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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913


1878 - Page 2

Colliery Closures in 1878

  • Alma (Thomas Holdsworth) JH Bircumshaw, Clay Cross, Cannel (or 2 Foot or First Silkstone), Bright coal 2’ 3” (0.69m), 156 yards (142.5m) and Furnace ventilation underground 7 Nov 1877, fin 15 May 1878, Surveyor J Tomlinson, 20 May 1878, Thomas Evans HMI 25 May 1878
  • Alton (Alton Coal and Coke Co)
  • Ambergate (Ambergate Coal and Brick Co)
  • Ashgate (Samuel Hoskin), Chesterfield
  • Birdfield (Ellis and Thomas Ward, Brothers) Blackshale 5 Feb 1878
  • Phoenix (Thomas Kirkby) Estate of Earl Manvers, Horse Gin, used old shaft 150 feet (45.75m), met old hollows, 5 Feb 1878
  • Bondland Heage, (WG Cursham?) 277 yards (253m) to Belper Lawn
  • Boythorpe No2 (Chesterfield and Boythorpe Colliery Co Ltd) Walton, Tupton 3’ 8” (1.11m) at 70 yards (64m), roadway through to No1 pit and old workings to W and NW, 3 shafts and water lodge in Tupton, Michael Straw Manager, Thomas Evans HMI 25 Apr 1878
  • Brampton Old (John Henry Dixon) later (Thos Hayes and Co) Ashgate Lower (Lower Brampton) 1’ 9” (0.53m), 60 feet deep (18m) 5 Feb 1878, No2 pit kept open for ventilation after abandonment by John Henry Dixon
  • Bridge House (J Crooks), Brampton, Deep Soft and Silkstone
  • Broom House (Whittington then Sheepbridge Colliery Co), Whittington, Silkstone and Deep Hard or Potters, drift, 31 Dec 1878, Surveyors Scargill and Clark
  • Broom Field (Whittington and Sheepbridge Coal Co), Sheepbridge
  • Bugsworth pit 42 yards (38m) deep and Dolly Lane (Thomas Bennett), drifted through old works in 2 separate areas, Yard 3’ 2” (0.97m), dip 1in9
  • Burnd Edge 2 (Levi and Elijah Hall) start 1876, finish 1878
  • Butterley 1 and 2 (Butterley Iron and Coal Co)
  • Carnfield (Coke and Co) closed, see 1881
  • Clay Cross coal and ironstone, Tupton and Blackshale (G Johnson?)
  • Clay Cross (Clay Cross Co Ltd, leased from Major Hunloke) Blackshale, 5 shafts – struck old works Mar 1878
  • Clay Lane (Price and Langham), Clay Cross, Silkstone
  • Comber Wood (John Shirtcliff) DC 12 yards (11m), 5 yards (4.6m) Sough coal 3 feet (0.91m), met old hollows from
  • John Shaws pit, also worked Furnace coal, DC 17 yards (15m) and UC 25 yards (23m), abandoned Sep, met old hollows, verged to old works and hollows to south at Newland Colliery (John Shaw), old drawing shaft (John Shaw) and High Moor old UC shaft to west) Surveyor WP Howard Assoc MIME (of Howard and Gould)
  • Cowley New (Richard Bingham) Mickley seam, coal and dirt 2’ 5½” (0.75m), 5 Feb 1878, Drawing pit 26 yards (23.75m), air pit 14 yards (12.75m), Surveyor Howard and Gould, plan signed by Thomas Evans Inspector of mines 16th Feb 1878
  • Cutholme (John Oldfield), Brampton, Potters or Deep Hard, Roof coal 9” (0.23m), bat 3” (0.0m), Smithy 10” (0.25m, Top bed 1’ 8½” (0.52m), dirt 8” (0.20m), Bottom bed 2’ 0” (0.61m), bat, total 6’ 2½” (1.89m), met faulting and ancient works, pit 10 yards (9m) and UC shaft 17 yards (15.5m) abandoned Dec, 3 more shafts on site, Surveyor WP Howard AICE, plan received by Thos Evans Inspector 1 Oct 1879
