From Ian Winstanley's book on the disaster 'Weep Mother Weep'
Wood Pit Explosion Haydock, 1878
189 victims of the explosion are listed in the 1878 Report

Those Who Died

One hundred and eighty nine victims of the explosion are listed in the 1878 Report of the Inspector of Mines. The other details have been taken from the local newspaper reports of the disaster, the report of the Inquest, and the surviving grave records. The victims were buried at St.Thomas' Church of England, Ashton, St.Oswald's Roman Catholic Church Ashton, St.James' Church of England Haydock or Wargrave Cemetery (Newton le Willows), Earlstown, St.Helens or Mold in North Wales.

The original Coroner's reports do not survive but some points of interest that come from a study of the victims seem to indicate that there are inaccuracies in the official list in the Report of the Inspector of Mines. Another 15 victims appearing in the Coroner's Inquest and in some cases in the burial registers do not appear on the official list

If these fifteen are included, the final total is two-hundred and four. The conditions both above and below ground were deteriorating. Bodies had started to decompose and there was great pressure to get them identified and buried as soon as possible as the danger of disease was very great. The true final death toll may never be known but all those who are mentioned as victims are listed here. One thing is sure - that the true count is higher than the 189 which is the official number given in the Report of the Inspector of Mines for 1878.


1. James Molyneaux, 20 yrs.
Dataller - lived in Old Boston, Haydock. He was identified by James Livesley who took part in the rescue attempts.
Buried at St.Oswald's Ashton, 11th June.

2. James Higson, 19 yrs.
A Waggoner of Dig Nook, Ashton.
His father William, was working with the rescue party that discovered his body but he failed to recognise him at that point. The body was claimed twice from the mortuary and returned. William eventually made the identification from a piece of red braided material that James used to hold up his pants.

3. William Jameson, 15 yrs.
A pony driver of Derby St., Earlestown.
His body was brought up on the first Saturday morning and was identified by his father, William, who was the surface boiler man at the pit and had a conversation with Mr Turton before he descended the pit immediately after the explosion.

4. Edward Sutton, 46 yrs.
A dataller, from Town Green, Ashton. H
e left a wife and four children. He was in the Ravenhead Mine at the time of the explosion and, his colleagues went to the pit eye and safety, he got lost and was overcome by the afterdamp. He was buried at St.Thomas', Ashton, 11th June.

5. William Winstanley, 12 yrs.
A coupler, of Battersby Row, Boston, Haydock. He was identified by his brother, Thomas and buried at St. Thomas Ashton, 11th June.

6. William Wilcock, 61 yrs.
A dataller, of Kenyons Lane, Haydock, who left a wife and four children. He was identified by James Livesley and buried 11th June at St.Thomas', Ashton.

7. Thomas Winstanley, 13 yrs.
A pony driver, of Mill Lane, Ashton who was identified by his father, James and buried at St. Thomas', Ashton 11th June.

8. Thomas Shaw, 22 yrs.
A dataller, of Earlestown. He worked at the pit for five yrs and was identified by his brother, John, who was a collier at Boston Pit but had worked down Wood Pit up to three yrs previous. His brother James (No.188) was also killed.

9. William Unsworth, 23 yrs.
He worked as a jigger.

10. James Leyland, 40 yrs.
A collier, of Newton Common, Newton. John Jones (No.65) was his drawer. It was realised at the time that a mistake had been made with this body. He was brought out of the pit on the first saturday afternoon and, although was burnt and badly disfigured, he was claimed by a woman who said she was his wife and buried in St.Helen's Cemetary. Later body number 63 was positively identified as James Leyland by his housekeeper, Martha Chadwick and it was thought at the time that this body was buried at Haydock, St. James' with "Unknown. 7th June 1878" on the coffin lid. However the mystery deepens further as James Leyland appears in the grave records at Wargrave Cemetary Newton, on 15th June.

11. Joseph Hindley, 13 yrs.
A drawer, of Old Boston, Haydock, who left a wife. On the official records his age is given as thirteen but in the burial register at St.Thomas', Ashton it is given as nineteen. He was identified by his mother, Mary who had lost two other sons John and James (Nos. 25 and 51) in the explosion and another son and her husband in the Queen pit explosion a few yrs before.

12. Henry Waterworth, 23 yrs.
A dataller, of New Boston, Haydock who left a wife and one child. He was identified by James Livesley and buried at St.Oswald's, Ashton, June 11th.

13. Thomas Dixon, 48 yrs.
A jigger, of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock who left a widow and two children. He was identified by James Livesley and buried at St. Thomas', Ashton, June 11th.

14. William Smith, 33 yrs.
A dataller, of Heath Road, Ashton who left a wife and three children. He was identified by Bridget, his wife and had worked at the colliery for about five yrs.

15. William Smith, 19 yrs.
He was identified by his father, Henry, a spinner from Golborne. William lived with his three sisters, one of whom, was married to Mr Millington, a fireman at Wood pit who was lost in the disaster.

16. John Evans, 23 yrs.
A collier from Regent's Street, Earlestown. He left a widow and four children. his widow, Mary, made the identification. At the time he was working as a drawer for Bernard Nolan, even though he was a collier.

17. William Hindley, 12 yrs.
He is listed as a pony driver.

18. James (Joseph) Griffiths, 14 yrs.
The official list, names him as "James" but the Wigan Observer and, more conclusively, the burial register at Earlestown, name him as "Joseph". he was buried on the 11th June and identified by his brother John, who was a waggoner at Wood Pit but had not gone to work that day due to a festering finger. James was a hooker-on.

19. James Barnes, 30 yrs.
A dataller, from Cross Street, Earlestown who was identified by James Livesley.

20. John Evans, 14 yrs.
A hooker-on, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown and identified by his cousin Charles Evans. Buried, 11th June at Earlestown.

