The following chronology covers the main elements of the history of Cardiff & the Vale of Glamorgan and some of the surrounding areas eg the Watford area of Caerphilly, Tongwynlais & Pentyrch mainly for the period up to 1960 with a few later events. It is intended to be of use to people researching their family history in the area, in order to provide a background to their research and maybe some pointers as to why their ancestors lived where they did or moved in or out of the area. It includes the dates of foundation of many of the main organisations in Cardiff, the opening of churches & chapels and some of the Cardiff "Institutions" eg David Morgan's & James Howells' shops, Cardiff Shipping Companies, Theatres, Cinemas, Old Inns & Hotels & Industrial Companies. I realise that it is not exhaustive and undoubtedly Cardiff residents will find that things that they might have included are not in my list. If anyone wants anything added I shall be pleased to consider it if they can give me the details. It is my hope that I will, in any case, be able to make additions in time.
This chronology really needs to be seen in the light of the wider Glamorgan, Wales & National scenes and it is intended shortly to provide a similar Chronology of Glamorgan which will include some of the Cardiff events listed here, but also an outline of the development of the South Wales Coalfield in Glamorgan, the development of Ironworking & Copper Smelting and the Industrial unrest of the 19th century surrounding the Rebecca Riots, Methyr Riots & Chartism.
A Wales timeline is already available via the Glamorgan Help pages and I have produced a Chronology of British History which is available on my website.
In order to find a specific event without reading through the whole list please use the "find" facility of your browser. In this way you should be able to find any references to a particular year or subject.
THE INDEX - PERIOD UP TO 1699
Abt 75 = Roman fort established at Cardiff during the conquest of the Silures of South East Wales as one of the frontier posts linked to the Roman Legionary base at Caerleon, Mon. Followed by the establishment of a Roman civil community.
Abt 300 = The original Roman fortress replaced by a more substantial stone-built fort at Cardiff to meet the menace of Irish raiders
Abt 380s = Romans abandoned Cardiff as part of their recall of troops to the Continent to defend the Empire against the Germanic tribes
Abt 500 = Kingdom of Glywyseg (Glamorgan) established by "Glywys, a descendant of Maxen Wledig/Roman Emperor Maximus"
10th century = Viking raids on Bristol Channel coasts. Establishment of Norse trading posts.
974 = death of Morgan Mwynfawr, King of Glywyseg. Kingdom became known as Morgannwg after King Morgan
1081 = William I of England led an army through South Wales and probably erected temporary defences at Cardiff on the site of the Roman fort.
1091 = Robert FitzHamon, Lord of Gloucester led an army into South Wales and built a new "motte" or mound 40 feet high to serve as the Keep of a new castle at Cardiff. Iestyn ap Gwrgan, last King of Morgannwg defeated.
1091 = Establishment of the Norman Lordship of Cardiff by Robert FitzHamon by right of conquest as a Marcher Lord ie FitzHamon assumed the Kingly rights of Iestyn ap Gwrgan and did not hold Glamorgan as a fief of the English King. FitzHamon granted various fiefs to his knights mainly in the Vale of Glamorgan. (eg Dinas Powis; Wenvoe & Sully; St.Fagans; Cogan; Wrinston & St.Nicholas; Penmark; St.Athan, Talyfan )
1091 = Welsh lords continued to hold the upland areas of Glamorgan, semi- autonomously, as a continuation of the Kingdom of Morgannwg, paying fealty to the Norman Lord of Glamorgan
Abt 1100 = Fonmon Castle built
Abt 1100 = Ogmore Castle built by de Londres family
1107 = Death of Robert FitzHamon (Buried Tewksbury Abbey)
1107 = Mabel FitzHamon inherited Glamorgan
1116 = William de Londres built a church at Ewenny and gave it to St.Peter's Abbey, Gloucester thus commencing Ewenny Priory
1121 = Robert the Consul, Earl of Gloucester, illigitimate son of King Henry I, became Lord of Glamorgan as husband of Mabel FitzHamon
1126 = Robert of Normandy brother of King Henry I imprisoned at Cardiff Castle
