‘Cau’r Tiroedd Comin’: Trosolwg o lyfryn David Thomas || ‘Closing the Commons’: An overview of David Thomas’s booklet

Blog gan Angharad Tomos, Awdures, Cartwnydd ac Ymgyrchydd

Scroll down for the translation of this blog post by Angharad Tomos, Author, Illustrator and Campaigner, discussing her grandfather’s research in the 1952 booklet ‘Cau’r Tireodd Comin’ (Closing the Commons).

         Gwersi y byddwn wedi ei mwynhau yn yr ysgol fyddai gwersi ar pwy bia ein tir, a sut y daethant i’w berchnogi. Byddai wedi bod yn hanes cynhyrfus, llawn antur, ond doedd o ddim yn rhan o’r maes llafur. Yn y Saithdegau, treuliais ddwy flynedd yn astudio yr Ail Ryfel Byd. Ddeugain mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, yn yr un ysgol, bu fy mab yn dilyn yr un cwrs. Does gen i nac yntau fawr o syniad pwy bia ein tir a sut y daethant i’w berchnogi.

            Ond mae yna un ffynhonnell lle gallaf gael peth o’r wybodaeth honno, a hynny mewn llyfr a sgrifennodd fy Nhaid ym 1952, a’i enw yw ‘Cau’r Tiroedd Comin’. Llyfr bychan ydyw, 74 tudalen oedd yn ffrwyth dosbarth Cymdeithas Addysg y Gweithwyr (Cyhoeddwyd gan Wasg y Brython). Mae yn canolbwyntio ar un ardal benodol, sef plwyf Llanddeiniolen, sydd yn cynnwys Llanrug ger Caernarfon.

            Cychwynnwyd cau tir comin mor gynnar â’r 15fed ganrif ac roedd gwahaniaeth rhwng arferion Cymru a Lloegr o drin tir. Yng Nghymru, pan gydiwyd y tir priod yn stadau, roedd gan y perchnogion hawliau tir y mynydd hefyd. Yn y trefi cyfrif, eiddo’r tywysog oedd y tir gwyllt. Pan orchfygwyd Cymru gan y Normaniaid, fe ddaeth tiroedd y tywysogion Cymreig yn eiddo i frenin Lloegr, neu yn ‘Dir y Goron’. Yn y 18fed ganrif y bu’r symudiad mawr i gau’r tiroedd comin. Rhwng 1700 ac 1801, pasiodd y Senedd 2,208 o Ddeddfau Cau Tiroedd. Rhwng 1802 ac 1844, pasiodd y Senedd 1,893 o’r deddfau hyn.

Pam?

Roedd cynnydd yn y boblogaeth yn ystod y Chwyldro Diwydiannol ac roedd symudiad i wella dulliau amaethu. Wrth i werth tir gynyddu, roedd mwy o bwyslais ar gau tiroedd comin (er mwyn neud budd ariannol). Roedd Rhyfel Napoleon (1803 – 1815) yn golygu ei bod yn anodd cael ŷd o wledydd tramor, a dadleuai rhai bod cau tiroedd comin yn gwella cymeriad moesol y tlodion, drwy sicrhau eu bod yn gwneud rhywbeth gwell na hanner segura wrth weithio ar dir comin.

Sut i gau tir?

Y cam cyntaf oedd cyflwyno deisyfiad yn gofyn am ddod a mesur gerbron y Senedd. I wneud hyn, rhaid oedd cael tirfeddianwyr eraill i gytuno. Wedi 1774, roedd rhaid hoelio rhybudd ar ddrws man cyhoeddus megis yr eglwys i ddatgan bwriad i gau tir. Roedd modd gwrthwynebu, ond roedd hyn yn gostus iawn. Byddai’n rhaid teithio i Lundain i roi tystiolaeth, aros am rai nosweithiau, ac os cai’r achos ei ohirio roedd rhaid cael ail daith i Lundain. Weithiau roedd yn anodd profi ffeithiau, gan nad oedd gweithredoedd, a doedd dim rhaid i’r Senedd ystyried hawliau unrhyw un nad oedd yn berchen tir. Yna, trowyd y mesur yn ddeddf, a byddai’r gwaith mesur a rhannu’r tir yn mynd i ddirprwywyr (rhywun a gai ei enwi gan Arglwydd y Faenor neu’r tirfeddiannwr). Dilynwyd hyn gan gyfarfod yn yr ardal lle’r oedd modd unwaith eto apelio at y Sesiwn Chwarter, ond roedd hyn yn gostus. Roedd y werin yn gwrthwynebu, ond doedd neb yn cymryd sylw ohonynt. Pe digwydd iddynt wrthryfela, cai’r milwyr eu galw i’w tawelu. Gallai’r tlodion ddweud, ‘ Y cwbl wn i yw bod gennyf fuwch unwaith, a bod Deddf Senedd wedi ei chymryd oddi arnaf’.

