Their enemy here were the farmers and their agents/factors responsible for the export of the corn by vessels out of Amlwch Harbour, it was however the fear of greater famine which caused the people to a revolt that began on a Tuesday 28 January 1817. That day in a very organised way the poor proceeded to the harbour and removed the rudder from the vessel 'Wellington' and deposited it in the Church Yard. The Vessel already loaded with Oats and Oatmeal could not thus sail away, there is no record in my source which says that the people removed the Oats and Oatmeal and distributed amongst temselves but this is what usually occurred in other corn riots in various parts of Wales in these times.
On the 3 February the local magistrates swore in thirty special constables who took the rudder back to the ship with great difficulty as the crowd threatened and abused them including local constables, women and children were to the fore in hurling abuse and rubbish at the 'Specials'. However, later 'ringleaders' were arrested and imprisoned but because of a very dangerous mood developing amongst the 'Crowd' two prisoners were released but one the Magistrates eventually managed to have conveyed to Biwmaris gaol but not without 'the rabble' attempting to free him twice. Meanwhile back in Amlwch the people had made it impossible for the 'Wellington' to sail out of the Harbour, the town now was firmly in the hands of the people and the magistrates had to recourse to calling for Soldiers to be sent to quell the 'disturbence'. A 'disturbence' that had taken on a life of it's own as the common folk establised their own form of 'self government', not quite a 'Red Commune' but certainly such that they had began planning to march on Biwmaris to release prisoners and had began negotiations with the 'Powers that be'.
Soldiers from the mainland were slow to come and relieve Amlwch and the local Militia were reluctant to become involved and thus, it was to Dublin that the Island's establishment looked for aid. Soon 164 men of the 45th Regiment set sail and arrived in Holyhead on the 18 February and soon occupied Amlwch allowing for the rudder to be fixed back on the Wellington and for her to sail away on the 23 February. Then on 1 March the Magistrates with the Soldiers were able to turn their attention to the return of 'Law and Order' to Amlwch. The Houses of the 'respectable' were put under guard and there were nightly patrols in and around Amlwch, more 'ringleaders' were arrested and imprisoned. Main development was the establishment of a local 'Loyal Association', it's purpose to replace the soldiers who were themselves troublesome and costly to local rate payers. The 45th were to finally depart in full by the 26 March, the consequence being that not so long after attention turned to reorganisation and enlargment of the local Militia. A further consequence as result of popular protest and 'Civil Disobedience' on such a large scale was that much greater effort was made to hence take care of the poor and bring relief in times of famine and general hardship.
However, there is an not too happy ending for several 'ringleaders' of the 'Four Weeks of Lawlessness' who were tried at the Spring Assizes', three were convicted, two acquited and some escaped trial due to lack of evidence. To summerise there are a number of reasons why the Amlwch Riots occurred and most certainly neither are the causes or the riots a simple matter of 'Them and Us' but more a matter of fear of starvation and motivating most of all the need to obtain 'Justice'. To this end and as consequence of 'Popular Protest' the local Authority and Establishment in general were keener to take action to aid and assist the poor; disadvantaged and under privellaged. Those involved in this 'Amlwch Insurrection' were not simply an 'under class' but also consisted of Tradesmen, Publicans, Shop Keepers, Butchers, Carpenters and Coopers also returning Soldiers and Sailors no longer required to defend Britannia from the French. Interestingly the Copper Miners did not participate greatly other than on one day but on the whole remained 'Sympathetic Spectators' throughout.
|Amlwch Popular Revolt 1817 Plaque here?|
|Amlwch Popular Revolt 'Life & Times Folk March Festival Here?|
If anyone gets anything re above moving forward, inc the suggested Saturday School do let me know and I will post up information in my blogs, see links below:
ymgyrch.blogspot.com/ - Cached
cerddedymlaen2010-16.blogspot.com/ - Cached