Rebecca: “Take Notice! All the Gates Shall Be Destroyed!”

From the Cambrian:

Rebecca’s Correspondence.

The following is a letter from the notorious “Rebecca,” who, in conjunction with “her children,” continues to excite so much alarm in the neighbourhood of St. Clears and other different places in Carmarthenshire, by their determined anti-toll-gate agitation. Suspicions have been entertained, and indeed expressed, in the public prints, that “Rebecca” is a Magistrate, or some influential personage in the county; but, from the language and orthography of the letter, which was sent to a brother of Mr. Bullin, of this town, who is the contractor for certain gates in Carmarthenshire, we cannot come to that conclusion, unless the whole be feigned. We copy the orthography of the letter verbatim et literatim:–

“Take Notice, — I wish to give you notice, espesial to those which has sworm to be constabls in order to grasp Becka and her childrens, but i can sure you that it will be hard mater for Bowlins and company to finish the job that they began and that is to kep up the gate at Llanfibangel, and weinfach gate. Now take this few lines information for you to mind yourselves, you that had any conection with Bowling Mrs. M,c,bes Mr. Thomas Blue boar all thire property in one night shall be conflaration if they will not obey to this notice and that to send them vagabons away which you are favourable to i alaways like to be plain in all my engagment, is it a reasonable thing that they impose so must on the county only pickin poor labrers and farmers pocets, and you depend that all the gates that are on these small roads shall be destroyed, I am willing for the gates on the Queen Roads to stand it is shamful thing for us welshmen to have the sons of Hengust have a Dominion over us, do you not remember the long knives which Hengust hath invented to kill our forefathers and you may depend that you shall receive the same if you will not give up when I shall give you a vicit, and that shall be in a short time and now I would give you an advice to leave the place before i will come for i do determine that i will have my way all throught. As for the constables and the poleesmen Becka and her childrens heeds no more of them than the grasshoppers flyin in the sumer. There are others which are marked with Becca, but they shall not be named now, but in cace they will not obey to this notice she shall call about them in a short time — faithful to Death, with the county — Rebecka and childrens.”

There was also sent to Mr. Bullin, two woodcuts, one of a man without a head, with a written heading, “Receipt for the interest I took in the matter,” and the other, of several persons marching with clubs, pickaxes, &c., with the heading “Going to visit St. Clears gate, when we thnk proper — Doroma Buchan.” — The inscriptions over the woodcuts are in a better hand-writing than the letter, which is written on ruled paper torn out of a memorandum book. It has been examined by some of the Carmarthenshire Magistrates, and the signature and writing corresponds with threatening letters sent to other persons. As intimated in the letter, “Rebecca” does not object to the gates on the Queen’s high road, but destroys those on roads repaired by the various parishes, upon which the Turnpike Trustees have erected gates and demand tolls. This renders “Rebecca” not unpopular amongst some farmers and others, many of whom have paid the fine, rather than be sworn in as special constables.