            Yng Nghymru, cau tir mynyddog oedd cau’r tiroedd yng Nghymru. Gan fod Arglwydd y Faenor â hawl i’r cyfoeth dan ddaear y tiroedd comin, roedd yn awyddus i gadarnhau ei hawl drwy gael meddiant cyflawn o’r tir. Rhwng 1795 a 1895, caewyd dros filiwn o aceri o dir comin yng Nghymru. Troswyd pennill o’r Saesneg,

                                    Carchar a chosb i’r dyn cyffredinol

                                    Am ddwyn yr ŵydd oddi ar y comin;

                                    Ond parch a geir, ac uchel swydd,

                                    Am ddwyn y comin oddi ar yr ŵydd.

            Rhwng 1801 a diwedd rhyfel Napoleon ym 1815, pasiwyd 76 deddf cau tir yng Nghymru. Rhwng 1816 a 1830, dim ond deg deddf a basiwyd. Erbyn diwedd y 18fed ganrif, roedd 69 mil o aceri wedi eu cau, bron i 65 mil yn siroedd Dinbych, Fflint a Threfaldwyn. Erbyn blynyddoedd cynnar y 19eg ganrif, roedd y symudiad wedi cyrraedd Llŷn ac ardal chwareli Dyffryn Nantlle.

Teigrod Llanddeiniolen

            Canolbwyntiwn yn awr ar blwyf Llanddeiniolen. Tir y Goron oedd llawer o’r tir mynydd yn y cylch. Y Brenin oedd yr Arglwydd Faenor, a hawliai Brenin Lloegr, George y 1af, mai ef oedd etifedd y tywysogion Cymreig gynt. Rhoddai dir yn rhoddion hael i’w ffrindiau. Dyna sut y cododd tô o landlordiaid. Wedi i Harri VIII werthu’r tiroedd yn Llanddeiniolen, daethant i law Thomas Williams o’r Faenol, un o deulu Cochwillan, ‘teulu oedd yn fawr ei raib am dir’ yn ôl Gilbert Williams. Roedd Thomas Williams a sgweiars eraill Arfon wedi bod yn cau allan y cominoedd a’r mynydd-dir ar draul y tenantiaid. Dau o’r tirfeddianwyr eraill oedd William ap Robert, stad Glynllifon, a Rhys ap Thomas, Coed Alun.

            Yn 1698, wedi marw sgweiar y Faenol, Syr William Williams, cyflwynodd y Brenin stadau ym mhlwyf Llanddeiniolen i ŵr oedd yn gweithredu dros John Smith, o Tedworth yn Hampshire. Ym 1765, cymunwyd y stadau hyn efo’r stad yn Hampshire i ŵyr John Smith- Thomas Assheton, Bowden, Swydd Caer. Roedd y teulu wedi cael eu cyfenw o’u stad Assheton under Lyne yn Swydd Caerhirfryn, ac o barch at ei ewythr John Smith, ychwanegodd yr ŵyr ‘Smith’ at ei enw. Dyna wraidd yr enw Assheton Smith, Y Faenol ac fel dywed David Thomas, ‘Dyna sut y daeth maenor a stad Gymreig yn eiddo i deulu o dirfeddianwyr Seisnig’. Digwyddodd yr un peth yn union efo teulu Douglas Pennant, Stad y Penrhyn. Mab i Thomas Assheton Smith I oedd Thomas Assheton Smith II oedd yn sgweiar y Faenol ar ddechrau G19 pan gynigwyd cau comin Llanddeiniolen. Roedd y tad yn siryf Sir Gaernarfon ym 1774 a bu ei fab yn aelod seneddol dros y sir rhwng 1774 a 1780. Mae patrwm yn dechrau ymddangos…..