  • Denby Salterwood (Geo and H Dawes), 2 Feet seam, Furnace and ironstone, 300 feet (91m), South side abandoned 4 Nov 1878
  • Do-Well (Thos Brocklehurst) Brampton
  • Forge (Messrs Knowles and Co) New Whittington, 1in6 dip, shafts 44 yards (40m) and 53 yards (48.5m) deep, Blackshale, Coal 1’ 4” (0.40m), dirt 1” (0.02), Middle bed 1’ 7” (0.48m), dirt and tinker 7” (0.18m), Bottom bed 2’ 0” (0.61m), with old workings to east by Staveley Colliery Co and to west by Henry Dixon
  • Gents Hill (Tyler and Woodward), Clay Cross
  • Gilt Brook (Digby Coal Co, Lady Palmerston) Lower Hard seam, no depth recorded, abandoned Michaelmas, Gait roads mentioned (Newthorpe pit now used to ventilate adjoining mines, 111 yards (101.5m) and Digby also, with shaft 108 yards (98.75m) to Furnace coal, some of the workings finishing in 1856 and 1862 and later Lady Day 1875)
  • Glasshouse Common (G Steele), Brimington, Silkstone or Blackshale abandoned 26 Jan 1878, personal knowledge Surveyor WF Howard ME, a triangular area UC shaft 6 yds (5m) deep and 8 feet (2.74m) dia to Jan 1878 and DC shaft 8 yds (7m) and 7 feet (2.13m) dia start 1877 and old workings shown 1855, 1856 and 1857 from Victoria pit? (Richard Barrow)
  • Goddards pit and Dolly Lane drift, Buxworth
  • Grove (Richard Evans), Ilkeston, Main Soft 3’ 6” (1.06m), 2 shafts 10 yards (9m) and 7 yards (6m) deep abandoned 21 Dec 1878, off Occupation Road close to Erewash Canal and Babbington Coal Co’s tram road and wharf
  • Highfield (Mrs Maynard Lucas), leased to Messrs Knowles and Lancaster, original plan made by Richard G Coke 29th Aug 1863
  • Hill Top, South Normanton (Swann and Stocks) met hollows in 1873, but closed because of want of capital
  • Hill Top (Dronfield Brick Co), Dronfield, Silkstone
  • Holme No1 18 yards (16.5m) deep and No2 10 yards (9m) (Mr John Crookes) Blackshale fin Dec 1876, some openhole work, 2 other shafts 6 yards (5m) and 7 yards (6.4m), Ashgate rock top, coal 1’ 0” (0.30m) to 8” (0.20m), dirt ave 1’ 8” (0.5m), bottom coal (best) 1’ 9” (0.53m), clunch floor, Ashgate Thin other side fault, shafts 9 yards (8.2m) and 10 yards (9m) abandoned Dec 1876, surveyed 1878 WP Howard AMICE, Thomas Evans HMI 28th June 1879
  • Hucknall Huthwaite (Hucknall Huthwaite Co), Huthwaite
  • Ilkeston (Butterley Co, purchased in 1876) closed
  • Killamarsh (Green and Woodward), Killamarsh, High Hazles
  • Kimberley (Chas Seely and Co), Nuthall, 109¾ yards (100m) to Top Hard and Deep Hard, 11 Jan 1878, George Fowler (Babbington Collieries Jan 1878), originally joint property of Duke of Rutland and Lady Palmerston, then Thomas North to Geo H Bond and Son 1861
  • Kitchen Woods (Bedford and Harrison), Dronfield, Silkstone
  • Lawn (Robinson and Co), Belper, Naughton
  • Lower House New Mills (Lower House Colliery Co)
  • Mellor (J Jowitt), Chisworth, Mountain
  • Mickley (HW Morris), Dronfield
  • Millfield (Mr Mathew Hobson) Ilkeston, Dogtooth seam finished Michaelmas Day, 29 Sep 1878, 2 shafts open, but 2 shafts had been filled in 1876 (see notice of abandonment 11th Apr 1882)
  • Molineux (Eastwood and Swingler), Fackley, 55 years app with break, but was re-opened
