Information and photographs submitted by subscribers are posted in good faith. If any copyright of anyone else's material is unintentionally breached, please email me

Fair Lady Pit Explosion, Leycette, 1880 - Page 6 - Emails

John Lumsdon             Firedamp, Ignition Caused By Shot Firing, 62 Killed

Roy Priest - Fair Lady Pit Explosion 1880 - Thomas Edwards
Alan Smith - Looking For Info - Joseph Wainwright Was The Mine Manager During The 1880 Disaster
Jennifer Ham - Leycett 1883, looking for information, Frederick Dykes, born Buerton, Audlem in 1858
Colin Allen - My g.grandfather, Joseph Allen survived the disaster but died 1883 from Brights disease
Joan Darcy - My Great Grandfather, John Turnock, Was Killed In The 1880 Disaster At Leycett
Margaret Bryden - Any info: My Great Grandfather James Webb was killed in the 1880 explosion
Michael Hendry - Came Across List Of Contributors, Leycett Colliery Disaster Fund 1880
Any information about John Mc Cready died at Fairlady Leycett Pit 21st January 1880

In MemoryRoy Priest
24 Jul 2018
Fair Lady Pit Explosion 1880 - Thomas Edwards

Hi there,

My Great, Great Grandfather Thomas Edwards was killed in the 1880 Fair Lady Pit explosion. If you wish I have biography details that you can enter against him, as follows:

He was born about 1832 in the Mold area of North Wales. 

In the early 1850s he moved from Wales to Staffordshire. He married a local girl, Harriet Yearsley, on 3rd Oct 1853 in the parish church of Wolstanton, Staffs. He was a coal miner. His father Peter was also a coal miner but I think he died some years before in Wales. Harriet’s father, William, was a blacksmith. Both Thomas and Harriet lived in Knutton. Neither Thomas, Harriet or the witnesses were able to sign their names, instead making a mark.

Between 1856 and 1875 they had 6 girls and 3 boys (one of whom was my Great Grandfather Albert).

At the census before Thomas’ death taken in 1871 his address was Victoria Street, Silverdale. He was a miner as was his eldest son Matthew William aged 14.

His death is recorded as occurring on 21st Jan 1880 at the Fair Lady Pit. Aged 47 and a collier. Cause of death ‘by explosion in a coal pit by firing of a shot’. Accidental death.

By the time of the 1881 census my Great Grandad Albert (Thomas Edwards’ son, aged 13) had moved to his Uncle and Aunt’s (his mum’s sister) Grocer’s shop in the village of Knighton, Staffordshire. His sisters Hannah (19) and Jemima (11) were also living there.  The rest of Thomas’ family were living at:

  • Son Matthew William (25) stayed in Silverdale as a miner.
  • Thomas’s wife Harriet was running a grocers shop in the village of Woore not far from Silverdale.
  • Along with her daughters Mary Ann (23), Eliza (21) and Olive 9 (listed as a disabled) and Harriet 6. Also her son James (8).

My great grandad Albert Edwards died in the 1930s long before I was born. I do know that he moved back to Stoke on Trent around 1900 becoming a coal miner. He lived at Bridge Street (renamed Ridley Street) which was a street of miner’s cottages in Fenton.  He died in that house in the 1930s. His son Tom (my grandfather) was born there and lived there until it was demolished in the 1970s. I remember him and the house well.

Roy Priest 

Alan Smith 
18 Jun 2015
Looking For Info - Joseph Wainwright Was The Mine Manager During The 1880 Great Disaster

I am a descendent of Joseph Wainwright who was Mine Manager during the great disaster. He was subsequently exonerated and had his license returned to him.

Does anyone have information on Joseph Wainwright? We are tracing our family history and information on this incident would help.

Thanks in advance

Margaret Bryden
19 June 2008
Any information: My Great Grandfather James Webb was killed in the 1880 explosion
In Memory

My Great Grandfather James Webb was killed in the 1880 explosion are there any details of where he is buried and what compensation his widow with 5 young children got, or indeed any other information such as his address or where he was born.

Margaret B

22 Feb 2014

Hi Fionn
I would just like to inform you that there is now a memorial dedicated to the miners killed in the Fair Lady Pit Disaster at Leycett in Madeley. This is in the grounds of Madeley Church.

