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Newspaper Stories
- Alan Beales and Robert Bradley -


  Stories, Page

Newspaper Stories - Page 1

18 Mar 1800 – Thomas Rowley, a Collier, suffocated by the damp (Blackdamp or Carbon Dioxide) at Oakthorpe Pit in the Parish of Gresley belonging to the Earl of Moira.

31 Oct 1800 -  Charles Straw, aged 9, fell down a shaft at Ilkeston and was killed on the spot.

19 Jan 1801 – Henry Black, a farmer, on Sir James Dalzell Estate was returning home on horseback and fell into a coal pit, on the road, about 14 fathoms deep and both he and the horse were killed on the spot. His body was got up on Tuesday with much difficulty. He left a widow and 11 children.

12 Feb 1802 – Francis Gregory, aged 9, was killed at West Hallam Pit when the roof fell on him.

15 Aug 1802 – Another boy accidently fell into a coal pit at West Hallam and was killed on the spot.

15 Sep 1803 – William Meeke, aged 13, was killed at a pit in Codnor Park.

21 Oct 1804 – Joseph Bacon was killed after falling into a coal pit at Lings, near Chesterfield.

9 Feb 1805 – At Measham a quantity of coal unexpectedly gave way and a collier was crushed to death.

10 Feb 1805 – Charles Wingfield also fell down a coal pit in the neighbourhood of Chesterfield and was killed.

31 May 1805 – A boy fell down a coal pit at Sommercoats Common and was killed on Saturday.

2 Jun 1805 – A piece of bind fell down from the side of a coal pit at Walton, near Chesterfield and struck a collier, who was working at the bottom, and fractured his head so terribly that he died the next morning.

18 Dec 1805 – Patrick Parkye, a poor deranged man, took an opportunity of making his escape from the person who had the care of him at Denby, and after running with great violence a considerable way, threw himself into an old coal pit in which he was drowned before he could be rescued.

2 Jan 1806 – Five colliers were let down into a coal pit at Chesterfield in order to proceed to work but soon after their arrival, in the pit bottom, the sulphurous or inflammable air took fire from one of the candles and in-consequence they were dreadfully burnt, and from the explosion driven in all directions, a man named Orange, was forced upwards of 15 yards with such violence against one of the coal benches as to fracture his skull and he was much badly bruised. The rest of his companions were dangerously ill but there were hopes of their recovery.

7 Feb 1806 – A poor man was unfortunately killed at a coal pit at Heage when the roof fell on him.

24 Jul 1807 – On Saturday evening a melancholy catastrophe happened at Teversill when Peter Smith and his son Samuel were cleansing the water way in an old coal pit and when symptoms of the damp appeared they came up the pit when Peter recollected he had left a spade in the pit his son returned for it and got into the trunk to be drawn up. His father however had hardly raised him from the bottom when foul air overpowered him and he fell lifeless from the trunk. His father called assistance and in hope of saving his son insisted on being let down the shaft when he also fell from the trunk and perished.

6 Jan 1808 – A collier named Charles Hunt accidently fell out of the rope as he was ascending a coal pit at Denby and was killed.

11 May 1810 – A man was accidently killed when a small quantity of coal fell on him and fractured his skull.

10 Dec 1810 – A girl, aged 9, was gathering cobbles on the bank of a coal pit at West Hallam when she fell down the shaft and was killed.

24 Jul 1813 – A boy leaving the care of the Gin belonging to a coal pit at Ripley unfortunately fell down the shaft and although 3 of his limbs were broken, his brain was laid bare by a dreadful fracture of the skull but he survived the accident until the following Sunday.

11 Nov 1813 – A boy aged 10, who had the care of some asses in a coal pit at Codnor Park, was returning from his work in the evening to a ascend out of the pit and took a wrong direction which lead to a part of the pit containing foul air known as Damp and was instantly suffocated.

15 Nov 1813 – A boy aged 11 was killed at a pit in West Hallam by a sudden fall of a quantity of bind and coal.  

14 Apr 1814 – Two men and a boy were ascending out of a coal pit at Oakthorpe when the cage in which they were in accidently slipped out of the hook and fell to the bottom of the pit. Richard Castle was unfortunately killed on the spot and the other man and the boy were dreadfully slattered and were not expected to recover.

16 May 1814 – Thomas Walker, aged 12, was killed in a coal pit at Codnor Park when a large quantity of minerals fell on him.

14 Dec 1816 – Six men were descending a coal pit at Eastwood on Monday when the rope broke and they all fell to the bottom of the shaft. 3 men were literally dashed to pieces and killed, the other 3 were severely hurt.

