Royal Artillery Howitzer Ready for Rebecca

In this episode of the chronicle of the Rebecca Riots, the government decides it’s time to break out the artillery. From the Monmouthshire Merlin:

Rebecca and Her Daughters.

In consequence of the continued unsettled state of South Wales, owing to the determination of parties known by the designation of Rebecca and her daughters to destroy property, and especially turnpike gates, orders were received at an early hour on , at Woolwich, to have in readiness a six-pounder field gun and a twelve-pounder howitzer [a very similar report in the Cambrian says “four 6-pounder field guns and two 12-pounder howitzers”], which were selected from the field train department, and at , they left Woolwich with the usual number of men of the Royal Artillery, required for their service in the field, under the command of Capt. Taylor, with Lieut. Wodehouse. The orders were to proceed to Bristol by the Great Western Railway, and from Bristol to Carmarthen with the least possible delay, in case their presence might be required to put a stop to the rioting and destruction of property in that quarter.

[The Cambrian adds: “The guns passed through the Bath Station on … Two hundred of the 75th arrived in Swansea last night, by the Bristol steamer. How long they are to remain with us we have not heard. Billets have been taken for three days only.”]

The following list of gates destroyed appears in the Welshman:–

The gates destroyed since our last publication, as well as we can ascertain, are the following:– The Fontnewydd Gate and toll house (to which the dragoons were called out, and, after scouring the country for about fourteen miles, returned without even having seen a suspicious character); the New Inn Gate, near Llandilo; the Gwarallt Gate, near Lampeter, and a toll-bar near it, on ; two gates near Cardigan; the Pont-twely Gate, between Rhydfach and Llandyssil, on ; the Pumpsaint Gate, near Dolecothy, on ; and the Bronfeldn Gate, five miles from Llandovery, on the road leading to Llanwrtyd, on . The magistrates have caused several persons to be apprehended on suspicion of destroying this gate, and are busily employed in investigating the affair. Such was the difficulty of obtaining a person to receive the tolls at the Bronfelen Gate, that fourpence was allowed to the collector for every shilling he received. The following is a list of the gates, toll-houses, and toll-bars that have been destroyed in the Three Commott’s District:– New-bridge gate, bar, and toll-house; Troedyrhiwgoch gate, Llanfihangel house and three gates, Castell-y-thingil gate and house (twice), Llandey Forest bar and toll-box, Ystillisycoed bar, Treventy bars and house, Trefuch bar and house, Wernbongam bar, Kidwelly gate and house (twice), Llanarthney bar, Nantygath bar, Penrhiwgoch bar, Masybont bar and house. It is a rather singular fact, that not a single turnpike gate has been destroyed on a Sunday.

The Welshman contains the following:–

The Rebecca trials excite very great interest. The businesses of our assizes, which commence to-morrow, will be unusually heavy. There are nearly seventy persons on bail charged with having been concerned in the late riots. Besides these, there are six in the borough gaol charged with rioting at Tallog. There are also four prisoners in the county gaol for divers offences. It is not the fact, as has been stated by some of our contemporaries, that Sir William Follett is to conduct the prosecutions against the Rebeccaites, at the ensuing Carmarthenshire Assizes. Messrs. Chilton, Q.C., John Evans, Q.C., and E.V. Williams, have been specially engaged for the Crown. The government will pay all the expenses of prosecuting the prisoners, who are to be tried for participating in the workhouse affair, and also those who are imprisoned for the Tallog riot. One-half only of the expense in every criminal prosecution has always hitherto been paid by the government.