  • Newland (Green, Woodward and Gleadall), Killamarsh, High Hazles, section - Dark bind top 1’ 0” (0.30m), drossy coal 2” (0.05m), middle 2’ 1” (0.63m), bottom 10” (0.25m), clunch floor, drawing shaft 65 yards (59.4m), UC shaft 45 yards (41m) Jan, met old workings, and working towards old Coal pits (Shirtcliff and Son), abandoned Jan 1878, Surveyor WP Howard AMIME of Howard and Gould
  • Newthorpe Lodge (Richard Evans), Ilkeston, abandoned
  • Newmarket (Bircumshaw and Son) Stretton and Clay Lane
  • Newmarket (Cumberland pit), North Wingfield, (owner Alfred Kirby), Manager Edward F Hall, footrill and shaft, met hollows of old Timber Field pit, summer and winter water levels shown on plan, also tram road from Stretton Station
  • Norman (Samuel Shaw), Ilkeston, Soft coal (Deep Soft), Footrail and Air shaft 40 yards (36.5m), abandoned December
  • Oakerthorpe (Trustees of late George Pearson, Execs of John Hopkinson) N Wingfield, Potters coal at 200 yards (183m) Blackshale coal 4’ 5½” (1.36m) lease from RC Strelley, met old hollows, abandoned Dec 1878
  • Morley Hill pit 46 yards 1 foot (42.3m) to 4’ 0” (1.22m) thick Furnace coal
  • Oakwell (Ilkeston Colliery Co), Ilkeston, Furnace
  • Old Brampton No1 (J Dixon), plan signed as received by Thomas Evans Inspector 18th February 1878
  • Ormond (Butterley Iron and Coal Co)
  • Plumbley (John Rhodes) Eckington Park
  • Ringstones (Robert Hyde and Co Ltd) Furness Vale, Bottom pit 130 yards (118.75m), White Ash and Big mine met old works, Top pit 77 yards (70.5m) to Big or Yard seam
  • Ripley Road, Heage (Wright, Wheeldon and Co)
  • Ripley Road, Ripley (William Key)
  • Ryefield (George Dawes) Furnace coal 4’ 0” (1.22m), 100 yards (91.5m) deep, Midsummer, South side abandoned 4 Nov 1878
  • Skegby No2 (John Dodsley) Top Hard 4’ 10½” (1.49m), UC shaft 55 yards (50m), 16 Nov 1878, Gillett and Sankey, Viewers
  • Somersall (Samuel Hoskins) Walton
  • Springwell, (Staveley Coal and Iron Co?) Blackshale and ironstone
  • Stapleford (Stapleford Colliery Co) Kilburne
  • Storforth (Industrial Coal Co)
  • Victoria (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Co-operative Mining Society Ltd)
  • West Hallam No5 (A and W Whitehouse) Deep Hard, Surveyor Robert A Marshall ME
  • West Wells and Prince Albert (J and G Wells Ltd) Mosborough, 36 yards (33m) and 492 yards (430m) away another shaft 44 yards (40m) deep (J and G Wells), Eckington, Silkstone or Blackshale Tops 2’ 4” (0.71m), dirt 8” (0.20m) bottoms 2’ 2” (0.66m), 1in9 point of rise NW, 26 Oct 1878, Manager Geo Moseby, a possible connection to Plumbley colliery (John Rhodes) adit to the South West
  • Wheeldon Mill, (SM Lancaster) 2’ 7” (0.79m) Tupton, and 1’ 6” (0.46m) fireclay, 32½º dip, William Deakin Wadsworth Surveyor
  • Whitecotes (S Lowe), Walton, Deep Hard
  • Whittington Forge, (Knowles and Co) Blackshale
  • Whittington Silkstone (Whittington Silkstone Colliery Co), Chesterfield
  • Wingfield Lane (S Lowe), North Wingfield, Waterloo
  • Woodhouse Lane (W Saxon), Barlborough, High Hazel at 58 yards (53m), copied from plan by JW Fearn Surveyor, signed by WE Walker of Albert colliery, abandoned 26 Nov 1877, met old adit level and ancient workings. (66)