9 Jun 1817 – Samuel Street was crushed by a large portion of earth and other minerals at a coal pit at Newhall and was severely hurt and died soon after.

20 Dec 1821 – A young man unfortunately missed his way owning to the extreme darkness of the night and the wind being very boisterous and he fell into a coal pit, at Codnor, of immense depth and was literally dashed to pieces. He had been married only a few weeks previously to his unlucky exit.

14 Apr 1822 – Whilst the coroner was presiding at an inquest he was called upon to attend on the body of John Slater, a young man, who was killed by the damp at Pinxton Coal Pit.

1 Feb 1823 – An inquisition was taken at Beggarlee, Greasley, before T Wright, the coroner, on view of the body of Joseph Crisp who was found the preceding morning, with a horse on which he had been seen riding the evening before, lying dead at the bottom of a coal pit, 70 yards deep, worked by Messrs Barber and Walker.  It appeared in evidence before the coroner that the deceased was seen in a state of intoxication, riding on horseback, not far distant from the colliery and the conclusion by the jury was that through the darkness of the night and the effects of the liquor, he had drunk, he missed his way and fell into the coal pit.  The verdict was accidental death. The horse, which was a valuable animal belonged to Mr Kirkby, agent to the Reverend H C Morewood of Alfreton Hall.

7 Sep 1827 – A workman was precipitated headlong into a coal pit near Pentridge and in a few moments was a lifeless corps.  He left a wife and 9 young children.

12 Sep 1827 – On Monday an unfortunate individual named Joseph Fletcher was killed at Tibshelf Coal Pit by a quantity of stone falling upon him.

22 Jul 1828 – A young man named Job Holland, about 24 years old, had been, for some time, in a state of mental derangement (so as to render it imperative on his friends to fasten him at night to his bed) took his brothers dinner to the coal pit belonging to the Butterley Co., in the Parish of Kirkby. One of the men asked him to wheel some coal slack for him about 6 yards from the mouth of the pit shaft. He wheeled one barrel and then got up on a table near the pit mouth from which he jumped and making a run sprang down the shaft and falling a depth of 184 feet was instantaneously killed.  He alighted upon the back of his head and shoulders and rebounded 3 or 4 yards sideways.  An inquest was held at the Duke of Wellington before C Swann Esq. on Thursday when these facts were given in evidence.  The jury returned a verdict of lunacy.

15 Nov 1828 – An inquest was held at Denby on view of the body of Samuel Weston who unfortunately fell from the chains as he was ascending the pit and was instantly killed.  The verdict was accidental death.

23 Dec 1828 – At a coal pit at Codnor William Brown and William Woodhouse, working colliers, having descended into the pit to pursue their usual occupation were speedily attacked and instantly suffocated by what colliers call the Damp or Foul Air, which unfortunately been recently generated in the pit. Inquests have been held on view of the bodies and verdicts of accidental death recorded.

17 Jan 1829 - Joseph Hatton, a middle aged man was working at Cossall pit owned by Barber Walker Co. Whilst leaning over the draw bridge at the top of the shaft to remove a piece of coal on a rail when he overbalanced and fell down the 60 yards deep shaft. Fearing he was killed his fellow workmen were astounded to hear him shout 'hold' to stop the engine. He had fallen about 12 yards and had fortunately been able to grab and hang on to the descending chain. After being wound back up the shaft he resumed his work as usual.

28 Apr 1829 – William Brookhouse was ascending a coal pit at West Hallam, in a box, and fell out of the same. In consequence of the Damp or Foul air in the pit, and was so severely injured by the fall as to occasion his death in a few hours.

Friday 11 Sep 1829 - There was a sudden influx of water at Radford pit. Fortunately all the workmen escaped unharmed.

1 Mar 1830 – An accident happened at Kirkby Park belonging to Messrs Jessop and Co. which might have been of a much more serious nature. 13 of the colliers descended into the pit together and when having a distance of 60 yards to go down, the cogwheel belonging to the engine broke and consequently all of them were plunged to the bottom. We are happy in saying no lives were lost although some of the men have limbs and ribs broken and others materially bruised.

22 Mar 1830 – An inquest was held on the body of William Pare, a boy of 10. It appeared that the deceased and some other boys were playing with a Gin belonging to a coal pit at Alfreton, Riddings, when the Gin turning with a great rapidity struck the deceased over the head and killed him on the spot.  Verdict accidental death.

