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THE FARMED REVOLT.* THE REBECCA RIOTS. By t Hex. J. Lloyd James (Chnidwenfro). CHAPTER VII. After the jury were sworn, and the High Sheriff brought into court other true T bills against David Jones and John Hugh, for crime and misconduct, the General Co: mnisaioner stood up to address the jury on the part of the prosecution. He observed that it rested with him at present to address the jury on behalf of the Crown, and to tell the eicumstances under which the prisoner at the bar was accused of having taken part iit the of- fence just set forth in the accusation, and also the circumstances under which they had assembled at that unusual time of the year, for the purpose of searching into this case and other cases of the sort; and in fulfilling the public duty, lie might add. the sad duty, he had to perform, to ask tnem to give a patient hearing to the evidence and the evidence only. lie would • vui making any remarks on the corulidtion o) the surrounding counties, unless it were necessary to show the reason of their meeting on that unusual occasion, to try this case, and other cases which wouid be before the court. The present riotous condition which many of tiie counTies of South Wales were in at the present tune, made it, in the opinion of those whose duty it was to advise the Crown, indis- pensably necessary that a firm and speedy administration of the law should take effect, and that justice be administered at once, because of the great increase in number and violence of offences against the law were perpetrated under circum- stances of much force. Having made those few general observations on the cir- cumstances under which they had ga- thered together, it was his duty now to make some observations on the accusation which had been read, and the evidence which would be produced to prove it. The accusation was founded upon an Act of Parliament made in the reign of George IV., which stated that if any person or persons assembled riotously and through force, to break the common peace, and if such assembled persons, through rioting and violence, pulled down and destroyed, or began to pull down and destroy, any church, chapel, or any house of worship used by persons dissenting from the Church of England and Ireland, or any house, stable, coach-house,, mill, or any house built and used for the purpose of carrying on any work, business, or manu- factory, or containing any machinery, sta tionary or movable, C, or any steam-engine or other engine—for every such offence lie shall be accounted guilty of crime. He was glad to say that this crime, accounted a capital crime, and demanded the life of the crimnal, when that law was made, was now visited with a lighter punish- ment. It must be plain to every man what this law had in view, was to protect every sort of building used for the various purposes of his Majesty's subjects; and it was also evident that to begin to pull down any building whatever was a crime according to this law. Now, he told them what were the acts of the riotous gathering of persons, which constituted the crime, because of which the present accusation was drawn up. He told them what took place on the night of the 6th cof September, or rather on the morning of the 7th, between 12 and 1 o'clock, by a crowd of rioters, of from one to two hundred of persons, many of whom were on horses. It seemed that they had come from some of the roads leading from Carmarthenshire, over a bridge known by the name of Pont ar Ddulais, which crosses the river Lougher (Llwchwr). A little distance from the bridge, on the Glamorgan side of the river, the was a toll-house and gate; and he believed those were there before the recol- lection of any who knew that part of the country. Next, he called the attention of the jury to the general appearance of the rioters, and the manner they had pro- vided themselves with arms and other de- structive instruments. The majority of them had disguised themselves in gar- ments like women's clothes, and their faces blackened. There were arms also in the hands of several of them. Shots :were fired, and it would be proved that some of the guns were loaded with grape- shot; one of the guns was taken, and when examined it was found loaded. "What wer the contents of the guns fired, it could not be proved but by the effects of iiie shots; and the evidence would prove that marks of the grape-shot were visible on many parts of the toll-house, and he could not say that similar marks were not also yisible on the neighbouring houses. The rioters came on towards the bridge, which they crossed, and went towards the toll-house and gate., It seemed they liad destructive weapons of all sorts; and it is considered that possession was taken, on the next morning, of guns, matlocks, hammers, and other instruments. The jury would not entertain any doubt as to the purpose of the rioters which he had described. The work of destruction was -immediately begun afterwards—all the toll house windows were destroyed, and the woodwork of the windows and doors were destroyed, and they went into the house. The house wainscots were destroyed, and out of one part of the house several stones had been extracted, so that a hole was made which was two feet high, and 18 t71 inches wide, and the corners of the walls 'on which the house rested, had been de- stroyed, as the witnesses to be produced would prove. In their work of destruc- tion it would be found that they were hindered. This would be proved by the witnesses. When the place was in- spected it was found that one of the gate- .posts had been cut- one-third through with a cross-saw; and the jury would be in- lorjned as to the condition in which the toll-house and gate were left by the evi- dence of the magistates, the policemen, and the officers who went there for the purpose of apprehending some of the riot- ers. It seemed to him useless to raise doubts as to the general character of this fathering, and deny its being riotous, dis- r:, and in ever' nense illegal. When the big' instrument.- u-ed would be con- ^ideraf, also the strange appearance and the violent conduct of the rioters, there could be no r"o'n the Act. of Parlia- ment's meamug, r»*t sat it was a riotous V1í1 '-isorde'-lv of persons, with a vie •• to break Uvv common peace. It seemed to him beyond every doubt. What j was actually done would be proved by a large number of witnesses, on whose testi- mony not the least degree of doubt could be cast. (To be continued.)












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