Changed Hands

  • Nailstone was closed and offered for sale by Thornton’s trustees for £18,000. There were 2 engines of 250hp capable of raising 500 tons a day. The engines were installed in 1875 by Thornton in 1875. Other miscellaneous equipment was also offered for sale. There was a railway one mile long.
  • Shipley (Edward Miller Munday) Woodside and Nutbrook pits, Deep Hard abandoned 9 Jan 1878.

At Old Brampton No 3, Hayes and Cotook over the old No2 pit just closed by J Dixon

Danes Moor changed hands from Clegg Bros to Clay Cross Co.

Cossall Cuckoo mine (Lynch and Cadogan) changed hands to Cossall Colliery Co. Another Cossall pit (GH Bond and Son) situated between the Midland Railway and the Great Northern Canal worked Piper, (Jay or bat/Piper) 14 yards (12.75m) deep until 1876. The level of the pit top was well below the level of the nearby Canal.

Molyneux Re-Opened

Nathan Mellers of Huthwaite became the owner of Molyneux colliery, Surveyor John Thomas Boot. Nathan Mellers Esq had re-opened Molyneux and by Lady Day 1878 had re-started to drive an existing roadway forward. Coal was previously gotten by Buxton and Co. North Main Waggon road is shown on plan. He had taken out the lease in 1877. Several attempts were made to re-work the Top Hard - to the west towards Stubbing fault, east also and a portion close to the pit bottom to Lady Day 1879. Bores had been made to the south previously by Buxton, so it was assumed there must be old workings nearby. However Mr Mellers died and the colliery was worked only until September 1879. The workings were updated on an old plan made by John Boot and Son in Mar 1862. It stated that the workings had been left off for water at that date. The plan also mentioned Whiteborough colliery to Top Hard at 45 yards (41m) deep and that Dunsil seam was worked and Whiteborough colliery was formerly Cromptons pit.

timbering up
A couple of colliers at one of the Clay Cross collieries one who is timbering up and another chopping out on the coal face.

January 1880 is probably the date that the pit was abandoned, but only worked up to September 1879!

Dunsil pit is the westerly one of the 3 at Molyneux and the DC shaft (to Dunsil ? at 93 yards (85m) is the northerly one towards Fackley engine pit.

Timbering Up

The photo shows a couple of colliers at one of the Clay Cross collieries one who is timbering up and another chopping out on the coal face. Note the general lack of supports albeit that the roof looks treacherous.

Dale Abbey Area

At Dale Abbey / Stanton Dale there were 50 odd shafts around the site of the Stanton works. Nearby were Stapleford and Hewitts collieries

Sinking Manager Promoted

William Hey was in charge of the new sinkings at Silver Hill, and on completion was promoted to Manager of the new Silver Hill colliery and also for nearby Teversall and Pleasley collieries (Stanton Iron Co).


The manager of Ellistown and Donisthorpe was prosectued by HM Inspector Arthur Stokes for non compliance of regulations.

Reduction In Wages Again

In December 1878, Coal owners proposed a further reduction in wages. There was a short strike at Bestwood.

