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A Comprehensive History Of Mining In The Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire And Leicestershire Coalfields - Page 1


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Jason Bufton - Spital Colliery, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Rob Wheeler - Derbyshire Collieries owned by John Coupland & Co
Mark Poxon - John Robert Seiles died at Clipstone Colliery, Nottinghamshire, 1925
Mark Poxon - My 2nd great grand uncle, Samuel Shooter b 1819 Early trade unionist was sacked by the Butterley Company
Ray Wright - Have you any Level Drawings of Butcherwood “Teversal”
Jonathan Bayes - Villages in Derbyshire or Leicestershire

Jason Bufton
31 May 2013
Spital Colliery, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Good morning,

I live in Spital in Chesterfield and understand my house to be one used by the workers at Spital colliery. However I have found it exceptionally difficult to find information about the workings. I know there was the Spitalwell iron pit but apart from that the colliery shafts that are shown on the old OS maps there is little or no information. Maybe you would be able to shed some light on the matter.

Hope you can help!


Jason Bufton
Apprentice Production Engineer

There are several pits with that name at Spital. They are between Whitebanks and Hady Hill to east of Chesterfield. Will find out about them on Friday if I manage to get to Mining Records office. I have suddenly remembered there are several hundred pits to sort out in that area. I need to go through Quarter sheets 37 SE etc. It goes on and on...but it's all good stuff.
Will contact you later.
Cheers, Bob

Bob Bradley
22 June 2013

Spital colliery
 owned by Thomas Fisher was abandoned in November 1890. An adit entrance had been driven under Spital Lane from near the Spital Brook large meanders about 120 yards away and driven almost level to access the seam in 1888. This adit was almost North East of old Hasland colliery sunk by the fork in the road to the South 400 yards away.  An Air shaft was sunk in 1889 14 yards (12.8m) deep to the East.  3 benks or coal faces about 25 yards (22m) long were worked to the North East from 1889 to 1890. Potters or Deep Hard Seam section... grey bind, coal top 1' 6" (0.45m), dirt 1/2" (0.01m), middles 1' 4" (0.40m), dirt 6" (0.15m), bottom coal 1' 2" (0.36m), black bat 4" (0.10m), clunch floor 1' 2" (0.36m), total extraction 4' 0" (1.22m). Arthur H Stokes the Mines Inspector signed the plan 15 November 1890. Possibly closed by being uneconomic as there was a depression in the industry at that time.

In 1892 the Spital colliery was reopened by OE Mason. Several new roadways were driven from the adit level. A further Air shaft was sunk to the North to supplement the other Air pit. 3 benks were worked continuing part from the old works. Several roadways were driven in 1893. The faces were stopped in 1893 but development heads to the North North West finished just short of Alexander Road in Midsummer 1894. William D Wadsworth surveyed the workings. The dip of the seam was 1in3 towards the Spital Brook so the workings were to the rise. It was still a very small mine and I would suggest that a modern colliery today could have worked the amount mined in 3 years within a few weeks. However it would have been very hard work with pick and shovel and more than likely candles for illumination. By the looks of the layout it was probably hand trammed to the adit as some of the roads are driven almost on strike (level and slightly rising). Probably they were trammed to the surface as there is no dip shown on the access road so it could have been level. Again I feel it would have been uneconomical.

Spital Lane colliery was an adit driven from just above Spital Lane down at 1in2 near to the left hand field hedge to access the Blackshale seam that was dipping towards the Brook. Only a few yards advance was made.  Section... coal 10 1/2" (0.27m), bind (dirt) 1" (0.025m), coal and batt 2' 3" (0.69m), bind 4" (0.10m), coal 2' 0" (0.61m), total 5' 6 1/2" (1.69m). The lease area was very small in an oblong field in line with the large meanders of the Spital Brook about 150 yards. An Air shaft was sunk to the other side of the field and a roadway commenced but only worked for a few yards (few metres). The colliery owner was E Waller. It was surveyed by HW Needham (844 cert number) and was abandoned on 11 May 1929. It was 60 feet deep from the surface at the point of entry into the seam and it was rising. Whether it was too shallow and wet and the seam section was poor and thought uneconomic could be the reasons for stopping the work.

Rob Wheeler
20 April 2013
Derbyshire Collieries owned by John Coupland & Co

I am interested in the colliery interests of Charles Seely of Lincoln and his partners Coupland and Keyworth, and I found your website very helpful.

An agreement survives in Lincolnshire Archives (SE 11/6) which firms up some of the information on your site.  It states that John Coupland, Charles Seely, and John Kirk Keyworth entered into a partnership on 2 Sep 1850 to last 11 years.  By 2 Jan 1852 they were operating the New Brickwood (this is perhaps a mis-reading of Birchwood) and Cotes Park collieries, trading as "John Coupland & Co".  John Coupland had lent the firm £15,701-16-10d; there was also an overdraft of £5500 with Smith's bank of Nottingham.  Seely was to acquire Coupland's share in the partnership in return for agreeing to repay his debt and the overdraft.  (The terms suggest the collieries were making a loss.)  The agreement also tells us that Coupland had provided from his own money 45 coal wagons which were his property rather than the partnership's.  Seely was to buy these for £2000.  The firm was to continue to trade as "John Coupland & Co" for up to 3 years and Seely was not offering cash immediately but in staged payments.

