Presentation on theme: "Population increase. Predominance of agriculture. Tithes. Toll-gates. Poor law ammendment Act 1834. Landlords v tenants The were multi reasons for the."— Presentation transcript:
Population increase. Predominance of agriculture. Tithes. Toll-gates. Poor law ammendment Act 1834. Landlords v tenants The were multi reasons for the outbreak of the riots in West Wales in the 1830’s. Church of England v Non conformist Wealth v poverty Political power v oppression
Turnpike trusts were set up in the 1770’s for the maintenance of the roads. Many of these trusts were set up by the landowners of the area and money had been collected for road building and maintenance from investors who, were hoping to make a profit from them. Initially the Trusts did not charge a toll upon farmers collecting lime from the edge of the South Wales coalfield; when they did it was met with strong objections from the farmers. All sorts of means were taken by the farmers to avoid having to pay a tolls, it became so complicated that toll-collectors were employed (toll-farmers as they were called). The most important and powerful toll-farmer in West Wales was Thomas Bullin of Swansea. The toll-gates of West Wales were not high in comparison to with other parts of the country. However, the farmers argued that there simply too many trusts competing against each other in one small area.
“Rebecca was a noble-minded movement on the part of a downtrodden peasantry to obtain ‘justice’, which their leaders so unfeelingly withheld.” David Howell * First attack was on a toll gate near Efailwen in 1839 * Tollgates were destroyed at Pwll-Trap and Mermaid, near St. Clears 18 th November 1842. Other attacks on tollgates followed. * Attack on the workhouse in Carmarthen 19 th June 1843. * Threatening letters were sent. * As the riots spread to industrial area the violence increased. During the destruction of the gate and tollhouse at Hendy in 1843, Sarah Davies the 75 year old toll keeper was killed.
Some people thought that it was Carmarthen Chartist Hugh Williams. Levi Gibbon, a farmer who took part in the first attack suggested that it was Thomas Rees, a small farmer from the parish of Mynachlog-ddu. As news of the riots by Rebecca and her daughters spread different people took on the guise of ‘Rebecca’ to enact their justice.
On 20 th July 1843, Thomas Campbell Foster, the Times correspondent attended an important meeting of the Rebecca rioters. The meeting was held at Mynedd Sylen on 25 th August 1843 and was attended by about 3,000 people. The influential Chartist lawyer, Hugh Williams was prominent in the meetings. Violent night-time attacks were replaced by mass meetings of farmers held in the day time to discuss grievances and petitions were drawn up to state their point of view to the authorities.
Firm action and strong punishments meted out by the authorities and the way may small farmers turned from violent to peaceful action helped to bring about an end to the riots. Commission of Enquiry 1843 Turnpike Trust Act 1844 consolidated the trusts, tolls wee simplified and the toll on lime was cut by half. The growth of the coal industry in South Wales and emigration overseas allowed many people to leave West Wales. Introduction of the railways. Some landowners lowered their rents.
“ The people saw that the only remedy was to take the law into their own hands…The Rebecca riots are a very creditable portion of Welsh History.” Thomas Frankland Lewis Chairman of the Government Enquiry 1844.