occurred in the charter. Of these, the bailiffs, aldermen, and chief burgesses formed the common-council and governing body. The constable of the castle was appointed by the Marquess of Bute, lord of the borough; the bailiffs were annually elected by the constable out of four aldermen returned to him by the burgesses on the charter-day; the aldermen held office for life, and on any vacancy happening, the remaining aldermen filled it up from amongst the burgesses; and the chief burgesses, who are first named in the charter of James I., were chosen by the common-council, and were always burgesses. The steward was appointed by the bailiffs and aldermen during their pleasure, the townclerk by the lord of the borough, and the commonattorneys and water-bailiff by the constable of the castle every year, from persons returned to him by the bailiffs. The magistrates for the borough were, the constable of the castle, the bailiffs, steward, and senior aldermen.
By the act 5th and 6th of William IV., c. 76, the corporation is styled the "Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses," and consists of a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors, forming the council of the borough, which is divided into two wards, and of which the municipal and parliamentary boundaries are the same. The council elect the mayor annually on Nov. 9th, out of the aldermen or councillors; and the aldermen triennially out of the councillors, or persons qualified as such, one-half going out of office every three years, but being re-eligible: the councillors are chosen by and from among the enrolled burgesses annually on Nov. 1st, one-third of them going out of office every year. Aldermen and councillors must possess a property qualification of £500, or be rated at £15 annual value. The burgesses are, the occupiers of houses and shops rated for three years to the relief of the poor. The town-clerk is appointed quamdiu se bene gesserit, and the treasurer, and other officers, annually on Nov. 9th; two assessors for each ward, and two auditors, are elected annually on March 1st, by and from among the burgesses.
Conjointly with Cowbridge and Llantrissent, the borough returns one member to parliament. The right of election was formerly in the burgesses at large, but is now, by the act for "Amending the representation of the People," vested in the old resident burgesses only, if duly registered according to the provisions of the act, and in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of not less than £10, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs. The number of houses in the borough (the boundaries of which are described in the Appendix) has very much increased since the passing of the act. The total number of voters in the three boroughs, including 323 burgesses, is 880. The mayor is the returning officer. Prior to the passing of the Reform act, Aberavon, Kenvig, Loughor, Neath, and Swansea were united with the above-mentioned boroughs in the return of a member to parliament; but these places now constitute a district to which a separate representative has been given.
The corporation hold a court of record in the guildhall every alternate Thursday, for the recovery of debts to any amount. The summer assize and the Epiphany sessions for the county are also held in the guildhall, a plain modern building, comprising one court-room and a record and a jury room on the upper story, underneath which are the corn-market, and two apartments appropriated as a borough prison. The powers of the county debt-court of Cardiff, established in 1847, and held in the same building, extend over the registration-district of Cardiff. The county gaol, a respectable edifice fronted with freestone, and constructed on the plan of Mr. Howard, being too small for the increased population of this manufacturing district, a new building upon a more enlarged scale was commenced in 1827, and opened at the close of the year 1832. The new gaol, which occupies an airy situation to the south of Crockherbtown, is a substantial stone edifice, surrounded by a lofty wall with a massive gateway entrance, over which is the place of execution. The governor's house is in the centre of the area, and communicates by cast-iron bridges with three detached wings; on one side of the entrance are the apartments of the turnkey, and on the other the committee-rooms for the meeting of the magistrates. This gaol, which is capable of accommodating eighty prisoners, including twenty debtors, is well adapted to their classification, and comprises day-rooms, work-rooms, and airingyards; it includes also a house of correction for the eastern parts of the county. The old county gaol above-mentioned is now used as the borough prison and police station.
Cardiff consists of the two parishes of St. John the Baptist and St. Mary the Virgin, together comprising 1250 acres; the former containing 150 acres of arable land and 350 of pasture, and the latter, 40 of arable and 710 of pasture: the soil is alluvial on a deep clayey bottom, under which are layers of gravel; and dairy-farming is principally carried on by the agricultural part of the population. The livings are discharged vicarages, St. John's rated in the king's books at £13. 4. 6½., and St. Mary's at £4. 5. 10.: present net income of the former, £260, with a glebehouse; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester: net income of the latter, £200; patrons, the Stuart family. The church of St. John, originally a chapel to that of St. Mary, is a spacious and handsome structure, in the early and decorated styles of English architecture, with a lofty square embattled tower in the later style, equally remarkable for the elegance of its design, and the symmetry of its proportions. This tower was built in 1443, by Hart, the architect of Wrexham church, and of St. Stephen's, Bristol: it is crowned with an embattled parapet of delicate tracery, with angular pinnacles of open work of light and beautiful character, and the doorway and belfry windows are ornamented with finely pointed and richly moulded arches. The interior of the church consists of two aisles, separated by a range of lofty and sharply pointed arches, resting on massive pillars, and a chancel, of which the roof has been lowered to admit light into the body of the church, which was darkened, about forty years since, by the erection of two galleries, containing 500 additional sittings. The length of the edifice is 120 feet, the breadth about 33 feet, and it contains 1200 sittings, of which 200 are free. Among the monuments is one, in a dilapidated condition, to the memory of two brothers of the Herbert family of Swansea, whose effigies in a kneeling posture are represented under a canopy of white marble, supported by four Corinthian pillars of black marble, one in the habit of an ecclesiastic, and the other in military attire: a Latin inscription, now nearly obliterated, records that the younger brother, Sir John Herbert, was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth and James I., and ambassador at the courts of Frederic II., and his son Christian, Kings of Denmark, Sigismund of Poland, and Henry IV. of France. The decorated west window, and a statue of Edward III. on the west front, are also worthy of notice. St. Mary's church, a large cruciform building with a tower, was destroyed by an inundation of the river in 1607, and was not rebuilt. Recently, however, the pressing necessities of the population rendering it advisable to rebuild it, an edifice in the Norman style was erected, and opened in 1843, through the munificence of the late Marquess of Bute, well met by the liberality of the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester, the benevolence of the public, and the aid of the Queen's Commissioners and the Church-Building Society. On the erection of the new church, the vicarage of St. Mary, which had been united to that of St. John, was made distinct. There are places of worship for English and Welsh Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, Roman Catholics, and Presbyterians, the last of which has an endowment of £300, and the interest of £100 bequeathed by Mr. Arthur to be distributed among the poor of that congregation.