21. Henry Waterworth, 23 yrs.
A dataller, of New Boston, Haydock who left a wife and child. He was identified by James Livesley and buried at St.Oswald's. Ashton on 11th June. His gravestone still stands in the churchyard.

22. Edward Waterworth, 50 yrs.
A collier, of New Boston, Haydock, who left a wife and six children. He was identified by James Livesley and buried at St.Thomas', Ashton with sons Thomas (No.47) and Henry (No.12) on 11th June.

23. Robert Rowland, 20 yrs.
A drawer, from Viaduct Street, Earlestown, who was identified by John Edwards, his brother-in-law. Buried June 11th at Earlestown.

24. Evan Meredith, 36 yrs.
A collier, from Newton Common who left a wife and four children. James Livesley, his brother-in-law, made the identification.

25. John Hindley, 12 yrs.
A jigger, of Haydock who was identified by his mother, Mary, and buried with his two brothers, James (No.25) and Joseph (No.11), at St. Thomas', Ashton, 11th June.

26. Jonathan Rowley, 35 yrs.
A collier, of Lyme Street, Haydock who left a wife and six children, one of whom, Henry (No.73), was killed in the explosion. Buried 12 June at St. James', Haydock.

27. Enoch Booth, 25 yrs.
A collier, of Haydock who was identified by John Evans and buried 12 June at St.James', Haydock.

28. John Hughes, 40 yrs.
A drawer, of Regents Road, Newton who left a wife and six children. He was identified by Edward Edwards who was a miner but had served with the Flintshire Militia. Buried at Earlestown, 11th June.

29. Thomas Pilkington, 26 yrs. (See Note Below)
A collier, of Kenyons Lane, Haydock. He left a wife and two children and was identified by his wife, Margaret.

30. Daniel Wilson, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of Lime Kiln Lane, Ashton. He was identified by his father, William, who worked at the pit but he did not go to work that day. He was buried on the 12th June at St.Thomas', Ashton.

31. James Whittle, 62 yrs.
A dataller, of Old Boston, Haydock who left a wife and two children. He was identified by his wife, Mary, and was buried on 12th June at St.Thomas', Ashton.

32. Richard Evans, 20 yrs.
A collier, of Abbott's House, Haydock. He was identified by his father, John, who had worked in the mine until May 19th. His father was in the party that brought the body out of the mine. His brother-in-law and his uncle were still in the pit at the time. Richard was buried on the 12th June at St.James', Haydock.

33. Thomas Clare, 37 yrs.
A collier of Gibraltar Row, Newton. He left a wife and five children. He was identified by his father, Samuel.

34. John Blinstone, 20 yrs.
A drawer from Newton. A single man who was identified by his sister Elizabeth Jones.

35. John Knowles, 23 yrs.
A collier of Barnes Row, Haydock who was identified by John Evans.

36. James Wild, 23 yrs.
A collier, of Penny Lane, Haydock. He left a wife and two children. He was identified by John Evans. James Pierpoint (No.38) was his drawer. Buried 12th June at St. Thomas', Ashton.

37. John Pilling, 24 yrs.
A collier, of Greenall Row, Haydock. Buried at Haydock St. James', 13th June.

38. James Pierpoint, 17 yrs.
Drawer, of Penny Lane, Haydock. He worked for James Wild (No.36), and was identified by John Evans. Buried at St. Thomas', Ashton, 12th June.

39. William Turncock, 28 yrs.
A collier, of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock who left a wife and four children. He was identified by John Evans. Thomas Skidmore was his drawer. Buried 12th June, St. James', Haydock.

40. Thomas Skidmore, 24 yrs.
Of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock. He was a drawer to William Turncock and identified by John Evans. He was a member of the Haydock Colliery Brass Band and was buried at St. James' with his instrument placed on top of the coffin, on 12th June.

41. Edward Evans, 40 yrs.
A collier of 30 Viaduct Street, Earlestown who left a wife and five children. Buried 23rd June at Earlestown.

42. Thomas Reed, 36 yrs.
A dataller, of Gibralter Row, Newton. He left a widow and two children and was identified by his brother-in-law, William Smith.

43. James Fairhurst, 41 yrs.
A collier from Ram's Head Row, Haydock. He left a widow, Nancy, who made the identification.

44. William Fairhurst, 27 yrs.
A dataller, of Crow Lane, Newton who was identified by John Walsh of Stubshaw Cross, Ashton, his brother-in-law.

45. Thomas Whittle, 20 yrs.
A collier, of Old Boston, Haydock. He was identified by his mother, Mary who also lost her husband, James (No.120) and her only other son, Joseph (No.31). The identification was made by John Evans. Buried 12th June at St.Thomas', Ashton. (See 120).

46. James Norbury, 44 yrs.
A collier, from Old Boston, Haydock who left a wife and two children. He was identified by John Evans and lodged with Thomas Whittle's father, James (No. 120) who when this identification was made had not been found.

47. Thomas Waterworth, 12 yrs.
Of New Boston, Haydock who was employed as a balancer. He was identified by Sarah Peak whose son was still in the mine. Thomas was her brother's son and was buried with his father, Edward (No.22) and his brother, Henry (No.112) at St. Thomas', Ashton, 13th June.

48. Martin Roach, 22 yrs.
A dataller, of Leigh Street, New Boston, Haydock. He was identified by Michael Cavey of Viaduct Street, Earlestown. Martin was a single man.

49. John Murphy, 17 yrs.
A drawer, of Robin's Row, Newton who was identified as drawer to Richard Evans (No.32) by John Evans.

50. Thomas Arnold, 25 yrs.
A drawer, of Market Street, Earlestown. He left a widow and one child and was buried at Earlestown, 13th June.

51. James Hindley, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of Old Boston, Haydock who left a wife. He was identified by his mother, Mary, who lost a husband and a son in the Queen Pit explosion a few yrs before. He is buried with his brothers, John (No.25) and Joseph (No.11) at St.Thomas', Ashton.

