Another Rebecca Arrested, But Which “John Jones” Is It?

One of the problems I come across in trying to make sense of the news coverage of the Rebeccaite movement is that there seems to have been a fairly small number of English surnames and given names that got parceled out to the people of Wales to use in place of their Welsh names. Nearly everybody seems to be named Jones, Lewis, Davies, Morgan, Thomas, or Williams. There are, I think, at least three or four “John Jones”es that have been mentioned so far. It’s very difficult to determine whether two news accounts are talking about the same person or about two people with the same name.

For example, in this news account, is this John Jones the same as Shoni Scyborfawr, who used that English name? But that Scyborfawr had already been jailed some time before (see ), so it seems that this must be a different John Jones. Maybe it was just very stale news, but it comes from the same paper that reported on captive Shoni Scyborfawr’s examination before the magistrates the week before. Very confusing. From the Cambrian:

Arrest and Committal of one of the Principal Rebecca Leaders of Carmarthenshire.

On , Jones, the Llandovery Police-officer, accompanied by four of the Metropolitan Police, arrested one of the principal leaders of the Rebecca gang, named John Jones, a farmer, residing at Danygarn, near Llangadock. He was taken into custody under a warrant granted by David Jones Lewis and Lewis Lewis, Esqs., for sending a letter to Mr. Thomas Williams, auctioneer, threatening to deprive him of his life, unless he gave up the title deeds of a small farm he had purchased of John Jones. Amongst other threats which this letter, signed “Rebecca,” contained, one was, that, unless her demand was peremptorily obeyed, Mr. Williams should he dealt with much worse than she had dealt with the Rev. Mr. Jones, of Llansadwrn, and warning him to prepare a place for his soul, as she would take care of his body. As the evidence, which was very clear against John Jones, will soon be before the public, we need not enter into any particulars, further than to state that he was , at Llandovery, fully committed to take his trial at the next gaol delivery. He was afterwards sent in custody of the police, and accompanied by an escort of Dragoons, to Carmarthen gaol. Jones is the seventh person connected with Rebeccaism that has been committed by the Magistrates at Llandovery within the last fortnight, and the activity displayed in the capture of these misguided men, has caused a complete revulsion of public feeling. Becca’s vengeance is no longer dreaded, and the farmers are often heard to express the old adage, that “evil doings have wretched endings.”