Aireborough Historical Society

1824 Death Of A Child Miner Rawdon




Title
Death Of A Child Miner
Date February 1824
Location Rawdon
Photo ID
V480
Comment

     "On Tuesday last a melancholy circumstance took place at Rawdon colliery.

A boy of the name of J Spence, about 8 years of age, was attempting to get out of a corf (basket) at the pit before his companion when is foot unfortunately slipped and he was precipitated to the bottom of the pit and killed"

Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling

 

Further text by Christine Lovedale

 Rawdon is situated on the northern edge of the Yorkshire coalfield, in this locality coal was found not far from the surface and mined in bell-pits.

These were vertical shafts sunk to usually about 25 feet deep but could be deeper, when a coal seam was found the shafts were widened out for excavation.the coal was hauled to the surface using manpower and buckets or by horses and winches.

    Thomas Layton is believed to have been mining coal in 1628, the Thompson family owned their own pits using the coal to power their mills,  Larkfield and Low Mill.

There were around 11 pits in Rawdon, the locations included Knott Lane, west end of Layton Avenue, Larkfield Dam area, east end of Layton Lane which was filled in with household waste by the Council in 1834, Intake Lane, Peasehill and 2 in the vicinity of Park Mill.

The advent of the railways brought an end to mining in Rawdon as better quality coal could be brought in quickly by rail.

     As in other early industries child labour was used, it was cheap and in coal mines a small child could manoeuvre into spaces inaccessible to an adult.

They were often working for 12 hours or more in horrific, filthy, wet conditions with little or no light.

The 1842 Mines Act forbade the employment of women and boys under the age of 10 in mines, it was not until 1900 that boys under the age of 13 were not allowed to work or be in an underground mine.

 

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