29 Aug 1830 – An inquest was held before C Swann Esq., coroner at the house of Steed Cope, butcher and shop keeper of Portland Row, in the Parish of Kirkby, on the view of the body of Thomas Dallison, aged about 40, a collier in the employ of the Butterley Co. who lost his life in consequence of the explosion of foul air while at work in a coal pit. It appeared that there were 9 men at work in the pit at the time, 3 of whom, besides the deceased, were knocked down. They were all working with naked, lighted candles and the deceased being the farthest advanced into the mine and naked down to the waste received the greatest injury from the explosion. He was burnt all over the upper part of his body, from the crown of his head downwards. When danger is apprehended the safety lamp is always used, but never when there is believed none, as they do not give so good a light. The workmen had no suspicion of a firing taking place in that part of the pit as no such circumstance had ever happened before. Verdict accidental death. The deceased, we regret to say left a wife and 7 children.

3 Sep 1830 – A man named Rayner was about to descend a pit at Babington Colliery having fixed himself in the chains, he was swung off the Bridge Tree and suspended over the shaft. The chains, it appears, instead of being hooked on, so as to form him a safe seat, were only entangled one within another. This the unfortunate man, did not discover, and shuffling about to get an easy position, they became disentangled and he fell to the bottom and was killed.

11 Apr 1831 – William Dane, aged 12, was buried by a fall when the roof suddenly gave way.  His father, who was working near him in the same pit, immediately hastened to his help when another fall of roof not only rendered all assistance to his son impossible but nearly deprived him of his life. His father, we are happy to say, was rescued from his perilous situation by the exertion of a comrade but the son unfortunately died before the great body of earth and materials could be removed from him. An inquest was held before Mr Bateman, Coroner, on view of the body and a verdict of accidental death recorded.

20 Oct 1831 – A boy named Joseph Slack, aged about 12, fell down a coal pit at Denby and was killed on the spot. Again a verdict was accidental death.

13 Dec 1831 – An inquest was held at Church Greasley before Mr Bateman the Coroner and a respectable jury, on view of the body of William Chamberlin. A youth, who was employed at the brick yard there, and on his way home in the dark unfortunately fell into a coal pit and was killed on the spot.

15 Mar 1832 – Eustace Stone fell down a shaft at Kilbourne and was killed. His back was broken but the body did not exhibit the appearance of even a bruise. The deceased was coming up in a basket with 2 other persons when 1 of the teeth in part of the machinery belonging to the whimsy broke and the 3 persons were precipitated to the bottom of the pit. One of them escaped unhurt and another had his arm broken in 2 places was otherwise injured and now lies in a dangerous state.

26 Feb 1833 – Two workmen employed at the colliery of Mr William Clarke of Callow, near Chesterfield were coming up from a coal pit in the afternoon. The chain from which the corve is suspended suddenly snapped and the unfortunate men were precipitated to the bottom of the pit, one of them was killed on the spot. Mr Riley, surgeon of Chesterfield, was called on to attend the other but his presence was useless as the poor sufferer died whilst being conveyed home. Mr J Hutchinson, Coroner for Scarsdale, returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

27 Feb 1833 - Derby Mercury – One of the pits at Tibshelf Colliery on the morning of Saturday 27 Feb. 9 Persons 2 of them men and 7 boys got into the large bucket which is commonly used for lowering the asses, employed in the pit, in order to descend to their work. It had only been let down a few yards when it began to run with increase rapidity, the cylinder, upon which the rope is wound accidently became disengaged from the engine. The speed increased as they went on and they were precipitated with violence to the bottom. The wheel over the shaft head was torn from its frame by the rapidity of the motion and fell down the shaft upon the heads of the unfortunate beings. The assistance was immediately given but only 2 boys were drawn up alive, and one of them died before he reached home. It is remarkable that 4 men had previously descended in safety a few minutes before.

30 May 1833 – At Pentrich, William Atkin, whose clothes took fire in consequence of an explosion of Fire Damp in the engine shaft belonging to the Butterley Co. Colliery. Verdict by Mr William, Whiston, Coroner was Accidental Death.

6 June 1833 – William Truman was killed when part of the roof of the Coal Pit at Shipley fell upon his back. He survived the injury about 5 hours, he left a widow and 9 children. Accidental Death.

6 June 1833 – Joseph Shelton, Engineer at a coal pit at West Hallam who on the previous day went down the engine shaft for the purpose of doing some repairs to part of the machinery but he fell down the shaft, a distance of about 60 yards and instantly expired. Verdict was Accidental Death.

