Charles Adderely (1814 – 1905)

Charles Bowyer Adderley was a Conservative politician and wealthy philanthropist, who lived at Hams Hall, near Coleshill.

In 1848, he donated eight acres of land to Birmingham City Council to create Adderley Park in Saltley, Birmingham’s oldest public park. He also built a school, church and a housing estate for workers.

He was MP for North Staffordshire for 37 years and pioneered self-government for parts of the British Empire, drafting the New Zealand constitution.

In 1852, Charles Adderley successfully sued the City of Birmingham over the poor state of the River Tame, which was dreadfully polluted by sewage and industrial waste. Despite winning his case, it took almost 150 years for the river to recover.

Charles Adderley died in 1905 at the age of 91. The Hams Hall estate was sold to Birmingham City, which demolished the house and built the Hams Hall Power Station.

The site is now the Hams Hall Distribution Park and is home to many large companies, including E.ON, Sainsbury’s and BMW.