Fatal Accidents in 1878

  • A contractor Joseph Chadburn (36), was killed by a fall of bind whilst bringing down Coomb coal at Hucknall No2 colliery in November 1878. The normal method at the pit was to bring the coal down by ‘ringer’ or iron bar, sooner than by ‘holing out’. A collier Charles Cooper (42) was killed at Langwith by a fall of coal in the same month.
  • Albert, George Riley (44), stallman, fall of roof from a loose end 2 Jan 1878
  • Barlborough, Henry Bone (43), screen man, coupling the slack wagon on the surface to the incline chain when the engine started and he was crushed to a post 12 Sep 1878
  • Blackwell A Winning, Isaac Jones (37), stallman, fall of roof when he neglected to set timber as he took away the coals 31 Oct 1878
  • Bestwood, John Smith (17) driver, supposed to have been riding on a full tub, found dead under the tub 27 Sep 1878
  • Boythorpe, Edward Watts (16), playing with other boys on the surface after finishing work in the pit scalded by steam when another boy turned the steam on into the coal hoist 25 May 1878
  • Brands, Walter Phillips (19), banksman, crushed by a hoist when the chain broke whilst he was under it 16 Nov 1878
  • Britain, Edward Edwards (31), fall of roof from a faulty place in the roof, 2 Jan 1878
  • Clay Cross No2, William Shufflebottom (39), stallman, fall of roof due to insufficient timber set 3 Jul 1878
  • Clay Cross No3, Hosea Marriott (15), caught in machinery on surface 28 Dec 1878
  • Coleorton No3 (Bug & Wink) (Checkland & Co) John Ward (19) holer, fall of coal crushed him, 19 Jan 1878
  • Coton Park, James Ashwell (37) collier, fall of roof 23 Mar 1878
  • Dale, William Pheasant (21), carpenter, fastening of the rope gave way whilst the deceased was descending the shaft 9 Jun 1878
  • Digby, William Down (45) banksman, deceased fell down shaft with a full tub having pushed it under the fencing which was only one bar 19 Nov 1878
  • Donisthorpe, William Whetton (44), stallman, fall of coal and bind from roof whilst getting top coal from over the stall packs in the goaf 16 Jan 1878
  • Eastwood, Thomas Leverton (48) loader, fall of roof whilst taking coals down 9 Jan 1878
  • Ellistown, Thomas Farmer (70), furnace man, fall of roof near furnace caused either by heat or from shotfiring in a new furnace drift 31 Jan 1878
  • Grassmoor No1, William Dove (18), driver, fall of roof 9 May 1878
  • Gresley, Samuel Kilby (23) loader, loading in front of overhanging coals, sprags had been accidently loosened 23 Dec 1878
  • Holbrook, Jacob Crooks (34) and James Gilbert (32), both sinkers killed when air pipes they were removing fell down the shaft, one died immediately 11 Mar 1878 and the other a few days later
  • New Hollingwood, 4 men, Jonathan Piggford (42), sinker, Thomas Mason (32), sinker, Edward Holmes (51) chargeman and James Marrion (25) sinker killed when steam pipes they were adjusting fell down the shaft 20 Jul 1878
  • Hucknall No2, Joseph Chadbourne (35) stallman, getting down over coal in the waste when the roof fell 16 Nov 1878
  • Ibstock, Thomas Farmer (13), driver, run over by tubs after neglecting to put lockers in the wheels 8 Mar 1878
  • Langton, Geo Sheppard (47) collier, crossing the bottom of the shaft when the cage descended upon him 26 Dec 1878
  • Langwith, Charles Cooper (42), fall of coal 20 Nov 1878
  • Manners, Herbert Columbine (16), holer, fall of coal whilst holing near a fault 30 Oct 1878
  • Newcastle, Thomas Holyhead (40) stallman, fall of coal when knocking out sprags
  • New Langley, William Bestwick (45), fall of bind between timber 18 Mar 1878
  • New London, Joseph Houfton (30) stallman, fall of roof between well timbered stall 29 Jan 1878
  • Newstead, Benjamin Wollaton (35) datler, fall of roof whilst taking out timber 6 Nov 1878
  • Norwood, John Whitlam (62) and Charles Mallender (53), both datlers killed by fall of roof whilst building packs that had been left too far behind 7 Jan 1878
  • Oakwell, Joseph Cowley (30), stallman, fall of roof whilst taking timber out at the gate end 22 Sep 1878
  • Old Watnall, John Burrows (24) stallman, fall of roof whilst taking coal down 4 Apr 1878
  • Plumbley, John Cain (34), coke burner, crushed by wagons on surface 19 Nov 1878
  • Renishaw Park No1, Gabriel Cole (43), stallman, fall of bind roof whilst getting top coal down near a fault slip 22 Jan 1878
  • Seymour, William Revill (48), stallman, fall of coals bursting off the face 15 Mar 1878
  • Southgate, William Mew (23), stallman, fall of roof whilst getting bind to build a pack 1 Jul 1878
  • South Leicestershire, Reuben Thompson (12), door boy, left his door to practice driving and was run over by tubs 28 Oct 1878
  • Stanton, Thomas Edwards (36) fall of coals whilst setting sprags 1 Dec 1878
  • Tibshelf, John Geo Coupe (19), banksman, run over by wagons on the surface 12 Sep 1878
  • Tibshelf, Stephen Searston (19), shotfiring accident, when a stallman fired a shot within 4 yards of the deceased who was loading coals 16 Dec 1878
  • Waingroves, Richard Clark (38), stallman, fall of roof 12 Nov 1878.