24 Oct 1833 – An Inquest, held on Thursday last, at Brampton Moor by Mr J Hutchinson, Coroner, over the body of James Brocklehurst employed as a Collier there. It appeared the deceased was about to descend into the coal pit at 4 o’clock in the morning when he laid hold of the rope for the purpose of swarming down, but the turn barrel not being properly secured and the rope getting at liberty the poor man was precipitated to the bottom of the pit, a distance of 45 yards and killed on the spot. Verdict Accidental Death.

9 Feb 1835 – An Inquest was held by the Coroner at Codnor Park on the body of Henry Boole whose death was occasioned by a large piece of coal falling upon his head in a coal pit. The Jury returned a Verdict of Accidental Death.

7 Oct 1835 – Inquest before Mr Henry Mozley Jnr, Coroner, at the Black Horse Public House. Shocking Coal Pit accident on Wednesday a dreadful accident happened at a coal pit called Street Lane, near Morley Park in the township of Heage. 3 men, John Williamson, William Wright and Samuel Hawkins were killed. Thomas Abel was very severely injured and 2 others slightly hurt. From the evidence of Joseph Bowler, who was working in the coal pit at the time it appeared that the deceased and himself had just finished holing or undermining about 10 yards of coal, preparatory to wedging it out when suddenly the whole mass which had been undermined a yard deer, fell with out the slightest notice. The witness was buried up to the knees and Abel up to his middle and was much bruised about the body and face. His son liberated him. The 3 men named were dug out quite dead and very much mangled. Verdict Accidental Death.

May 1836 - The fossil remains of a crocodile was found in a coal pit at Chesterfield.

20 Nov 1835 – Inquest on the 20th inst at Mapperley Park on the body of Emanuel Creswell, who had been killed the day before by falling down an old coal pit which he was helping to fill up. His neck was dislocated and his skull fractured. Verdict Accidental Death.

23 Dec 1835 – An Inquest was held before Mr Whiston, Jnr, Coroner on the body of William Horsley, a child aged 11 who was employed in driving one of the asses in the Denby Old Colliery coal pit when a part of the roof gave way and fell on the body of the deceased and caused his death in a few minutes. The roof had been examined a very short time before the accident happened and was considered perfectly safe. Verdict Accidental Death.

9 May 1836 – Inquest before Mr Whiston Jnr, Coroner at Denby on the body of John Brown. The deceased was employed in sinking a shaft of a coal pit in Denby and had prepared a blast, when he got into an Iron Sinking Trunk, for the purpose of being taken out of the way of the blast. After he had ascended about 50 yards he requested that he might not go any further (this being the practice), when he looked down to watch the blast, and in so doing the Trunk gave way and he fell to the bottom and was instantly killed.

27 May 1836 – On Wednesday morning a most calamitous circumstance occurred at the Baddersley coal pit, belonging to DS Dugdale Esq. It appears that 4 of the workmen, William Smith, Thomas Day, Richard Walker and John Ball, intended, as usual, to enter the pit, without the least suspicion of the machinery being out of order, commenced their decent in the customary way but were violently precipitated to the bottom (an immense depth) and killed upon the spot.

4 Jan 1837 – On Wednesday morning a man named Charlesworth, having undertaken to fill up an old pit shaft at Codnor Park Colliery, was in the act of commencing his labours when his foot unfortunately slipped and the poor fellow was precipitated to the bottom, when he was literally dashed to pieces.

2 Mar 1837 – At Ripley Joseph Bradley a child of the age of 3 years whose death was occasioned by his clothes igniting while standing by a fire upon one of the coal pit hills near his parents home. And on the same day, at the same place Thomas Barlow, aged 14 years, was accidently killed by being forced with great violence to the ground whilst ascending out of a coal pit in which he had been employed.

20 Mar 1837 – At Ripley an inquest was held on the body of John Duncan, whose death was occasioned by a portion of the roof of the coal pit, in which he was working, falling upon him. Verdict accidental death.

11 Dec 1837 – On Monday at Mossbro’ the body of Jane Hodgson, a fine girl about 15 years who met with her death in the following melancholy manner. It appeared that the deceased took her brother’s dinner to a whimsey belonging to a colliery at Mossbro’ when the wind blew her clothes amongst the machinery and she was drawn between the cogs of the wheels, which injured the upper part of her thigh (which was nearly torn form her body) and she remained in this dreadful situation about 10 minutes before she could be extricated. The deceased lived in great agony till Saturday when death put an end to her suffering. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

10 Mar 1838 – At Ilkeston, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death on the body of John Durow, a child of the age of 11 years who was accidently killed by a part of the roof of a coal pit in which he was employed, falling upon him, which caused instant death.

