16. After Gabriel

Reading about the Port of Swansea ] Swansea Harbour in 1771 ] Swansea's South Dock (c.1870s) ] Swansea's South Dock (c. 1880s) ] Swansea Docks in 1881 ] Brunel's report for Swansea Docks 1846 ] 2. Charter of William de Newburgh ] 6. A Royal Charter ] 9. Trade In The Early Port ] 10. A port Indenture of 1135 ] 11. Salt A vital commodity ] 12. Swansea's Layer Keeper ] 12a. Early Quays and Docks ] 14. The Uncrowned King Of Swansea ] 15. Swansea in the 1790s ] [ 16. After Gabriel ] 17. 1790s Swansea;The Time For Change ] More about Swansea in the 1790s ] 17a. Smuggling in Swansea and Gower ] 18. The Harbour Act and the Mumbles Lighthouse ] 19. Port Tennant ] Port Tennant in 1827 ] 20. port Development. A Chronology ] 21. The South Wales ports ] 22. Joseph Rutter's pamphlet of 1843 ] 25. Thomas Page's report of 1846. ] 27. John Henry Vivian ] 29. The East Dock ] 30. The Prince of Wales opens the East Dock ] The Helwick Lightvessel ] Jack's World: Swansea North Dock in the 1880s ] James Harris Seascape Painter ] Mr Padley of Swansea ] Plan of the Prince of Wales Dock ] Who put the 'Sweyn' in Swansea? ] Swansea's first tugs ] The Victorian port of Swansea ]

After Gabriel

Gabriel Powell’s death in December 1788 had a profound effect on the town. Centuries of continuity and conservatism would be swept aside as Swansea experienced a new found freedom to consider the needs and ambitions of the port on the threshold of the Industrial Revolution. Between 1770 and 1788, the burgesses met on average four times a year. In the year of Gabriel Powell’s death they arranged twenty three meetings. In that same year the burgess body consisted of thirty five men, telling evidence of Powell’s iron hand. By 1802, the number had risen to fifty three.

In October 1789, the Corporation decided that a Harbour Act would be extremely beneficial to the trade and navigation of the port, and immediately set about preparing the case for Parliament. The Swansea Harbour Act was passed on 6 June 1791.
Once free of Powell’s restrictions, the ambition to attract more tourists also flowered. In the Autumn of 1789, the Burgesses, keen to enhance the bathing facilities of the town, set about refurbishing the town’s bathing house and building bathing machines in the style of those at Weymouth. A Swansea wheelwright, William Burchell was contracted to build a scale model of the machine so that cautious burgesses could inspect before commitment.


The View for Sunday 4 December 2000

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