52. Peter Millington, 32 yrs.
A collier, of Earlestown who left a wife and two children. He was identified by his brother Joseph, of Newton Common who was a browman at Lyme pit. His brother George (No.144) was also lost in the explosion.

53. William Cunnah, 40 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who left a widow and one child.

54. Peter Nolan, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of New Boston, Haydock. He was identified by his father Michael. He was a drawer to Michael Kelly (No.141). His brother Bernard (No.100) was lost in the explosion but a third brother escaped and is on the list of survivors. Buried at St.Oswald's Ashton, 13th June.

55. George Hales, 32 yrs.
A dataller, of Church Row, Haydock who was identified by a lifelong friend, Joseph Poynton, of New Boston, Haydock.

56. James Clifford, 21 yrs.
A drawer from Clipsley Row, Haydock. He was identified by Edward Yarwood of Simms Cottages, Haydock who was a collier at the pit. James was drawer to James Gerrard (No.170) and was buried at St.James', Haydock, 15th June.

57. William Dearden, 32 yrs.
A dataller, of Crow Lane, Newton who supported his aged mother. He was identified by William Arnold, his brother- in-law who was a fireman at New Boston Colliery.

58. James Dearden, 28 yrs.
A jigger, of Clipsley Lane, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was identified by Robert Williamson, a friend who was a sinker.

59. William McGlynn, 16 yrs.
a drawer, of Heath Lane, Ashton. He was identified by his father, Charles, who had worked down the pit for seven yrs but had gone blind. He was able to make the identification from a clog which he mended for William with a piece of leather and some brattice nails two days before the explosion. He was buried at St.Oswald's, Ashton, 14th June.

60. Peter Roach, 22 yrs.
A dataller, who lived with his cousin, Mr S.Martin, of Leigh Street, New Boston, Haydock. He was identified by Michael Cavey, his brother-in-law. His brother Michael (No.69) was also killed in the explosion.

61. Thomas Wood, 25 yrs.
A bricksetter, of Dobbs Court, Ashton. He was identified by Thomas Harrison of Lily Lane, Ashton.

62. Thomas McCarty, 20 yrs.
A collier, of Crow Lane, Newton. He left a wife and a child and was identified by his brother, William, who was a Mold collier. Robert Hughes (No.64) worked as Thomas'drawer. The name in the burial register at Earlestown is spelt Mccartney. Buried 12th June.

63. John Welding, 15 yrs.
A pony driver, of 12 Lyme Street, Haydock. His brother, William (No.124) was also lost in the disaster and he was identified by his mother, Margaret. Buried at St.Oswald's, Ashton, 15th June. (See No.124)

64. Robert Hughes, 26 yrs.
A drawer, of Earlestown who was identified by Edward Edwards. Robert was drawer to Thomas McCarty (No.62). Buried 11th June at Earlestown.

65. John Jones, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown, who was identified by Michael Clark, his brother-in-law, a collier with whom he lodged. His collier was James Leyland (No.10).

66. Llewllyn Lloyd, 29 yrs.
A collier, of Regent's Street, Earlestown who left a wife and two children. He was identified by David Edwards who should have gone to work that morning but had a sore eye.

67. James Thomas, 32 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who was identified by Edward Edwards, James Fox was his drawer.

68. Daniel Gittens, 35 yrs.
A collier, of America Lane, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was identified by David Edwards. According to some sources he may have been known as David.

69. Michael Roach, 25 yrs.
A dataller, of Robins Row, Newton. He left a wife and a child. His brother Peter (No.60) was also lost in the explosion. Michael was identified by Michael Cavey.

70. James (Isaac) Lloyd, 27 yrs.
A collier, of Regent's Street, Earlestown who was married with two children. Buried at Earlestown 14th June where his name is given in the register as Isaac.

71. James Roberts, 15 yrs.
A pony tenter, of Heath Lane, Ashton. Buried 14th June at St. Thomas', Ashton.

72. John Evans, 14 yrs.
Hooker-on of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who was identified by his cousin, Charles Evans. Buried 11th June at Earlestown.

73. Henry Rowley, 13 yrs.
A jigger, of Lyme Street, Haydock who was identified by his sister Caroline and buried 15th June at St. James', Haydock. His father, Jonathon (No.26) was also killed in the explosion.

74. John Jones, 28 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who was identified by John Newton, a dataller at Ram pit. John had left the pit to go into the Derbyshire Militia but later had returned to the work he knew. He was identified by his army stockings that were given back to his sister. Buried 15th June at Earlestown.

75. John Edwards, 49 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who left a wife and two children. He was identified by his wife, Mary. Buried 14th June at Earlestown.

76. George Cunliffe, 24 yrs.
Of Old Road, Ashton who was drawer to William Roberts (No.77). He was identified by his wife, Margaret and buried 14th June at St. Thomas', Ashton.

77. William Roberts, 35 yrs.
A collier, of Heath Lane, Ashton who was a married man with five children. His son, James (No.71) was also lost and they were buried together at St.Thomas', Ashton, 14th June. He had two drawers, Thomas Boon (No.169) and George Cunliffe (No.76).

78. William Boon, 15 yrs.
A drawer of Penny Lane, Haydock. He came from a family of five children, all of whom were killed in the explosion, and was identified by his step-mother, Mary. William was a drawer for his brother Isaac (No.79. Buried St.Thomas', Ashton, 14th June.

79. Isaac Boon, 21 yrs.
A collier of Penny Lane, Haydock. He left a wife and a child. He was identified by his wife, Ann and was buried at St.Thomas', Ashton, 14th June. He was son of Nathan (No.162) and brother to William (No.78), Thomas (No.80) and John (No.163)

80 Thomas Boon, 18 yrs.
A drawer, of Lodge Lane, Haydock. He was identified by his grandfather, Thomas Turton with who he lived. He was drawer for William Roberts (No.77). Buried 14th June at St. Thomas', Ashton. He was son of Nathan (No.162) and brother to William (No.78), Isaac (No.79) and John (No.163.

