Demands of the Rebecca Rioters

On a group of Rebeccaites met and passed a set of resolutions, which were obtained by the press and reprinted. From the Monmouthshire Merlin:

We much regret to learn that the war against the gates still progresses in Carmarthenshire, notwithstanding the utmost vigilance of the military under Colonel Love and the local authorities.

The following Resolutions have been adopted at some of the Rebeccaite Meetings.

To the conductors of the Convention appointed to be held at Cwm Ivor, in the parish of Llandi, in the county of Carmarthen, on .

To concur and inquire into the grievances complained of by the people, and to adopt the best method of avoiding the surprising deprivations that exist, and the eternal vigilance of our superintendents, which is the price of our liberty.

We wish to reduce the price (taxes) and secure our blessings. An army of principles will penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.

Power usurped is weak when opposed. The public interest depends upon our compliance to examine the cause of the calamity, and unveil the corruptions to Rebecca, &c.

The following resolutions agreed, and intend to recommend to your future aspect by us whose names are here subscribed at foot, being householders within the above heretofore mentioned parish:–

  1. To levelling all petty gates and gate-posts connected with by-ways and bridle-roads or any roads repaired by the parishioners.
    Also that coals, lime, and grain, taken to market, be exempted from tolls.
  2. The motive is the abolition of heavy tithe and rent charge in lieu of tithe.
  3. The abolition of church-rates.
  4. A total alteration of the present poor-law.
  5. An equitable adjustment of landlord’s rent.
  6. Not to allow or grant any Englishman to have the privilege of a steward or governor in South Wales.
  7. If any man rents his neighbour’s farm treacherously, we must acquaint the lady, and endeavour to encourage her exertions wherever she wishes for us to execute our phenomena and combat.
  8. To request the farmers not to borrow any money on purpose to pay unlawful demands; and if the result be that some person or persons will annoy any one by plundering and sacrificing their goods in respect to such charge, we must protect them and diminish their exploits of agonism.

That a committee of privy council must be held when necessary, and all persons under the age of 18 years are not admitted into it. Neither women or any of the female sex shall be introduced into this selected assembly, except Rebecca and Miss Cromwell.

It was agreed that a committee should be formed, and that no farmer in the country should be allowed to take the farm which had been vacated by another, without the sanction of the committee, and that if any did so, he must take the consequences. Four persons have been appointed to make rules to carry out these objects, to be agreed to at a future meetings.

Following the newspaper coverage of Rebecca chronologically, as I have been, I was surprised at how casually the reporter used the sentence “The following Resolutions have been adopted at some of the Rebeccaite Meetings.” They have meetings? They pass resolutions? So far, the papers have been describing Rebecca and Her Daughters as a mob of ignorant country folk transformed into midnight raiders animated by simple grievances and inflamed by mob passion.