1134 = Robert of Normandy died at Cardiff Castle (Buried St.Peter's, Gloucester)
1139 = Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote Histories of the Kings of Britain
1147 = Robert the Consul, Lord of Glamorgan died (Buried St.James', Bristol)
1147 = William of Gloucester (son of Robert the Consul) became Lord of Glamorgan
1147 = Geoffrey of Monmouth became Archdeacon of Llandaff
1147 = Margam Abbey founded
1152 = Geoffrey of Monmouth appointed Bishop of St.Asaph
1155 = Geoffrey of Monmouth died
1158 = Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd attacked Cardiff Castle and carried off William of Gloucester, Lord of Glamorgan & his wife
1169 = Richard de Clare "Strongbow" Lord of Lower Gwent, accompanied by many Glamorgan knights, invaded Ireland
1180 = Coity Castle built
1183 = Kenfig & Cardiff put to flames and Cardiff & Newport Castles damaged by attack by the native Welsh
1183 = William of Gloucester died Lordship of Glamorgan passed to King John who was married to one of the heirs of William
1188 = Archbishop Baldwin preaches the Crusade on Llandaff Green
Abt 1200 = Bishop of Llandaff granted lands to Margam Abbey which eventually became Grange Farm, Grangetown, Cardiff
1205 = Grant of a market and fair at Llandaff by King John
1217 = Gilbert de Clare I became Lord of Glamorgan (nephew of Isabel of Gloucester, heir of William of Gloucester & divorced wife of King John)
1230 = Gilbert de Clare I died
1230 = Richard de Clare became Lord of Glamorgan
1233 = Revolt of Llewelyn the Great, Richard the Marshal and other English Barons
15 Oct 1233 = Richard the Marshal attacked Cardiff Castle
1242 = Black Friars, Cardiff built by the Dominican Monks
1254 = Borough of Cowbridge established by Richard de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan
1262 = Richard de Clare died
1262 = Gilbert de Clare II became Lord of Glamorgan
1266 = Gilbert de Clare II defeated the Welsh ruler of Senghenydd and took over his territory
1268 = Caerphilly Castle built by Gilbert de Clare
1280 = Gilbert de Clare endowed the Grey Friars (Franciscan) Monastery , Cardiff
1282/3 = Welsh independence came to an end
1294 = Rebellion of the Glamorgan Welsh
1294 = Glamorgan Welsh attack Cardiff Castle
1295 = Gilbert de Clare II died
1295 = Gilbert de Clare III became Lord of Glamorgan
1314 = Gilbert de Clare III killed at Battle of Bannockburn
1314 = Hugh le Despenser became Lord of Glamorgan
1315 = Revolt of Llewelyn Bren
1315 = Llewelyn Bren attacked Cardiff Castle
1317 = First Roath Mill built near Cardiff
1318 = Llewelyn Bren executed as a traitor at Cardiff
1321 = Cardiff Castle captured by the Lord of the March
4 March 1323 = Patent issued to the Gild of Cordwainers & Glovers of Cardiff
1324 = First Royal Charter, by King Edward II, to Cardiff Guild of Cordwainers
1327 = Cardiff and Carmarthen declared Staple Ports
1361 = Black Death ravaged Cardiff
1369 = Black Death ravaged Cardiff for a 2nd time
1404 = Owain Glyndwr captured Cardiff Castle
1470 = Sir David Matthew acquired the manor of Llandaff
1473 = St.John's Church tower built (Cardiff)
22 Aug 1485 = Battle of Bosworth Field (Leicestershire) fought between the supporters of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond (Lancastrian) and those of King Richard III Crookback (Yorkist). Many Welsh nobles, gentry and peasantry served in the army of Henry Tudor. Richard slain in battle and the Tudor dynasty established on the English throne.
Abt 1530 = Llanmihangel Place built by James Thomas
Abt 1530 = Llancaiach Fawr (house) built by David Prichard
1531 = Iron ore discovered on the Kings lands at Llantrisant
1536 = Act of Suppression - Dissolution of the Monastaries
1536 = Union of England and Wales (Act of Union)
1539 = St.Mary's Church, Cardiff transferred from Tewksbury Abbey to Gloucester Cathedral
1540 = Charity left by Thomas Howell, a Monmouthshire draper for the founding of a school (Howells School)
1542 = Cardiff became Free Borough
1543 = The manor of Penarth passed to the Dean & Chapter of Bristol
19 Apr 1544 = Sir George Herbert bought the manor of Cogan
10 May 1544 = Edward Ferrers, Lord Clynton bought the manor of Llandough East
1546 = Sir George Herbert bought the Cardiff property of Tewksbury Abbey including the Grey Friars buildings in Cardiff.