25 Mar 1838 – At Greenhill Lane the bodies of 3 persons named Samuel Farnsworth, John Harris and William Rainer were recovered. They were employed in letting out the water of an old shaft at Alfreton Riddings when, in consequence of tapping the water too close, it burst upon them and drowned them. Verdict accidental death.

5 Apr 1838 – At Ripley, on Saturday night Len Tag who was in the act of placing himself in the chains for the purpose of going down a coal pit, he got between the chains, and on swinging of the brig tree he fell from the chains to the bottom of the pit, a depth of 180 yards and was instantly killed, verdict, accidental death.

30 Jun 1838 – Godfrey Baker fell down a coal pit at Shipley which was 240 yards deep. Verdict accidental death.

17 Sep 1838 – At Heanor Jabez Bercomshaw was killed in the morning in consequence of falling from a trunk whilst ascending the shaft of a coal pit. Verdict accidental death.

26 Sep 1838 – A pony had been employed in the bottom of a coal pit at Riddings for 9 years, and had never, during that period, been out, until a few weeks ago. It was drawn out for 1 week, when it was let down again, and resumed its usual employment.

9 Oct 1838 – A young man named Hill was being drawn up from a deep coal pit in Killamarsh, near Chesterfield, when he was overpowered by some iron piping in the corf which he had neglected to fasten and precipitated to the bottom being literally dashed to pieces. His brother was at the bottom of the pit and hearing the falling pipes strike the side walls stepped for safety within the Tram Way and in a moment after his brothers mangled body lay at his feet.

12 Dec 1838 – Thomas Kerry of Swanwick was ascending from a coal pit at Oakerthorpe, the horse, which worked the Gin, was frightened at a box of coal being shot up, and ran away. Kerry was drawn up to the pulley, and 2 of his ribs collar bone and thigh were broken. Fortunately the horse was caught just at the moment or he would have been drawn over the pulley and fallen into the pit. The poor sufferer had buried a child on the previous day. We understand the horse had only been used at the Gin a day or 2.

15 May 1839 – Inquest held at Eckington on the body of John Goodwin, Collier, a young man who was killed on the spot the previous Saturday by part of the roof of a coal pit falling upon him while at work. Verdict Accidental Death. The man was a native of Staveley. One of his brothers was killed sometime ago and another is now confined with a broken arm and broken thigh from an accident on the railway.

15 Nov 1839 – Four men, Henry Kent, John Heap, John Harvey and William Taylor were descending a coal pit at Swaddling Coat when the chain broke and precipitated them to the bottom of the shaft which was 150 yards deep. A wooden scaffold had been erected across the shaft towards the bottom, for the purpose of getting a shallower coal but such was the violence of the fall that the scaffold gave way before it. There was a considerable quantity of water at the bottom of the shaft and although assistance was at hand the bodies of the unfortunate men were not recovered until late in the afternoon. The colliery was owned by Messrs Wilkinson and the jury proceeded to the colliery and inspected the chain minutely and concluded that the chain was not so thoroughly efficient as it ought to have been. The therefore returned a verdict that the deceased were killed by the accidental breaking of the chain, and imposed a deodand of £5. It appeared to the Coroner and the jury that chains are liable to catch the frames of the rollers over which they pass and thereby occasion a stoppage in their passage downwards, and a consequent jerk when set at liberty and evidence of such a stoppage on the late melancholy event having been given by the engineer, the Coroner expressed to the proprietors of the work the earnest wish of himself and of the jury, that for the future a rope might be used instead of a chain for letting down or drawing up the men. Messers Wilkinson immediately promised compliance with the request.

19 Nov 1839 – About 3 o’clock on Tuesday morning two men and a lad came to the new pit at Stavley Netherthorpe, to go down to work. The poor fellows, seeing the corve over the shaft, thought it was ready for them, and accordingly got into it, but the rope being “out of gear” they were precipitated to the bottom, a depth of 90 yards, and the rope being loosed, fell down upon them. One man had his leg broken in 2 places and the other a leg and an arm. The boy is also injured in an equally serious manner. The whole of them are smashed in such a horrible way that they can hardly recover.

1 May 1840 - William Oates aged 71, a labourer was found at the bottom of the coal pit which was 100 yards deep. He lived alone at Old Brinsley. It was found that his house had been entered as a window had been forced and the dwelling ransacked. No conclusion as to the manner of his death.

6 June 1840 – Inquest at Shipley on the body of Thomas Street, aged 13, whose death was occasioned by falling down a coal pit at that place.

7 June 1841 – Inquest at Horsley Woodhouse on the body of Joseph Fletcher whose death was occasioned the previous day, in consequence of his falling from the chains of a coal pit to the bottom of the pit whilst he was ascending there out. Verdict Accidental Death.

