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The Carmarthenshire Antiquary

1943/4, Vol i, Pts 3 & 4

This article has been extracted by Gareth Hicks (July 2004) with the permission of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society from original material provided by Deric John.


A FILE OF " REBECCA " PAPERS.

BY EVAN D. JONES, B.A.

This is Page 3 of 4 (contains pages 41- 51 of the journal)

40. A DRAFT LETTER from W. Chambers, junior, to the Oddfellows, --- September, 1843

The existing state of that part of the principality was probably not unknown to them. The writer, as a magistrate, had taken such steps as had put some check to the nightly excesses that disgraced it. Under the name of Rebeccaism the fomenters of disorder had succeeded in setting the law almost at defiance. The whole country was in a perfect state of terror. A turnpike woman had been murdered. Five fires which he had the previous week destroyed the produce of three farms, and in one case the house was entirely consumed, more was threatened; a horse shot; his own life threatened in a variety of ways. Except in the town itself, under the influence of the military, they were in a state almost bordering  on civil war. His object in writing was to suggest the propriety of the board issuing an order to all the lodges in the counties of Carmarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, and Glamorgan to discountenance, by their example and by all other means consistent with their duties to their country, and to their Queen, as oddfellows, such breaches of the law, and a reminder that their duty to a brother was to warn him of approaching danger and to assist him when it arrived. This would enable him to find a number of brothers whou(sic) would not desert him in an hour of need and might through the blessing of God become the means of restoring order in that hitherto tranquil country.

41. A LETTER from H. Manners Sutton on behalf of the Secretary of State, Sir James Graham, to Wm. Chambers, 4 October, 1843.

He acknowledged the recipient's letter of the 2nd of the month, and expressed satisfaction at the information that the Tyrfrane gate near Llanelly had been replaced by the farmers in the neighbourhood.

42. VERSES written by a tenant in defence of William Chambers, junior, and to beseech him to remain in Llanelli, 5 October, 1843.

PENILLION

i ymddiffyn Mr. Chambers, ac erfyniad arno i aros yn Llanelli.

Arafwch Foneddwr, na chiliwch o'n hardal,
O herwydd mai Iluoedd ddymunant eich attal;
Paham rhaid in' golli Boneddwr o fawrfri
Yr hwn sy'n attegwr a noddwr Llanelli ?

Hir oes a ddymunem i chwi ac i'ch tylwyth,
A boed bell oddiwrthych bob dychryn ac adwyth,
A'ch arall ran addien mae teimlad am dani
Am na byddai'i awron yn Mhalas Llanelli.

Nyni a obeithiem nad oedd dim ond angau
A fedrai'ch hysgaru oddwrth ein mynwesau;
Gresynol i 'storom mor sydyn i godi
Gan roi i'ch dueddiad i adael Llanelli,

'Nol treulio blynyddau yn eithaf cyssurus,
A chwi yn ein canol fel penaeth llwyddianus,
Ai ni yn y diwedd a doir a'r fath anfri
Trwy adael yn hollol o honoch Llanelli

Paham bydd digasedd yn erbyn eich person ?
A fedr plant Beca fod wrthych chwi'n ddigllon
Na, pell fyddo dial 'nol derbyn daioni
'N gynhyrchiol oddwrthych tra'n byw yn Llanelli.

O blaid pob diwygiad a threfniad daionus
Chwychwi yn gweithredu a welwyd mor hwylus,
Heb arbed dim llafur na threulion aneiri'
A fedrent ddwyn llesiant i'r wlad a Llanelli.

Yn amser gorchestol y brwd etholiadau
Chwychwi oedd ein blaenor i sefyll pob rhwystrau;
Am bleidio pob mesur haelfrydig 'doedd ini
Foneddwr cyffelyb yn ardal Llanelli.

Y beichiau presennol a bwysant mor enbyd,
Pob moddion cyfreithlon gynlluniech i'w symud,
Os chwi a enciliwch, gadewir mewn cyni
I ochain o danynt drigolion Llanelli.

'Does neb all eich beio am balliant mewn rhinwedd,
Na chalon galedwch at rai diymgeledd;
O weled gwell amser pa obaith sydd ini
Trwy yru oddwrthym attegwr Llanelli ?

