Dr Andrew Richardson
My broad researchinterests are late nineteenth-century aristocratic and urban history in Wales. Studies focus upon the development and significance of middle-class consciousness and questions of social identity, against a context of upper-class decline. This was the focus of my doctoral thesis at Cardiff University, which I am now preparing for publication.
Richardson, A. S., (forthcoming), The Civic and the National: The Third Marquess of Bute, Cardiff and Wales 1868-1900
John Patrick Crichton Stuart, the Third Marquess of Bute (1847-1900) has received little scholarly attention with regard to his relationship with Cardiff during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Existing Welsh urban historiography has largely credited the middle-class elites with the development of the town’s urban identity as a reaction against the economic centrality and dominance of the Bute estate. Taking into account recent historiographical shifts, trends and debates, this thesis argues that the Marquess and his estate were in fact integral to the development and fermentation of Cardiff’s civic consciousness and that Bute was the focus of a burgeoning civic culture. Through an assessment of both public and private primary sources, an evaluation of the political, social, philanthropic and cultural contributions of the Marquess shows that he remained at the apex of Cardiff public life and maintained significant power and influence over not only the structure and improvement of the urban environment, but the direction of its ideological profile. His enduring legacy was and remains intrinsic to the historical legitimacy of the town and was solidified through an interdependent relationship with town elites. The theatricality, ceremony and ritual that characterised the municipal period were focused upon the Marquess and conflated with the potent symbolism manifest in buildings, statuary and parks which were inherent to the civic project. This was consummated by the grandeur of the Bute Mayoralty in 1890. Finally, the work locates the Bute contributions in a Welsh context and explores how this anglicised town was able to transfer regional aspirations to the national and establish the foundations for Cardiff to become the Capital of Wales.