Concertina detail. 1839-43.
The Rebecca Riots were a series of protests undertaken by local farmers and agricultural workers in response to unfair taxes. The rioters, mostly men, tended to dress in women's clothing as a form of disguise, and primarily took their actions against toll-gates, as they were considered tangible representations of high taxes and tolls.
It is suggested that the name Rebecca was chosen from a verse in the Bible, Genesis 24:60 - 'And they blessed Rebekah and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them'. This verse was shouted many a time from the religious urban dwellers.