1. ITV Report

MP urges pardon for hanged Welsh working class martyr Dic Penderyn

Aberavon MP, Stephen Kinnock, has led a delegation of campaigners to the Ministry of Justice to deliver a 600 signature strong petition calling for the posthumous pardon for Dic Penderyn.

185 years after Penderyn was sentenced to death for his part in the 1831 Merthyr uprising and the stabbing of Lance Corporal Donald Black, a reception was held to commemorate the Welsh working class martyr in Parliament.

Welsh miner Dic Penderyn was hanged nearly 200 years ago. Credit: ITV News

The reception was attended by Dic Penderyn’s descendants, representatives from the Dic Penderyn Society and Port Talbot and Merthyr Trades Union Councils.

Richard Lewis aka Dic Penderyn was born and spent his childhood in Aberavon.

He is also buried in St Mary’s Church in Aberavon.

In 1831, Penderyn, aged 23, was tried at the Cardiff Assize for having, during the Merthyr Uprising on 3rd June 1831, stabbed Donald Black, then a Lance Corporal in the Army, with intent to wound.

His trial lasted one day.

He was found guilty and sentenced to death.

He was hanged in public in St Mary Street, Cardiff on 13th August 1831.

Thousands walked with his body from Cardiff to his final resting place in St Mary’s churchyard, Port Talbot.

Dic Penderyn’s last recorded words were: "Oh Lord, here is iniquity".

Just over forty years later a man named Ianto Parker confessed to the crime, and the only witness at Dic Penderyn's trial admitted having lied under oath.

Stephen Kinnock is calling for a posthumous pardon for Dic Penderyn. Credit: Sean Pursey

Penderyn was the victim of a grave miscarriage of justice.

He maintained his innocence to the very end and years later evidence came to light casting serious doubts over his conviction.

The fact that this injustice took place nearly 200 years ago does not make it any less important.

His descendants and campaign groups from Aberavon and Merthyr have fought tirelessly to clear his name.

They were with me when we delivered the petition and our message to the Lord Chancellor is simple: we will not let this rest, we will not let this injustice continue, we will carry on with this fight until we have secured a posthumous pardon for Dic Penderyn.

– Stephen Kinnock MP, Labour
A delegation of campaigners have delivered a 600 signature strong petition to to the Ministry of Justice. Credit: Sean Pursey