Frances Batty Shand

Frances Batty Shand (c.1815–1885) was an early charitable activist in Cardiff, Wales.

Shand was born in about 1815 in Jamaica,[1] the daughter of John Shand, a Scottish plantation owner, and an enslaved woman named Frances Brown.[2] She was sent to live in Elgin, Scotland in 1819, probably to live with an aunt. She remained unmarried.[1]

In the mid 1800s[3] Shand came to Cardiff, where her brother John worked for the Rhymney Railway Company.[1] With the help of money inherited from her father, Shand founded the Association for Improving the Social and Working Conditions of the Blind[4] (which became Cardiff Institute for the Blind) in April 1865. The Association initially helped five blind men set up basket-making workshops.[3]

Shand retired in 1877.[5] She died in Switzerland in 1885, though her body was returned to Cardiff for burial at Allensbank Cemetery.[1] She bequeathed money to the Institute to allow it to continue with financial security.[2] In 1953 it moved to a new purpose built four storey building on Newport Road, Cardiff, which was named Shand House in her honour in 1984.[5]

Shand was the subject of an ITV television programme in 2013.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "African-Scottish families: Frances Batty Shand". University of Aberdeen. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b 'John Shand', Legacies of British Slave-ownership database, [accessed 15th June 2020]. 'Frances Brown', Legacies of British Slave-ownership database, [accessed 15th June 2020]. Mortimer, Dic (2014), "5 - Adamsdown", Cardiff: The Biography (eBook), Amberley Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4456-4251-2, retrieved 7 December 2014
  3. ^ a b Julia McWatt (26 October 2012). "Cardiff Institute for the Blind set for new chapter as it moves home". Wales Online. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  4. ^ Purvis, June, ed. (1995), Women's History: Britain, 1850-1945: An Introduction, University College of London Press, p. 219, ISBN 0-203-93015-0, retrieved 7 December 2014 Cite uses deprecated parameter |editorlink= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Notable dates". Cardiff Institute for the Blind. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Fishlock's Wales: A Light in the Darkness". ITV News. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2014.