1548 = St.Piran's Chapel, Cardiff suppressed
1550 = Iron ore mines at Llantrisant granted to Sir William Herbert
Abt 1550 = haematite ore discovered at Little Garth, near Pentyrch and Draethen near Machen, Mon.
Bef 1551 = Plas Llantrithyd built for John Basset
7 May 1550 = Cardiff granted to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, by King Edward VI
30 Jun 1550 = Six members of Cardiff Guild of Cordwainers occupied St.Piran's Chapel
10 Oct 1551 = William Herbert created Baron Herbert of Cardiff
Mar 1555 = Martyrdom of Rawlins White of Cardiff for his protestant beliefs during the Marian persecutions
1557 = Llanishen & Lisvane Churches sold by Tewkesbury Abbey to Roger Kemeys of Cefn Mably.for £120.
Abt 1559 = Wales incorporated into the English Customs system
1563 = William Morgan of Llantarnam, Mon bought the Manor of Roath Keynsham in Cardiff
1570 = Congress of Bards held in Cardiff Castle under patronage of Sir William Herbert
Abt 1578 = Sir William Herbert built a "sumptuous" house on the Grey Friars site in Cardiff (Herbert House)
1580s = Sir Robert Sidney set up ironworks at Llanharry, Llantrisant, Angleton & Coity
March 1582 = A new, stone Cardiff Bridge built by John Hawkes of Lewes, Sussex
1583 = Gervase Babbington, Bishop of Llandaff, set up a school at Cardiff
1583 = The Van (house), Caerphilly built for Thomas Lewis
1587 = Manor of Plasturton, Cardiff, created
1589 = Patent issued to the Gild of Cordwainers & Glovers of Cadiff (in confirmation of the 1323 patent)
1590s = St.Fagans Castle built by Dr.John Gibbon
Abt 1596 = St.John's Church, Cardiff becomes a separate parish from St.Mary's
Abt 1596 = Sutton (House), Llandow built by Edward Turberville
1597 = Edmund Matthew forging ordnance at Pentyrch Works
1598 = Old Place, Llantwit Major built by Edward Van
Abt 1600 = St.Margaret's Church, Roath became a parish church in its own right, rather than a chapelry of St.Mary's, Cardiff
1600 = Edmund Matthew leased Pentyrch Iron Works to Peter Samyne & Robert Cantrell
1603 = Lease of Pentyrch Iron Works to Peter Samyne alone
Jul 1608 = Charter declared Cardiff a free town
1608 = Office of Steward of Cardiff instituted
1608 = Twelve Capital Burgesses of Cardiff appointed
1609 = Sir Edward Stradling of St.Donats died having started the establishment of Cowbridge Grammar School
Abt 1610 = Sir John Stradling of St.Donats completed the establishment of Cowbridge Grammar School. Walter Stradling (a relative) became Master of the school
1610 = Speed's map of Cardiff produced
1612 = Thomas Button of Worlton, Glam. commissioned by the Crown to explore the North West Passage to China
Abt 1613/4 = Piracy in the Bristol Channel brought under control (temporarily) by the sending of ships of war into the channel. Previously Cardiff had been renowned as a place that harboured pirates and since the 13th century the whole Bristol Channel had been frequented by pirates.
1616 = Old Pentyrch Iron Furnace demolished because Peter Samyne had ignored a notice to stop casting ordnance (which was thought to be finding its way to Spain)
1616 = Sir Edward Lewis of the Van, Caerphilly bought St.Fagans Castle
Abt 1620 - 1660 = Barbary/Moorish pirates active in the Bristol Channel
1625 = Tongwynlais Iron Furnace in operation
1626 = Ruperra Castle built by Sir Thomas Morgan
1634 = William Erbery, Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff & his curate, Walter Cradock reported to Archbishop Laund (Canterbury for "preaching schismatically and dangerously, to the people"
1634 = William Erbery, Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff admonished by the Bishop of Llandaff
1634 = Walter Cradock, Curate of St.Mary's, Cardiff "a bold, ignorant fellow" suspended
1636 - William Erbery, Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff tried before the High Commission Court for his "non-conformity"
1638 - William Erbery resigned his living as Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff and became an itinerant preacher and Chaplain to the Parliamentary Forces in London.
1638 = William Wroth established the first Non-Conformist Chapel in Wales at Llanvaches, Mon.
23 October 1642 = Miles Matthew of Llandaff in command of the Life Guards carried the banner of the King at the Battle of Edgehill and assisted him in his escape.