In 1710, Mr. Cradock Wells, alderman of the borough, left by will certain freehold houses in Highstreet, Cardiff, producing £37 per annum, and lands at Canton, in the parish of Llandaf, containing 17¾ acres, let at £20 per annum, in trust to the corporation, for the establishment of a free school for instructing poor children of the borough in reading, writing, and arithmetic. This school having been discontinued since the year 1790, application was made to chancery in 1819, and a decree obtained in 1821, appointing the aldermen for the time being trustees of the property, which is applied to the education of six boys and six girls in a National school, established in 1815 under the patronage of the Marquess of Bute. These children are annually clothed, and, when of proper age, placed out apprentices; the master and mistress receive from the endowment £14. 8.: with the boys a premium of £5 each is given, and that with the girls varies from £1. 10. to £3 each. This charity has also a fund of £300 in the hands of the corporation, for which it receives interest at £5 per cent., resulting from a sum of £100, paid by the same body, as compensation for some of the charity-money they retained, but which, having been placed at compound interest in the savings' bank, accumulated to £300. An equal number of children, who are instructed in the same school, are clothed annually from funds invested for that purpose by the Marquess of Bute. Two capacious schoolrooms were erected at Crockherbtown, in 1818, on ground given by the marquess, who also contributed £52. 10. towards defraying the expense of the building, namely £700, of which the corporation gave £300. A house for the master and mistress, with a committee-room, was afterwards built, at an expense of £600, of which the Marquess of Bute contributed £50, and the corporation £100. The school is principally supported by subscription, and affords instruction to about 110 boys and 80 girls. An infants' school of about 140 children, in connexion with the Established Church, held in a spacious school-house, is partly maintained by subscription, and partly by payments from the parents. These National and infants' schools are in St. John's parish, which also contains Wesleyan schools for boys and girls, established in 1845, and held in large and convenient schoolrooms. In St. Mary's are some British schools, erected in 1846, at a cost of £700; a Roman Catholic school, built in 1847; and some schools, just commenced, in connexion with the Church. The town also contains about a dozen Sunday schools. Mrs. Jane Herbert gave £500 in 1707, to be invested in the purchase of land, for the establishment of a school for the instruction of fifteen poor children: with this sum an estate, comprising eighty acres, and producing £25 per annum, in the parish of Merthyr-Tydvil, was purchased in 1716; but an effort was afterwards made, on the part of the corporation of Cardiff, to set aside the lease, and as yet, though a large accumulation of the rents has remained in the hands of the tenant or possessor, the founder's intentions have not been carried into effect, in consequence of which an application has been made to the Lord Chancellor.
