Wales Instigated the First Environmental Lawsuit

Swansea, Wales mounted the first environmental lawsuit in 1832 claiming that slag and fumes were destroying the land near the copperworks. Several farmers pursued an indictment for public nuisance against John Henry Vivian co-owner of Hafod smelting firm. The trial was held in 1833 ending in victory for the copper works owners.

      John Henry Vivian
      Swansea, Wales

Additional Information:

  • Atmospheric Pollution and the British Copper Industry … – jstor
    Copper smelting and coal mining were the principal industries in the Swansea … W. Clapp, An Environmental History of Britain since the Industrial Revolution (Lon- … Scars: Derelict Land in Wales (Swansea, 1988); E. M. Bridges and Huw Morgan, “De … Swansea from 1832 to 1855) who first showed particular interest in.
  • History of Swansea – Wikipedia
    The history of Swansea, Wales covers a period of continuous occupation stretching back a … This included the site of Swansea town, which was designated the capital of the area. … By weight, more coal than copper ore is needed for the process of smelting copper from the … Cholera broke out in 1832; and again in 1849.
  • Swansea – Wikipedia
    Swansea is a coastal city and county, officially known as the City and County of Swansea in … The first copper smelter at Swansea was established in 1717, followed by … Cardiff, and was the second most populous town in Wales behind Merthyr … Many other departments including history, computer science and German …
  • 200 years of uncontrolled pollution by the Swansea copper … [PDF]
    May 13, 2019 – smelting produced pollution but copper smelting was the dominant … complainants had to resort to litigation or the goodwill of the copper masters for … 655. from B.W. Clapp, An Environmental History of Britain since the … Swansea town itself where damage was evident in the erosion of the stone buildings.
  • “The Environmental Impact of Industrialisation in South Wales …
    The development of industrial towns on the south-western side of the south Wales coalfield, such as Llanelli, Swansea, … ‘copper smoke’ produced by the region’s important copper smelting industry. The first part of the paper discusses the social, economic and legal history of the copper smoke problem, and the technology …

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