Extract from an account by Lewis Llewellyn Dillwyn of his encounter with Rebecca Rioters at the Pontardulais Turnpike Gate, September 1843 (LAC/26/D/82)

The Collection

The collection of papers relating to the Dillwyn family runs from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. The earliest material deposited includes genealogical tables and memoranda of the Dillwyn family 1750-1950; papers of William Dillwyn and of the Dillwyn family in New England 1711-1858; papers of and relating to Lewis Weston Dillwyn c1778-1920; papers, correspondence and private journals of and relating to Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn 1833-1955. For more information about the collection please see the online collection description and catalogue.

Latterly additional material, namely the diaries of Amy Dillwyn (1845-1935) the early woman industrialist, suffragist and novelist, have been deposited, together with other papers including various verses, and correspondence between members of the family.

The collection has been made accessible to researchers by the generosity of Dr David Painting who kindly offered the papers of the Dillwyn family to Swansea University, with the support of members of the family. Dr Painting is an expert and author on the Dillwyn family, in particular Amy Dillwyn, and his works include Amy Dillwyn by David Painting (new ed., Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2013).

To find out more about research projects and initiatives focusing on the literary, scientific and industrial legacy of the Dillwyn family please see the Dillwyn Project website.

Rebecca Riots

The extract shown here is part of an account by Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn of his encounter with Rebecca Rioters at Pontardulais Toll Gate. There was a crowd of 100-150, on horseback and dressed as women. Following a violent clash that is vividly described in the extracts, seven prisoners were captured, including John Hughes a 24 year old farmer’s son. His trial took seven weeks and he was sentenced to 20 years transportation. Rebecca followers returned to the tollgate after the first incident and the toll keeper, a woman aged 75, was shot and died as she returned to the toll cottage to gather her belongings.