In 1835 an elegant structure of stone was erected, at the eastern entrance of the town, as an infirmary and dispensary for the poor of the counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth, at the sole expense of the late Daniel Jones, of Beauprè, Esq. It consists of five spacious wards, committee, operation, and other rooms, with ample accommodation for the residence of a house-surgeon, matron, and establishment adequate for the reception of sixty patients. It is favoured by the gratuitous services of a physician and three surgeons resident in the town, and is supported by voluntary contributions, in aid of the interest of a munificent bequest of £2000, left to the institution by the benevolent founder. The late Marquess of Bute was also a considerable benefactor to the institution. A Sympathetic Society was established in 1794, for the benefit of widows; it has seventy-nine members, and nineteen widows are now receiving annuities of £15 each from the funds, which, in 1829, were vested in the purchase of £4300 New four per cent. annuities. There are no fewer than eight benefit societies, and the poor receive a rent-charge of £8, arising from a bequest of £200 by Margaret Maddox, in 1739, and paid by the Mackworth family, and another of £2. 10. left by William Jones, in 1719, and which, with an accumulation of £65, now at £5 per cent. interest, produces £5. 15. per annum. A piece of ground in Church-street, St. John's parish, on which two houses have been erected, the supposed gift of James Galle to the poor, pays a yearly rent of £10; and another piece of land of twenty perches, attached to the burial-ground of the Welsh Baptist chapel, yields an annual rent of £4. 12., and is supposed to have been a bequest left by Nicholas Wastell, in 1643. Besides these, £2 per annum are paid out of the produce of some ground, on which valuable houses have been erected, at the corner of Angel and Broad streets; and there are one or two further payments. Other charities have been lost by negligence, the church benefaction-table recording sums to the amount of £170, of which there is now no trace. The poor-law union of which this town is the head, was formed September 13th, 1836, and comprises the following parishes and townships; namely, the parishes of St. John and St. Mary in the town of Cardiff, St. Andrew's, Barry, Bonvilston, St. Bride's-super-Ely, Cadoxton-juxta-Barry, Caerra, Cogan, Eglwysilan, St. Fagan's, St. George's, Lantwit-Vairdre, Lavernock, Leckwith, Lisvane, Llancarvan, Llandaf, Llandough, Llanedarn, Llanilterne, Llanishen, Llantrissent, Llantrithyd, St. Lythan's, Merthyr-Dovan, Michaelston-le-Pit, Michaelston-super-Ely, St. Nicholas's, Penarth, Pendoylan, Penmark, Pentyrch, Peterston-super-Ely, Porthkerry, Radyr, Roath, Ruddry, Sully, Van, Welsh-St.-Donatt's, Wenvoe, and Whitchurch, in the county of Glamorgan; and St. Mellon's and Romney, in the county of Monmouth. It is under the superintendence of fifty-three guardians, and contains a population of 32,652.
On the north-east side of the town was anciently a convent of Grey Friars, founded in 1280, by Gilbert, Earl of Clare, who dedicated it to St. Francis, and made it a cell to the monastery of Bristol: at the Dissolution its site was granted to the Herberts, a branch of the Herbert family of Swansea: the walls are remaining, but in a dilapidated state. Without the Westgate was a convent of Black Friars, founded by Richard de Clare, about the year 1250; and two other religious houses, of which there are no vestiges, are noticed by Tanner, one supposed to have been that of the Friars minor, founded by Robert, first Earl of Gloucester, and which, as noticed above, was spared together with the street in which it was situated, when Owain Glyndwr burnt the rest of the town. Among the other antiquities of the place are portions of the town walls, which seem to have been built on the site of Roman fortifications.
The castle still forms an interesting object, though much altered by being converted into a modern castellated mansion. The west front, which is flanked by a massive octagonal tower, is seen to advantage from the great western road to the town. On the summit of a circular mound within the walls are the ruins of the ancient keep, commanding an extensive prospect over the surrounding country: this tower was used as an armoury during the parliamentary war. The moat by which it was surrounded has been filled up, and the whole area has been converted into a fine lawn; the acclivities of the ramparts have been planted with shrubs and evergreens, and on the summit a fine gravel-walk has been formed, which is carried round the whole inclosure, and is open to the public as a promenade. On the west side of the gateway is the Black Tower, in which Robert, Duke of Normandy, is said to have been confined, during his captivity here. At the southwest angle of the court, the remains of a Roman hypocaust were exposed to the view about a century since; and a coin of the Emperor Trajan has been found within the castle. The eastern part is distinguished by the insertion of small pointed windows, behind which were discovered, some years ago, the remains of a series of interesting Norman arches, probably coeval with the original structure. Great alterations have been made, to adapt the habitable part of this ancient fortress to the uses of a mansion. The apartments contain several good portraits of the ancestors of the house of Bute, and some fine paintings by Kneller, Vandyke, Dahl, Romney, and other eminent artists.
According to the testimony of the Liber Llandavensis, the renowned King Arthur was a native of this place. Among distinguished natives of more modern times may be mentioned William Cadogan, member of the privy-council of Charles I., and governor of the castle and borough of Trim in Ireland, who was born in 1601. The Rev. Mr. Erbury, who was vicar of the place during the usurpation of Cromwell, was author of a volume of sermons and other tracts, addressed to his parishioners, which present a curious specimen of the divinity of that period. Nathaniel Thomas, B.A., editor of an Abridgment of Ainsworth's Latin Dictionary, and other school books, and subsequently editor and proprietor of the St. James's Chronicle, was born in the town, in 1730. Cardiff gives the inferior title of Baron to the Marquess of Bute. The late marquess, to whose munificence and public spirit the town is in a great measure indebted for its prosperity, died here on the 18th of March, 1848; leaving an infant son, now the third marquess. On the 23rd of March, nearly all the inhabitants of the town quitted their houses, either to join in or witness the funeral procession of the late highly popular nobleman, from the castle to the water-side, where his remains were put on board a steam-packet, followed by the mourners who would attend the funeral at Kirtling in Cambridgeshire. The procession extended a mile and a half, including the public bodies of Cardiff, gentry, tradesmen, tenantry, &c.; and the number of the spectators was swelled by the arrival of thousands of persons from Merthyr-Tydvil, Newbridge, Cowbridge, Bridgend, Newport, and other places, testifying their respect for the memory of the marquess by the greatest propriety of behaviour.