The Long Riders' Guild

Historical Long Riders


Every age witnesses the birth of some great soul. Sometimes events bring these people to the attention of the world. More often than not, they alter the lives around them, then pass on quietly. Such a soul belonged to the author of this cherished book. There was nothing in Louisa Jebb’s comfortable Victorian youth to indicate she would one day take to the saddle and pen one of the most eloquent equestrian travel books ever written. Yet in the early years of the 20th century, Jebb set out with a female companion to cross the Turkish Empire on horseback. To say they were unprepared to become Long Riders would be an understatement. Neither of them could speak the local language. Furthermore, both wore cumbersome full-length skirts and rode side-saddles. They were, in a word, enthusiastic amateurs who believed courage and common sense would see them through. Remarkably, it did. Having hired a picturesque guide and reliable horses, they set out to explore the secret corners of the Sultan’s empire. What they discovered were guarded harems and regal Pashas, fabled rivers and a desert world of intense beauty. If Jebb rode into Turkey expecting to find adventure, she found it. Yet she discovered something else – nomadic freedom. It is her personal observations about this subject that set By Desert Ways to Baghdad and Damascus apart from other equestrian travel books. “In the untravelled parts of the East you reign supreme, there is no need to go about securely chained to a gold watch. Ignore Time, and he is your servant,” she observed wisely. Sadly, revolution and death soon swept across this fabled land, wiping away the kingdom of the Turkish Caliphs and laying the foundations for the grief which enshrouds this unhappy part of the world today.

Jephson.JPG (11978 bytes) Mountenay Jephson - rode through feudal Japan in 1869.



Lewis Jones (Llwyd Ap Iwan) was a Welsh colonist who settled in the Chubut Valley of Patagonia. He made extensive equestrian journeys across the area in the 1890s, before he was murdered by two American bandits named William Wilson and Robert Evans, who were mistakenly identified as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  According to the Jones family legend, Llwyd "ran a general store in Esquel, Patagonia, selling all sorts of sundries.  The story goes that Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid tried to rob the store, however Llewellyn (who was renowned as an excellent shot) was armed and refused to give up the takings. That night, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid set light to the curtains of Llewellyn's home, trying to kill or injure him. Although the fire was put out, he badly burned his hands.  The next day they returned to the store, shot him (he was unable to reach for his gun because of his burns) and ran off with the takings. There is a gravestone in Esquel inscribed in English, Spanish and Welsh marking the place where he was killed and saying he was 'shot by bandits'."  Now we know it was not Butch and Sundance, but Wilson and Evans.  Click here to read about the Long Riders who uncovered the truth.

Back to Main Historical Page             Home            Top