81. Charles Redman, 26 yrs.
A dataller, of New Boston, Haydock and identified by John Sharratt.

82. John Jones, 22 yrs.
A dataller, of William Square, Newton. He was identified by William Williams of Old Lane, Haydock a balancer at Wood pit. Buried at St. James', Haydock, 15th June.

83. James Peake, 14 yrs.
A pony driver, of New Boston, Haydock. He was identified by his mother, Sarah and buried at St. James', Haydock, 15th June.

84. Job Swain, 18 yrs.
A jiggerman, of Clipsley Lane, Haydock. He was identified by William McIntyre, a dataller of Queen pit who was his brother-in-law. Buried at St.James', Haydock, 15th June.

85. John Boon, 42 yrs.
A collier of Lodge Lane, Haydock. He was identified by William Hodgkinson of Ashton Heath, a collier at Ram pit. John was brother to Nathan (No.162). He was buried at St. Thomas', Ashton, 15th June.

86. Edward Richardson, 39 yrs.
A collier of Heath Lane, Ashton. He left a wife. He worked with John Boon (No.42) and was identified by William Benson a furnace tenter at Old Boston pit, who was his brother-in-law.

87. Thomas Thompson, 28 yrs.
Of Lodge Lane, Haydock. He was buried at St. Oswald's, Ashton, 15th June. He was identified by his wife Eliza.

88. Hugh Wade, 21 yrs.
A drawer, of New Boston, Haydock who was identified by John King who lived with Wade and his brother. He was a drawer for John Welding (No.128) and was buried at St. Oswald's, Ashton, 15th June.

89. John Cusic, 18 yrs.
A drawer, of New Boston, Haydock who was identified by Thomas Finaron, a collier. John was John King's (No.91) drawer.

90. James Fox, 27 yrs.
A drawer, from Back-Bridge Street, Earlestown. He was identified by his mother, Mary, whom he supported. He was drawer to Thomas Thompson.

91. John King, 31 yrs.
A collier, of Duke Street, Earlestown who left a wife and three children, He was identified by his wife Rose. John Cusic (No.89) was his drawer.

92. Thomas Melling, 22 yrs.
A dataller. A positive identification was made and the body buried but later No.92 was identified as Michael Whelan by John Shaw of Earlestown. At the inquest it was agreed that a mistake had been made and No.92 could not have been Whelan.

93. George Green, 15 yrs.
A pony driver, of Leigh Street, Earlestown. He was identified by his mother, Elizabeth and at the time the body of her husband, Richard (No.147) was still in the mine. Buried 15th June, Earlestown.

94. Peter Tyrer, 51 yrs.
A dataller, of Old Whint Road, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was identified by his wife, Elizabeth.

95. James Twiss, 27 yrs.
A collier, of Toll Bar, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was identified by Elizabeth Mercer and buried with his brother, Joseph (No.102) at St.Thomas', Ashton, 16th June. His drawer was William Carey (No.121). In the burial records the name is given as Twist.

96. Woodwin, Jones, 21 yrs.
A drawer, of Toll Bar, Haydock who was identified by his step-father William Longworth of Blackbrook, Haydock. Buried 16th June at Haydock St. James'.

97. Peter Hughes, 37 yrs.
A collier, of Old Whint Road, Haydock who left a wife and four children. He was identified by his wife, Alice. He had worked at the pit for two yrs. His drawer was Edward Byrom (No.110).

98. John Pimblett, 21 yrs.
A drawer. of 27, Lyme Street, Haydock. His mother Elizabeth made the identification. He was buried at St.Thomas', Ashton with his father, Edward (No.131), 16th June where his name is given in the register as John James.

99. Peter Sharples, 35 yrs. Buried at St. Thomas', Ashton, 15th June. (See Note Below)
A collier, of Kenyon's Lane, Haydock who was identified by Alice Hannah Owen, his step-daughter. William Sharples his son, who is unlisted in the official records, was his drawer along with James Owen, Alice's brother (No.103) Peter Owen, their father, was killed at New Boston Colliery in 1867 in a roof fall. He was buried at St. Thomas', Ashton, 15th June.

100 Bernard Nolan, 27 yrs.
A collier, of 58 New Boston, Haydock who left a wife and two children. He was identified by his father, Michael who also lost his other son Peter (No.54) in the explosion. Buried St.Oswald's, Ashton, 15th June. John Evans (No.16) was his drawer.

101 William Leyland, 46 yrs.
A collier, of Abbott's Cottages, Haydock who left a wife. He was identified by James Hilton who was his step- father. Matthew Fairfurst (No.105) was his drawer and he was buried at St.Thomas', Ashton, 15th June.

102 Joseph Twiss, 22 yrs.
According to the records of the time the name is spelt Twist. He was a dataller of Clipsley Lane, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was identified by his wife, Margaret and is buried with his brother James (No.95) at St. Thomas', Ashton, 16th June.

103 James Owen, 14 yrs. (See Note Below)
A drawer of 8 Kenyon's Lane, Haydock and buried with his brother William (No.109) at St. Thomas', Ashton, 15th June. He drew for Peter Sharples (No.99)

104 George Danks, 24 yrs.
No information on George except a name in the paper, but he is listed as a dataller in the official list.

105 Matthew Fairhurst, 24 yrs.
A drawer, of Lyme Street, Haydock. Identified by Margaret Greenall wife of Job Greenall with whom Matthew lodged. He was drawer to William Leyland.

106 Samuel Winstanley, 51 yrs.
A collier, of Battersby Row, Haydock who left a wife and three sons. Two of the sons were killed in the explosion James (No.112) and William (No.5) and were buried with him at St. Thomas', Ashton, 15th June. He was identified by the surviving son, Thomas.