            Caewyd tiroedd plwyf Llanddeiniolen dan y ddeddf a basiwyd ym 1806. Mae’r manylion i gyd wedi ei gadw ym Mhapurau Porth yr Aur yn Llyfrgell Prifysgol Bangor. Roedd Thomas Assheton Smith II yn treulio peth amser yn y Faenol, ond mwyafrif ei amser ym Mhlas Tedworth, Hampshire, wedi bod yn aelod seneddol Sir Gaernarfon am 6 mlynedd, bu’n aelod dros Andover yn Hampshire wedi 1796. Ers 1780, roedd llechi wedi dod yn adnodd gwerthfawr, a diau fod hyn yn rheswm pam y ceisiodd gryfhau ei hawliau ar y tiroedd comin lle’r oedd y fath gyfoeth o lechfaen yn gorwedd dan y ddaear. Ym Mawrth 1802 roedd 22 o bobl yn sgwatio ar y tir hwn. Gofynnwyd iddynt dalu 6 cheiniog o rent i sgweiar y Faenol, cytunodd rhai ond gwrthododd eraill.

            Yn 1805 y trodd Assheton Smith ati o ddifri i drefnu mesur cau tiroedd comin i’r Senedd. Cafodd gefnogaeth yr Arglwydd Newborough a Rice Thomas Coed Alun (neu Goed Helen), er i Newborough dynnu ei gefnogaeth yn ôl yn ddiweddarach. Yn llyfr David Thomas mae cofnod manwl o sut y pasiwyd y ddeddf ar Fai 22, 1806 – Deddf i Gau Tiroedd ym mhlwyf Llanddeiniolen yn Sir Gaernarfon. Cafodd Assheton Smith bymthegfed ran o’r tir comin, ar ben ei hawliau fel tirfeddiannwr. Cafodd yr hawl holl bwysig hefyd i gloddio am fwynau yn y tir, i dorri pyllau ac ati, ac i gadw eu hawliau ar y mwynau hynny.

            Ym 1809 aiff Assheton Smith at uchel -gyfreithiwr i gael barn am chwarelwyr oedd yn mynnu codi llechi oddi ar y comin heb ganiatâd neb. O fewn pum mlynedd arall, daeth y tiroedd yn gyfan gwbl i feddiant Assheton Smith. Doedd rhannau ddim yn ddigon, rhaid oedd cael y cyfan – y tir, a’r cyfan oddi tano.

            Beth oedd tynged y sgwatwyr druan? O golli eu cartrefi, roedd y sgweiar i fod i’w digolledu am y gost mewn arian yr aethant iddo i adeiladu eu tŷ. Ond chai’r sgwatwyr yr un geiniog am eu llafur yn codi’r tŷ, nac am eu llafur yn diwyllio’r tir o’i gwmpas. Mae rhestr fanwl ar gael o enwau’r sgwatwyr. Penderfynodd sawl un ymladd dros eu hawliau. Un ohonynt oedd Robert Ellis. Fe’i ganed yn Celynisaf, Llanddeiniolen ym 1808, a  thua’r un amser, cododd ei rieni dŷ ar y comin yng Ngwaun Gynfi, a’i alw Y Garnedd. Daeth cyfreithiwr at y tŷ efo dynion eraill a gorchymyn i’w chwalu. Ond galwyd tad Robert, Ellis Ellis a daeth yntau efo llu o chwarelwyr a ffrindiau ‘i yrru yr aflonyddwyr yr un ffordd ag y daethant gyda cherrig, tyweirch a llaid a felly y bu. Baeddwyd hwy oll a chlwyfwyd rhai yn ysgafn; a’r cyntaf ar droed fu yr iachaf ei gefn y pryd hwnnw’.( Dewi Peris, Cofiant Robert Ellis, 1883)

            Roedd stori arall debyg am dŷ unnos yn cael ei godi, a nifer o gwnstabliaid yn cael eu hanfon ato i’w ddymchwel. Rhoes yr adeiladydd ddrws ar y tŷ, ond dim ffenestri. Aeth ati i gynnau tân, poethi dŵr i’w ‘daflu ar ben y rhai a geisiai dynnu’r tŷ i lawr’. Roedd yr ynad wedi darllen y Ddeddf Derfysg yn dweud fod y sawl a anufuddhei yn agored i gael ei grogi. Er gwaethaf hyn, roedd mintai o hanner cant wedi dal eu tir, ac wedi taflu cerrig, mwd a dŵr poeth ar y cyfreithiwr a’r cwnstabliaid. Meddyliwch am effaith adrodd y fath hanes i blant a phobl ifanc Llanrug heddiw!

