Richard Lewis Reece

(1801 - 1876)


we have to record with much regret the death of Mr Richard Lewis Reece, the senior alderman for the borough of Cardiff, at his residence, Elmsfield, Roath road, on Saturday, after a short but painful illness. Mr Reece was one of the few inhabitants of the town who have resided in it for nearly three-quarters of a century. He was born in 1801, when the population of Cardiff was only little more than a thousand. Mr Reece, after being admitted an attorney in 1824 commenced his professional career in High street, and soon obtained an extensive private practice. On the death of Mr Nicholl Wood, in 1831, he was elected, unopposed, coroner for the eastern and western divisions t e county, Glamorganshire having at that time only two coroners. As the population increased, Mr Reece resigned the coronership for the northern division, but for over 40 years held the position of coroner for the eastern division. Eventually he resigned it in favour of his son, Mr Edmund Bernard Reece, who, as deputy coroner, in consequence of his father's failing health, had discharged the duties for some time. For many years the e Mr Reece held the offices of agent to the Cefn Mably courts leet for the Baroness Windsor in the several manors belonging to her. In 1842 he was elected a member of the Town Council for the north ward, and in 1847 was selected as mayor of the borough. During his year of office the Lord Bute died. Two months prior to his election as mayor the present Lord Bute was born, when his lordship attained his majority, in 1867, Mr Reece was again chosen as chief magistrate, and presided with great ability over the many public demonstrations that were arranged to celebrate that event. In 1859 he was elected alderman of the borough, and retained that dignity until his death, his last election taking place 1871. As a member of the Cardiff corporation, until very recently he was regular and punctual in his attendance at committee and public meetings. He was a gentleman considerable firmness of character, held independent views and allied himself to no party. He was an intimate friend of the late Lord James Stuart, and of his son, the present member for Cardiff, to whom he always gave his warm and earnest support, but his votes in the Corporation were never influenced by party interest. As a private gentleman be was highly esteemed. He was one of the old School, and partial to English sports and pastimes, and as a bold and fearless rider in a cross country run few would maintain the lead 'better than he did. In his younger days he frequently rode at the Cardiff races, when they were held at the Heath, and were more extensively patronised by the leading inhabitants of the county than at present. In 1825, with one of Mr W. Crawshay s horses, he won the Cardiff Plate after four heats, winning the first, losing the second, running a dead heat the third, and winning the fourth. Though a lover of field sports, he was a gentleman of refined and cultivated mind. A consistent member of the Established Church, he identified himself with the section whose views tend neither to the Evangelical nor the Ritualistic extreme. His purse was always open to assist Dissenters, and he contributed with equal liberality towards the erection of churches and chapels. He was kind and charitable to the poor, by many of whom, as well by a large circle of friends, his death will be deeply regretted.



The funeral of the late Alderman Lewis Reece, whose death we announced on Monday, took place at the Car- diff New Cemetery, yesterday. A considerable number of people witnessed the departure of the funeral proces- sion from Elmsfield House,Roath, which took place at 12 o'clock. The whole of the municipal authorities were present, and although the funeral was intended to be a private one there was altogether a goodly assemblage of those who were desirous of payirg a last tribute of re- spect to the deceased gentleman. The corpse was pre- ceded to the cemetery by a large body of police I walking four abreast. The Mayor and corporation formed the next portion of the procession, after whom came several private carriages. Amongst these were the car- riages of Col. C. K. K. Tynte (Cefn Mably), Mr Monta- gue Gwin, Mr J. H. Insole, Mr W. Insole, Mr Williams (Roath Court), Alderman Thomas Evans, &c. The Revs C. Hume, A. Russell, C. A. Sinythies, Dr Paine, Mr P. Davies, and Mr D. Rees also preceded the coffin.. The pall bearers were Messrs Montague Grover, W. T. H. Phelps, David Hantry, and Walter Blower. The mourning carriages which brought up the rear of the pro- cession contained Messrs Edmond Bernard Keece, L. T. Reece, T. Reece, C. E. Bernard, M. Grover, T. Evans, C. E. Hardyman, G. Salmon, D. Hanbv,. W. Blower. W. T. H. Phelps, and the Rev Thomas Williams. The service iu the church was gone through by the Rev C. A. Smythies, and the service at the grave by the Revs C. Hume and A. Russell. The arrangements were carried out in a perfectly quiet and unostentatious manner, but notwithstanding this the public esteem in which the late Mr Reece was held was testified by the presence of a large number of people. The coffiti, which was of old English oak, was made by Mr Daniel Re. of Frederick street, Cardiff. The entire arrangement of the funeral was placed in the hands of Mr Peter Davies, of Duke street, by whom they were carried out with appropriate celerity and precision.


SOURCE: Welsh Newspapers Online