Dymchweler y gau gyhuddiadau echryslon,
A'r rhagfarn a daenwyd yn erbyn eich person;
Anwiredd ddiflano, a'r gwir gaffo'i godi
O barthed Boneddwr a Haelwr Llanelli.

Chwychwi gwedi saethu a chlwyfo personau
Sydd gelwydd maleisus yn dyfod i'r golau;
Na, na, gellir bostio, (a rhaid i bawb dewi)
Nad euog o'r weithred yw Chambers Llanelli.

Chwychwi mewn swyddogaeth fel Ustus yr heddwch
Dybynol yw arnoch i gadw tawelwch ;
Paham yn eich erbyn bydd cynnen yn berwi
Am geisio'n ddiffuant wir lesiant Llanelli ?

Eich dadl yn unig yw myn'd yn rheolaidd
Y mlaen a diwygiad heb ganlyn mo'r drygedd,
Y ffordd idd ei gyrhaedd nid ydyw trwy losgi
Ydlanau a meddiant gwir garwr Llanelli.

Amaethwyr hen Gymru oedd i chwi'n fost helaeth,
A'n llafur bob amser oedd destun eich araith;
Paham bydd anghydfod yn aros eleni
Rhwng siriol blwyfolion a gwron Llanelli ?

Nid oes yn eich erbyn a all ddwyn cyhuddiad
Eich bod am gefnogi mesurau gormesiad,
Y tollbyrth gorfodol, y degwm, a'r trethi,
Na chwi'n fwy'n eu herbyn 'does neb yn Llanelli.

Paham ynte'r awron y bydd i anghydfod
Rhwng meistr a deiliaid gyfodi mor hynod ?
Darfyddai pob dadl pe mewn gwir oleuni
Canfyddid egwyddor ein por o Lanelli.

Ymfudo i Loegr, ar hynny na thybiwch,
Tra mae ich' gyfeillion a garant eich heddwch;
Bendithion y nefoedd i chwi fo'n aneiri'
A chartref hyd angau i chwi fo Llanelli.

Oddyddion yr ardal yn nghyd a'r Iforiaid
A'r pleidiau crefyddol ynt oll fel un enaid,
Mewn dwys ymrwymiadau yn rhoi eu plaid ich chwi,
Gan ddeisyf na byddoch i adael Llanelli.

Da'ed heddwch fel afon i lanw'n terfynau,
Darfydded plant Beca i losgi'ch meddianau,
Rhy werthfawr yw cynnyrch y ddaear i'w losgi,
A chwithau rwy'n gadael golledech Lanelli.

Chwychwi yn gyssurus a allech fyw hebom,
Ond yma o dra-serch yn byw byddech drosom;
Chwychwi'n nghanol Loegr gae'ch lawnder i'ch lloni,
Ond Beth ddae o weithwyr a thlodion Llanelli ?

Pan ddaethoch hyd attom y dref a adfywiodd,
Gweithfeydd a agorwyd, a masgnach a ledodd,
Adeilad aeth rhagddo, a thai wnawd yn rhesi,
Mae'r gwelliant yr awron i wel'd yn Llanelli.

Cymmoder eich meddwl a'n tref yn dragywydd,
A'ch rhinwedd ddiffyno eich person ysplenydd;
Eich cain Foneddiges, eich Tad, a'ch plant heini,
Fo'n gwneuthur eu cartref yn Mhalas Llanelli.

Y mae'n ddisgwyladwy o hyd yn mhlith bagad
Fod ambell ddihyryn o ddifoes ymddygiad;
O achos y cyfryw na foed i chwi sori,
A gwrthod cyfangorph drigolion Llanelli.

Hyderwyf yr awron pe lawn ddealldwriaeth
Gymmerai le rhyngoch a gwyr eich cym'dogaeth,
Y ca'ech fod gweddillion hen serchedd yn berwi
A'r Ilais cyffredinol " Na edwch Lanelli."

Ac bellach tr[a'n] tynu at derfyn y ganiad,
Drwy'r hon y dymunir adferu pob cariad,
Wyf un dros laweroedd a'r cais hwn i'w drosi
Na foed Mr. Chambers i adael Llanelli.

Hydref 5 ed, 1843.                                                                          Deiliad.