            Wrth wneud adroddiad am y digwyddiad, mae John Evans y cyfrieithiwr yn nodi ymysg ei gostau ‘siwt o ddillad wedi ei llwyr ddifetha – £3 12/- .Yn ôl ei adroddiad roedd ‘cannoedd o chwarelwyr’ wedi dod i’w gyfarfod ac ymddwyn mewn modd terfysgol. Rhai o’r terfysgwyr a enwir yw, William Evan Shion Foulk a dau o’i frodyr o Waun Wyna, Foulk ac Evan, meibion Sion Ffowc y gwŷdd. Enwir dwy ferch hefyd. Chwarelwyr oedd wyth o’r dynion. Ffodd rhai o’r terfysgwyr – i’r gweithfeydd haearn ym Merthyr. Daliwyd eraill – Dafydd Ellis Minffordd, Richard Jones Rhydfadog a Ffoulk Evans, Celyn. Rhoddwyd hwynt yn y carchar. Roedd gwraig Ellis Evans wedi hebrwng ei gŵr dros y Pass (Llanberis) wrth iddo ffoi i Ferthyr, efo ei babi yn ei breichiau. Cyn gwahanu, rhoddodd Ellis hanner yr arian oedd ganddo iddi, sef hanner gini. Ar ei ffordd adref, cafodd Sian drafferth i groesi’r afon. Lluchiodd ei hesgidiau i’r ochr arall cyn croesi’r afon, ond erbyn cyrraedd y lan, canfu fod un esgid wedi mynd, a bod yr arian oedd yn ei phoced wedi mynd efo’r lli. Mae manylion bychan fel hyn yn rhoi darlun byw inni o sefyllfa’r bobl druan.

            Yn ei gofnod, mae John Evans yn sôn am ei fuddugoliaeth yn carcharu rhai o’r terfysgwyr, ac roedd yn ffyddiog y cai ddau neu dri yn rhagor y dydd canlynol. Meddai, “Yr wyf wedi dofi’r teigrod yn llwyr, ac yn awr y maent yn wir ymwybodol o’u trosedd’. Am y rhai yng ngharchar, meddai ‘Ni welais erioed set o greaduriaid wedi dychrynu gymaint, y maent yn barod i gytuno i unrhyw delerau, ond ni ellir gwneud hyn nes bod y tir comin wedi ei rannu.’

            Rhyddhawyd y carcharorion ddiwedd Hydref 1810 ar ddau feichiau bob un o hanner canpunt yr un. Er gwaethaf eu profiad, gellir dweud iddynt fod yn ffodus. Yn Llithfaen, yn dilyn terfysg Llithfaen yn 1812, anfonwyd Robert Hughes, arweinydd y fintai ‘i Botany Bay, lle y bu efe farw’. Gwelwn felly fod pris uchel i’w dalu a bod y protestwyr yn erbyn cau’r tiroedd comin yn mentro popeth wrth wrthdystio.

            Mawr yw ein parch i’r gwrthryfelwyr cynnar hyn, a da yw eu cofio wrth fynd ati i fapio pwy nawr sydd bia Cymru

            I would have enjoyed lessons in school about who owns our land, and how they came to own it. It would have been an exciting history, full of adventure, but it wasn’t a part of the curriculum. In the Seventies, I spent two years studying the Second World War. Forty years later, in the very same school, my son followed the same course. Neither he nor I have much of an idea who owns our land and how they came to own it.

            But there is one source which has helped me learn more, a book written by my grandfather in 1952 called ‘Cau’r Tiroedd Comin’ (Closing the Commons). It’s a small book, 74 pages, developed through the Workers’ Educational Association classes (published by Gwasg y Brython). It focuses on one region in particular, that of the parish of Llanddeiniolen, which includes Llanrug, near Caernarfon, Gwynedd.

            The closing of the commons began as early as the 15th century. There were some differences in the way that land was treated in Wales and England. In Wales, when land was seized and formed into estates, the owners had automatic land rights to the surrounding highlands too. Previously, these ‘wild’ lands were originally owned by the prince. When Wales was invaded by the Normans, the lands of the Welsh princes became the property of the king of England, or the Land of the Crown.