107 Joseph Cotterall, 27 yrs.
A dataller, of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock and identified by Priscilla Atkinson with whom he lodged.

108 Robert Ellis, 33 yrs.
A dataller of Kenyon's Lane, Haydock and identified by Edward Beard of Lyme Street who left the pit at 7.15a.m. and volunteered for the rescue work. He was overcome by the afterdamp and sent home. Buried at St.James', Haydock, 15th June.

109 William Owen, 12 yrs.
A drawer, of Kenyon's Lane, Haydock. Buried with his brother, James (No.103) at St.Thomas', Ashton, 15th June.

110 Edward Byrom, 16 yrs.
A drawer, of Old Fold, Haydock who was identified by Peter Byrom of the Owls' Nest Hotel, Haydock. He was drawer to Peter Hughes (No.97) and buried at St.Thomas', Ashton, 11th June.

111 James Bibby, 56 yrs.
A dataller, of Haydock Green who was identified by Margaret Clementson, wife of Andrew. Bibby lodged with them. Buried 15th June, Haydock St.James'.

112 James Winstanley, 18 yrs.
A drawer, of Battersby Row, Haydock. His brother, William (No.5) and father Samuel (No.106) were also lost. Buried 16th June, St.Thomas', Ashton.

113 John Green, 21 yrs.
A drawer, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown. Identified by Michael Clark of the same street who was in the pit the night before the explosion but saw no gas. John was drawer to James Greenall. Buried 15th June at Earlestown.

114 Thomas Pimblett, 36 yrs.
A collier, of Lyme Street, Haydock who left a wife and five children. He was identified by his sister, Mary Ann Fairhurst. Buried 16th June, St. Thomas', Ashton, with his son John (No.123)

115 Thomas Sharples, 41 yrs.
A collier of 52 Parr Road, Parr. A single man whose father Thomas (No.135) was the oldest victim of the disaster at seventy three yrs of age. His brothers Thomas and William, were also killed. They were not on the official list.

116 Ralph Ashcroft, 21 yrs.
A drawer of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock who left a wife and two children. He was identified by Peter Ashcroft, his brother. His father (No.118 and other brother, both named James (No.119) were killed.

117 George Morton, 58 yrs.
A dataller of Vista Cottages, Haydock who left a wife and eight children. He was identified by Edward Turton, an engine tenter who lodged with them.

118 James Ashcroft, 53 yrs.
A collier of 2 Lyme Street, Haydock. He was father to Ralph (No.116) and James jnr. (No.119) and was identified by another son Peter. He had worked in many areas of the mine and had seen gas but was never concerned about it.

119 James Ashcroft, 16 yrs.
A drawer, of Lyme Street, Haydock who was identified by his brother Peter. Another brother Ralph (No.116) and his father James (No.118) were also lost in the explosion.

120 James Whittle, 62 yrs.
A dataller of Old Boston, Haydock who left a wife and two children. He was identified by his wife, Mary who also lost two sons, Thomas (No.45) and Joseph (No.31). Buried 15th June, St.Thomas', Ashton.

121 William Carey, 16 yrs.
A drawer, of Toll Bar House, Burtonwood who was identified by his father, William who was a banksman. He worked at the pit for eighteen months and was drawer to James Twiss (No.95).

122 Joseph Green, 23 yrs.
A drawer of, Twenty Eight Row, Haydock. He was a single man.

123 John Pimblett, 13 yrs.
A drawer, of Lyme Street, Haydock who was identified by Mary Ann Fairhurst, his aunt. Buried 16th June at St.Thomas', Ashton, with his father, Thomas (No.114).

124 William Welding, 21 yrs.
A dataller, of Lyme Street, Haydock. He was employed by Hugh Wade (No.88) as a drawer and identified by William's wife, Margaret. Buried at St.Oswald's, Ashton with his brother, John (No.63), 15th June.

125 John Redford, 15 yrs.
A pony driver, of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock who was identified by his mother, Mary. Her husband and eldest son escaped from the pit and her other son was not allowed down because he arrived late after going home for a forgotten tea can. James was buried at Haydock St. James', 15th June.

126 James Greenall, 34 yrs.
A collier of Kenyon's Lane, Earlestown. He was identified by his brother, Matthew, who was a collier at Pewfall pit and by Michael Clark who lived in the same street. Buried 15th June, St.Oswald's, Ashton. His drawer was Edward Green who is not on the official list.

127 James Dillon, 16 yrs.
A drawer from Lodge Lane, Haydock whose name is given in the burial register as William. He was identified by his brother John. He drew for James Worrall who did not go to work that day because of rheumatics. Buried St.Oswald's, Ashton, 15th June.

128 John Welding, 36 yrs.
A collier whose drawer was Hugh Wade (No.88)

129 John Conway, 20 yrs.
Dataller of Derby Street, Earlestown who was identified by his brother Martin.

130 George Powell, 35 yrs.
A dataller, of 3 Alma Cottages, Haydock who left a wife and three children. John Smallwood made the identification. The body was badly disfigured but Smallwood recognised George's clothes and clogs.

131 Edward Pimblett, 43 yrs.
A collier, of Lyme Street, Haydock and identified by his wife Elizabeth. His son John (No.98) drew for his father with whom he is buried, 16th June at St.Thomas' Ashton.

132 James Lyon, 44 yrs.
A dataller, of Kenyon's Lane, Haydock who left a wife and six children. He was identified by his son, John, who was a collier at Ram pit. Buried at St.Oswald's, Ashton, 15th June.

133 Edward Rodgers, 37 yrs.
Dataller of 8 Williamson Square, Haydock who left a wife and two children. He was identified by his wife, Mary. his brother, Robert (No.134) was also lost in the disaster. Buried St. James', Haydock, 15th June.

