The Rebecca Riots

A Study in Agrarian Discontent

Author(s): David Williams

Language: English

Genre(s): History

  • March 2011 · 256pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Paperback - 9780708323960

About The Book

The Rebecca Riots in west Wales began in the summer of 1839. They ceased as suddenly as they had started, and for three and a half years the countryside was undisturbed. Then, in the winter of 1842, they broke out again with greater violence. By day the countryside seemed quiet, but at night fantastically disguised horsemen, many dressed as women, careered along highways and through narrow lanes on their mysterious errands. The movement has been unusually been represented as the uprising of an oppressed peasantry, particularly against the burden of the toll-gates. Its causes, however, were far more deep-seated than that.


"It is safe to say that Professor Williams's excellently written and dispassionate account of the riots and their background is likely to remain the final word on the subject." -Times Literary Supplement

'This classic book was first published in 1955 and has been reprinted regularly since. It is easy to understand why - it's a comprehensive account of the Riots that puts events into their economic and historic context, but doesn't fail to neglect the telling of a brave and remarkable story.'
- Resolute Reader


The Gentry of West Wales; Local Government and Administration; The Economic Background; Social Conditions; The Growth of Opinion; The Roads of West Wales; The Outbreak of Rioting; Midsummer Madness; Smouldering Embers; Rebecca Triumphans.

About the Author(s)

David Williams

David Williams died in 1978. He lived and worked in Aberystwyth at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth as well as in Cardiff. He was born in Lan-y-Cefn, Pembrokeshire in 1900. He was the doyen of Welsh historians, publishing numerous classic history books.

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