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The Continued Rise Of The Industry
To 1913




At the beginning of the year there were around 300 members in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Union but by the end of the year there were about 7,000. This was due to the Miners National Union assisting them by sending an agent William Brown to organise the union better.


At High Brooks, Chesterfield there was an explosion on 23rd January 1866 and (30? or 3?) men were killed.

Changed Hands

  • Awsworth E447916 N344373 changed hands from G Parker to T Evans.
  • Ben(n)erley E447095 N344022, from G Parker to T Evans.
  • Granville to Executors of late Court Grenville.
  • Gresley Wood from Smedley and Church to Gresley Wood Co Ltd.
  • Hucknall Torchard from William Walker and Co to Ellis and Co.
  • Monk Wood changed from JC Plevins and Co to Monk Wood Co Ltd.
  • Nesfield from Chesterfield and Midland Silkstone Coal Co to Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co.
  • Sheepbridge (Dunston and Barlow Iron Co Ltd) bought out by the newly formed Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co.
  • Shipley EM Mundy to AM Mundy.
  • Skegby from Skegby Colliery Co to Skegby Colliery Lime and Brick Co.
  • Stoneyford Old from M Royston to Woolley.
  • Sutton (Scarsdale) (Derbyshire) to Executors of Robert Arkwright.
  • Whaley Bridge (North West Derbyshire) from Thomas Gisbourne to R Broome and Co. 
  • Netherseal Colliery Co founded, (South Derbyshire), (Coton Park Colliery Co by Charles Binns of Clay Cross Co).
  • Bagworth (Leicestershire) changed hands from Lord Maynard to Executors of Viscount Maynard.
  • Ingmanwell changed hands from Walker and Co., to JW Day and Co.
    The executors of GP Beavan sold Shirland colliery to the Shirland Colliery Co., Thornsett from J Jowitt to T and J Bennett. Charles Binns (1813-73), General Manager of the Clay Cross Co., founded Coton Park Colliery Co. - Information from Martyn Fretwell - More information about the Whetstones on my East Midlands blog

The 6th Earl of Chesterfield who owned pits in South Derbyshire died in 1866 and was succeeded by his son the 7th Earl. He kept up the interest in the mines and made visits underground. He continued to live at Bretby Hall.

Leicestershire Pits Open in 1866

  • Bagworth (Executors of Viscount Maynard) was purchased by Bagworth Coal Co Ltd, Director William Gleadow an anti-unionist
  • Coleorton (Walker and Worswick)
  • Ibstock (J Whetstone)
  • Lount (Walker and Worswick)
  • Moira (Marquis of Hastings)
  • Moira New (Marquis of Hastings)
  • Nailstone (Ellis and Co)
  • Oakthorpe (Marquis of Hastings)
  • Snibston (GR Stephenson and Co)
  • Swannington No1 (Calcutta) (William Worswick) pumping
  • Whitwick (J Whetstone)
  • Dawkins pit was to the south of Limby Hall and west by southwest of Swannington No1 (Calcutta) (W Worswick).
  • Clink colliery...3 shafts to the east of Swannington station

Collieries Sunk or Opened in 1866

  • Alton (E Nicholls)
  • Annesley (William Worswick ) sinking
  • Axe Edge (Buxton Lime Co) (North West Derbyshire)
  • Beard and Bagsworth (J Stott and Hall)
  • Birley Vale (Dunn and Jeffcock)
  • Bretby No2 (South Derbyshire) app 600 yards (550m) to the south of No1 pit sinking
  • Brimington (Stephen Sayer)
  • Burnd Edge (Levi and Elijah Hall) (North West Derbyshire)
  • Cotmanhay (Barber, Walker and Co)
  • Coton Park (Binns, Jackson and Co) (South Derbyshire) sinking (later name changed to Netherseal when developing)
  • Denby New pit (William Drury Lowe) was opened in July 1866
  • Digby (Hall and Co) 2 x 7 feet (2.1m) diameter shafts 22 yards (20m) apart, one 108 yards (99m) deep to Low Main, the engine house was between the shafts, coal at one and a balance weight in the other
  • Giltbrook (Company of Colliers) 2 shafts 7ft (2.1m) dia, 180 yards (165m) deep
  • Hill Top (Jos Swann) South Normanton
  • Hucknall Torkard No2 (JE Ellis and Co) opened
  • Killamarsh(Sheepbridge Iron Co) a new company
  • Moor Green (Barber Walker and Co) sinking
  • Morton (W Jackson MP and Co)
  • Norwood (Sheepbridge Iron Co)
  • Norwood(J and G Wells) sunk to 352 yards(322m), E446575, N381838
  • Park House Clay Cross No7, (Clay Cross Colliery Co)
  • Pilsley (Thomas Holdsworth)
  • Springfield Main (S Addy and Ward)
  • Streetfield (Ruth Worrall)
  • Swanwick New (CRP Morewood)
  • Teversall (Silver Hill, later renamed Coopers shaft) (Stanton Iron Co) sinking
  • West Hallam (Lieut-Col Newdegate). 
    (24 Pits)