27 July 1645 = King Charles I (following defeated at Battle of Naseby ) came to South Wales to seek refuge and rally support, staying at Ruperra Castle.
29 July 1645 = King Charles II came to Cardiff to seek assistance from Glamorgan, but met with little enthusiasm since it was considered that his cause was lost (despite the fact that most of Glamorgan was loyal to him).
August 1645 = Glamorgan started to pass into Parliamentary hands Cardiff handed over to Prichard of Llancaiach..
1646 = Cardiff Town taken by Royalist forces under Sir Edward Carne and the Castle beseiged.
1646 = Parliamentary forces (under Major-General Laugharne) diverted from siege of Aberystwyth to relieve Cardiff Castle and Parliamentary ship of war sent to Cardiff..
20 February 1646 = Royalist forces from Raglan (under Sir Charles Kemeys) sent to Cardiff to support Carne. Considerable skirmish on the Heath at Cardiff. Followed by rout of the Royalists and the retaking of the town for Parliament.
25 May 1646 = Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire taken by Parliamentary forces (under Col.Ewer) after stout defence by Sir Nicholas Kemeys who was killed and buried at St.John's Church, Cardiff by Rev. Thomas Andrews the vicar.
9 August 1646 - surrender of Raglan Castle to Parliament under honourable terms. Whole of South Wales in Parliamentary hands
1648 = Parliamentary Army in West Wales (under Major-General Laugharne) became disaffected and joined with Glamorgan Royalists to attack Parliamentary forces at Cardiff
8 May 1648 = Battle of St.Fagans fought between St.Fagans and Peterston-super-Ely. Royalist forces defeated with very high casualties. (it is said that there were 65 widows left in the parish of St.Fagans alone and 700 in Glamorgan as a whole as a result of this battle - the river Ely ran with blood !)
1648 = As a result of the Battle of St.Fagans many of the Glamorgan Gentry were condemned to death, 240 Welshmen were transported to Barbadoes and 1000 of the rank and file of the defeated army were sent to fight in Italy.. Some of the Gentry escaped with exilement instead of death.
1650 = school set up in Cardiff under a Commonwealth scheme for the provision of education
1651 = Christopher Love of Cardiff instigates Love's Plot to restore the monarchy
1651 = Christopher Love executed on Tower Hill, London for opposition to Cromwell
1653 = New Mill built for fulling cloth on the Taff in Cardiff
1653 = Cardiff Castle repaired and used for ammunition storage and as a garrison
1655 - Thomas Holmes of Kendal, Westmorland, a Quaker (converted by George Fox), toured South Wales preaching the Quaker Doctrine.
1655 = John ap John, Welsh Quaker "apostle" toured South Wales and was imprisoned at Swansea
1657 = George Fox, Quaker leader, visited Cardiff and preached at the Town Hall
1658 = Dorcas Erbery (daughter of William Erbery) and Tobias Hodges (Quakers) caused a disturbance at St.John's Church, Cardiff and were gaoled.
1660 = Restoration of the Monarchy
1660 = King Charles II called upon the county of Glamorgan to clear the Bristol Channel of pirates.
24 November 1661 = 40 Cardiff Quakers gaoled for attending a Meeting
1662 = Independents & Baptists started a church at Craig-yr-Allt Farmhouse, Caerphilly
1662 = Many clergy ejected from their livings in Glamorgan for dissent
1662 = Revival of Llandaff Cathedral School after Civil War
1667 = Mary Erbery gave land at Cardiff for a Quaker burial ground
Before 1668 = Separate Quaker centre established at Llandaff meeting in the house of William Williams in Canton under the leadership of Francis Gawler of Cardiff and James Adams of Bristol
1668 = George Fox (Quaker leader) visited South Wales for a second time
1672 - Act of Indulgence allows some degree of freedom to Non-conformists but withdrawn 1673
1680 = new iron furnace built at Caerphilly
Abt 1682 = Sir Leoline Jenkins bought Cowbridge Grammar School from the
1685 = Sir Leoline Jenkins died leaving a bequest to Cowbridge Grammar School to fund schoolonig for 10 "poor boys" and 5 "pensioners" and endowing two scholarships and an exhibition at Jesus College, Oxford
1685 = Francis Gawler, (Quaker) feltmaker, of Cardiff imprisoned in Cardiff for protesting against church ceremonial.
1689 = Religious toleration for Non-conformists re-established
Abt 1691 = William Deer, Vicar Choral & Deacon of Llandaff Cathedral & master of the school