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Inquest Reports
Awsworth Colliery
Also known as Nuthall Colliery

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Awsworth Colliery also known as Nuthall Colliery

Inquest Reports From Newspapers - Re Nottinghamshire Fatal Accidents

Burial Register All Saints Strelley


All Saints  Strelley 1747 - Joseph Kirke Killed by falling in a coal pit buried 13 January 1747

William Goulder Killed in Nuthall Pits age not given. Buried Friday 25 October 1751 Dates before September 1852 in Julian calendar.

All Saints  Strelley 1758 - John Kirk Killed in a coal pit at Nuthall buried 30 January 1758

All Saints  Strelley 1759 - Joseph Hopkin fell into a coal pit buried 09 June 1759

Derby Mercury - Friday 21 December 1770

Three Men and a Boy
Inquest Job Ward

A few days hence a very melancholy accident happened at the colliery of Sir Charles Sedley, Bart, at Nuthall Near Nottingham. When the business was over, three men and a boy, labourers in the pit, were placed on a kind of vehicle, usually employed for their conveyance from the gloomy abode unfortunately before they had quite ascended the top the horses who sledge, suddenly took fright, and entangled the rope in in such a manner that it immediately broke, and forced the distressed creatures down the frightful precipice, which proved the grave for the men, but the boy by some means was saved from being a partner in their unhappy fate. What makes this catastrophe to be more lamented is the deceased have each left a widow and families of young children.

Two of the deceased may be Job Ward, of Kimberley and Thomas Reyner of Strelley, both buried 12 December 1770.

All Saints  Strelley 1771

Inquest Tom-Hodges

Thomas Hodges overcome by black damp

Derby Mercury - Friday 24 April 1778

Two Men


On Saturday fortnight a melancholy accident happened at Nuttall in Nottinghamshire, at the colliery of Sir Charles Sedley, Bart. Two Men were coming out of a pit in one of the carriages in which they drew up coals and when very near the top, that horse that drew the gin, taking fright, and turning the wrong way, they fell to the bottom of the pit being 130 yards in depth, and both were unfortunately killed; Their bodies were buried in one grave on Sunday last, one of them has left a wife and eight children.

Nottingham Review - Saturday 12 May 1815

Youth by the name of Green


A few days ago, a youth by the name of Green, that worked in one of the coal pits at Strelley new colliery. Having just come up from his work, by some strange impulse, for which there seems no accounting, literally walked into the pit which cost him his life.

Nottingham Review - Friday 11 March 1836

Thomas Hope


On Wednesday last an inquest was held by C, Swann, at the Lord Nelson Inn, Kimberley, on the body of Thomas Hope, collier. The deceased had on the 23rd ult. Incautiously taken a lighted candle in a part of the pit one belonging to Mr. T. North at Awsworth, which had not been worked for several days, and means had been taken to free it from foul air. but he proceeded before the proper time. The consequence was the foul air ignited, and caused a terrible explosion, by which he was so dreadfully burnt from the lower part of his body to his head, that he died of his injuries on Thursday. Verdict “Accidental  death”

Nottingham Journal - Friday 24 August 1838

John Siddon, Aged 30 - William Fisher, aged 28

Inquest-Siddon  Inquest-Siddon

On the 14th instant, at Mr Jonathan Leaver’s, The Gate Tavern, Awsworth, and by adjournment, on the 16th instant. At Mr. Henry Mather’s, the Lord Nelson Kimberley, relative to the death of John Siddon, aged 30, and William Fisher, aged 28, who had been killed at Messrs. North and Wakefield’s colliery, on the Monday previous. It appeared from the evidence, that on Monday forenoon about half past ten o’ clock, the two men deceased and a lad, the son of Siddon, who was also very seriously hurt were ascending in the chains, when about half way up the shaft, the whimsey stopped for want of steam; that in a little while it went on again, and instead of stopping when level with the pit bank, the chain continued to revolve. They were drawn over the wheel, and from thence dashed to the ground. The two men were so much hurt, as to occasion their deaths the same day, in both instances from injury to the head. In regard to the cause of the accident, Sampson Chambers, the whimsey, boy, stated that he was fourteen years of age, and that his father had been removed to the charge of a whimsey at another pit; the father received his wages, and he had never had an accident before; he had been in sole charge of the whimsey since Easter. On the morning in question, he found that the whimsey had stopped for the want of steam; he went into the engine house, to mend the fire, and on his return, a collier named Wheelacre, started the engine again, and endeavoured to take the hand iron out of his hands; that during this time, and from the stopping of the whimsey he did not observe the men when they got to the level of the pit bank, nor till he saw them on the wheel; in consequence of what the colliers said to him he was frightened and had run away. The man, Wheelacre, denied being in the engine house at all, but two other colliers, named Henshaw and Webster, proved seeing him coming away at the time of the accident. Several witnesses expressed their opinion that the boy, Chambers, was too young to have charge of the whimsey. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” and in each instance levied a deodand of £15 on the machinery of Messrs. North and Wakefield.