20 Mar 1842 – Verdict of Accidental Death on the body of William Smith, who died the previous day from injuries which he received in consequence of falling down a coal pit at Codnor Park 18 yards deep.

23 Nov 1843 – Inquest held at Ilkeston on the body of John Richards who died from injuries which he received in consequence of a large quantity of coal falling upon him whilst at work in a coal pit. Verdict Accidental Death.

17 July 1844 – Derbyshire Mercury – On Wednesday morning a young man aged 20 was working in an old coal pit in Smithy Wood whilst standing upon the Gallery about midway of the pit he accidently fell to the bottom when after remaining therein upwards of 4 hours his lifeless body was extricated, the pit being deeply impregnated with foul air.

2 June 1845 – Verdict accordingly was Accidental Death at Codnor and Loscoe on the body of Charles Allen aged about 10 years of age who whilst in the act of going a short way up the shaft of the coal pit, in which he worked, although cautioned not to do so, fell from the chain to the bottom of the pit. And received a wound in the back of his head which caused his death shortly afterwards.

11 March 1846 – Inquest before Mr Whiton Jr, Coroner. On Wednesday last at Smalley on the body of Francis Flint, aged 23, one of the unfortunate men whose death took place from the effects of the explosion of Wild Fire which took place in the Loscoe Coal Pit, the Wednesday previous. It appeared from the evidence which was given to the jury that the explosion took place in the consequence of the Colliers using candles and not the Safety Lamp with which they were provided, as the candles give a better light than the lamps and there by causing greater danger to themselves, verdict Accidental Death.

20 June 1847 - A heading at a pit owned by North and Walker at Newthorpe pricked old hollows of an old pit and water rushed into the workings. The men fled as the water rose and luckily escaped up the shaft but 7 asses were drowned. A great number of tools were left in the workings and probably never to be recovered.

1 Mar 1849 – An inquest was held at Codnor on the body of William Wilkinson, a child aged 8 whose death took place on Saturday, in consequence a large quantity of bind falling upon him whilst at work in a coal pit a Stoneyford. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death and at the same time expressed their regret that the proprietors or butties of the coal pit should have employed so young a child in the pit, such practice being against the law, which imposes a penalty of a sum not more then £10 (£1,210 today in 2017) not less than £5 (£605 today in 2017).

13 Nov 1849 – Death by Fire Damp. On 13th inst an explosion of Fire Damp occurred in a coal pit at Clay Cross, causing the death of Henry Alsop a man aged about 30 years. The deceased was at work at the far side of a pit which was well ventilated and exhibited no appearance of Fire Damp, but after a fall of coal an explosion took place, which burst both Alsop and a companion who was with him. Alsop it seems, was making his way to the bottom of the pit, when he appears to have mistaken his path, for he came in contact with the foul air, and was stifled by the After Damp. An inquest was held before Mr Hutchinson, Coroner, on the following day when a verdict of accidental death was returned.

26 June 1849 – At Summercoates, near Alfreton, an Inquest was held on the body of Abraham Cook, a boy about 10 years old. On the Saturday previous the deceased was at work in a Coal Pit at that place where a piece of bind fell upon him and crushed his head and body to such an extent that he survived only about 24 hours. Verdict Accidental Death.

26 June 1850 – On 26 June at Ilkeston an Inquest on the body of Moses Aram aged 19 whose death took place the previous morning in consequence of about a ton and a half weight of stone falling upon him whilst at work in the coal pit of Messrs Barber Walker. The roof of the pit had been carefully examined a few hours before and considered to be perfect secure and there not appearing any blame to anyone the jury returned accidental death.

9 July 1850 – On Tuesday 9 July, at Stanley, an Inquest was held on the body of Thomas Hartshorne aged 50 years. Deceased while at work early that morning in sinking the shaft of a coal pit suddenly leaned forward and died immediately. Mr Cade, surgeon of Spondon, who had known and attended the deceased in his life time was of the opinion that he had died from decease of the heart and the jury returned a verdict to that affect.

May 1855 - Trade was so brisk that the Midland Railway Co was compelled to decline carrying quantities of coal offered to them and along the route from Nottingham to Derby large quantities of coal was stacked. In January Babbington sent 5,351 tons to London as against 3,144 tons in 1854. Clay Cross Co sent 23,569 tons as against 20,222 tons. Codnor Park sent 7,613 tons as against 6,727. Langley sent 2,213 tons as against 3,654 tons. Langley Mill sent 4,054 tons as against 3,658. New Birchwood 5,446 tons as against 4,514, Pinxton 10,291 tons as against 6,611 tons. Riddings 7,097 tons as against 6,706 tons. Coal was much in demand in the Metropolis and many of the Vendors secured fancy prices.

