I read with interest Bob Bradley’s page 17 (1739-59: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire). There mentioned are John Fletcher, father and son, colliery owners. Also Philip Hutchinson, surveyor and map maker (1739) of the coal fields North West of Nottingham (Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border area).
I have been researching John Fletcher (jun.) and Philip Hutchinson because they were involved in the Dungannon-Drumglass-Coalisland collieries in county Tyrone, Ireland. Hutchinson whose brother (I think) was Samuel, a Belfast bishop. Samuel’s bishopric colleagues controlled the colliery owned by the “Coal Company”. In fact the main owners of that company were the Primate of Ireland (seat in Armagh city) and another Irish bishop, Church of England.
Around 1750, Hutchinson brought Fletcher to the project and he became a shareholder. Bob’s work shows they likely knew each other from Derbyshire. Soon after, Fletcher imported a team of Derbyshire colliers to work the pits at Drumglass. One of them may have been a Bunting, who was the father of Edward Bunting, the famous Irish musician you can find on Wiki.
In 1753-4, the mine manager at Drumglass drowned (possibly murdered), probably not Hutchison who seems to have died in Ripley - unless I have mixed up father and son of same name. A new manager would have been needed, either from the existing crew or more likely someone experienced from Fletcher’s English operations. This person is more likely the “colliery manager/engineer” named Bunting who was Edward’s father. It is also possible he arrived a little later, but before 1765. A few lines of evidence point to his name being Anthony Bunting (born parish of Duffield 1733), but that may be incorrect (See Part 2 Below)
I am a geologist from Australia (but living in Surrey). I am researching my family line and I descend from another Anthony Bunting (1765-1851) who was Edward’s older brother, both born in Armagh city, Ireland. I am reporting my work to the UK-based Bunting Society which has a website.
I have found a few Buntings recorded at that time in Smalley (where Fletcher lived, and close to active pits at the time). And also Buntings in nearby areas, all of which are proximal to Duffield. But I have yet to find a documented link to a Bunting collier or foreman/manager who was taken by Fletcher to Ireland pre-1765. Irish historians have been unable to decipher who was Edward’s father and where in Derbyshire he came from. Therein is my challenge. I wonder if Bob or anyone else has come across a candidate Bunting coal man fitting the description above? I would also appreciate any advice as to where I would best look to find him.
On Saturday we had our Bunting Society AGM up in Creswell and I gave this year’s talk on my research into my Derbyshire-Irish (then onto Australia-NZ) Buntings. Here’s the link our society’s website http://www.buntingsociety.org.uk/ (website needs livening up!). Only members see the real detail... they are always looking for new members I suppose.
Derbyshire-Nottinghamshire-Yorkshire Buntings were commonly miners; in fact I think they became thus distributed in England by following work in the industry over the generations. Even to Ireland, it seems!
There were several people present at the AGM most interested in the Edward Bunting link to Fletchers of Smalley because they have Bunting roots in this area, and there was even one with family links to this Fletcher family.
I will of course keep digging on this aspect (am more advanced than published EB biographies at last). I am happy to share what I find regarding the colliery connections with you and your site. If I have anything already that I can see is relevant to you, I will send it also.
Something you might enjoy is this Irish stamp commemorating Edward, 150 years after his death.
Now you might be wondering why a Derbyshire miner, even one who became a manager, would want his sons (all 3) to be trained as organists to the highest level in Armagh. I did.
But then I discovered that the likely father of Edward, Anthony Bunting born 1733 in Parish Duffield Derbyshire, was the son of William B from Shottle, Pa. Duffield. That means that this mining Anthony B grew up in this tiny hamlet/framing district at the same time as another acclaimed organist, Anthony Greatorix born in Shottle, 1730.
Anthony G had a son Thomas, born in Wingfield. While Anthony B’s son Edward became famous in Ireland (as you have seen), Anthony G’s son Thomas (also an organist) became even more famous in England. Thomas and Edward (born Armagh) would normally not have known each other, but they almost certainly did - meeting in London, where Edward went on musical business several times. They would have moved in the same circles, both being acclaimed organists/musicians at the time. At what stage they were aware of their fathers’ boyhood Shottle connection is not known, but again they likely did, even by simply asking each other about their respective surnames. Both are Wirksworth area (and Shottle) names - Buntings married Greatorix’s in Shottle.
