Rebecca -Riot -Ale

A deep brown coloured ale, with warm reddish tones and a creamy-coloured head. It has an aroma of soft fruits with a hoppy nose. Full-bodied richness with a distinctive flavour of toffee & caramel, combined with a crisp bitter-edge derived from using bramling Hops.

In the late 1830s and early 1840s, the agricultural communities of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire were in dire poverty. Although the farmers were faced with a drastic reduction in their income, they experienced no financial relief in similar reductions in their outgoings, mainly rents, tithes, county rates, poor rates and the turnpike tolls. Farm rents stayed mainly static, but the tithes, tolls and poor rates actually increased. Seeing themselves as victims of 'tyranny and oppression, the farmers and their workers took the law into their own hands to rid themselves of these unjust taxes. The first institutions to be attacked were the hated toll gates.

The first appearance of Rebecca, as the members called themselves, occurred in 1839. Although this precedes the economic events of 1842, the early appearances of Rebecca were sporadic isolated outburts, with the true body of rioting not beginning until the winter of 1842. Despite the fact that these early 'uprisings' were few and uncommon, they were the first appearance of mobs dressed in the guise of Rebecca. These gangs became known as 'Merched Beca'

Prior to destroying the toll gates, 'Rebecca' would call to his followers who were also dressed as women and perform a scene which involved the following words:-

Rebecca:"What is this my children? There is something in my way. I cannot go on...."

Rioters:"What is it, mother Rebecca? Nothing should stand in your way,"

Rebecca:"I do not know my children. I am old and cannot see well."

Rioters:"Shall we come and move it out of your way mother Rebecca?"

Rebecca:"Wait! It feels like a big gate put across the road to stop your old mother."

Rioters:"We will break it down, mother. Nothing stands in your way."

Rebecca:"Perhaps it will open...Oh my dear children, it is locked and bolted. What can be done?"

Rioters:"It must be taken down, mother. You and your children must be able to pass."

Rebecca:"Off with it then, my children."

This would then in turn lead to the destruction of the toll gates......