4 May 1855 - The Duke of Newcastle visited the extensive underground works at Cinder Hill worked by Thomas North. The visit began just after 10am and the Duke was accompanied by John C Wright of Watnall Hall. John Thomas Woodhouse Chief Engineer and Chief Mining Engineer for the district. W Parsons and the Revd G Maughan, Curate of Christ Church, and also S Walters the Principal Underviewer. They went through the doors between Intake and return air (called Life and Death doors). The average output was 2,000 tons per week and there was  3,000 acres of lease yet to work.

6 March 1857 – Mr Busby held an inquest at the Midland Hotel, Chesterfield on the body of Thomas Pendelton, a sinker 23 years of age who was accidently suffocated on Wednesday morning in Mr Clayton’s Colliery, near the Railway Station. The deceased and John Braddow of South Street Chesterfield and 2 other persons were engaged in clearing out the black damp, in a heading, when the deceased seeing a cloud of black damp before him rushed into it, very imprudently, and wafted it about with his cap. He fell down and was suffocated, 8 hours having elapsed before he could be extracted though he groaned for sometime before the accident. A verdict of by died by suffocation was returned. Mr Hedley, the Government Inspector of Mines was present.

14 Dec 1858 – At Underwood Colliery (Barber Walker) Robert Wilkinson’s job was placing the trams at the top of the shaft and inadvertently put a tram on the wrong side and was precipitated down the pit shaft which was 200 yards deep. He clutched hold of the rope and slid down to the bottom without harm. He returned to the surface in the cage and continued with his work as coolly as can be.

20 Feb 1861 – An inquest was held at the Newland Inn before Mr Whiston, coroner, on the body of George Breedon, who was killed at a coal and ironstone pit at Codnor. The deceased was a new hand in the colliery and was engaged in improving himself at holing, when a large piece of coal became detached and fell on him. Another man who was working nearby and saw the accident ran to his assistance and with the aid of a crowbar relieved the unfortunate man of some of the pressure but being unable to release Breedon thoroughly. He ran for assistance but before this could arrive the poor man was a corps. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death by a fall of coal in a coal pit.

18 Dec 1861 - An accident occurred at the Shipley Soft Coal Pit on Monday night to George Severn, residing in the parish of Heanor, whilst employed in the mine by a fall from the roof, which crushed his head most dreadfully, and at once deprived him of the powers of hearing and speech, as well as sight, one of his eyes being literally forced from his socket. He was conveyed home as soon as possible and placed under medical assistance, but he died on Thursday 12 December.

14 May 1862 – Fatal Accident in a Coal Pit at Alfreton - On Monday morning an accident which terminated fatally, happened to a man named George Wright of Swanwick. The deceased and a man named John Staples were engaged sinking a pit deeper at the Colliery of William Palmer Morewood, esq and Wright went to the bottom of the shaft with some dirt. Staples thought he was a long time and shouted to him but receiving no answer he went in search of him and found him lying on the ground with a sever wound on his head, some bind having fallen upon him. He was taken home and medical assistance was immediately obtained but it was of no avail for he died at about 5 o’clock in the evening. An inquest was held on Friday before Mr Busby, Coroner. From the report of the government inspector no blame was attached to anyone and a verdict of accidental death was returned. The deceased has left a widow and 6 children quite destitute.

2 July 1862 – Suicide in a Coal Pit – On Tuesday Mr Busby, coroner held an inquest at Hasland (near Chesterfield) on the body of Thomas Higginbotham, a man of 47 years of age, who committed suicide by throwing himself down a coal pit on the Monday previous. The body was found lying at the bottom of the pit at a quarter past 5 by a collier who was going to work. Deceased was quite dead and cold, and his arms and legs were badly mutilated by the fall. Evidence was given to show that the deceased had been out of work and that he was in very depressed circumstances. Verdict Temporary Insanity.

25 Feb 1863 – At Cotmanhay on the 21st inst and inquest was held at the Granby Arms Inn by Mr Wiston, respecting the death of Elijah Fretwell, a boy of 16 years of age whose death took place on the night of the 19th inst. From the effects of the injuries received in the Granby Coal Pit on the morning of the 17th. From the evidence adduced it appeared that Fretwell went to work at 4 o’clock on the 17th and had worked for about 2 hours holing when a slip took place and fell on the back of his neck and back. The coal was got off him as soon as possible by Joseph Flint and a man of the name of Trueman, and he was removed home where he was attended by Mr Norman up to his death. A verdict in accordance with the above facts was returned.

