The Rebecca Riots


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What was the Rebecca Riots?

The rebecca Riots were protests by farmers and agricultural workers in Wales against high tolls on new turnpike roads.

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In May 1839 the toll gate on the road to Efailwen was destroyed...

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The Gate was rebuilt but destroyed again in June and July by the same people - Rebecca and her daughters...

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The "women" were really local farmers, angry at their growing poverty. They felt there was no other way to hit back. There was no single leader. Several leaders appeared as Rebecca at different times. They probably took the name from a Bible story...

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They attacked the tollgates because they were suddenly having to pay several tolls on one journey. The new turnpike roads were run by different companies and each levied its own tolls...

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The farmers were also paying rents, taxes and tithes to the church of wales even if they belonged to other churches. They also feared the new workhouses...

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The farmers felt that nobody was on their side, least of all the local magistrates and major landowners...

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Violence spread in the 1840s. Barns and hayracks were burned and the workhouses at Carmarthen destroyed...

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The violence attracted criminals eager to take advantage of confusion. In 1843 a woman tollgate keeper was killed...

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The government sent 1800 soldiers to calm the area...

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Seventy London policemen were also sent and rewards of £500 were offered for information.

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A handful of leaders were arrested. Five were sentenced to transportation to Australia...

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The original farmers began to leave the movement, angered at the way criminals had used the Rebecca Riots. The prime minister Sir Robert Pee, set up to take over the turnpikes and tolls. By the mid-1840s west Wales was peaceful again.

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Ellie Meekie

these are the notes copied from the text book word for word :) I know this cause I did the same x

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