 

43. A CIRCULAR from Colonel George Rice Trevor addressed to W. Chambers, 21 October, 1843,

The recipient is requested to assemble the magistrates under his presidency and to inform them that police constables and military were distributed over the county so as to give them every facility towards restoring peace and order. The police stationed in their district were at the disposal of the magistrates, and had orders to obtain every information in their power as to what might be going on, and if they wanted assistance from a magistrate, they were to apply at Cross Hands, Pontardulais, Llanon, and Gellywernen, to Mr. Nevill, at Pontyberem and Llanelly to the recipient, and at Kidwelly and Trimsaran to Mr. Hughes Rees. Whenever it should become necessary to call on the military to act they had to be attended by a magistrate, except where constables were placed in a situation of danger in the execution of their duty. In such an emergency, the military would afford aid without waiting for the orders or presence of a magistrate. He hoped that having the means of restoring peace and preventing outrage at their disposal, the magistrates would control and put down that spirit of insubordination and resistance to the law, which had too long prevailed in the county. He had received the express orders of the Secretary of State to impress upon the minds of the magistracy the necessity of using every means in their power towards the attainment of that end.

44. THE DEPOSITION of Joshua Thomas of Morning bach in Llanelly, collier, taken on oath before Richard Janion Nevill, 3 November, 1843.

Deponent in the beginning of September last went to work to Thomas Phillips of Topsail, parish of Pembrey, farmer. He was having one shilling and sixpence a day for the first ten days and one shilling and three pence each day for the last two. He worked on the farm of Topsail and sometimes slept there with Thomas Phillips. They slept downstairs and Thomas Phillips's wife slept upstairs. Phillips had quarrelled with his wife. An execution had been put in the house at the instance of John Bonnell of Velinvole, shopkeeper. Thomas Phillips told deponent one night in bed that he would give him a sovereign if he would put fire to a house and two ricks of hay on the farm of Cynheidre, the property of John Bonnell. Deponent did not say he would set fire to them nor did he say that he would not do so. Phillips made several offers to him on four different nights after the first.

At a further examination deponent said on oath that

About a week after the bailiffs were at Topsail, Thomas Phillips went to Llanelly to pay the money. He came home about eleven o'clock at night. Deponent was in bed upstairs with Jacob and Thomas, two servants, and Phillips's wife was in her own bed downstairs. Phillips called out " Jacob, Joshua, and Tom, get up directly." They went down stairs. He appeared sober. In the room were nine or ten men of a kind deponent had never seen before. They were dressed in white robes and a kind of hankerchiefs on their heads. Phillips was in the same dress. Some had guns. Phillips said " Now boys lets be off." Deponent and the two boys were in their shirts. Phillips said '' Now boys lets go down to Pont Spudders gate." Deponent went with them to a shop by the Star which Phillips showed them. That was about twelve o'clock. Phillips called the shopkeeper, by name John, and he got up and opened the shop door. Phillips sent some in, and deponent saw some powder and shot weighed. Phillips went away to gather people. He had brought a person from a house near the mountain on the way down. Deponent went behind the shop and hid himself for about an hour. He heard the noise at the gate and on their return he joined them again. They returned to Topsail and he slept with the boys. On the following day Phillips and his wife quarrelled and he beat her severely. That night deponent slept with Phillips who said to him "Josey, I tell you what I will do for you, I will give you a sovereign in your hand if you will go and put fire in the dwelling house of John Bonnel and his two ricks of hay." Deponent gave no answer and he said " go to-morrow night and do it and I will give you the sovereign on the following day." He made the offer several nights. On the night he first offered the sovereign he said that he had bought a cart of John Bonnel and had not paid for it, that Bonnel had employed Mr. Davies, attorney, who had sent bailiffs to his house, and that he had paid ten pounds all but three shillings and eight pence, and that he wanted John Bonnel's house and ricks put on fire to frighten him to return the ten pounds, when he would spend five pounds in Beer.

signed by mark and
countersigned by R. J. Neyill.

