Acts of Parliament.

Swansea's earliest local Acts of Parliament

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This is a list of all the Swansea History pages; and here's some free samples from the subscription collection.

Swansea's local Acts of Parliament 1827 to 1847 ] Swansea's local Acts of Parliament 1850 to 1861 ] Swansea's later local Acts of Parliament ] Statutes explained ]


The Enclosure Act of Town Hill in the Borough of Swansea. One of many Georgian enclosure acts that transformed the eighteenth century landscape.

In many instances, Local Acts of Parliament were the only way of bringing about change in a local community. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many aspects of daily life were regulated by statutes. They are often a quick and accurate way of finding out what happened in a community over a period of time.

The list is not exhaustive, many General Acts such as Poor Law legislation which affected the whole of the country are not listed.

Short Title



Private Act for vesting certain estates of the Duke of Beaufort, including Gower, Kilvey, and Swansea Castle etc. in Trustees with power to sell or lease the same. 32 Geo. II, c.28 1759
Enclosure Act for dividing and enclosing the Town Hill and the Burroughs of Swansea. 2 Geo. III, c.7 1762
Private Act for further amending and explaining the Duke of Beaufort’s Act of 1759 2 Geo. III, c.49 1762
Private Act for confirming a Lease of Coals, and Lands whereon to erect Copper or other Works in Kilvey, from the Hon. Louisa Barbara Mansell to Chauncey Townshend, Esq. 7 Geo. III, c.58 1767
Market Act for the Corporation of Swansea to erect a Market in the Castle garden and postern, on lands of the Duke of Beaufort. 14 Geo. III, c.27 1774
Road Act for building a Bridge, with necessary access thereto, across the River Tawey, near the Wych-Tree in Llansamlet, to Llangavelach parish. 18 Geo. III, c.68 1778
Harbour Act for repairing, enlarging, and preserving the Harbour of Swansea, and appointing the Trustees therefor. 31 Geo. III, c.83 1791
Canal Act for making and maintaining a canal from the Brewery Wharf at Swansea to Ystradgynlais in the County of Brecon. 34 Geo. III, c.109 1794
Harbour Act for amending the former Act (1791) and for improving the Mumbles Light in Swansea Bay. 36 Geo. III, c.93 1796
Road Act for continuing the term and altering the powers for maintaining the Wych-Tree bridge and approaches. 39 & 40 Geo. III, c.41 1800
Tramway Act for constructing a Tram or Rail-road from Swansea to Oystermouth, with power to make branches thereto. 44 Geo. III, c.45 1804
Harbour Act for amending and enlarging the powers granted by the two former [Harbour] Acts of 1791 and 1796. 44 Geo. III, c.46 1804
Local Act for Paving, lighting, cleansing and watching the Town of Swansea, in the County of Glamorgan 49 Geo. III, c.79 1809
Road Act for further continuing and altering the powers of former Acts relating to Wych-Tree Bridge and its approaches, and for repairing roads in St John’s juxta Swansea. 3 Geo. IV, c.1 1822

Acts of Parliament 1827 to 1847

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Recommended Reading:

The Parish Chest by W. E. Tate

You can obtain a copy of this book by using our association with  In Association with

Just click on the book title or cover picture!

This is the essential tool you must have sight of if you want to understand the workings of a parish community in England and Wales before the twentieth century. The author explains the background to the records you will find in most if not all record offices. A good understanding of the Poor Law is essential for any local historian and this book is undoubtedly the place to start. You will also find superbly detailed accounts of the records of highway maintenance and enclosure. Widely acknowledged as a classic, it is both very readable and scholarly with superb referencing and some extremely useful appendices including a wonderful glossary of the terms andd phrases you will come across in parish records and a very useful list of the pricipal acts and statutes used to govern the parishes of England and Wales.

If you want to be a local historian you must understand the parish, and to understand the parish you must have this book. (Nigel Robins)

SHW Microhistory: 1. SHT 1858

1858 in 1982!

Swansea Harbour Trust's habit of dating the dock bollards with the year of their manufacture has left the port with a fascinating legacy of historical bookmarks. Unfortunately insensitive development by the local authority has meant that some of the best bollards have been destroyed, but enough survive to make any walk around the dock area interesting.

One of my favourites is this 1858 example which originally stood at the starboard approach to Weaver's Basin (the original North Dock Half-tide Basin).

A number of these larger bollards were inserted in the quayside walls to cope with the bigger ships that were using the port in the later 1850s. This one was used extensively to work ships in and out of the North Dock. If you look closely at it you can still see the marks where countless ropes and hawsers have dug into the iron over the years of its service. The picture above shows the original aspect of 1858 with Weaver's Flour Mill in the background. 1858 survived the Sainsbury's redevelopment and can still be seen at the rear of their rather nice restaurant.

More SHW Microhistory

1858 in 2002.

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