As the great grand daughter of James Webb the first miner to be buried in Madeley Church yard I was proud and privileged to unveil this memorial to all the miners who were killed there.


At the time mentioned 1880s there was no such thing. When a major disaster occurred there would usually be a local fund set up to collect donations for the bereaved and dependants. burial fees would be paid for the victims and weekly payments allowed for widows and children depending on the size of the fund. I haven’t found when it was set up yet, but most miners paid a few pence per week to the Midlands Miners fatal accident fund which provided similar benefits. The workmen’s compensation act was not passed until the 1890s when mining unions were able to employ lawyers to fight for compensation.

Alan Beales

Jennifer Ham
4 February 2012
Leycett 1883, looking for information about Frederick Dykes, born Buerton, Audlem in 1858

Dear Website founder,

Your full and most descriptive description of the 1880 Leycett disaster has prompted me to ask if you have any information on the six people who died in the colliery disaster of 21 Oct 1883?

My great grandparents lived and worked in Leycett and my great grandmother left there with her daughter’s family in 1926.  

He was called Frederick Dykes, born Buerton, Audlem in 1858.  (They also had a son Fred Dykes, born Madeley 1880.)  

Any help you can give would be much appreciated and with thanks and Best Wishes I am  (Mrs)   Jennifer Ham.

I have found a Frederick Dykes, who in 1881 was a coal miner aged 23, his wife Hannah was also 23. They had no children living with them.

Ten years later in 1891 he was still a coal miner and they had a son, Fred aged 11. Fred was a scholar at this time.

In 1901 Frederick Dykes aged 43 was the Head of the family and married to Hannah Dykes.

Frederick was born Bierton, Cheshire, England in the Civil parish of Madeley, in the Town of Leycett, Staffordshire
Registration district Newcastle under Lyme, about 1858. Frederick and Hannah had two children Fred Dykes, aged 21 and Emma Dykes aged 15.

If this is your Frederick they lived at Church Cottages and both he and his son were colliers while Emma was an apprentice dressmaker.

LEYCETT Disaster. Madeley, Stafforshire. 21st October 1883
The colliery was owned by the Madeley Coal and Iron Company, there was an explosion while trying to build off a gob fire and 6 men were killed:-

  • James Kirkwood, age 23, married with 1 child, surveyor, only married about twelve months.
  • Thomas Webb, married with 6 children
  • Joshua Leek, age38, married with 7 children
  • William Cartledge, age 32, married with 5 children
  • George Fox, age 29, married with 1 child
  • Richard Lewis, age 26, married with 3 children

With the exception of Thomas Webb who lived at Madeley, all the deceased men lived at Leycett.

More Information at:-

Colin Allen
28 November 2011
My g.grandfather, Joseph Allen survived the disaster but died 1883 from Brights disease

My great grandfather was Joseph Allen who survived the above disaster but who died in 1883 from Brights disease and Bulimia. (His wife reported the death.) 

I have been unable to find out where he was living at the time of the disaster or who his parents were and so my family history stops there.   Do you have any suggestions which might help please?

Colin Allen

Joan Darcy
15 October 2008
My great grandfather, John Turnock, was killed in the 1880 disaster at Leycett
In Memory

I just want to say thank you for the work you are doing on this site. I have, after much searching, just confirmed that my great grandfather, John Turnock, (a loader) was indeed killed in a mining accident as my mother always said. His name appears on the memorial to those who were killed in 1880 at Leycett in the Fair Lady shaft. If you are collecting biographies I may be able to send you something about him once I have done a bit more chasing.

We went to Apedale Mining Museum two years ago but I did not see the Memorial. We shall now visit again next year.

Joan D'Arcy nee Mayer

There is now a Memorial in the grounds of Madeley Church

06 July 2007
Any information about John Mc Cready died at Fairlady Leycett Pit 21st January 1880

Do you have any info on this person please?

John McCready died at Fairlady Leycett Pit 21st January 1880 3.30am to 4.30am

Michael Hendry 
06 July 2007
I Came Across The List Of Contributors, Leycett Colliery Explosion Disaster Fund 1880

Whilst researching other names through the Times Digital Archive, I came across a list of contributors to the fund for the Relief of the Sufferers which might be of interest to you. Dated 7 February 1880.

Please contact me if you require further details.

Michael Hendry