 

45. A STATEMENT made on oath by Thomas Philipps of Topsail, before William Chambers, junior, 12 December, 1843,

" Between 10 & 11 o'clock on the night of the attack on Mr. Newman's house I was called upon by Shoni Yscwbor fawr and went with the party. On my way, I had a conversation with Dai Cantwr. Thomas Morris, a collier living by the 5 cross roads, was walking before us with a long Gun. I said ' Thomas is enough to frighten one with his long Gun.' Dai said 'There is not such a fire man as Tom Morris in the Rank . . . I was coming up Gellygwlwnog field arm in arm with him after burning Mr. Chambers's Kicks of hay, and he had a gun in the other hand, and Tom said " Here is a hare " and up with his gun & shot it slap down, and it was a horse, Mr. Chambers's horse.' And Dai said that one of the party stuck the horse with a knife, the blood flowed & Tom Morris held his hand under the blood and called upon the persons to come forward and dip their fingers in it and take it as a sacrifice instead of Christ and that the parties did so, and Dai added that he had often heard of a sacrament by a horse before that night. I asked him how they got the Ricks to take fire. He said that 3 or 4 had matches under the Ricks lighted and the rest with Guns watching. I again said how did they fire, 'hay is too close to catch.' He said " No, they blazed famously." I asked him how many they were at it. He said " 8 or 9," and I asked who they were. He said " I was there, Thomas Morris (who lives next door to Mary Edmund near 5 cross roads), John Daniel (living opposite to Thomas Morris), William James (living next door to Mrs. Daniel), Evan Hugh of Cilverry issa (son of the tenant), David Thomas son of the tenant of Cilferry ucha, Charles Edmund of Crossant, and the servant boy of Pantygwenith, William Walters of the Stag & Pheasant, Evan Jenkins of Gellyhir (son of the tenant Aaron Jenkins ... " I asked him if those were the persons who fired Ty yn y wern. He said No that it was Shoni & a couple from Pontyberem, but did not name them.

In the dusk of Sunday evening next after I had been at Carmarthen giving evidence against Shoni and Dai, the servant boy of Pantygwenith came to my house ... He wanted ... to know what had taken place at Carmarthen. I told him what I knew about it & said that I had heard that Dai was going to split about the firing. " I had heard so," he said, " I do not know what will come of it then." I said " I hope that you as a young lad was not with them about the firings." He said that he was not but he named all that Dai had named to me as being firing the Ricks at Gellygwlwnog excepting David Thomas of Cilferry (I am not sure that he named him) ... I asked him where his father and mother lived. He said the other side of Carmarthen, and I advised him to go home out of the way, and he said that he would. On last Llanelly cattle fair day I was in the shop of Mr. Jno. Bowen, Grocer, Llanelly, and David Thomas, son of the tenant of Cilferryucha beckoned me out. I went out and he asked me how I had suffered Dai Cantwr to be taken at the Plough 7 days before. I said I could not help it, there were so many Policemen there. He said " I don't know in the world what will come of it now, they will have the burning and all out." I asked him was he in it. He answered no, that it was other parties, naming the same persons as Dai had told me before, and he begged of me not to mention it to anyone. I went to Carmarthen to give evidence against Shoni and Dai & on the following morning at dawn David Thomas came to my house (he had never been there before). He asked me how it passed at Carmarthen. I told him, & I said that I had heard that Dai was going to split about the burning and all. He said " I do not know in the world what will come of it then." I advised him to go round the parties & tell them of it & call a meeting & contrive the best way to get out of it for it was a bad job. He said that he would do so and left me for the purpose immediately."

Signed : Thomas Phillips.

 

4 6. A STATEMENT made on oath by David Howell, a servant with William Rees of Tanygraig near Velinvole, taken before William Chambers, junior, 13 December, 1843.

