Richard Crawshay Hall
was born in 1804 to Benjamin and Charlotte Hall and was baptised at Old Church
in St.Pancras, London. He was their second son born 3 years after their eldest-Benjamin.
The family were exceedingly wealthy and his mothers father had become the richest
man in Wales leaving £1.5 million in his will. The Sunday Times has placed him
at 95th in the 100 richest people who have ever lived in the British Isles. Three
eighths of this fortune was left to the Halls. In 1806 the father Benjamin was
elected member of Parliament for Totnes. In 1814 he was returned unopposed in
Glamorgan and acquired the Hensol Estate for £45,000. He was an active politician
whose carreer was cut short on his death in 1817. He was buried at Llanddaff Cathedral
where his father had been chancellor Richard would have been just 13 when his
father died and may well have been at Winchester School where his elder brother
stayed. His brother went on to be a Liberal M.P. for Monmouth in 1831 and later
was elected for Marylebone in London. In 1855 he had become the chief commissioner
for works. During his period in office, the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament
was built and was named “Big Ben” after Sir Benjamin Hall who was a “towering
figure. In 1859 he was raised to the peerage as Lord Llanover. In contrast to
his brother, Richard's life appears uneventful and information about him is fragmentary.
A deed in the Somerset Archive shows him renting a house in Macauley buildings
in Bath in 1840. It describes him of being formerly at Langford in Somerset ,
but later of the Island of Guernsey. The Census of 1881 describes his income as
coming from land . Perhaps he enjoyed his large inheritance and did not need to
have employment. His will ,though long , does not reveal a great deal about the
man, except that he had lost his first wife and eldest son by then and had remarried
a lady called Frances. There is still a great deal to find about this gentleman
who was to rent Freshford Manor from the Thomas Heath Joyce for 15 years. He was
buried with his ancestors at Llandaff Cathedral and there is a commemorative stained
glass window to him in St. Peters Church in Freshford. For a short while the vicar
of this church Thomas Whitehouse is shown as also living at Freshford House (Manor).
He died in 1859 and there is a plaque to him and his wife in the church(see illustration).