Age Discrepancy

At Teversall Butcherwood, (Stanton Iron Co), John Renshaw aged 16, was killed by a run of tubs in Top Hard 26s stall at 1.20am on Thursday 28th November.  The inquest was held at the MinersArms Public House on Stoneyford Lane, Stanton Hill.  The coroner’s verdict was accidental death, following evidence that proved that the boy had been riding on the crank of the front tub of a set of 4 tubs of coal pulled by a pony, when the tub was derailed on a bend in the rails.  The boy’s mother stated that he was only 15 years old.  It shows that at that time ages were not related to with any degree of accuracy when setting lads on for work.  In fact some fatal accidents were only referred to as ‘boy killed’ and the ones listed by me as (age ?) many will almost certainly be young boys.


Fatal Accidents

Molyneux: 5 fatals in 13 years from 1865 to 1878 and at Skegby Coal Co pits, 4 fatals in the same period. James Foster (26) was killed at Kimberley on 18 Sep 1860.

Officials Summonsed

There had been 4 fatals at Donisthorpe and Thomas Evans HMI brought summonses against CE Checkland, former Manager Hardy and Millership the newly appointed Manager and Agent. All three attended Swadlincote Magistrates Court in Mar 1878 on 5 charges, including failing to adequately support the roof and sides and keep adequate plans of the workings. Checkland was found guilty and fined £11 plus costs. Charges against the two Managers were dropped.

Persons Employed And Tons of Coal Produced 1878

Derbyshire: Underground: 165 boys
aged 12 years, 2,348 aged 13 to 16 years above 16 years 18,677, total 21,190. Above ground, 10 to 12 years old 598, and above 16 years 5,175. Total below and above ground 26,975.
Nottinghamshire: Underground 44 boys 12 to 13, 1,072 between 13 to 16 and 9,517 above 16, total 10,633. Above ground: 3,278. Total below and above ground 18,911.
Leicestershire: Underground 27 boys 12 to 13 years old, 307 aged 13 to 16 and 3,188 over 16. Above ground 8 boys 10 to 13 years old and 84 boys 13 to 16 with 997 above 16 with a total of 4,277 underground and surface workers.

Output for 1878 was 7,289,380 tons from 237 Derbyshire pits and 4,106,392 tons from 41 Nottinghamshire
pits and 1,021,497 tons from the 28 pits of the Leicestershire field.

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Pit Terminology - Glossary

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