Y Dic Penderyn, Merthyr Tydfil

button-theme-crimeY Dic Penderyn, 102-103 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil

This pub, owned by JD Wetherspoon, is named after a man who was executed for allegedly wounding a soldier during the Merthyr Rising of 1831.

Richard Lewis, who was known as Dic Penderyn, was born in Aberavon, near Port Talbot. He lived in Pyle before moving to Merthyr Tydfil, where he worked as a miner. At the time there was growing resentment in the town at the power exerted by local industrialists. Magistrates called in the 93rd (Highland) Regiment from Brecon on 3 June 1831, following disturbances the previous day.

The crowd tried to overpower the military force, and 16 people were killed when soldiers opened fire from inside the Castle Hotel. Soon afterwards, Dic Penderyn was convicted in Cardiff of taking part in the riot and wounding a soldier called Donald Black, who had admitted in court that he didn’t know who had attacked him. Many people were convinced that Dic Penderyn had been an innocent bystander. A petition for a reprieve attracted more than 11,000 signature.

Dic Penderyn was hanged, aged 23, on 13 August outside Cardiff prison (where Cardiff Central Market now stands). His last words were: “O Dduw, dyma gamwedd!” (“Oh God, this is an injustice!”). A large crowd accompanied his coffin from Cardiff to Aberavon, where he was buried at St Mary’s Church.

In 1874, the Western Mail reported that a man who had subsequently moved to the USA had confessed to a respected chapel minister that it was he who had wounded Donald Black.

Postcode: CF47 8AP    View Location Map

Website of Y Dic Penderyn