The Rebecca riots 4
Broke to atoms

Concerted attacks
On 29th of September the local Rebeccaites launched an even bolder attack on the bridge tollgates in Cwmdeuddwr parish near Rhayader bridge. According to John Davies the attackers came at about 1 o'clock in the morning, sawing off the gateposts, smashing the gates, and throwing the shattered fragments into the river. He reports that they were armed and fired off two shots.

The Cwmdeuddwr or Bridge tollgates at the time of the attack

Image based on the Llansantffraid Cwmdeuddwr Tithe map

Cwmdeuddwr tollgatesHis letter asserts that the attack was made "by (according to some persons) about 40 to 50 persons in female attire; others state the number at 100 or 150, but those who wish to make the number larger were I fear themselves of the party".
His letter also reports that the attackers were said to be men of Cwmdeuddwr and Llanwrthwl with most of the tenants Mr Evans of the Neuadd involved. Many in Rhayader claimed to know the identity of "Rebecca" but were not revealing anything.


The authorities respond
Sir John Benn Walsh visited the site of the attack the very next morning and ordered the gates' rebuilding and called a meeting of the Radnorshire magistrates (some of whom must have been Turnpike Trust shareholders). His report to the Commission states that although the magistrates were anxious to prevent further "outrage" the also expressed a willingness "to give the inhabitants every facility for hearing of complaints which might properly be brought, and to redress grievences which might be proved and established..."
The meeting appointed special constables to protect property in Rhayader but the local magistrates insisted on the presence of a trained sergeant to take charge of them.
For about month after the incident there were no further attacks and then the Newbridge gates were destroyed. Again the local magistrates appointed special constables to protect the re-erected gates.
There are 6 pages on the Rebecca riots. Use the box links below to view the other pages.