NB. From medieval times until 1846 a coroner was able to impose a deodand, or fine on animals or any object responsible for causing a person’s death. Originally the church received the money, by this period the money was given to a charity.

Nottingham Review - Friday 06 June 1841

William Chambers


On Thursday week at the house of Jonathan Leavers, the sign of the Gate at Awsworth, touching the death of William Chambers. The deceased was whimsey man to Messrs. North, Wakefield, and Morley’s coal and water pits at Awsworth. On Monday the deceased had been at work all day, and about half past four o clock in the afternoon, he stopped the pump in consequence of it not working properly, and put some manure down to prevent an escape of air, he then took a bucket of water and poured it down, and while doing so he slipped down the pit and was drowned. In a few minutes afterwards, a box full of dirt was drawn up out of the coal pit over the shaft by the whimsey, which kept going till it was stopped by a banksman, who went in search of the whimsey man, and not finding him he called to the men down the pit to see if he had fallen down the water pit. He was found at the bottom quite dead. He had fallen fifty yards. Verdict. “Accidentally killed by falling down a water pit”

Nottingham Review - Friday 12 February 1841

John Clarke, Aged 16


On Friday, the 5th instant, at the house of John Hayes, the Ram Inn, Newthorpe, on the body of John Clarke, aged 16 The deceased worked in a coal pit called the New London Pit** in the hamlet of Newthorpe, belonging to Messrs. North, Wakefield, and Morley, and between nine and ten o’ clock on Thursday morning, as the deceased was drawing the empty corve back to the chains, he hit his foot against a piece of wood to knock the snow off, and in doing so the other foot slipped and he fell backwards down the pit there being no fence or guard, and was immediately killed. Verdict. “Killed by falling down a coal pit called “the New London Pit” in the hamlet of Newthorpe, and the jury was of the opinion that the bridge tree in a bad and dangerous state, and to narrow, and that a fence or guard ought to be put up for the greater security of the workmen.

**The colliery was Awsworth

Nottingham Review - Friday 28 January 1842

Edmund Toone


On Tuesday last, at the house Solomon Knighton of the Hearty Good Fellow Nuthall, touching the death of Edmund Toone. Robert Mitchell, of Nuthall, collier, said, I am in the service of Messrs. North, Wakefield, and Morley, coal owners. I am a banksman at the pit they are now sinking in the parish of Nuthall, and the deceased is a labourer at Mr. Houghton’s who is a farmer, and supplies Messrs. North, and Co, with horses to do the necessary work in sinking the pit, Yesterday morning, about ten o clock, the deceased brought a fresh gin horse to change with the horse that had been at work all night. He took the horse that had been at work out of the shafts, and then helped the boy who drives the gin to put the fresh horse in the shafts. He afterwards started to follow the horse which had set off for home, but went the gainest way by the pit mouth, and walked into a water hole by the side of the shaft, into which hole the water is poured from the bottom of the shaft, and then he fell through another hole, which is used as a spout hole or off take about half a yard down the shaft. And fell to the bottom of the pit, a depth of about thirty six yards. In falling down the shaft he fell against a barrel of water which was coming up. In the course of a minute or a minute and a half, two men went down the pit after him, and in about an hour they brought his body up to the top of the pit. He was then quite dead, and was bleeding from his head. He was removed to Soloman Knighton’s house, and Mr. Morley the surgeon was fetched, who examined his body. The scalp of the deceased’s skull was laid open from the left side of his forehead, to the back of his head, about eight inches long. His neck was broken, and his head turned quite round, and the bones were heard to grate one against the other. He is the son of John Toone, of Sherwood, in the parish of Basford, is nineteen years of age, and has lived in Mr Houghton’s service for five years. There can be no blame attached to anyone but the deceased, as he had no business on that road.

