23 September 1805 to 2 March 1808.
Custom H° Cardiff,
21 June 1806.
Sir,—Agreable to the directions contained in your Letter
recd this day We beg leave to inform you that there are five Pilots
occasionally acting in this Port and as we are informd by one of
them (who has been in that practice upwards of twenty years)
subject to no authority or control. We are Sir
Your most Obdt Serv'ts
T. B. I. D.
I. T. Swainson Esqr
Custom H° Cardiff.
23d June 1806.
Sir,—Since we wrote on saturday respecting the jurisdiction
over the Pilots in this Harbour, it has been suggested to us by the
Town Clerk that it is vested in the Constable of the Castle Senior
Alderman & Bailiffs of the Town of Cardiff. Yet we have reason
to think, as we before stated from the authority of the oldest Pilot,
that no control or jurisdiction has ever been exercised over them.—
We are, Sir, &c.
T. B. I. D.
I. T. Swainson Esqr
To the Rt Honble The Lords Commissrs of H.M. Treasury.
Being engaged in a considerable Mercantile Trade at Newport
in Monmouthshire, I take the liberty to state to your Lordships the
very great inconvenience to which the trade of that Port is subject
in consequence of the present necessity of every Ship's papers being
taken by the Masters to Cardiff, a distance of 12 miles before the
Cargo's can be landed, and of the Masters attending there in person,
accompanied by a respectable person sent by the Merchts as Bondsman, before the vessels can clear out for Ireland or any foreign Port,
which occasions much delay & extraordinary expense and a reason
to many for not bringing their Vessels to the Port, who would
otherwise come there.
I therefore humbly beg leave, on behalf of myself & the other
mercantile part of Newport, to submit to your Lordships the
propriety of appointing a proper Officer at Newport to supersede
the necessity of Masters of Vessels going to Cardiff for ye above
purposes, and trust that as the same indulgence has been granted
to other Ports relatively situated as Newport is to Cardiff, where an
increase of Trade has taken place in the Minor Port, your Lordships
will graciously condescend to comply with this request, especially
when the fact of the trade having increasd in the proportion of
10 to 1 in the course of the last ten years is stated, & can be
clearly demonstrated; indeed it appears by the last Quarterly Accot
of the Export from Newport that upwards of 80 Sail of Shipp[in]g
laden with Coals only, have cleared out for Ireland, independent of
a considerable Iron Timber and Bark Trade.
Humbly praying your Lordships to take the matter into
Consideration, I remain, my Lords, &c. &c.
Thos Edwards Junr
August 2, 1806.
The Lords Commrs of H.M. Treasury are pleased to refer the
aforegoing Petition to the Commrs of H.M. Customs, who are desired
to consider the same and report to My Lords what in their opinion
may be fit to be done therein.
Whitehall Treasury Chambers;
Thos Edwards Petition
refd to Customs.
To the Collr & Compr of Cardiff for their observations & report
taking care to return the same.
By Order of the Commissioners.
Cust: Ho: Cardiff.
19th Aug: 1806.
Honble Sirs (No 66.)
Pursuant to your Honors order of the 14th Inst., we beg leave
to report on the Petition of Mr T. Edwards Junr which we have
returned enclosed, that the statements therein are very erroneous,
inasmuch as no necessity exists for Bondsmen to come to Cardiff
with the Capts to clear out, as all Masters of Vessels clearing here
obtain sufficient Bondsmen at this Town which is much larger &
more populous than Newport, nor have we for many months had an
instance to the contrary; nor is he correct when he says upwards of
80 Vessels cleared with Coal only for Ireland independent of a
considerable Iron Timber and Bark Trade—the N° of Coal being 71
& the whole number cleared being precisely 79 not independent of,
but including the considerable Iron, Timber and Bark Trade he
speaks of, and the greater part of those wou'd have stopped at
Cardiff had there been a supply here, several Masters having put
in here in their Boats to inquire for a Stem (the Coals of Cardiff
being more markeatable in Ireland) which not being able to obtain
they proceeded to Newport, added to which the Number at this
Season is always much greater, for in the two Winter Quarters
very few foreign Vessels come either here or to Newport on account
of the dangerous Navigation; nor are Captains put to the inconvenience he describes, of going 12 miles before the Cargo can be
landed, on the average 29 Vessels in 30 come in Ballast.
But was the Petitioners Statement correct we cou'd not for a
moment suppose that your Honors woud permit the business of this
Port to be so totally deranged as it must be, were the Officers at our
Creek permitted to have the management of any part of our foreign
trade which so universally belongs to the Head Port & which we are
confident without our personal attention woud soon get into a state
of confusion, as it is with much difficulty we can (in their present
Coasting Trade which is very considerable) keep them correct to
their time & statements, having often occasion to address them on
this head—on the mere assertion of an Individual who as we find
on inquiry has not long lived at Newport & has lately entered into a
speculative Concern in a single Colliery there; nor have we the
smallest doubt but your Honors will at one view see the impropriety
of at all attending to the application of an individual of this sort, who
grounds his Petition on the behalf of himself & other Merch[an]ts but
unsupported even with the names of those Merchants; was it
admitted in such an instance we are persuaded that an inhabitant
of every Creek calling himself a Merchant wou'd in like manner be
continually troubling your Honors with such groundless Petitions.
As a further confutation of the Petitioners application the Collector
thinks it proper he shou'd add, that was the statement true, he
himself wou'd most probably be a greater sufferer than the Petitioner
as he is a very considerable proprietor, with some of his near
relations and many of his friends, in the Canal at Newport, the
prosperity of which depends entirely on the quantity of Coals shippd
from thence, the whole being brot down the same & the Railways
belonging to it, but he is quite confident was the Petition granted,
not a Vessel more in a whole year woud enter the Creek on that
In short, we are of opinion and humbly report that the Petitioner
has no real cause of Complaint & that this application is such, as
neither the Lords of the Treasury or your Honors ought to have
been troubled with.
We are, &c. &c.
T. B. I. D.
Under date 5 October 1806, the Officials of Cardiff write to
those of Newport: "On applying to the Corporation here respecting
Cardiff, we find their Charter directs no Controll over the Pilotage,
consequently the present Pilots are acting under no particular
(No 73.) Cust. Ho. Cardiff.
9th Oct. 1806.
Pursuant to your Honors order of the 3d Ulto No 80 transmitting
us a Copy of a Bill for the better regulation of Pilots & directing us
to collect & report such information & observations as we can obtain
on ye subject.
We beg leave to report that we have applied to the chief
Magistrate of this Corporation who informs us that he has examined
the Charter under which they are governed but cannot find they have
any power or controll over the Pilots acting here, & that consequently
they are under no kind of jurisdiction whatever.
We have also to report with respect to our Creek of Newport,
that we have obtained information that the Pilotage there is similarly
circumstanced, as the business is generally undertaken by any one
that can procure employment for which they agree in the best manner
they can. Our officers there have inquired whether the Corporation
have any Authority over the Pilots & they find they have none.
We are, Honble Sirs, &c.,
T. B. I. D.
The Officials report to London that in the 20 years ending
5 Jany 1800, 343 vessels only were cleared from Cardiff for foreign
ports, making an average of 17 per annum; but the yearly number
had increased to 347 for the year 1806.