Lewis Lewis (Merthyr Riots 1831)

Lewis Lewis was christened on the 21st March 1793 the son of Jenkin and Margaret Lewis of Blaencadlan in the parish of Penderyn, his father was a butcher. Lewis was a haulier by occupation hence his appellation ‘Yr Heliwr’ and he was engaged in carting coal from the pits at Llwydcoed to the limekilns at Penderyn. In the Merthyr Tydfil riots of 1831 he took a leading part, on the 2nd June in the attack on the house of Joseph Coffin, the clerk to the Court of Requests and in inciting the crowd to seize arms of the soldiers of the 93rd Highland Regiment where outside the Castle Inn on the following day.

After the riots he hid in the Penderyn district but was caught on the 7th June in the woods of Hedrebolon near Garw Farm by Captain Franklyn and William Crawshay “Merthyr Ironmaster Ystradfellte. They then took him to the Lamb Inn in Penderyn until reinforcements came to take him away.

He was condemned to death at the Cardiff Assizes by Mr. Justice Bosanquet, for riotous assembly and the destruction of the house and property of Joseph Coffin. His sentence was commuted to one transportation for life his date of death has not been ascertained.

Several Penderyn men were in “Jury of Life and Death” trying persons on capital charges, such as murder, sheep stealing and burglary.

Rees David of Penderyn, labourer ad Maud is wife, charged and the Grand Sessions with assaulting Margaret Thomas spinster, in the parish church Penderyn. The Grand Jury returned a “False Bill”

Edward Morgan Penderyn gent, on Grand Jury.

A writ issued at the Grand Sessions dis-training on the inhabitants of Penderyn “all their goods and chattels, for not repairing the highway leading from the churchyard to the Smith’s shop on Tyrvole”.

A coroner’s inquest was held at the Red Lion Inn “kept by Llewellyn Jenkins” on the body of Morgan Williams, which had been exhumed twelve day after burial at Penderyn churchyard. The man had died after a drunken brawl in the parish of Cantref. An important witness was Charles Forrest, surgeon, of the parish of Penderyn. The foreman was Morgan Morgan, Bodwigiad. After his signature to the verdict came that of Phillip Watkins “Ysbugorfawr”, Thomas Jones “Llwyn On” and William Jones “Ynyswendorth”. This coroner’s jury returned a verdict of murder, and two men were later acquitted at the Brecon Grand Sessions.

Petty sessions were held in the Lamb Hotel until the middle of the 19th century.