I had been preparing an essay by reading Dr John Davies' epic history "Cardiff and the Marquis of Bute" when i came across a reference to John Batchleor.
For years like many who not only visited Cardiff but lived there had passed by this statue in the Hays not knowing who he was
Thanks to Dr Davies I now knew that Although born in Newport, Monmouthsire, Batchelor became a prominent Cardiff figure, having moved there in his early twenties. He set up business as a timber merchant and, later, slate merchant and also played a key role in establishing the Mount Stuart Dry Dock.
He was an active Liberal politician and served as a Liberal Councillor and, later, Mayor of Cardiff, in addition to being Chairman of the Cardiff School Board. He also campaigned against slavery.
However, John Batchelor's political activity brought him into conflict with the Bute family (John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute), who had significant land-holdings in Cardiff, including Cardiff Castle, and had built much of the docks.
The Butes supported the Tory party and many believed that their conspiring led to the collapse of Batchelor's shipbuilding business.