Soldiers Scour Wales as Rebecca’s Attacks Continue

From the Monmouthshire Merlin:


 — The presence of a military force in almost every nook and village in the county, as well as a number of the metropolitan police force, has not, it would seem, effectually daunted Rebecca and her daughters, who still continue, though not so extensively, yet with the same determination of purpose, of destroying turnpike gates, and wreaking out their vengeance on those whom they suppose are hostile to their illegal proceedings. In my last communication, I intimated to you that an attack had been made on the house of Rice P. Beynon, Esq., of Saint Clears, . The party, consisting of between two and three hundred persons, fired into that gentleman’s bedroom, and threw several large stones through the window of the bed-room adjoining. Eleven slugs were found in different parts of Mr. Beynon’s bed-room. After the destruction of the gate, the party deeming it advisable to have an occupier of the toll-house of their own choosing, proceeded with horns and guns to the house of a labouring man of the name of James Thomas, who some time ago lost an arm by an accident, and consequently became chargeable to the parish, and knocking loudly at his door, aroused the inmates. His wife, evidently much alarmed, was the first to answer the summons. The Rebeccaites told her there was no cause for apprehension, for they came as friends, and thinking she and her husband had suffered long enough from poverty, they had provided for them a better dwelling, and were come to convey them to it. Remonstrance was in vain, and they soon packed up the furniture and effects in the house, and placed it in a cart they had brought with them for the purpose; and having made the man and his wife get in also, they carried them to the Bwlchtrap toll-house, which has been unoccupied some time, and there deposited their load and passengers, and formally installed them in possession of the premises, requiring of them only, that they should remain there, and not take toll of any one. They then left their bewildered tenant to settle himself in his new habitation, and returned in the direction of Saint Clears, and left the following notice affixed to Mr. Beynon’s door, which you will perceive, relates to the proceedings I have just detailed:–

I beg that Rebecca Gav Posesion to James John, of the House that was formerly Belong to Pulltrap Gate, and if any Person will come and Throw him out, Rebecca will, and her Children will, remember him in Future Time. The First will come that there shall be drag between 4 horses. — Rebecca and her Children.

The following day a similar notice, with the sum of 4d, was placed under the door of the crier of Bethlehem chapel, in the neighbourhood, with a note, commanding him to publish it in the usual manner, on , James Thomas and his wife still remain in possession of the premises. They profess to have no knowledge whatever of the parties who committed the outrage, and no clue has yet been afforded for their detection. , Mr. Frederick Kynaston, of Blaenycorse, a very respectable gentleman, received a threatening letter.

On , six persons were apprehended by the London police, charged, on the information of one Richard Williams, with having, on , with divers evil-disposed persons, unlawfully and maliciously thrown down, levelled, and otherwise destroyed, a certain turnpike toll-house, the property of the trustees of the Three Commons district of roads. Three of the prisoners, John Jones, William Jones, and Thomas Jones, are respectable young men in their sphere of life, and sons of a stone mason, residing near the village of Llanddarog, in the county of Carmarthen. Another prisoner, named Seth Morgan, is a servant man on the farm of Llwynshinkin. Thomas Harry, also a prisoner is a servant at Llwynmawr; and Henry Williams, apprehended on the same charge, is servant at the Saxe Coburg public-house, in Porthyrhyd, and distant about twenty yards from the gate in question. The “certain turnpike toll-house” ambiguously referred to in the warrant of commitment is no less than the Porthyrhyd gate, an account of the second destruction of which appeared, at considerable length, in the Swansea Journal. The information laid against the six persons apprehended is of a very questionable character, and is supposed to have been induced by the tempting reward offered by the government for the apprehension of the Rebeccaites. The informer, R. Williams, was tried at the last quarter sessions for this borough, on a charge of obtaining money under false pretenses but was acquitted on an informality in the indictment, the learned Recorder then making the following observations, which appeared in your last Journal — “although the case is made out in fact, yet the indictment is bad on the face of it. The prisoner must consequently be acquitted, as in the case of his conviction, no sentence can be pronounced by the court.”

I am also informed that, on the statement of the same Richard Williams, warrants are issued against several other persons, whose apprehension is hourly expected. — From a Correspondent of the Swansea Journal.

There are now at least 150 of the London police in the disturbed parts of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, and Cardiganshire. As we stated last week would be the case, they have been stationed, with small companies of foot soldiers, under the command of non-commissioned officers, in all the villages and small towns throughout the country, and thus a system of surveillance is kept up. There are police and soldiers at Pontyberem, Llanelly, Llanbedie, Llandilo, Llandissil, Tregaron, Llangendeirne, Llandefeilog, Kidwelly, Conwil, Pontarcothy, Porthrhyd, Brechfa, Llansawel, Llanfihangel, Llanbyther, Narberth, St. Clears, Laugharne, and, in fact, at all the small towns throughout the country. The 76th Foot has furnished men to accompany the police, and from six to ten of the infantry are stationed in each town or village with the police. The expense to the county of having all these here, is, we understand, no less than six hundred pounds per month. — Welshman.


This little town has lately been excited by symptoms of rather an alarming nature — no less than the society of sixteen policemen and twenty soldiers have taken up their position here. It has been generally reported that Rebecca has signified her intention of attacking the college, but, however true this may be, it is very certain some policemen are on the patrol every night; all is consequently tranquil. There is a large meeting to be held on Mynydd Oseyn, on Monday week, a mountain within two miles of this town, and it is anticipated it will be something of consequence, as a numerous body have desired the lord-lieutenant of the county to be present on the occasion. — Swansea Journal.