Verdict. Died in consequence of accidentally falling down a coal pit, sinking by Messrs, North, Wakefield, and Morley, in the parish of Nuthall.

Nottingham Journal - Saturday 29 November 1842

Thomas Sharpe


On Wednesday week, at the house of Soloman Knighton, the sign of the Hearty Good Fellow, Nuthall touching the death of Thomas Sharpe. James, son of John Simpson said, I am in the employ of Messrs. North, Wakefield, and Morley, and drive the horses and wagons along the gang road. On Saturday afternoon last, about four o’ clock, I was driving a horse drawing an empty wagon. I saw the deceased and his father’s apprentice going along the gang road with a wheelbarrow, and the deceased stopped till I came up, but the apprentice went on with the barrow. I told the deceased to give my horse a hit with his whip, which he had in his hand, when he hit the horse twice, and then went behind and got on the wagon, and rode until he reached his father’s house; and then jumped off. I drove on about twenty yards further, when I saw the deceased running after the horse; he got up on it, struck it with his whip, and set on full trot; he then hung on the gears, running by the side of the horse, when his feet becoming entangled he stumbled and fell, and ultimately his feet became between the wheel of the wagon and the brake. His thighs were both run over, and he was so much injured that he died at four o clock the same day as the inquest was held. Verdict. “died in consequence of being accidently run over by a gang coal wagon”.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Thursday 16 May 1861

Thomas Chambers, Aged 13


An inquest was held on Thursday the 2nd instant, and by adjournment on Thursday the 9th May, at the house of Mr. Job Leavers, The Gate public house, before Mr. C. Swann, touching the death of Thomas Chambers, aged thirteen years, the son of Ephraim Chambers, collier, of Awsworth. It appeared from the evidence then given that on Tuesday, April 30th,   deceased was working with another boy in the Awsworth Colliery pit, and had been so engaged for some time, when suddenly a large stone, which almost entirely covered his body fell upon him. He was fearfully crushed and expired before the stone could be removed. There appearing no blame attachable to any one, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death” from the fall of a stone while working in the coal mine.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Wednesday 30 July 1867

John Kendrick, aged 13


The adjourned inquest on the body of John Kendrick, a collier, who was killed by falling down a pit shaft, was held at the Horse and Jockey, public house, Old Basford the particulars have been given and no fresh evidence was adduced. It appeared that the deceased was being drawn up the shaft in a tub, and when within a few yards of the top he fell out, and sustained such injuries that he died in two hours afterwards. The jury returned a verdict that deceased met his death by accidentally falling down the shaft of a coal pit but that some better means for ensuring the safety of the men while being drawn up should be effected at the pit in question.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 07 May 1869

John Fletcher, aged 14


An adjourned inquest was held on Monday before Mr. Coroner Heath, at the Cross keys Inn, Bulwell, on the body John Fletcher, fourteen years of age, who died on Saturday, the 24th ult, from an accident at the Awsworth Colliery on the 23rd of April. Further evidence was taken which was similar to that of the boy. The jury returned a verdict of, “Accidental death”.

Nottingham Daily Express - Monday 26 July 1875

George Granger, Aged 50


Last Saturday, Mr. Heath, the County Coroner, opened an inquest at the Jolly Colliers Inn, Awsworth, relating to the death of a man fifty years of age named George Granger, a collier, who was employed at Awsworth Colliery. Last Friday morning the deceased was standing in the pit bottom when the cage was being lowered and it fell upon him, crushing him so badly that death was instantaneous. The inquest was formerly opened and adjourned until Friday, when the Inspector of Mines can be present.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 30 December 1881

