Benjamin Hall, 1st Baron Llanover

Benjamin Hall, 1st Baron Llanover, PC, (November 8 1802April 27 1867), was a civil engineer and politician.

The son of an industrialist, Benjamin Hall, he became MP for Monmouth in 1832 and held the seat for five years. He was instrumental in the passing of the Truck Act in 1831. He campaigned against the abuse of parliamentary election expenses and championed the right of people in Wales to have religious services in Welsh. He also engaged in bitter controversy with the bishops on the state of the Anglican church in Wales and made attacks on the shameless exploitation of church revenues, complaining of unbounded nepotism. He was created a baronet in 1838. In 1855, as Sir Benjamin Hall, he introduced an Act of Parliament which led to the establishment of the Metropolitan Board of Works. He became its first Chief Commissioner of Works and was responsible for many environmental and sanitary improvements in London. He oversaw the later stages of the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, including the installation of the 13.8-tonne hour bell, “Big Ben”, in the clock tower. He was a tall man and many attribute its name to him, but this is questionable.

Through his wife, Augusta Waddington, Hall inherited the Llanover estate in Monmouthshire, and in 1859 was created Baron Llanover.

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