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28. juni 2022
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Rebecca and her daughters Between 1839 and 1844 the rural areas of South Wales were witness to a unique phenomenon. At a time of growing discontent among the rural and urban poor, who were under increasing pressure form the changes then occuring, violent attacks on tollgates across the area became common. The attackers wore womens clothing and claimed the identity of “Rebecca and her daughters” as they smashed down the gates and terrorised the gatekeepers. The exact origin of the name “Rebecca and her daughters” is debated but one commonly held theory ascribes a biblical origin to it through a reference to Rebecca recommending that some “possess the gates of those which hate them”. (Genesis XXIV, 60). At a time of growing Nonconformity, most of those involved would certainly have been familiar with the Old Testament scriptures. These different groups of attackers were often led by a “Rebecca” dressed in women’s clothing and the followers often dressed similarly. From the Illustrated London News. 1843.

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