Isaac Wheatley, Aged 13


Mr. A. Browne, the Deputy Borough Coroner, held an inquest on Saturday at the General Hospital, on the body of Isaac Wheatley who had met with his death whilst at work in the Awsworth Colliery. The coroner addressing the jury, said that in cases similar to the one they had before them, it was necessary to give notice to the Inspector of Mines for the District, and it was usual to adjourn in order that the Inspector might attend. The Coroner had written to the Inspector, asking him if his attendance would be necessary, and he had telegraphed saying he thought the inquest could conclude without his attendance. Jacob Wheatley, a miner, living at Awsworth, said the deceased was a collier, and was thirteen years of age. He identified the body as that of his son. George Bell, of Cotmanhay, stated he was deputy underviewer at the Awsworth pit. On Monday morning between half past eight and nine o’ clock in the morning he was in the pit, about twenty six yards from the bottom of the shaft. A cage filled with coal was ascending. The hanger on the South side of the shaft shouted War out which was a warning that and a cage ascending. The south side hanger on shouted to his companion on the other side, asking him if he were ready, and receiving no answer he went round to the north side. When he had done so he called the witness. Who went to the spot and found the deceased in the arms of the hanger on. Witness asked the deceased where he was hurt, and he replied My neck is knocked in. Witness took him to the surface and left him with the manager. There would be a little oscillation of the cage going up, and that would be sufficient to shake a piece of coal off. He thought that deceased had been struck by a piece of falling coal. The lad’s duty was to take the empty trams from the hanger on and to couple it to the horse or pony. For the purpose of doing this work he had no business to be where he was at the time of the accident. On the east side of the shaft there was a large space where the deceased could have run when he heard the warning. Walter Robinson, a hanger on was next called. Mr. A. Anderson, the resident surgeon, at the hospital said the deceased was admitted into that institution on the 19th last, suffering from an injury to his head. There was a wound two inches deep at the back of the scalp, and a depressed fracture of the skull, with injury to the brain. The youth died early on the previous morning from the injuries received. He told witness that a piece of coal had fallen on his head, and this was proved by small pieces of coal being found in the wound. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 25 January 1884

Anthony Gregory


An inquest was held on Thursday, at the Jolly Colliers, Awsworth, before Mr. D. Whittington County Coroner, concerning the death of Anthony Gregory, of Ilkeston, a collier, who was killed on Tuesday at the Awsworth pit. Mr Stokes, Assistant Government Inspector of Mines was present to watch the case. The brother of the deceased Abraham Gregory said that the deceased and another man named Joseph Harrison were at work in the pit on Tuesday filling tubs. They were making a stoneheading to a lower depth of coal to that which they had been working. The heading was about ninety yards in length, and they had been at work in it for several weeks. The stone was got down by blasting; it was a hard rock roof. While they were at the work on Tuesday, about twenty to two o’ clock in the afternoon, a fall of stone occurred. A piece fell upon his brother, who never spoke again, and appeared to be killed instantly. He was about three yards from his brother when the fall of stone occurred. The piece of stone that fell was about a ton in weight. They had not blasted that part of the roof for about a week, but it appeared to be safe. He believed the fall was caused by a blowing of gas in the roof.  At the time when the accident occurred they heard a slight noise, and Harrison signalled them to get out of the way. They all moved but deceased got in the way of the falling stone. They used naked lights in the pit. Nothing occurred previously to make any report to the persons in charge of the pit. In answer to Mr Stokes, the witness said no official had visited the spot where the accident occurred between six o' clock in the morning and the time when the fatality happened. The roof was not timbered, if there had been a bar underneath the roof would not have fallen. But they thought the roof was quite strong. And it was not necessary to place a support beneath. It was the gas that caused the roof to come down. He had not heard Mr Whitehead, the manager tell the contractor to put timber up and make everything safe. He did not consider anyone was to blame for the death of his brother. Thomas Syson said he was a contractor in the Awsworth pit, and assisted in making the stone heading. He examined the roof where the accident occurred, and thought it safe. Mr Whitehead had cautioned them several times to make sure the roof was safe. If they had cross-legged the roof all along the accident could not have happened, but it was thought that at that time there was no necessity to timber the roof where the accident occurred. The coroner said the question for the jury to consider was whether there had been any neglect of precautionary measures in the case. It could not be denied that if timber had been sat all along the accident could not have happened. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death”

Derby Mercury - Wednesday 31 August 1887

Edmund Charles Atkins, Aged 14


The Notts Coroner held an inquest on Wednesday, at Awsworth, on the body of Edmund Charles Atkins, fourteen years of age who was killed in the colliery at that place on Monday. The evidence went to show that the lad was a driver and that as he did not return from taking some tubs to the engine plane, a search was made, and he was found lying underneath a tub, dead. The presumption was that he had been caught by the tub and thrown down, and circumstances went to show that instead of being at the front of his horse he had been behind it, and at the side of the tub. A verdict of “Accidental death was returned”, The inquest was attended by Mr. Stokes, Inspector of Mines.