Another Hill Top colliery, Eastwood, (Nottinghamshire), sunk around 1854 by Fullwood and Richardson,
(or known as Fullards) and closed in 1857 was re-opened during the year by Barber, Walker and Co when trade improved, however heavy faulting was experienced later causing the output to fall.

There was a pit near Bugsworth Station (William Ratcliffe and John Henry Jackson) that included a Whimsey, coal wharf, a hovel and a pit shaft.

Buxton colliery (High Peak Rail Co) now became Axe Edge colliery (Buxton Lime Co).

A borehole was drilled from the surface for exploration for Bull Close colliery, Coal Aston.

Collieries Closed in 1866

  • Alton (Messrs Fletcher and Co)
  • Anglesey (Bond and Co) (South Derbyshire)
  • Beales (Beale) Deep Hard
  • Bennerley (Lady Palmerston) 59 yards (54m) opened 18th April 1840, closed due to old hollows, seams worked Lower Hard, Lower Soft
  • Bennerley and Awsworth (Samuel Brookes)
  • Birley Vale (Dunn and Jeffcock)
  • Brampton New (H Earl), Threequarters, 3 poles, 33 perches worked
  • Dale  (Thomas Webster), High Hazels
  • Hallam (Francis Newdegate)
  • Hasland (O Pierce)
  • Limby Hall (W Walker)
  • Old Hucknall (Hucknall Colliery Co) Huthwaite, 86 years
  • Newbold (Beale and Co) Deep Hard
  • Newbold (Mitchell’s)
  • Ollersett (Messrs Brocklehurst)
  • West Hallam (HB Whitehouse and Co) Low Main, Threequarter and Blackshale seams development stopped, (abandoned in Oct 1960!) a tramway 2’ 10” (0.88m) gauge led from the pit top to the wharf
  • Whitemoor (John Knowles) Belper
    (17 pits)


At Sleights No3 (Pinxton) the Deep Hard worked since 1855 was stopped on Lady Day 1866.

A Conservative Government was in power from 1866 until 1868.
Prime Minister
Earl of Derby (Conservative) 1866-1868.
Principal Secretary of StateGathorne Hardy MP 1866-1868.

Dynamite Invented

Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel invented dynamite for blasting, however it would be some time before it was used underground in this region as gunpowder was in demand.

Mechanical Fans Installed

Guibal fan

Waddle fan (Above)

Waddle Fan and Engine House
Waddle Fan and Engine House

The Staveley Coal and Iron Co installed 2 Guibal fans (above left) instead of using furnace ventilation. The first one at Hollingwood was 30 feet (9m) dia and 10 feet (3m) wide.

Waddle fans (above right) were the other alternative of centrifugal fan and one was installed at High Park by Barber  Walker and Co a little later sometime around 1870. Some Colliery companies in Derbyshire changed hands, including the Staveley Coal and Iron Co (founded in 1863), Richard Barrow sold out to the Company. He became the first Chairman but was to die in 1865 after only 2 years at the helm. Officials at the Company found out about men who had joined the Union, and around 500 were sacked and told them to leave their homes. Many ended up living in tents and were destitute but a few miners who were still at work subsidised them with gifts of food etc for them and their families.

Butterley Co produced a maximum output of 997,345 tons (at 3,000lb to the ton) from 14 pits.