Deponent for the year ending at Allhallowtide was servant with David Thomas of Pantygwenith, parish of Llanelly. At the beginning of corn harvest, going home to breakfast, he saw Dai Cantwr on the turnpike road near the Stag and Pheasant. Shoni Scybor fawr was with him. They were talking together. Deponent did not then know either of them. About a fortnight afterwards Dai Cantwr came to Pantygwenith and asked if he should have a bed there. Deponent's master said he might sleep with deponent if he was willing. Deponent said the bed was Dai's. Dai supped with the family and slept with deponent in a room upstairs. He came from time to time and slept many nights there and had food there. On the night that Spudders Bridge gate was destroyed between 9 and 10 o'clock Dd. Vaughan servant at Soho was at the Smithy, David the Smith's near the 5 roads and deponent was there also. Vaughan and deponent went to the Stag and drank a pint each. They went out and were caught by 7 or 8 men, who were disguised. They included Shoni and Dai and a stranger from Pontyberem, Thomas Morris, John Daniel, Charles of Crossant, and Wm. Walter of the Stag. Shoni told them that they must go with them to Bont Spudder. They went with them to Topsail where Shoni and the stranger called for Thomas Philipps. They went down to the Gate. It was broken. Deponent stood with others watching. He saw Shoni giving two letters to the gateman, one for Mr. Chambers and one for Mr. Rees of Kilymaenllwyd, and he ordered him to deliver them by 10 o'clock next morning. On the subsequent night, Dai came to Pantygwenith and slept with deponent. On the next night, Saturday night, he did not sleep with him. On that night, Ty yn y wern and Gellygwlwnog fires took place. Pantygwenith house abutted the road. On Sunday morning deponent, returning home from chapel, saw Dai on the road about half a mile from Pant y gwenith. He was washing his face or drinking water. Dai said that he had been a little jaunt, that he had been down at Gellygwlwnog putting fire into the hay. Evan of Gellyhire, David of Cilferryucha, Tom Morris, Charles of Crossant, and John Daniel were there with him. He also said that a horse was killed there. Dai slept with him that night.

 On the evening of the assault at Pontyberem deponent's mistress sent him down to the Stag about 11 at night to fetch his master home, who had been there drinking for several hours. Mr. Jones of Brynygroes was with him. They were drinking beer and gave deponent a dobbin. They were met in the door by a number of persons. Shoni was disguised and had a gun. Others had guns. Shoni wanted deponent's master to go with them. He refused and told them to take deponent instead. The man of the Stag staid at home. Dai was there, Tom Morris, Thomas Philipps, and a lot of persons from Trimsaran. Deponent did not know them. He went with them to Pontyberem where they threatened Mr. Slocombe. Dai slept with deponent that night. Dai did not approve of that job and said it was Shoni's contrivance and against his will.

Dai had a book which he kept in his side pocket. Deponent saw him read in it and write in it. On the day previous to going to Spudders Bridge he saw him sitting down in the middle of a field with his hat between his legs writing two letters. He said they were two letters. Deponent never saw the book with him in the house and thought he hid it in the hedge. He had seen him doing something in the middle of a hedge of a field near the road.

About the first time that he saw Dai deponent had a conversation with Evan Jenkin of Gellyhir. He met him on the road near the Stag and he told deponent that Shoni and Dai had been down at the Seaside giving notice or warning to some person. He said that it was for that job Shoni and Dai were first sent for. Deponent went to Topsail to ask Thomas Philipps what was done at Carmarthen because he had heard that his name had been given in and he was free from it.

Signed by mark of David Howell and
countersigned by Wm. Chambers, jr.

 

47. A ROUGH PENCIL DRAFT of the evidence of David Howell.

John Hugh, Tycanol, wanted deponent to send a letter to Dr. Lucas because he charged rent to Dd. Smith by Drover's Arms (now living by 5 roads). He thought Walters's apprentice wrote the note. Not sent. John Hugh was pleased and told deponent to threaten to destroy plantation. Dd. was a tenant of Owen Hugh. John said the ruin of Becca had been soldiers living in the Workhouse and he thought of a plan to get them out, --- to give letters to guardians. John Hugh sent deponent to David Jones who wrote 4 or 5 letters --- to Stevens, Gelly; John Hugh; Moodie; Powell; Howell near Pembrey. Jones had 3 or 4 more for other persons. Went to Llanelly together. John Hugh wanted to have the soldiers in the public houses that if Becca came, they might have time to run away.

48. A NOTE of the voluntary examination of David Davies made before Wm. Chambers, junior.

Tom Morris was head man for the work. Evan was the steward and stood always back. A Revd. Dd. Jones was the inventor. One day at Stag and Pheasant Evan said " Indeed Mr. Jones I never do further than you tell me." The night of Spudders Bridge gate Jones was at Stag giving them beer and on their going said " Stop, I'll give you another 1s. worth that you may be strong." Jones stopped till 3 at the Stag and left word for them to come to breakfast on white bread and butter and tea. Mr. Lewis' underkeeper offered his services as a Becca. Evan David Hugh and Robinson were in Farmers Arms. Some went in. Said he would rather than 5 that Mr. Chambers was shot. 

