Richard Blakemore was one of people who opposed the first Bute Dock Bill, the 1830 Bute Ship Canal Bill. He petitioned Parliament for the opportunity to give evidence to the Opposed Bill Committee.
Richard Blakemore petitioned for the right to be heard by the opposed bill committee, speaking against the 1830 Bute Ship Canal Bill. His opposition to the Bill was tied up with a long-running dispute that he was embroiled in with the Glamorgan Canal Company. You can find out more about the background to his opposition to the Bill by reading about the Melingriffith Iron Works.
Richard Blakemore was born on 8 August 1775. His parents were Thomas Blakemore, a merchant, and Ann Partridge, and he was the eldest of three children. He first became associated with Melingriffith in the early nineteenth century. In 1807 he acquired six shares in the works, and gained full control in 1812. He would control the works for nearly half a century. Find out more about the Melingriffith works here.
Blakemore’s opposition to Bute’s plans was due to his belief that its construction would cause further trouble with the Melingriffith Works’ water supply. Water from the Taff was the motive power for the works, and the long-running dispute with the Glamorganshire Canal Company was due to the fact that in dry summers the Works often had to stop working. During the Opposed Bill Committee hearings the Glamorganshire Canal Company stated that they were prepared to do everything to protect Richard Blakemore’s interests in the future, but they would not compensate him for the past. This was accepted by Blakemore and, following the insertation of a clause protecting his interests, the Bute Ship Canal Act was passed.
Read the evidence Richard Blakemore and his employees gave to the Opposed Bill Committee.
The group found archive material relating to Richard Blakemore at Glamorgan Archives. They found an agreement with Glamorganshire Canal Company made on 30 June 1835, regulating the amount of water the Canal company could take in times of short water at the Work. A rent charge of £1,500 a year was to be paid to Blakemore. In return, he was not to object to future improvement works the Canal company might choose to make. This shows both the importance of Melingriffith to Blakemore, and the long-running nature of his dispute with the Glamorganshire Canal Company.
Although Richard Blakemore petitioned against the Bute Docks, his primary concern was the potential impact on Melingriffith. He was worried that the construction of the Docks would increase traffic on the canal, which would lead to an increased demand for water.