This is too much of a coincidence and is a supportive argument for my deduction that Edward’s dad came from Shottle originally, probably an admirer of Anthony G’s organist skills, maybe a dabbler himself.
A 1759 Bunting Will that I have, is another piece of evidence. This was referred to by an earlier EB biographer who had interviewed EB’s grandchildren in Dublin (Fox, 1911). It points to William B of Shottle, whose brother Anthony had just died in London. I can only guess that Fox had found the Will and noted it because the grandchildren had mentioned Shottle, although she never plainly says that in her article.
Hoping to hear back from Bob and any of your audience who can offer new information on Bunting colliers in the Smalley or adjacent areas (1750’s), especially any who became manager types or were so-called engineers. Or information regarding Buntings from Fletcher collieries around that time.
I am happy to keep communications through you and your site to keep you informed of any progress and to deflect spammers.
Still looking into Bunting although I don't think I know where to look but I am going to Matlock archives shortly, George Bunting, may be a relative, he was Undermanager at Ollerton 1944 - 1953 and was promoted from Ormonde another Butterley Co pit, they generally did that. He evntually moved to Edwinstow, Head Quarters for No 3 Area, in charge of mechanisation.
--<29 Jan 2015>--
I need to update you on some important advances I made on this subject during 2014. The father of Irish musician Edward Bunting was Edward, not Anthony Bunting, as I had earlier deduced.
I had to dig deep to discover this, and the sources are pretty robust!
From the 1770 Armagh (town) Census, we see there was an Edward "Bunton" (Bunton is a common Irish mis-spelling of Bunting) who was then a carpenter living in Scotch Street. He was the only Bunting/Bunton listed there. From a 1774 Belfast Newsletter public notice, we find Edward Bunting mentioned alongside many key people whom we know were associates of the coal mining father of Edward Bunting the famous musician. This includes Robert Barnes, the first music teacher of his boys. The coal mining venture in Tyrone involving manager Bunting fizzled out around 1760, and we know he moved with family to Armagh town, with his last known child (John) born there in 1776. Thus, he must have been there in 1770 and 1774. There are no coal mines in/near Armagh town, so we can assume he made his living there by other means (carpentry it seems).
So now we can be certain that the father of famous musician Edward Bunting was also Edward from Derbyshire. Edward Bunting biographers/historians for more than 100 years have sought this information! Father Edward probably reverted to being a carpenter (his likely earlier trade – we learn) after his high-paying job at the colliery near Dungannon, Tyrone ceased. It seems too from my research that he has been inaccurately referred to as an "Mining Engineer", with modern day connotations, by historians. We learn some details (timing, job title) from Featherston, James 1771, who was a frustrated key player at the Tyrone colliery. Featherston describes a highly-paid manager (leader) of the "Derbyshire Colliers" who started in mid-1754 when the Derbyshire team arrived (as recruited by Fletcher).
Historians writing about Edward Bunting have long pointed to his father coming from Shottle, Derbyshire, or at least, probably so. This was one reason why I deduced his name (in error) to be Anthony using various Wills, IGI etc. There is no record of an Edward Bunting from Shottle in the required time span. From IGI, I find only 2 time-appropriate candidates for Edward Bunting of Derbyshire, and only one who is not recorded as remaining in Derbyshire. The only one who fits is Edward Bunting of Woolley, parish Morton, born 1728. When he was a teenager, his father (John) died, and his oldest brother (also John) would have become head of family. This brother John was a carpenter (from his Will and other references), and so it is feasible that young Edward was an "apprenticed" carpenter to brother John. The Will of father John indicates that was a farmer-carpenter (timber, carpentry tools). I think I have found our man, unless the real Edward Bunting later of Tyrone/Armagh did not have his baptism recorded in Derbyshire.
We know that carpenters were needed in collieries, to shore up workings at least, and that the collieries in the nearby Alfreton-South Normanton area were in full swing then (mid-1770s). John Fletcher (junior), who took Edward to Ireland, first lived near Ripley prior to moving to Smalley. It is possible then that carpenter Edward worked in a colliery (owned by Fletcher) and there became a team manager, probably prior to moving to Ireland.
Summary: we now know his name was Edward Bunting, a carpenter and a manager of Colliers, and that there is a good chance he was the EB born 1728 in Woolley.
I wonder if you or Bob can add any meat to these bones, now that I have the name, timing and general location better constrained for this early Derbyshire Bunting collier.
Regardless, we need to update your site with this new information.