Saturday, 25 November 2017

'of what avail the plough or soil on land, or life if freedom fail' Ralph Waldo Emerson ( an English farmers last stand )




THE SIEGE AT BOROUGH FARM By Jane Underwood 'of what avail the plough or soil on land, or life if freedom fail' Ralph Waldo Emerson The site of Borough Farm is situate at the extreme northern tip of the long and narrow Ovington parish, where it is surrounded by the adjoining parishes of Itchen Stoke, Old Alresford, New Alresford and Tichborne

NO 74 THE SIEGE AT BOROUGH FARM - About Alresford siege at Borough Farm, by the police, lasted for nearly twenty four hours. ... History of Itchen Stoke - Isabel Sanderson Modern Rural Rides - George Winder 1964

Death of a farmer: the strange case of George Walden

On the 22 and 23 July the siege of Borough Farm took place, likened by one reporter to a ‘rural Sidney Street’.


Dedicated - To the memory of George Raymond Walden of Itchen Stoke, Hampshire who lost his life on July 22nd 1940, while resisting eviction from his house at the order of the Hampshire County War Agricultural Executive Committee.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

IRISH AGARIAN REVOLTS 1750 - 1825. Makes our 'Rebecca' look like a Sunday School outing!

Captain Rock - Wikipedia
Captain Rock was a mythical Irish Folk hero, and the name used for the Agrarian rebel group he represented in the south-west of Ireland from 1821-1824.

Captain Rock: The Irish Agrarian Rebellion of 1821-1824 ... › Lifestyle › Arts, Books, Film & TV
06/03/2010 · FOR close inspection of the genteel rapacity which once ruled in our countryside, Captain Rock: The Irish Agrarian Rebellion of 1821-1824, is highly ...

Ireland's forgotten 'Rockite' rebellion - Irish Democrat
Peter Berresford Ellis sheds some light on the identity of the mysterious ‘Captain Rock’ and the militant agrarian movement active in the south west of Ireland in ...

Search results for author:(Donnelly, James S)
Captain Rock: the Irish agrarian rebellion of 1821-1824 By Donnelly, James S. Book. English. Published Cork: Collins Press, c2009. Power and popular culture in modern ...

Ulster Complete Clean Sweep In Under-20 Interpros : Irish ...
Ulster Complete Clean Sweep In Under-20 Interpros. ... The Ulster Under-20s, led by captain ... and Leinster scrum half and captain Rock added to this when he ...

Pro12: Ulster 19-7 Benetton Treviso - BBC Sport
Ulster earned a fourth straight Pro12 win but missed out on a bonus point against Benetton Treviso in tough conditions at Kingspan Stadium. Jared Payne marked his ...

Captain Rock: Ideology and Organization in the Irish ... · PDF file
Captain Rock: Ideology and Organization in the Irish Agrarian Rebellion of 1821–24 ... gangs and networks of south Ulster and neighbouring areas in the late eighteenth

Captain Rock: The Irish agrarian rebellion of 1821-1824
Named for its mythical leader â Captain Rock,â avenger of agrarian wrongs, the Rockite movement of 1821–24 in Ireland was notorious for its extraordinary ...

Settling Captain Rock: Transplanting the Irish Agrarian ...
Settling Captain Rock: Transplanting the ... a secret agrarian protest group active in the Blackwater region of North County Cork ... the Rockites agitated for ...

Fintan O'Toole on Captain Rock | Pat Muldowney - …
Fintan O’Toole on Captain Rock “Now, now we’ll teach the shameless Scot to purge his thieving maw, Now, now the Court will fall to pray, for Justice is the Law ...


Rural unrest in northern Tipperary 1750 to 1850 - Grant Online
Rural unrest in northern Tipperary 1750 to 1850. ... There was an agrarian revolt at least once every decade from 1760 to the famine in ... Limerick and Cork..
The Rockite Movement in County Cork in the Early ... the Rockites in the south of Ireland in the ... constituted a regional agrarian revolt that exhibited many ...

Whiteboys - Wikipedia
The Whiteboys (Irish: na Buachaillí Bána) were a secret Irish agrarian organisation in 18th-century Ireland which used violent tactics to defend tenant ...

Ribbonism - Wikipedia
Ribbonism, whose supporters were usually called Ribbonmen, was a 19th-century popular movement of poor Catholics in Ireland. The movement was also known as …

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


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


Victorian Powys for primary  schools

Powys Digital History Project






The Rebecca riots



3. A stormy September


Early attacks by Rebecca and her daughters were in south and west Wales, and the news caused excitement in the Rhayader area, Rumours were flying, and the town must have been buzzing with gossip on market day.



This must have increased dramatically when on Friday 22nd September 1843 the Pen-y-pistyll tollgate on the North Road from Rhayader was attacked. In his letter to Thomas Lewis Lloyd, John Davies describes this attack as a "slight attempt" so it is not clear how much damage was done. This gate was on a relatively new turnpike road built along the Wye valley to the north. The map (right) shows the tollgate at the roadside. The blue dotted line is the parish boundary.

Map of Pen-y-Pistyll tollgates

Drawing by
Rob Davies

Two days later a more determined attack destroyed the Llangurig gates and terrified the Gatekeeper.
Sir John Benn Walsh was in Rhayader the following day and wrote,
"There was considerable excitement in the town from the news that a gate at Llangerig about 9 miles from Rhayader on the Aberystwyth road had been levelled last night by a party of Rebbecaites".


Sir John joined other landowners in offering a reward for the arrest of the rioters, but local people were very sympathetic to the Rebecca rioters and nobody was given away. See what happened later on the next page...
Broke to atoms ! ...

link to sources


Victorian Powys for primary  schools

Powys Digital History Project






The Rebecca riots



5. A famous night in Rhayader


By the time of the attack on the Newbridge gates local excitement was high, and around Rhayader many were refusing to pay the tolls. The authorities were nervous and soldiers had been called in. An old record of the time tells us what happened on the night of November 2nd 1843.


Drawing by
Davena Hooson

Tollkeeper stays indoors

Sergeant Shaw of the London police was in charge of a group of local men who had been taken on as Special Constables. In the middle of the night they heard that the North gate (Pen-y-pistyll) was under attack again. They rushed over to find the gatekeeper terrified and the gates flattened, but no sign of Rebecca. The gatekeeper had been awoken by the noise and a voice calling through the window "lie still or death will be your doom". He wisely stayed indoors while the gates were wrecked.
link to sources

Victorian Powys for primary  schools

Powys Digital History Project






The Rebecca riots



7. What happened afterwards


Drawings by
Rob Davies
After the serious attacks of November 1843 the authorities brought in extra London policemen to Rhayader, and a detachment of soldiers.
Fear of Rebecca and her daughters spread to Knighton and the army patrolled there until January 1844.
The final attacks came in September of that year at Rhayader and Builth.



Under arrest!
The police managed to arrest some of the rioters who were tried and transported to Australia.
After everything had quietened down the authorities did try to understand the causes of the riots. An enquiry was held and some of the grievences local people had were discussed.

As a result the hated Turnpike Trusts were scrapped and another organisation looked after the roads.
Rebecca and her daughters had achieved some of their aims at least.

link to sources