- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
ASSEMBLY member Joyce Watson is backing a campaign to posthumously pardon a Welsh miner hanged nearly 200 years ago.
Richard Lewis, better known as Dic Penderyn, was executed for his involvement in the Merthyr Rising of 1831.
Jane Hall, a descendant of Penderyn who lives in St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire, appealed to Mrs Watson to support a petition calling on UK Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove MP, to grant a full pardon.
The Mid and West AM has signed a statement which reads:
The National Assembly for Wales:
• Notes the application for a pardon made to the UK Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, by descendants of Richard Lewis, better known as Dic Penderyn, who was executed in Cardiff in 1831 following the Merthyr Riots; and
• Calls on the Justice Secretary to grant Richard Lewis a full pardon at the earliest opportunity.
So far seventeen members from the four political parties represented in the Assembly have signed the pledge.
In the course of the riot, Penderyn was arrested for stabbing a soldier with a bayonet. The people of Merthyr Tydfil doubted his guilt; more than 11,000 signed a petition for his release. He was found guilty, however, and hanged in Cardiff on 13 August 1831. His case has been cited as a grave miscarriage of justice.
A pardon is normally only granted if new evidence comes to light which demonstrates conclusively the individual is innocent.