134 Robert Rodgers, 45 yrs.
Dataller of 57 Regent's Street and identified by Job Jones of the same street. Buried with his brother Edward (No.133) at St. James', Haydock, 15th June.

135 Thomas Sharples, 73 yrs.
A collier, of 52 Park Road, Parr who was identified by James Sharples. His two sons Thomas (Jnr.) (No.115) and Thomas (unlisted) were killed in the disaster. He was the oldest casualty and a widower.

136 James McGovern, 42 yrs.
A dataller, of Crow Lane, Earlestown and identified by James Drake, also of Earlestown.

137 John Jones, 22 yrs.
Of 47 Viaduct Street, Earlestown who left a wife and a child.

138 James Winstanley, 57 yrs.
A dataller, of Crow Lane, Earlestown who was identified by James Davies also of Crow Lane.

139 Michael King, 37 yrs.
A dataller, of New Boston, Haydock who was a widower with four children. He was identified by his brother, James who was a shunter at New Boston pit. Buried St. Oswald's, Ashton, 18 June.

140 William Walpole, 48 yrs.
a collier, of Clipsley Lane, Haydock and identified by Margaret Round wife of Samuel of Smithy Row. Samuel was a collier at Ram Pit. Walpole's home was in Pemberton, Wigan but he lodged with the Rounds. Although he was a collier, he was working as a dataller at the time of the explosion.

141 Michael Kelly, 27 yrs.
A collier, of Barber's Square, Ashton. He was identified by his father, Patrick who was a farm labourer from Blackburn. His father had previously tried to persuade Michael to come out of the pit and go back to farming. Buried, 19th June, St.Oswald's, Ashton.

142 Benjamin Pilling, 27 yrs.
A dataller, of Greenall's Row, Haydock. he was identified by his father, Thomas, who lived with him and was a collier at Boston Pit. The identification was made from his clogs and the fact that he had previously lost a finger from one of his hands.

143 Thomas Harrison, 53 yrs.
A dataller, of Mercer's Cottages, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was identified through his shoes. His brother-in-law made the identification. Thomas had come from Staffordshire the week before to work in the mine. Buried, St.James', Haydock, 22nd June.

144 George Millington, 37 yrs.
A fireman, of Crow Lane, Newton who left a wife. His brother, Peter (No.52) was also lost in the disaster. He was identified by his wife, Elizabeth from his features and his clothes.

145 Thomas Stillwell, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of Bridge Street, Earlestown. Identified by his sister, Ann Stillwell, through his trousers, belt and his features. He was drawer to John Turton (No.146) and was buried at Earlestown, 23rd June.

146 John Turton, 30 yrs.
A collier, of Workhouse Row, Earlestown who left a wife and was identified by his mother, Mary, through his stockings which she had given to him as a present. Buried, 23rd June at Earlestown.

147 Richard Green, 48 yrs.
A collier, of Leigh Street, Earlestown who left a wife and four children. George Green (No.93) was his son. He was identified by his wife, Elizabeth from his features.

148 William Hughes, 20 yrs.
A collier, of Leigh Street, Earlestown. Identified by his father, Charles. He worked with Richard Green (No.147). Buried 23rd June at Earlestown.

149 William Smith, 36 yrs.
A collier, of Crow Lane, Earlestown who left a wife and three children. He was identified by his wife, Alice who could not recognise him by his face but knew his clothing.

150 George Swift, 31 yrs.
A collier, of Old Nook Row, Haydock who left a wife. He was identified by Joseph Johnson of Blackbrook through his features and his clothes. His brother, John (No.151) was his drawer.

151 John Swift, 29 yrs.
He was drawer to George (No.150) his brother and was identified by Peter Hughes of Park Road, Parr through his features and his clothes.

152 Edward Evans, 40 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who was identified by his wife, Sarah. She lost her husband and two boys, Robert (No.153) and John (No.20) in the explosion.

153 Robert Evans, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of 30 Viaduct Street, Earlestown who drew for his father, Edward (No.152) and identified by Sarah, his mother. John (No.20) was his brother. Buried 23rd June at Earlestown.

154 Thomas Edwards, 18 yrs.
A drawer, of 63 Viaduct Street, Earlestown who was identified by Elizabeth Evans, wife of Charles. Thomas lodged with them and was drawer to George Evans (No.155). The identification was made from his clothes. He was buried 15th June at Earlestown.

155 George Evans, 29 yrs.
A collier, of 29 Viaduct Street, Earlestown who left a wife and four children. Buried at Earlestown, 24th June. His drawer was Thomas Edwards (No.154).

156 Joseph Johnson, 14 yrs.
A drawer, of New House, Haydock. Buried 24th June, Haydock, St. James'. Johnathan (No.157) was his father.

157 Johnathan Johnson, 41 yrs
A collier, of New House, Haydock and father of Joseph (No.156). He left a wife and seven children and was buried at Haydock, St.James', 24th June.

158 John Jordan, 25 yrs.
A drawer, of Market Street, Newton who was identified by Jacob Cooper of the same street who was the boilerman at Lyme Pit. He drew for John Williams who is not on the list of victims, and was recognised through his clothing. Buried 15th June at Earlestown.

159 John Williams, 28 yrs.
A collier, of Booth Street, Earlestown who left a wife and three children. He was identified by his wife, Jane from his clothing.

160 George Whittley, 20 yrs.
He was recognised by his brother, Edward and was drawer to Thomas Downs (No.161) with whom he lodged. He started to work at the pit the Wednesday before the explosion. Buried 25th June at Earlestown. His name is spelt Whitley in the burial register.

161 Thomas Downs, 43 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown. He was identified by his wife, Mary. Their son should have been down the pit that morning but he did not go, saying he had had a dream of an explosion. George Whittley (No.160) was his drawer.