The partnership was formally dissolved 17 Nov 55 [London Gazette 15 Jan 61].  I assume by then Seely was trading as "Charles Seely & Co".

I note with interest that there was a 'Skellingthorpe Pit'. Skellingthorpe, just West of Lincoln, was the family home of at least part of the Coupland family, but had no particular association with Seely.

An associated document (SE 11/1) concerns a suit at Derby in which a man called Hancock was sued over payment for bricks.  It appears that John Coupland had been operating a colliery in partnership with two successive members of the Goodwin family, Humphrey and William.  The colliery had been acquired about 1820, it having been previously operated by a man called Riley, by then a bankrupt. It appears to have been sold to Job Denham, who was William Goodwin's brother-in-law, in 1847-8, but I may be reading too much into what are little more than notes. I am wondering if this is actually an account of the earlier history of the New Birchwood and Cotes Park sites.

I should be interested if you can cast any further light on what was going on.

With regards


Mark Poxon
20 April 2013
John Robert Seiles died at Clipstone Colliery 1925 -
My 2nd great grand uncle, Samuel Shooter b 1819 Early trade unionist was sacked by the Butterley Company

John Robert Seiles (1885 - 1925)

My cousin's husband has told me that the first man to die at Clipstone Colliery was John Robert Seiles born 1885 Marston, Lincolnshire.  I've been told he died in a "scalding accident" during the sinking of Clipstone Pit in 1925.  I have found a death registration from the Jul-Sep quarter of 1925.

Do you have any details?  Or have any suggestions of a source for more information?

Samuel Shooter (1819 - 1889)

My 2nd great grand uncle, Samuel Shooter was one of eleven men sacked by the Butterley Company for organising a strike in 1874

From "History of Nottinghamshire Miners Part 1" by Alan R Griffin:-
"According to the men, there were five points in dispute.  Firstly, the company had taken off a premium of 2d. per ton without consulting the conciliation board [setup in 1873 by the company to settle disputes]; secondly, at Britain Colliery, a new, wider screen had been introduced which "robbed" the men of at least 1 cwt. per ton of coal raised; thirdly, payment for heading and gate ripping had taken off the amount of 4s 6d per yard and upwards; fourthly, the payment of 1s 3d per ton for slack had also been taken off; and finally, the company had started to fill Cannock Chase trucks with the intention of defeating the miners' strike in that district"

The men returned to work on 7 May 1874 "but the eleven committee men who had taken a prominent part in the dispute were .... refused employment"

There is a photograph of the eleven sacked men at the front of Mr Griffin's book.  The same photograph is available on various websites.  Apparently the photograph was used on a postcard that was used to raise money for the men's campaign for reinstatement.

[Samuel had an interesting life:  His mother was Elizabeth Dent born abt 1800 Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  She married William Shooter (a British soldier/miner b abt 1786 Tibshelf, Derbyshire) on 30 June 1819 in the Quebec City Army Garrison shortly before the two sailed for England.  Elizabeth was evidently heavily pregnant at the time of the marriage - Samuel Shooter was born at sea on 6 July 1819.]

I think there have been other Shooters involved with the activity of the Nottinghamshire mining unions - are there any good sources of information?


Mark Poxon   

Ray Wright
20 February 2013
Have you any Level Drawings of Butcherwood Teversal

Hi Bob

Been reading your website info and I think your input is very accurate, the pits I know about.

Butcherwood “Teversal” is where I did my stablehole training in 1976, the Miners there always looked after the newbie’s.

Have you any Level Drawings of this Colliery Bob, I have the some Ordnance Survey Maps going back to 1860’s, it would be interesting to see how it developed.

Ray Wright (Young Charlie)

See also

Jonathan Bayes
3 January 2013
Villages in Derbyshire or Leicestershire, Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon in the 1600s

I've been reading through a few pages on the mining website, particularly looking at the mines owned by Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon in the 1600s.

I notice you list several villages/towns where he owned mines, such as Heather and Oakthorpe, which you say are in South Derbyshire, but those places today are in Leicestershire. Have the boundary lines changed over the centuries, or is this just a mistake?
You also note that Hastings "mustered around 100 colliers and all the horses in the mines ... and he marched them to Leicester", which I have read elsewhere too, but I was wondering if you or anyone knows which mine(s) the colliers came from, because I haven't found any specific information yet. Would it have been Heather, Oakthorpe, Swadlincote?
Any information would be helpful.

Quite right Jonathan, Heather and Oakthorpe were in fact in Leicestershire. Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention.



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