Location: The Stag – Heol Hen.
Sponsor: Llanelli Rural Council
(From Llanelli take the B4309 to Five Roads Village take second left turn into Heol Hen, and you will see the blue plaque on The Stag Public House on the right hand side of the road.).
This Blue Plaque was installed on The Stag Inn which was formally the Stag & Pheasant, commemorating its connection with the Rebecca Riots of 1843. It was one of the inns in Five Roads where the Rebecca Rioters would meet and plan their operations.
Approximately four miles outside the town of Llanelli sits the rural and sleepy village of Five Roads. But its peaceful and tranquil appearance of today belies a very active and turbulent past. Not only did it stand between Cynheidre Colliery, The Eclipse Brickworks, Horeb Mills and the Llanelly & Mynydd Mawr Railway, but further back in time the village became the focal point of some of the most exciting events in Welsh agricultural history - The Rebecca Riots.
During the middle of the 19th century South Wales was rocked by civil disturbances known as ‘The Rebecca Riots’. These riots were predominantly aimed at the destruction of tollgates belonging to the turnpike trusts that charged excessive fees for the use of their roads. The rioters would dress themselves up disguised as women with blackened faces and would be led by the leader who was known as ‘Rebecca’.
Two of the most notorious and despicable leaders of the Rebecca movement were David Davies and John Jones, alias ‘Dai’r Cantwr’ and ‘Shoni Sgubor Fawr’. They and others used the pubs and inns of Five Roads as their frequent meeting places, but perhaps more important of all, their ‘headquarters’ was at The Stag & Pheasant Inn.
Throughout the years The Stag & Pheasant Inn has also been known as The ‘Stack’, The Five Roads Inn and more recently, The Stag. This inn stands at the convergence of five roads that pass through the village, hence its name. From here the rioters planned and led their attacks on various targets. They also planned and plotted the murder of William Chambers Junior, the Llanelli landowner and Justice of The Peace. Chambers had been wrongly identified as having shot a Rebecca rioter at an earlier disturbance. Although they did not murder Chambers they burnt some of his farms and attacked his pottery in Llanelli.
In the September of 1843, Dai’r Cantwr, Shoni Sgubor Fawr and others dressed as ‘Rebecca’, left the Stag & Pheasant Inn and attacked the house of the manager of the Gwendraeth Iron Works at Pontyberem. They also destroyed the toll gate at Spudders Bridge.
Both the above leaders were finally apprehended and convicted for their lawlessness.
By Lyn John, Member of Llanelli Community Heritage.
Tafarn y Stag & Pheasant
Safle: The Stag – Heol Hen.
Noddwr : Cyngor Gwledig Llanelli.
(O Lanelli, ewch ar y B4309 i Bum Heol. Cymerwch yr ail droad ar y dde i Heol Hen ac fe welwch y plac glas ar Dafarn y Stag ae ochr dde’r heol)
Gosodwyd y plac glas hwn ar wal tafarn y Stag, gynt y Stag and Pheasant, yn coffau ei chysylltiad gyda therfysgoedd Beca 1843, Un o dafarnau Pum Heol oedd hon ble byddai Terfysgwyr Beca yn cyfarfod i gynllunio eu hymgyrchoedd.
Tua phedair milltir o dref Llanelli saif pentref gwledig cysglyd Pum Heol. Ond mae ei gwedd dawel heddiw yn cuddio gorffennol aflonydd a chynhyrfus. Nid yn unig y safai rhwng glofa Cynheidre, Gwaith Brics Eclipse, Melin Horeb a Rheilffordd Llanelly & Mynydd Mawr, ond ymhell yn ôl mewn amser y pentref hwn oedd canolbwynt rhai o’r digwyddiadau mwyaf cyffrous yn hanes amaethyddiaeth Cymru - Terfysgoedd Beca.
Yn ystod canol y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg siglwyd De Cymru gan gynnwrf sifil sef Terfysgoedd Beca. Anelwyd y terfysgoedd hyn yn bennaf ar ddinistrio tollbyrth yn perthyn i’r ymddiriedolaethau a godai tal gormodol am ddefnyddio eu ffyrdd. Byddai’r terfysgwyr yn gwisgo fel menywod a phardduo eu hwynebau o dan arweiniad Beca.
David Davies a John Jones, sef ‘Dai’r Cantwr’ a ‘Shoni Sgubor Fawr’ oedd dau o’r arweinwyr mwyaf ofnus a dirmygadwy. Defnyddion nhw ac eraill dafarndai Pum Heol fel eu mannau cyfarfod ond efallai, yn bwysicaf oll, eu pencadlys oedd Tafarn y Stag & Pheasant.
Trwy gydol y blynyddoedd adnabuwyd y dafarn fel Y Stack, Tafarn Pum Heol ac yn fwy diweddar Y Stag. Saif y dafarn hon ar fan cyfarfod y pum heol sydd yn hollti’r pentref. O’r fan yna, cynlluniodd ac arweiniodd y terfysgwyr eu hymosodiadau ar dargedau amrywiol. Roedd cynlluniau ganddyn nhw i lofruddio William Chambers yr Iau, y tir-berchennog ac Ustus Heddwch. Meddyliwyd ar gam fod Chambers yn gyfrifol am saethu terfysgwr Beca mewn cynnwrf cynt. Er na lofruddion nhw Chambers, fe losgon nhw rai o’i ffermydd ac ymosod ar ei grochendy yn Llanelli.
Fis Medi 1843, gadawodd Dai’r Cantwr, Shoni Sgubor Fawr ac eraill yng ngwisg Beca dafarn y Stag & Pheasant ac ymosod ar dŷ Rheolwr Gwaith Haearn y Gwendraeth ym Mhontyberem. Fe ddinistrion nhw hefyd y tollty ar Bont Spudder.
Cafodd y ddau arweinydd eu restio a’u heuogfarnu am dor-cyfraith.
Article by / Gan Lyn John, Member of Llanelli Community Heritage / Aelod o Dreftadaeth Cymuned Llanelli
Notes / Nodiadau
‘And They blessed Rebecca’ by / gan Pat Molloy p / t 211
"The unveiling was carried out by Councillor Donald Davies at the invitation of Mr. John Hopkins, who congratulated the [Llanelli] Community Heritage in ensuring that the history of Llanelli was fully recorded. Mr. Lyn John further addressed the gathering and explained that the plaque unveiled was the third to be mounted on public houses in the village during the Rebecca Riots. The other two being those on the closed Farmers Arms and the Plough and Harrow.
The local Young Farmers Society contributed to the afternoon's finale by re-enacting in appropriate dress the the attack on a toll-gate in the Stag car park. Through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Thomas, proprietors of the Stag, all concerned were served with delicious 'Cawl' and 'Welsh Cakes', to end a memorable day's activities."
Extract from a document by A. D. G. Williams, Brynyblodau, Bancffosfelen, Llanelli