            It was during the 18th century that the greatest movement to close the common lands occurred. It was after the 1760s that closures on a mass scale were seen. Between 1700 and 1801, the Parliament passed 2,208 Closure of Common land acts, and between 1802 and 1844, 1,893 similar acts were passed.

Why?

There was a population boom during the Industrial Revolution which gave rise to a need for improvements in agricultural methods. As the value of land rose, there was more emphasis on closing common land (for financial gain). The Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815) meant that it was difficult to import corn from foreign lands. It was furthermore argued that it was imperative to close common lands in order to improve the ‘moral character’ of the poor, ensuring that they would not become idle by working on common land alone.

How to Close Land

The first step was to introduce petitions requesting that a measure be brought in front of Parliament. To do this, other landowners had to cooperate and agree. After 1774, a warning had to be put in a public place, such as the church door, to declare the intention to close land. There was a way to oppose, but this was very costly. It would entail having to travel to London to give evidence, stay for a number of nights, and if there was a delay in the hearing, another trip to London. Sometimes it was difficult to prove facts, since there were no deeds, and there was no obligation on the Parliament to consider the rights of anyone that was not a landowner. Then, eventually, the measure would become an act, and the work of measuring and sharing the land would be passed to a deputy (somebody that would have been nominated by the Lord of the Manor or the landowner). This was then followed by a meeting in the area where it was possible once again to appeal through the Quarter Sessions, but this was again costly. The common people would often attempt to oppose, but nobody would pay any attention to their calls. If they were incensed enough to revolt, soldiers would be called to quieten them. The poor would say, ‘All I know is that I once had a cow and that a Parliamentary Act took her from me’. In Wales, closure of common lands meant the closure of its highlands and mountains. Between 1795 and 1895, over a million acres of common land were closed in Wales. As the English folk rhyme sums up,

The law locks up the man or woman

Who steals the goose from off the common

But leaves the greater villain loose

Who steals the common from the goose.

            Between 1801 and the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815, 76 enclosure acts were passed in Wales. Between 1816 and 1830, only 10 were passed. By the end of the 18th Century, 69 thousand acres were closed, almost 65 thousand in Denbigh, Flint and Montgomery. By the early years of the 19th Century, the movement had reached the Lleyn Peninsula and the slate areas of Dyffryn Nantlle.

The Tigers of Llanddeiniolen

            My grandfather’s book focused on the parish of Llanddeiniolen. Much of the mountain land in the area was now claimed as the Crown’s Land. George the 1st, England’s king, claimed that he was the natural heir of the Welsh princes, and therefore heir to their lands. He gave this land as a generous gift to his friends. That is how a hierarchy of landlords was created. Prior to this, Henry VIII had sold lands in Llanddeiniolen which came into the hands of Thomas Williams from the Faenol Estate, one of the Cochwillan family, a ‘family that had great voracity for land’ according to Gilbert Williams. Thomas Williams and other squires in Arfon had been closing common and mountain lands at the expense of the tenants. Two of the other landowners in the area were William ap Robert, Glynllifon Estate, and Rhys ap Thomas, Coed Alun.

            In 1698, after the death of the squire of the Faenol, Sir William Williams, the King passed on estates in the parish of Llanddeiniolen to a gentleman that was acting on behalf of John Smith, from Tedworth in Hampshire. In 1765, these estates were merged with the estate in Hampshire to the grandson of John Smith; Thomas Assheton, Bowden, Chester. The family acquired their surname from the Assheton Under-Lyne Estate in Lancashire, and as a form of respect for his uncle, Smith was added to the family name. That is the root of the name Assheton Smith, The Faenol and as David Thomas retells, ‘That is how the manor and the Welsh estate became the property of a family of English landowners’. The exact same thing happened with the Douglas Pennant family, Penrhyn Estate. Thomas Assheton Smith II (son of Thomas Assheton Smith I) was the squire in the Faenol estate at the beginning of the 19th Century when it was suggested to close the commons in Llanddeiniolen. The father was the sheriff of Caernarfon in 1774 and his son a Member of Parliament for the county between 1774 a 1780. A pattern emerges….

            Land enclosures in the Llanddeiniolen parish began under an act that was passed in 1806. All of the details are kept in the Porth yr Aur Papers in Bangor University Library.