50 Additional Colliers Wanted

In June 1866 an advert in the Derbyshire Times was for 50 additional colliers at New Brampton (sunk by Wadsworth and Oldfield), weekly paid for dry work. Good steady workmen can have constant employment summer and winter.

Fatal Accidents in 1866

  • In the pits throughout the country fatalities reached a penultimate maximum of 1,484 in 1866 and the average killed would be over 1,000 each year even up to about 1940.
    This figure would only be surpassed following the Senghenydd disaster (South Wales) of 1913 when 440 were killed in an explosion, giving a total of 1,753 fatals for that year plus 5,675 serious accidents.  Mining was a very dangerous occupation, but men needed work!
  • Bagworth, Joseph Kilhew (34), run over by a wagon on the surface 30 Apr 1866
  • Birchwood, Joseph Rossington (22), caught in machinery on the surface 27 Sep 1866
  • Boythorpe, Sam Rogers (27), fall of coal 20 Sep 1866
  • Church Gresley, John Jenkinson (13) and William Chapman (14), both run over by tubs 1 Aug 1866
  • Clay Cross, William Cooper (49), fall of roof 17 Jan 1866
  • Clay Cross, Joseph Davis (76), died from back injury 12 Mar 1866
  • Clay Cross No4, triple fatality, Augustus Cupid (?), William Honse (17) and George Holmes (?), fall of roof 11 Jun 1866
  • Clay Cross, William Searle (?), fall of roof 25 Jun 1866
  • Clay Cross, Thomas Lowe (?) 26 Oct 1866, died from effects of explosion of powder in February
  • Cotmanhay, Charles Wheatley (22), fall of roof 4 Apr 1866
  • Devonshire, George Marples (?), sinker fell down shaft 16 Nov 1866
  • Grassmoor (Corbriggs) Joseph Lowe (16), crushed by (corves) tubs on the surface incline 26 Feb 1866
  • Hartshay, Jacob Jackson (53), fall of roof 3 Sep 1866
  • Highfield, Joseph Bakewell (13), caught in machinery 21 Aug 1866
  • Hollingwood, Robert Taylor (67), crushed by wagons on the surface 23 Jan 1866
  • Hollingwood, William Barrowcliff (26), fall of coal 1 Oct 1866
  • Ibstock, Henry Poole (?), fall of roof 11 Dec 1866
  • Langley, John Revill (13), run over by tubs 11 Aug 1866
  • Loscoe, Alfred Radcliffe (14), fall of roof 16 Jan 1866
  • Loscoe, William Martin (14), run over by tubs 12 Mar 1866
  • Marehay, William Green (19), fall of roof 3 Sep 1866
  • Moira, Benjamin Wileman (60), caught in machinery on surface 4 Nov 1866
  • Nailstone, John Price (24), coal fell down shaft and struck him 4 Jul 1866
  • Nailstone, James Vickers (43), run over by tubs 11 Dec 1866
  • New Hollingwood, Thomas Baldwin (24), fall of coal 28 Sep 1866
  • Rutland, R Weston (?), fall of roof 15 Nov 1866
  • Sheepbridge, Thomas Mitchell (43), fall of roof 26 Oct 1866
  • Silverhill (Stanton Coal and Iron Co) William Moore died from his injuries, a broken thigh was badly crushed. The limb was amputated but he died later from shock. The deceased and 7 others who were also injured but recovered, were in the cage when it hit the pit bottom at speed 19 Jan 1866
  • Snibston, William Cooper (15), fall of roof 2 Oct 1866
  • Snibston, Joseph Mears (14), run over by tubs 10 Nov 1866
  • Snibston, Edward Carpenter (46), fall of roof 17 Dec 1866
  • Speedwell, George Sales (?), fall of roof 16 Oct 1866
  • Speedwell, Joseph Cator (?), fall of roof 3 Nov 1866
  • Swannington, Walter Harvey (48), coal fell down the shaft and struck him 21 Dec 1866
  • West Hallam, Robert Bancroft (19), fall of roof 17 Nov 1866.


The output for 1866 was 4,750,520 tons from 150 Derbyshire pits and 1,600,560 tons from 25 Nottinghamshire pits.


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