raucously in clubs, societies and meetings. The anthem, sung to the refrain 'Ac unwn lawen ganiad ar doriad teg y dydd' ('And join in joyful song at the fair break of dawn'), was designed to commemorate 'our viscitudes (sic) of Fortune' and made great play of the treachery, conquest and pillage wrought by merciless Romans, the 'treacherous' Vortigern, 'that tyrant' Edward I and 'the usurper' Henry IV.93 At bottom, however, William Jones's political radicalism was fuelled by the effects of profound social and economic changes which, in his view, boded ill for small farmers in Montgomeryshire and elsewhere.94 From the 1770s onwards patterns of life had been changing in farming communities in mid-Wales: the traditional three-life leases were a thing of the past and by the end of the century even relatively short leases of seven, nine, fourteen or twenty-one years had been replaced by annual tenancies.95 Rack-renting was rife on the Wynnstay estate: the ten pounds which William Jones paid in rent in 1786 had trebled by 1795.96 As early as December 1786 he had written a bold letter to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the foppish baronet whose spendthrift ways saddled the Wynnstay estate with enormous debts, reminding him that his 'renowned father' had been more than happy to receive letters in Welsh from his penurious tenants and had done all within his power to redress their grievances. He rebuked him for employing agents who were so 'destitute of the principles of justice [and] moral honesty' that they had little or no regard for the feelings of tenants. Agents such as the powerful and unscrupulous Francis Chambre of Oswestry, who commanded an annual salary of £ 500, had ensured that Sir Watkin's name had become a synonym for 'Tyrant' and 'Oppressor'.97 By the 1790s Jones believed that the wealthy and privileged landed elite which exercised power through the arbitrary and callous deeds of stewards and agents had forfeited its right to unquestioning obedience by violating the traditional code of conduct based on reciprocal deeds and gestures. In language redolent of the writings of his mentor Voltaire, he declared that society was composed of 'Shearers' and 'Feeders', 'Oppressors' and 'Slaves', and that tenant farmers who lived in slavish dependence could, in the eyes of their masters, 'scarcely be distinguished ^N.L.W. MS. 13221E, ff. 367-69; 13222C, ff. 220-21. The best account of social and economic changes in the parish of Llangadfan is by E. H. C. Davies, 'Property and Landownership in Llangadfan', Mont. Colls., 79 (1991), 29-112. T- M. Humphreys, 'Rural Society in Eighteenth-Century Montgomeryshire' (unpubl. University of Wales Ph.D. thesis, 1982), p. 122. "N.L.W., Longueville Deeds and Documents nos. 858, 925. I owe this reference to the kindness of Major E. H. C. Davies. 'Llangadfan Parochial Records, no. 1, ff. 98v-99v.