Thomas Assheton Smith II spent some time in the Faenol Estate, but most of his time in Tedworth Estate, Hampshire. Having been a Member of Parliament for Caernarfonshire for 6 years, he was then the member for Andover in Hampshire after 1796. Since 1780, slate had been a valuable resource, and it is undoubtable that this was a reason why he wanted to tighten his rights on the common land where such slatestone wealth lay underneath the surface. In March 1802 there were 22 people squatting on this land. They were asked to pay 6 pence in rent to the Faenol Squire – some agreed, but others refused.

            In 1805 Assheton Smith became more determined to arrange a measure for Parliament to close the common. He was supported by Lord Newborough and Rice Thomas, Coed Alun (or Coed Helen), although Newborough retracted his support later on. In David Thomas’s book there is a detailed record of how the Act was passed on the 22 of May, 1806 – an Act to Enclose land in Llanddeiniolen parish, Caernarfonshire. Assheton Smith was given a fifteenth part of the common, on top of the right he had as a landowner. He was also given the all important rights to mine the land, and to declare ownership of those minerals and ores found.

            In 1809 Assheton Smith went to a solicitor for advice on quarrymen that were lifting slates from the common without permission. Within a further five years, these lands became completely under the ownership of Assheton Smith. Partial ownership was not enough, he wanted all of the land – and all that lay underneath.

            So, what became of the squatters? By evicting them from their homes, the squire was obliged to financially recompense for the cost of building their houses. But these people were not given a penny for their labour in raising these houses or cultivating the surrounding land. Many of them decided to fight for their rights. One of them was Robert Ellis. He was born in Celynisaf, Llanddeiniolen in 1808, around the same time his parents built their house on the common in Gwaun Gynfi, naming it Y Garnedd (The Cairn). Solicitors came to the house with other men to demand that the house be demolished. Robert’s father, Ellis Ellis was called and arrived with a number of quarrymen and friends to ‘drive the agitators away with stones, clods and mud. They were all besmirched and some lightly wounded; and the first one to have left was the better off'(translated in an essay by Dewi Peris from Robert Ellis’s Biography, 1883)

            A similar story is told of an unnos cottage (a cottage built between dusk and dawn) having been built and a number of the constabulary being sent to have it demolished. The builder had hung a door on the house, but no windows had been installed. He lit a fire in order to heat water to ‘throw at those who wanted to pull down his home’. The justice had read the Riot Act that said that any who would openly disobey would be hanged. Despite this, a group of fifty held their ground, and threw stones, mud and hot water at the solicitors and constables. Think about retelling this sort of history to the children and young people of Llanrug today!

            According to the solicitor John Evans’s report ‘hundreds of quarrymen’ had come to meet them and behave in a riotous manner. Some of the rioters named are, William Evan Shion Foulk and two of his brothers from Waun Wyna, Foulk and Evan. Two women are named too. Eight of the men were quarrymen. Some of the rioters escaped – to the iron works of Merthyr Tudfil. Others were captured and thrown in jail – Dafydd Ellis, Minffordd, Richard Jones, Rhydfadog and Ffoulk Evans, Celyn. Ellis Evans’s wife, Sian, accompanied her husband over the Pass in Llanberis as he escaped to Merthyr with their baby in her arms. Before parting, Ellis gave her half the money he carried, half a guinea. On her way home, Sian struggled to cross the river. She threw her shoes to the other side of the river before crossing, but by the time she had reached the banks, one shoe had gone, and the money that had been in her pocket had been washed away. Little details like these create a vivid picture of the situation of these poor people.

In his report, John Evans speaks of his success in jailing some of the rioters, hopeful to convict two or three the following day. He said ‘I have tamed the tigers completely, and now they are fully aware of their crime’. About the ones in jail, he says ‘I have never seen a set of creatures that are so afeared, they are ready to agree to any terms, but this cannot be done until the common land has been shared’. The prisoners were released at the end of October 1810 on bail of fifty pounds for each of them. Despite their experiences, it could be said that they were lucky. In Llithfaen, following a riot there in 1812, the leader of the uprising, Robert Hughes, was deported to Botany Bay, where he later died. We can see that there was a high price to pay and that protestors against the enclosures of common lands were risking everything by protesting.

We should acknowledge and share the history of these early land protestor, and it will serve us well to remember them while we go forwards now in finding out more about who owns Wales.

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