Petition — Pardon for Dic Penderyn

– in the House of Commons at 10:59 pm on 29 June 2015.

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Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley 10:59, 29 June 2015

I wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in the Cynon Valley, my hon. Friends the Members for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Gerald Jones) and for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock), and people from all parts of Wales. On the instruction of Mrs Beryl Astbury and Mrs Pamela Lewis, descendants of Mr Richard Lewis, their solicitor Bernard de Maid has written to the Secretary of State for Justice requesting a pardon for Richard Lewis. I repeat Richard Lewis’s last words before his hanging on 13 August 1831, which reaffirm this miscarriage of justice: “O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd.” In English, this means, “Oh Lord, this is injustice.”

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Wales,

Declares that Richard Lewis (known as Dic Penderyn) was a Welsh labourer and coal miner who lived in Merthyr Tydfil; further that he was involved with the Merthyr Rising of 3 June 1831; further that during the riot, he was arrested and charged with stabbing a soldier, Donald Black, with a bayonet; further that the people of Merthyr Tydfil were convinced of his innocence and signed a petition for his release; further that despite this, he was found guilty and hanged on 13 August; further that in 1874, a man named Ianto Parker confessed on his death bed that he stabbed Donald Black; further that James Abbott, who testified against Richard Lewis at the trial later admitted to lying under oath; further that at Mr Lewis’ trial, the Prosecution suppressed evidence which would have exonerated him; further that the same evidence, which should have led to his pardon in 1831, was also suppressed by the trial Judge and the Home Secretary; further that there is strong feeling in Wales that Richard Lewis was wrongly executed, that his conviction should be overturned and that he should be granted a pardon.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Justice to grant a pardon to Richard Lewis.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.