With regard to Luckcraft the first arrangement was to cut his legs and afterwards it was proposed to break all his things. The fat young butcher was at the Stag and was sitting between the two pilots.

  49. AN ANONYMOUS LETTER addressed to W. Chambers, Esq., Junr. Undated.

The writer could not swear who set fire to the recipient's property. He might be wrong in pointing to any person in particular but he had strong reasons for suspecting a party, and having received favours at the hands of the recipient and his family, he would, if desired, give the name through the medium of the bearer. It had to be under the promise that the writer's name should never appear. Yes or No would be understood.

50. A MEMORANDUM by William Chambers, junior, concerning the shooting on Pembrey mountain. Undated.

The night of the Gellygylwnog fire Revd. David Jones was at Stag all night and when he heard it had been burnt, he jumped about the road and said in Welsh something like " Oh ! dear me ! ! " He attended all their meetings. He was giving advice.

Witnesses to threaten to shoot Chambers by Dai Cilverry: Thomas Phillips, Pembrey; Dd. Hugh; Wm. Lewis, mason, Waynbuckland; Thomas Erasmus, collier; John King; all of Pembrey; John Jones, Bwlch, farmer; Jno. Williams, Llwtrogbach; Jacob Lloyd; Joshua, son in law of Uncle Charles.

Dai Cilverry said to Dai Cantwr " tell about young Chambers too " when he said Edwards was to be shot, and afterwards Dai Cilverry made a good speech and said that any one who would shoot young Chambers should have 5. Some proposed to take down all hedges at Gellygylwnog. Some person asked where the money was to come from. When Dai Cilverry was speaking he said " join all your Hearts to get rid of all such people from amongst you " in a sort of prayer calling upon God to assist them. Speech lasted about ten minutes. People were very attentive and seemed to feel much. He was proving that Chambers ought to be shot for shooting men at Pontardulais.

Persons who went to Pembrey mountain from Carslaw (or Stag Pheasant) party: David Thomas Cilverryucha; Dai Cantwr; Thos. Phillips, Topsail; Jacob Lloyd & Tom Hugh who turned back; Tom Morris; Wm. James; Wm. Davies (Walters' apprentice); Joshua, son in law of Uncle Charles.

Twelve guns waiting to shoot Mr. Chambers by the Cross road. Men --- Will Stag & Pheasant; Tom Morris; Will James; Dai of Cilverryucha; Evan Jenkins, Gellyhir; William Jenkins; Shoni Sgybborfawr; Dai'r Cantwr.

51. A COPY OF A REBECCA LETTER addressed to William Chambers, junior, esq., 16 December, 1843.

" Carabunda Castle, Decbr. 16, 1843.

Sir I am given to understand that you are habit of receiving your Rents from your Tenants at Llanelly and the neighbourhood and giving them durty pint or a quart of Beeor in the shape of present. it is very improper for you to do as a Gentelman but now in future do not degrade yourself in that manner and if you do my ould Mother Rebecca will come and pay you a vicit in the corse of this spring your Caretter is so degraded you should do sumthing more hansome for to gain your caretter to its former state and if do not you will draw the indignant spirit of my old Mother Becca to save depradations behave yourself as a Man you have acted as a traitor to the working men of the Nighbourhood now Mr. Chambers for god sake do not force me to work I am one of the Daughters of Rebecca."

52. A STATEMENT by William Davies, carpenter, residing with his father William Davies, sawyer, on the farm of Carnawllon near Pontyberem, made on oath before William Chambers, esq., the younger, 4 January, 1844.

