Rebecca Destroys Toll Gates in Glasbury

From the Cambrian:

More of Rebecca’s Freaks.

On , the gate situate in the village of Glasbury, on the Radnorshire side of the river Wye, was removed from its position, the posts sawn off about 18 inches above ground, and the gate thrown into the river, after having been sawn in two, and so far mutilated that it will be of no further service. It appears that only three individuals were employed at the work, who were seen by the aged female who collects the toll, and advised her to keep quiet, as they would not injure her; but it is said that upwards of fifty persons were close at hand. Having completed their job, and given three cheers, they marched off through the village in the direction of the Woodlands, towards the hills lying above that place, shouting “Becca forever,” and discharging fire-arms; some of the inhabitants hearing the noise arose to see what occasioned it, but could not recognise any of the party. It appears the road on which the gate was placed is repaired by the parish of Glasbury, and a petition very numerously signed by the inhabitants, and those of the adjoining parishes, was some time past presented to the Radnorshire Turnpike Trust, to remove the said gate, but it was never done. The toll board has also been taken down; there were two gates adjoining the toll-house, the one in the road leading into the village, which is destroyed, and the other in the road leading to Clirow and Rhydspence, which was not molested, as they consider it a turnpike-road. No clue has been obtained as to who were the perpetrators of this lawless act, although a reward of 50l. has been offered by the Magistrates acting in the hundred of Paincastle, on conviction of the party or parties by whom it was committed. A chain is erected on the spot, and the regular tolls taken, as if nothing had occured. — Silurian.

, burglars (a Francis Davies was later accused of being one of them, but acquitted by a jury trial) broke into the home of William Williams, a farmer, and stole some money from him. Williams later testified that the burglars “told me to open the door or else they would break it and fill the house with ’Beccas — ‘we are sixty on the road.’… They had their faces blackened, and had worsted caps on their heads.” So by this time the Rebecca persona was being adopted by ordinary criminals as a sort of weapon.