162 Nathan Boon, 45 yrs.
A collier, of Penny Lane, Haydock who left a wife and nine children. He was brother to John and father to William (No.78). Thomas (No.80), Isaac (No.79) and John (No.163). He was identified by his wife, Mary through his flannel waistcoat and his clogs. Buried 25th June, St.Thomas', Ashton.

163 John Boon, 19 yrs.
A drawer, of Penny Lane, Haydock and son of Nathan (No.162). Brother to William (No.78), Thomas (No.80), Isaac (No.79) and Joseph (No.179). He was identified by his step-mother, Mary, through his clogs. She had previously identified two step-sons, Buried 15th June at St.Thomas', Ashton.

164 William Connah, 47 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown. He was a widower and left a child. John Ellis made the identification, as Wiliam lodged with him. He was blown to pieces in the explosion and was recognised by a piece of rope that he used as a belt.

165 James Robinson, 36 yrs.
A collier, of Twenty Eight Row, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was recognised by Elizabeth Taylor through a missing finger, his clothes and his features. Buried 26th June, St. James', Haydock.

166 Richard Chorley, 36 yrs.
A collier of Church Row, Haydock who left a wife and three children. He was recognised by James Rigby of College Street, St. Helens, a dataller who was his uncle. He recognised his clothes. Buried 26th June, St. James', Haydock.

167 William Baines, 35 yrs.
A collier, of Old Fold Cottages, Haydock who left a wife and five children. There seems to be some doubt about his age. It is given as 51 in the press and 35 in the Inspectors report.

168 John Baines, 20 yrs.
He lived in Old Fold Cottages, Haydock and was drawer to William (No.167) his cousin. The identification was made by John, his father who was a dataller at the colliery. He recognised a mole near the right eye and a thickened finger.

169 Thomas Burrows, 19 yrs.
He lived in Ebenezer Street, Haydock. He usually drew for Thomas Tyrer who was ill that morning and did not go to work. He drew for William Roberts (No.164). His father, William, a dataller at Ram Pit made the identification.

170 James Gerrard, 27 yrs.
A collier, of New Houses, Burtonwood, who left a wife and four children. He was drawer for James Clifford (No.56) and was recognised by his own wife, Margaret through his clothing.

171 Roger Banks, 41 yrs.
The deputy overlooker at the colliery who lived at Vista Court Cottages, Haydock. He left a wife and four children. He was identified by the engine tenter at the colliery, Edward Turton who lived next door to him. He was recognised through his watch, knife and clothes. He was thrown against the tubs by the explosion and was badly scorched.

172 Charles Hughes, 29 yrs.
A drawer, of 8 Earl Street, Earlestown. He was drawer to Thomas Cawley (No.173) and recognised by Jane Davies, widow, with whom he lodged. She was his aunt. His features were not much altered.

173 Thomas Cawley, 30 yrs.
The spelling of the name should be Cawley but appears as Crawley in the press. A collier, of Pig Lane, Ashton, who left a wife and two children. His wife Elizabeth recognised his features and he was buried 29th June at St. Thomas', Ashton.

174 Brien Lynch, 22 yrs.
A dataller, of Garswood Lane, Haydock who left a wife and four children. He was identified by Hugh Lynch of Commercial Buildings, Ashton who was a dataller at the pit and recognised the bottoms of his trousers that had been hemmed with calico and the two warts on his fingers. Buried 31st July, St.Oswald', Ashton. He was known as "Barney".

175 John Heyes, 38 yrs.
A collier of Church Row, Haydock. Michael Whalin (No.176) was his drawer and he was identified by his wife, Ellen, through his clogs and belt. Buried 31st July, Haydock St. James'.

176 Michael Whalin, 21 yrs.
Lived in Bridge Street, Earlestown, he drew for John Heyes (No.175). He was recognised by Edward Wolf from his trousers which were corduroy and with a patch on the knee and his lace-up clogs. The body was found in John Heyes' place with Heyes lying on top of him. At the inquest it was realised that a mistake had been made and Wolf was not aware that another body had been recognised as Whalin, but Wolf was sure of his identification. The other body identified as Whalin had been buried and it was now thought that this was Thomas Melling (No.92). The man who made the identification was recalled to give evidence. His name was Gibbons and he thought that he could have made a mistake. Mr Chadwick, the manager said that there was no reason for Whelan to be in the part of the mine where the other body was found and he was sure that Mr Wolf's evidence was correct. There is some confusion over the name. Although the mix up with the identification is well documented and No.176 is referred to as Whelan, 21 yeas a drawer, there is also a Michael Whelan 21 yrs said to be a collier in the press. See No.13 in the list of victims not on the official list.

177 Thomas Rowley, 15 yrs.
A drawer, of 37 Lyme Street, Haydock who was identified by his mother, Harriet who also lost her husband, Johnathan (No.26). Thomas drew for his father and was recognised through his clogs, trousers and stockings. Buried 4th July, Haydock St. James'.

178 Robert Kay, 30 yrs.
A collier, of Stone Row, Haydock who left a wife and four children. He was identified by his son through his stockings and garters. His drawer was Edward Twiss (No.180).

179 Joseph Boon, 14 yrs.
A drawer, of Penny Lane, Haydock who was identified by his step-mother, Mary. He was drawer for his brother, Isaac (No.79). Buried 14th July, St. Thomas', Ashton.

180 Edward Twiss, 18 yrs.
The name on the burial register and in the records is Twist. He was identified by his father, Thomas who was a metalman. He drew for Robert Kay (No.178) and was identified through having six toes on his left foot. Buried 5th July, St. Oswald's, Ashton.

181 Francis Molyneaux, 51 yrs.
A dataller, of Haydock who left a wife and five children. He was identified by Peter Morrow of New Boston, his half brother, through his trousers, watch and by the first finger of his left hand being missing. Buried 5th July, St.Oswald's, Ashton.