Deponent was near 18 years old. In 1841 he apprenticed himself to Wm. Walters, carpenter, who then lived at the Morning Star on Mynydd Caerslaw. When his term of apprenticeship expired, in July 1843, Walters lived at the Stag and Pheasant. He remained with Walters as a journeyman until eight weeks ago. One night last August he went to the Farmers Arms to look for his master and found him sitting in the parlour with Dai Cantwr, Wm. Jenkins (tending the beer), Evan Jenkins, Thomas Morris, William James, David Thomas, junior, Cilverry, Charles Edmunds, 3 strange men, 2 pilots, and Evan Hugh of Cilferry issa. Deponent had a tumbler of beer handed him by someone. He stayed there but a very short time. He had gone upstairs at his master's house when a person came up to the room and asked him in English to come down stairs. He went out to the road and saw a great number of people. Deponent went with them along the turnpike road until they came this side of Highgate. They turned into the fields on the right and came to a tram road and to the Seaside. They stopped at a house. Thomas Morris, Wm. James and deponent were ordered to stop 50 yards from the house to watch if anyone was coming. The party knocked at the door and deponent heard 4 or 5 guns fired. They were called to come on, and the party went up the railroad and up the old tramroad by Velinvole, and back to the Farmers Arms. Shoni was disguised in a gown and bonnet and had a gun. He rode a dark horse. Dai Cantwr, who was disguised, had no gun. Wm. Walters, disguised in a blue dress without a bonnet, had a gun. Wm. Jenkins, disguised in white, had no gun but carried a long staff. Evan Jenkins was disguised in blue, but had no gun. Thomas Morris, disguised in blue and white stripe, had a gun. Wm. James had his coat sleeves turned inside out, no gun. David Thomas, shirt over his clothes, had a gun. Charles Edmund not disguised except his coal black face. Deponent was disguised, by the person who called him, in a blue dress. He had no gun. They all went to the parlour at the Farmers Arms and William Jenkins, the landlord, gave them half a crown each. They all understood it was money given by the Llanelly pilots. It was then about 3 or 4 o'clock, just becoming daylight. The disguises were taken off on the way back to the Farmers Arms. William the smith who lodged with Morris Rees of the Drovers Arms was one of the party, and he received his half crown. Deponent heard someone say " come down " or " come out " or something of that tune when the knocking was at the door at the Seaside. On their way down to Llanelly they all went together until they came down the Penyfai Lane to the turnpike road, when they went across the fields to the old tram road near the Brickyard. Shoni left them at the mouth of the Penyfai Lane and rode towards the Furnace gate.

Signed by William Davies and
countersigned by Wm. Charles, Jr.

53. DEPOSITIONS taken before William Chambers and William Chambers, junior, 5 January, 1844.  An unfinished draft.

(l) John Pasley Luckraft:
He was harbour master at Llanelly, residing at the Sea Side. About 1.30 on the morning of Wednesday, September 6, he was awakened by a knocking at the front door of his house. He supposed it to be one of the harbour men calling him and he tapped the window to show he was awake. A voice cried out " is it here the harbour master lives ? " He replied " yes." The same voice answered " come down here, we want to speak to you." Deponent dressed and prepared to go down, and several voices called out in a threatening manner that if he did not come directly they would fire the house about him. He went out and saw in front of his house from twelve to twenty men all disguised, one on horseback. One person stood on his right as he came out. He was disguised with a light garment like a petticoat on the lower part of his person and had a handkerchief or something tied on like a turban on his head. He was a tall man and appeared to take the most active part. The man on horseback spoke first --- " We have come respecting those poor people you are sending to our Workhouse and you must go away. Deponent said " Do you mean that I must leave this house," and the man on the right said " No, we mean that you must leave this place altogether. Before you came those men were getting forty pounds a year. Now they are obliged to go to the parish." He had a woodman's hatchet in his hand. Deponent replied that as he was in their power he must do as they desired. The man lifted the hatchet in a threatening manner and said " If you do not promise, by the Lord God, you will be a dead man." Deponent saw a man pointing a gun at him and he asked the man with the hatchet " What is that man about with the gun." The man with the hatchet ordered him to put the gun up, which he did and shrunk back. The man with hatchet said that he would stand between deponent and harm, and added " you must promise to leave this place in a week or by God Almighty you are a dead man, and don't you think the soldiers can protect you for they can't, and that they know, and they know that we are here now." Deponent said " Do no violence and I make you the promise." The man on horseback turned towards the new dock and all the rest turned to go away. The man on the horse said something and a man pointed a gun at the deponent and discharged it, but it hit the window three feet to his right. Three discharges were made towards the upper windows. Deponent did not recognise the prisoner William Jenkins as one of the men.

(2) Thomas Powell of the Metropolitan Police stationed at Trimsaran gave evidence of a statement by William Davies as in No. 52.

(3) William Davies gave evidence to a similar effect.
According to an endorsement by W. Chambers, junior, the witness Davies prevaricated so much that the examination was not proceeded with, and the prisoners were discharged.

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(Gareth Hicks  Last updated 26 July 2004)

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