Nottingham Journal - Tuesday 04 December 1888

Reuben Smith, Aged 45


An inquest was held yesterday morning before Mr. D. Whittingham, the District Coroner at the Jolly Colliers Inn, Awsworth, on the body of Reuben Smith, forty five, a collier, lately working at the Awsworth Colliery, who was killed there on the 1st December. Mr, Stokes, Inspector of Mines, was in attendance to watch the case. Hannah Smith, Carr Street, Ilkeston, the wife of the deceased, stated that he husband had worked at Awsworth about twelve months, as a day labourer. He had told her that the pit was a rather dangerous one but gave no reason for his opinion. John Riley, 19, Arch Yard, Ilkeston, collier, deposed that he worked in the same stall as deceased at Awsworth Colliery. He was there at nine a.m. on Saturday, when deceased was killed. Witness went to work at half past six in the morning and found Smith and the stallman already there. Smith had arrived first. Nothing unusual happened between six thirty and nine a.m. During that time Pickering the stallman and Smith, were getting the coal and witness was loading it. They put one piece of timber up. There was a fault or slip running through the stall. The deputy came into the stall about eight o’ clock, and Pickering talked to him about some timber which was required for props. An hour later, witness still loading, saw that the deceased was just about to cut some of the top coal, but he only gave two blows before a fall of roof occurred, which injured Pickering and killed the deceased by striking him on the head. He never spoke again. There was no prop actually under the piece of bind which fell, and it broke no props in falling. The deceased was the man who reckoned to fix props wherever they were required. After the accident he raised an alarm, and two men from the next stall came with one of the officers of the mine. Deceased was soon removed. An accident had occurred in the same stall three months ago. Deceased had tried the portion of the roof which fell about a minute before, and he said he would have a prop put under it in that place. He sent witness to fetch a prop, by before he could set it the roof fell. Deceased was paid day wages and did any work required of him, but usually worked as a loader. William Gregory, deputy at the pit, said he visited the stall shortly before eight on Saturday morning, the stall appeared alright. No complaint was made to him. Before witness went into the pit, Pickering had asked him for some timber, that was before work began. When he got to the stall Pickering asked if he had got the timber. He replied that he had After the accident he again visited the stall and found that the props still standing were set at proper distances. The stone which fell was about eight feet long two to three feet broad and eighteen inches thick. A prop ought to have been placed under it. As coal was being got at the side of a fault, it was necessary that extra precautions be taken for the safety of the roof. Witness thought some props had been moved between the time of his visit and the accident. The deceased ought to have set the prop. One of the rules of the pit said that the stallman should set the props. Witness therefore wished to correct the statement that it was Smith’s duty to set the props. Riley, recalled, stated that that one prop was set after the deputy passed through but none removed. The Coroner expressed an opinion that the deputy’s evidence had been given in an indefinite manner. Henry Pickering , Plimsoll Terrace, Ilkeston, stallman of the stall in which the deceased was killed, said they went to work about six thirty a.m. on Saturday After examining the condition of the roof two props were withdrawn by the deceased and put into the gate. No coals were worked out before the accident. Witness was hurt by the fall which killed deceased. Smith said he would set a prop under the place which afterwards fell in, but before doing so, began to cut the top coal, when the roof immediately fell in and killed him. Witness had tried the roof previously, and it sounded safe then. He looked to Smith to set the props, but he knew it was his duty to attend to the roof. He had not read the rules all through. John Aisncough, under-manager of the pit, said he had made a plan of the stall, which he produced. The width of the stall where the bind fell was twelve feet. Two props were set alongside the piece which fell the nearest four inches near it. The slip was close to it, and therefore extra timbering was wanted under it. If that was not done it was the fault of the stallman, A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

Nottingham Daily Guardian - Tuesday 14 February 1893

William Farnsworth, Aged 40


A banksman named William Farnsworth, forty, of Bridge Street , Cotmanhay, near Ilkeston , whilst following his employment at the Awsworth Colliery, was accidently crushed in the machinery used in the working of the screens. When the unfortunate man was extricated life was extinct.

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