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Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

There are very few records, of the many Women, or Girls, who died working down the Regions Pits. That's because few owners, were prepared  to admit, that they had ever employed females in such a dangerous place. They had no choice in the matter after the start of the 1842 mining act, and to no ones surprise, the practice, at least in South Staffordshire, ceased. The one's recorded after this date, are all of women surface workers. Most of these deaths were avoidable.


Pit Bank Wenches, c 1900.



1853. Charlotte Ferreday, 21, and from Wednesbury. ( see Blackcountry Wenches )

1853. Ann Baugh, 23, and from Bilston. She was working at the Spring Meadow Pit, owned by P. Williams & Son, as a Bankswoman, when she pushed to hard on the tubs going down the shaft and fell in.

1857. Mary Cannon, 27, born in Bilston. ( see Blackcountry Wenches )

1857. Mary Boycott, 19, and from Willenhall. (see Blackcountry Wenches )

1857, Rebecca Vincent, 45, and from Bilston. ( see Blackcountry Wenches )

1857. Mary Swift, 21, born in Wolverhampton. Working at Corbett & Companies, Monmore green Pit, her clothing was caught by the tub, and she was dragged down the shaft with the tub.

1859. Mary Fox, 50, from Willenhall, employed by Mannix & Bate, at their Coltham Colliery, she missed her footing while unloading tubs from the chain, and fell down the shaft.

1859. Emma Johnson, 20, and from Darlaston, worked at Darlaston Green Colliery, owned by Hartland & Son. Clothing caught in the winding gear, and she was dragged upwards and virtually torn apart.

1860, Bridget McHale, 14, and from Wolverhampton. Employed by Caswell & Company, at the Wednesfield Heath Pit, and although not supposed to be working the tubs, fell down the shaft after her clothing got entangled.

1860. Pricilla Vincent, 22, and born in Cradley Heath, she worked at Joseph King's Netherend Colliery.  She was pregnant at the time, and the clothes she was wearing got caught on a empty tub and she was pulled down the shaft.

1863. B. Keenall ( wrong name spelling ) 18, and born in Walsall. Fell down the shaft at Hatherton Colliery, the pit being owned by W. F. Fryer.

1863. Elizabeth Blaney, 18, born in Willenhall, and working at the Stowe Heath Pit of W & J Sparrow. Fell down the shaft while unloading the tubs, after someone pulled the guard plates away.

1883, Esther Badger, 62, and born in Tipton. Employed as an Oiler at the Gospel Oak Colliery of Grazebrook & Aston, her legs were badly damaged after being run over by loaded tubs at the Pit head. She died two hours later.


In the North of Staffordshire, in 1862, Jane Garside, 17, was employed as loader at the Sneyd Green Colliery, ( an Ironstone Mine ) of the Silverdale Company, Stoke-on-Trent. While unloading the tubs, a large piece of Ironstone fell on her head. Some details of her work were not given at the inquest. If anyone has anything useful on the subject, I would be very pleased to see it, just click on the Contact  Me button.


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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

March 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Unicorn
Member
Posts: 46

It is a pity that women didnot wear trousers in those days.it would have saved a few of those deaths.

March 12, 2012 at 2:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

It's truly surprising what can be found in the mining records if you look, and check hard enough. There were not supposed to be any women employed at underground working from 1842. Not true, for in other areas, this rule was widely ignored, and so it appears, in Wolverhampton. Hidden in the records, is the fate of a 17 year old, Ella Glover. She was employed, by Aston and Shaw, at their Cockshutts Colliery, just off Thompson Avenue, as a Horse Driver. On the morning of the 2nd July,1862, she was leading a horse pulling a couple of fully loaded coal tubs, when one became detached from the rails and struck one of the timber supports. There was a loud crack,  the last thing she ever heard, and the roof caved in, killing her and the horse. There should have been an equiry, but I can't seem to find any details, so if you happen to know the facts, do please contact me.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

September 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1404

As bad as conditions were for the women of the Black Country. they were far worse in other area's. Betty Harris, at 37 years old, had worked down pits since she was 12, as a Drawer. ( Pulling loaded tubs to the pit shaft )  In a statement to a mine inspector, she says this about her work in a pit, Little Bolton, Lancashire.


I have a belt around my waist, and a chain passing between my legs, and I go on my hands and feet. The road, ( incline from the coal face to the shaft ) is very steep, and we have to hold by a rope, and when there is no rope, by anything we can catch hold of. There are six women and about six boys and girls in the pit I work in: it is very hard work for a woman. The pit is very wet where I work, and the water comes over our clog tops always, and I have seen it up to my thighs. I am not as strong as I was, and I cannot stand my work so well as I used to do. I have drawn till I have the skin off me; the belt and chain is worse when we are in the family-way. My feller, ( Her husband ) has beaten me many a time for not being ready. I have known many a man beat his drawer.


Up in Yorkshire, drawers were known as "hurriers ", and it was another facet of women working undergrond that upset Matthew Fountain, the underground steward of Thomas Wilson's Dalton Colliery.


My opinion decidedly is that women and girls ought not to be admitted into pits, though they work as well as the boys. In my belief sexual Intercourse does take place, owing to the opportunities, and owing to Lads and Girls working together, and owing to to some of the men working in banks apart ( from the main coal seam ) , and having girls coming to them to fill the corves ( tubs ), and being alone together. The girls hurry for for other men than their relations, and generally prefer it. Altogether it is a very demoralising practice having girls in pits. It is not proper for females at all. The girls are ufitted, by being at pits, from learning to manage families. Many could not make a shirt. In some parts of Yorkshire, the men work completely naked, the girls working with them as decribed, and in both Counties the immoralities are abominable.


Although the employment of women underground officially ceased in 1842, the practice continued throughout the Northeast for many years. So too did the abominable immoralities Mr Fountain had complained about, for after all, there are many dark places down a mine.



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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

May 22, 2016 at 10:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Pedro
Member
Posts: 25

Alaska. at September 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM

It's truly surprising what can be found in the mining records if you look, and check hard enough. There were not supposed to be any women employed at underground working from 1842. Not true, for in other areas, this rule was widely ignored, and so it appears, in Wolverhampton. Hidden in the records, is the fate of a 17 year old, Ella Glover. She was employed, by Aston and Shaw, at their Cockshutts Colliery, just off Thompson Avenue, as a Horse Driver. On the morning of the 2nd July,1862, she was leading a horse pulling a couple of fully loaded coal tubs, when one became detached from the rails and struck one of the timber supports. There was a loud crack,  the last thing she ever heard, and the roof caved in, killing her and the horse. There should have been an equiry, but I can't seem to find any details, so if you happen to know the facts, do please contact me.

I cannot find any record for the tragedy concerning Ella Glover, but came across one to add to the list...

April 1824....Maria Speak killed while working on the bank of the ironstone pit at Cockshutts Colliery, fell down shaft.

May 25, 2016 at 4:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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