Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The Rebecca riots
  2. How do we know what happened?  
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The attacks by Rebecca and her daughters began in South Wales with attacks in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire.
In autumn 1843 however the outbreak of attacks reached the Rhayader district. An idea of what happened can be pieced together from different sources.
The attacks on tollgates created an uproar in the area and this was reported in the papers at the time. Old documents record the local court cases and decisions taken by the authorities.

We also have two other sources which tell us what happened.

Rebecca and her daughters
  Sir John Benn Walsh was the MP for Radnorshire and the Lord Lieutenant at the time of the riots around Rhayader. When the trouble was over he was asked to hold an enquiry into the events. His report tells us a lot about the time.
By kind permission
of the
National Library
of Wales
Mr Davies' letter

John Davies of the farm of Gwardolau looked after the nearby Nantgwyllt estate for the owner, Thomas Lewis Lloyd. While the squire and his family took a holiday in France, Mr Davies' letters kept him informed of local events.
These letters, like the one above, are another valuable source of evidence for what happened.
(Note that in Victorian times letters were often written down the page and across like the one above. This makes them very difficult to read !)

A stormy September...

link to sources
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