182 John Roberts, 20 yrs.
A collier, of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who left a wife and was recognised by Thomas Kay who was in the Ravenhead Mine at the time of the explosion.

183 Edward Manley, 21 yrs.
He was identified by Emma Hughes, with whom he lodged, through his clogs. He was a dataller and lived in Viaduct Street, Earlestown. Buried 5th July, Earlestown.

184 Ellis Roberts, 21 yrs.
A dataller, of 147 Viaduct Street, Earlestown. He was identified by John Edwards through his clogs that Edwards had previously worn. The body was badly disfigured and he was buried 13th July at Earlestown.

185 Charles Green, 21 yrs.
A collier, of 61 Viaduct Street who was recognised by John Edwards by his clogs and by his brother through the belt that he wore. His body was badly disfigured.

186 William Barnes, 51 yrs.
A collier, of Blackbrook Road, Parr who left a wife and six children. He was identified by his daughter, Elenor Barnes of Cross Lane, Newton from his face, clogs, trousers and watch. He had worked as a collier in Haydock for forty yrs and had complained about gas in the mine but would not leave the pit even though his daughter suggested he should.

187 Henry Bannan, 47 yrs.
A dataller, of Lyme Cottages, Haydock who left a wife and seven children. He was recognised by Ann Southern of Clipsley Row, Haydock by his clogs, belt and trousers. Buried St.James', Haydock, 12th July.

188 James Shaw, 17 yrs.
A Waggoner, of Earlestown. He was identified by his brother, John who recognised his trousers. His brother, Thomas (No.8)

189 Arthur Gore, 25 yrs.
A drawer, of Chandon Street, Earlestown who was identified by John Williams through his belt and clogs. He was drawer to Peter Melling.


James Callighan, 33 years. One of the rescue party. A married man from Lodge Lane, Ashton who was killed by a fall of roof in the rescue attempts and buried at St.Oswalds' Ashton 13th June.

The Victims Not On The Official List

The original Coroner's reports do not survive but some points of interest that come from a study of the victims seem to indicate that there are inaccuracies in the official list in the Report of the Inspector of Mines. The following are a list of victims appearing in the Coroner's Inquest and in some cases in the burial registers but do not appear on the official list.

1. William Bleers, 13 years.
A hooker-on of Market Street, Earlestown who was identified by his mother, Martha Rigby. He was her son by a former marriage. Her present husband, Henry, was a bricksetter at Lyme Pit. William had worked in the pit for six weeks and was reported as being "not much damaged save a cut on the chin".

2. Edward Green, 21 years.
A drawer of Viaduct Street, Earlestown. He drew for James Greenall (No.126) and was buried 15th June at Earlestown.

3. James Harrison, 19 years.
Named in the papers but not on the official list.

4. Llewellyn Hughes, 21 years.
Named in the papers but not on the official list.

5. John Jones, 23 years.
Listed in the press as a drawer. Although it is a very common name and there are five of this name listed on the official list, there are none aged 23 years and it is probable that he was a victim and should be included in the list.

6. Thomas Leyland, 40 years.
A collier of Crow Lane, Newton who was married with one child.

7. Robert Lloyd, 15 years.
His name appears in the Press and he was buried 14th June at St.Thomas', Ashton.

8. Thomas Sharples, 22 years.
There are three "Thomas Sharples" listed in the Press but only two on the official list, a) Thomas Snr. aged 73 years who lives with his son Thomas jnr. aged 41, b) Thomas Sharples whose address is given as Park Road, Parr but he lodged with James Sharples in Haydock. it also states in the Press that he lost his brother and father in the explosion leading to the conclusion that there were three men named Thomas Sharples.

9. William Sharples, 12 years. (See Note Below)
Identified by his step-mother Alice Ann Owen with whom he lived in Kenyon's Lane, Haydock. He was a drawer for his father, Peter (No.99) who was also killed in the disaster.

10. James Stolland, 40 years.
The only reference to this man is his inclusion in the list of victims in two separate newspapers of the time.

11. John Twiss, 29 years.
A single man who was a drawer living in Park Road, Parr.

12. Henry Twiss, 18 years.
A drawer of Stone Row, Haydock. He was a single man.

13. Michael Whelan, 21 years.
Listed in the press as a collier and a single man who lived in Workhouse Row, Earlestown. He was identified by John Shaw, a collier at Queen Pit. There is a possibility that Whelan could be Whalin (No.176) but the facts are confusing.

14. William Wigley, 20 years.
A drawer of Viaduct Street, Earlestown who was a single man.

15. John Wilton, 36 years.
A collier of Sumners Yard, Ashton who left a wife and five children. He was identified by his brother Patrick and buried 15th June at St.Oswald's, Ashton.

If these fifteen are included, the final total is two-hundred and four. The conditions both above and below ground were deteriorating. Bodies had started to decompose and there was great pressure to get them identified and buried as soon as possible as the danger of disease was very great. The true final death toll may never be known but all those who are mentioned as victims are listed here. One thing is sure - that the true count is higher than the 189 which is the official number given in the Report of the Inspector of Mines for 1878.




From: JohnHall
Sent: 2 April 2010
Subject: Supplementary Information Haydock Wood Pit Disaster

Dear Fionn,
Not a correction, more by way of supplementary information – Peter Sharples [99] was identified by Alice Hannah Owen, his step daughter – his drawer James Owen [103] was her brother. Peter Owen, their father, was killed at New Boston Colliery in 1867 in a roof fall.

Thomas Pilkington [26] was Peter’s son in law, his wife Margaret being the older sister of Alice Hannah, James and William Owen [109]. Peter Sharples’ wife Alice nee Woodcock, but recorded as Owen in identifying William Sharples [9] the son of Peter therefore lost her husband, two sons, a step son and a son in law.

Kind regards,

John  Hall

Pit Terminology

   
The Disaster
   
Those Who Died
   
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