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1839 Violence in Wales

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Introduction

1839 Violence in Wales In Wales before 1839 there had been a long history of violence, David Evans in his book "A History Of Wales" says "There were frequent disturbances in rural Wales, which involved sheep stealing and poaching. Some of this violence was a protest against the harsh attitudes of some landowners." There were many forms of violence at this time. These forms of violence consisted of: - Arson, We can see evidence of arson attacks in source A3 where it states, "Enclosures by Act of Parliament led to the destruction of hedges at Marloes, Pembrokeshire, in 1816. Trouble had followed enclosures at St Clears in 1809 and at Maenclochog in 1820 when a large mob burned fences, gates and a house on what had been common land." This form of violence was against property, it was well researched and is mostly fact which is supported by sources A1/A2 & A5 as they all show disorder in some way. Another form of violence at this time was Theft I can see evidence of theft in source A1 where it says: There were frequent disturbances in rural Wales, which involved sheep stealing and poaching. Some of this violence was a protest against the harsh attitudes of some landowners." The theft was against property as people's sheep were being stolen, it is well-researched evidence by an historian called David Evans, which is mostly facts and is backed up by Gwyn A Williams in his book "When Was Wales". Another form of violence at this time was rioting; I can see evidence of rioting in source A2 as it says: "Carmarthen had a history of disorder in the 19th century. In 1801 and 1818 there were riots because of shortages of food. In 1831, there were riots during the reform crisis." The Rioting was against property and against the people. This evidence is well researched and is mostly facts as the historian is able to refer to many sources of evidence to find out what's most likely to be fact. ...read more.

Middle

B1 may too show evidence of this, as the people caught may have been worried about having Cefyl Pren carried out on them. Source B6 is not reliable as it is an opinion of one-person giving evidence; it's also biased as the evidence could have just been given in order to secure a shorter sentence for the rioter caught. This evidence is not supported by anything else. Maybe it is wrong to assume things, but I need to make an assumption that the person giving evidence could of in order to give him a shorter sentence. The Rebecca Riots did not simply begin out of nowhere. For many years before 1839, the reasons for the violence in rural Wales were already there. There were many long-term reasons for the Rebecca Riots, which were in existence well before 1839. The whole of west Wales was like a time bomb waiting to go off. The long-term reasons for the riots were shown in Rev.J.Evans' letters written on a tour through south Wales, 1804 and extracts from the times newspaper in 1843. Source c2, Rev.J.Evans' letters identify a reason for people to be annoyed, this cause was the fact that the farming conditions were poor in Wales as said in the source; "Wheat is not often grown, usually the same crop is planted year after year, which ruins the soil. Marl (clay used as fertilizer) is successfully used in England but rarely used by the Welsh." This was because Welsh farmers could not understand English, which was the language that the farming techniques were written in, therefore the Welsh farmers could not advance technologically, There is little evidence of drainage of the land. The land was poor and there was no crop rotation so the land did not have time to increase its nutrients. Source C3 also shows a sense of a long-term cause of rioting is shown in source C3, The extracts from the times newspaper, 1843. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Question - You think the amount of the tolls has been an obstruction in the way of liming? Answer Yes, they pay more for the tolls than the lime. Question - What is the price of lime? Answer - From 2/6 to 3/ - according to the size of the cart, and the tolls would be 5/ - or 6/ -. Question - In travelling, what distance would the tolls come to 6/-? Answer - In travelling 8 miles. Question - Is the profit large? Answer - I think so. The generally get rich by them." The farmers resented the tolls on lime as by the time they had paid their tolls to transport it, the price of the lime almost doubles, it would therefore not e using the lime in the first place as it would be far too expensive. "At first turnpike trusts were a great help for farmers in West Wales who were trying to improve their land as they did not charge a toll on lime. Eventually, however, a toll on lime was introduced". The evidence in the sources in section D are factual as they are mainly enquiries, which had to be true, the sources support each other. For example source D5 supports D6 as they both claim the tolls are too high. Source D1 is supported by D2 as they both they both disagree with the tithes that were paid even by people that were not part of that church. The sources are all fairly well researched pieces of evidence too. In my opinion the Rebecca riots were pathetic and pitiful. I can see where the majority of farmers were coming from as they stood up for what they believed was right as they were suffering whilst the English had new farming techniques and better technology but the part with the men dressing up as women terrorising people and smashing tollgates is a bit pathetic. I think that the whole situation could have been prevented if everyone had got together and thought of a way in which everyone could be happy. ...read more.

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