Posts Tagged ‘Dic Penderyn’

Please share this Objection form. We have just SIX DAYS left to save the ancient Common land from fencing off and destruction.
Twyn y Waun and the Waun Fair (credit: Peter Keohane Dic Penderyn Society – Cymdeithas Dic Penderyn)
To the north of Fochriw and above the hamlet of Pant-y-Waun, on the western side of Rhas Las pond, was situated the historic Waun Fair, or Marchard -y-Waun and constituted one of the largest and most active marketing centres in south Wales.. The location is called Twyn-y-Waun.

the westerners view is entirely blocked by massive overburden mounds of earth removed by opencast and destroying the area forever.


This photo was taken yesterday. I am looking eastward toward Rhas Las pond across the Nant Llesg Common. Ebbw Vale mountain is in the misty distance


For some time prior to A.D. 1140 there had been a market situated at Twyn y Waun and it was granted its charter in 1140 by Iestyn ap Grwgant, King of Glamorgan, and it quickly developed into a marketing hive of activity serving the three counties of Glamorganshire, Brecknockshire and Monmouthshire, within who’s borders it was situated.
Merthyr Tudful had been in discontent for a long time, particularly since the depression of 1829 with subsequent reform agitation following, not least in the early months of 1831. Merthyr Tudful was in a ferment of discontent and disturbance culminating in a great Reform Rally at Twyn y Waun on 30 May 1831.
The now famous Parliamentary Reform and Trade Union rights rally was held on the same day as the fair on 30 May 1831.
The ‘Reformists’ had left Hirwaun Common, the radicals killed a calf and dipped in its blood the white cloth of a reform flag, which they raised on a pole as possibly the first ever Red Flag of Popular Rebellion along with another banner that stated ‘Bara neu Waed’ (Bread or Blood).
The History of Class Struggle began here!
Please help us save Rhas Las pond from destruction, we have managed to get Statutory Ancient Monument Status but it faces imminent destruction – WE HAVE JUST 7 DAYS left to OBJECT.
Go to Facebook and search: STOP THE RAPE OF THE FAIR COUNTRY
Go to Facebook and search:  United Valleys Action Group

13th August.

On this day 1831 Dic Penderyn was hanged on the gallows in St. Mary’s Street,outside Cardiff gaol at the age of 23. According to legend, his last words were “O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd” ( “Oh Lord, here is iniquity”)

Dic Penderyn was a Welsh labourer and coal miner, who was born, Richard Lewis in Aberavon in 1808 and moved to Merthyr Tydfil with his family in 1819, where he and his father found work in the local mines. Richard was always known as Dic Penderyn after the village of Penderyn near Hirwaun where he lodged

On June 3, 1831, he was involved in the Merthyr Rising, which was one of many protests throughout industrial Wales at the time against the terrible working conditions in the mines and iron works, made worse by wage cuts and the lay offs as demand for iron and coal fell away. A mob ransacked the building where court records of debt were being stored and in a bid to restore order, a detachment from one of the Highland Regiments stationed at Brecon, fired into the unarmed crowd, killing 16 people. No soldiers were killed in the affray, but one, a Private Donald Black was stabbed in the leg with a bayonet. Along with his cousin Lewis Lewis, Dic Penderyn was arrested for the attack even though neither man could be identified as carrying it out, indeed it was said that Dic had had limited involvement in the rising and was there, more as a spectator than a participant. Nevertheless, both were convicted, sentenced to death and held in Cardiff gaol. Lewis Lewis had his sentence commuted to transportation, largely thanks to the testimony of a Special Constable, John Thomas, whom Lewis had shielded from the rioters.

The people of Merthyr Tydfil were convinced that Dic Penderyn was not guilty, and more than 11,000 signed a petition demanding his release. Even the conservative Cambrian newspaper objected. Joseph Tregelles Price, a Quaker ironmaster from Neath, who went to console the two condemned men, was immediately convinced of Penderyn’s innocence and persuaded the trial judge that the sentence was unsafe. However the Home Secretary Lord Melbourne, well known for his severity, refused to reduce the sentence and Dic Penderyn was duly hanged. Thousands grieved and lined the route as Dic’s coffin was taken from Cardiff to Aberavon where he was buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Port Talbot. Regarded as a martyr, his death further embittered relations between Welsh workers and the authorities and strengthened the Trade Union movement and Chartism in the run up to the Newport Rising. He became a working class hero, a folk hero, who through his death became a symbol for those who tried to fight and resist oppression.

In 1874, a man named Ianto Parker confessed on his death bed that he had been the one to stab Private Black. He had then fled to America to avoid justice. Another man, James Abbott, also confessed to having lied on the witness stand.

This video is by the most influential social historian of my childhood, the incomparable Gwyn Alf Williams

Redshoes at the REDHOUSE

Redshoes at the REDHOUSE

Redshoes at the REDHOUSE

Redshoes at the REDHOUSE

Redshoes at the REDHOUSE

Redshoes at the REDHOUSE


I met the artist Iwan Bala, whose work I admire.

I fucked up first of all, and mis-remembered, I thought I’d seen his work in Venice.

The Biennale?

No, I quickly corrected, it was in the Cardiff Millennium gallery.

He did a speech on the REDHOUSE balcony,

He invoked the name of Dic Penderyn

but he used the word “riot”.

He was rightly heckled.

It was an UPRISING.

We can all make mistakes.