15 Apr 1863 – Serious Coal Pit Accident. 4 Miners were severely injured by an explosion of gun powder in the Du Well Pit at Staveley on Tuesday night. 3 of them Ishmael Ball, John Smith and Joseph Orwin, resided at Brimington Common, the 4th man (whose name we did not hear) at Stevely. Ball is more extensively burnt than his fellow sufferors and but slight hopes are entertained of his recovery. The precise cause of the accident is not at present known.

15 Apr 1863 – An inquest was held at the Golden Ball, Loscoe, on Friday 10th inst before W Wiston esq, touching the death of John Andrews, aged 45, who met his death on Thursday the 9th inst at the Loscoe Coal Pit. It appears from the evidence that deceased was loading his cart with coal at the pit on the 9th inst when a man at the top of an incline let a number of trucks down for the purpose of loading them with coal, not knowing that deceased was there. He was knocked down by these trucks and killed on the spot. The jury returned a verdict of accidently killed.

13 Sep 1863 – A very shocking occurrence took place at the Granby Colliery, near Ilkeston, the property of the Butterley Company, on Tuesday. On the afternoon shift of that day a number of colliers were at work in a coal pit when there was an escape of foul air in one of the sections, and spontaneous combustion took place. The flames swept across the pit with great rapidity, and before the men could escape one of them was burnt to death, his body being reduced to a cinder, and 6 or 7 others were severely burnt, so much so that the recovery of 3 is hopeless.

20 Sep 1865 – On Saturday week a young man named John Tomlinson met with a very sudden accident at Bretby which resulted in death almost immediately. The deceased was descending the pit in a coal waggon when 2 fellow workmen observed his candle to fall from his hand. They at once proceeded to the spot and found him lying across the rails, but life was extinct. Verdict accidental death by falling from a coal waggon in a coal pit.

20 Sep 1865 – Mr C S Busby held an inquest at the Queens Head Inn at Alfreton on view of the body of William Stones, Collier, who was killed at the Swanwick Colliery by a massive coal falling upon him from the roof. In his address to the jury the coroner remarked that accidents were continually occurring through coal falling from the roofs of pits and that if there were anything like precaution taken, many lives would be saved. He thought sufficient precautions had not been taken in the case under investigation. After the evidence had been heard the jury returned a verdict of accidental death. The deceased has left a wife and 2 children.

26 Jan 1866 – At Hucknall Colliery, last Wednesday there was an explosion of firedamp. Edmund Keen and Levi Flintham were brought out of the pit and put to bed. The surgeon ordered cloths to be steeped in oil and turpentine to be frequently applied. Both men said there beds had heated until it burned their bodies. They were put into other beds and the bed Flintham had been on was removed to an outhouse where it was shortly found in flames. It was promptly extinguished for in the building adjoining was the Chemist store containing a quantity of gunpowder. Keen’s bed also became on fire and had to be removed. He died later in the day. However Flintham was able to give evidence at the inquest held at the Half Moon Inn at Hucknall on the 16th of March 1866.

1 Jul 1868 – There was a public trial of the King’s Patent Safety Cage Hook at Brands Pit owned by Butterley Co. Two of these hooks had been in use for some time. The experiment was tried with an empty chair (cage) then one with a coal tub and another with a bucket of water to see how far it was affected by shock when the hook was activated.  1000 people, principally colliers and a number of gentlemen associated with collieries were in attendance.

17 Oct 1868 – At Digby Colliery William Vardey, aged 11, had left school without a certificate and had begun work at Digby on 6th July and he would have been 12 on the 24th March 1869.  Willian (Billy) Hall the manger for Digby Colliery Co., was charged with neglecting to ascertain the real ages of boys and was fined £5. Charles Smith was the Colliery Overseer and he employed William Vardey at the end of April to open and close doors on a main road. William was killed whilst ganging a pony and 3 trams to No 6 stall along a roadway that was in a very poor condition and only 4 foot 8 inches wide. He went into the stall after being told not to and he should only have ganged 2 trams anyway.  He was found under one of the wagons at No 6 gate.

21 Jan 1869 – There was a boiler explosion at 7 a.m. at Timber Field Colliery, owned by Thomas Holdsworth.  William Walker whilst raking the boiler grate was thrown 18 yards and fearfully scolded.  Two brothers, Pendalton, were very badly scalded also and 2 others named Hayes and Gardener were severely injured. Osborne the engine Tenter had a narrow escape, however William Walker, aged 22, the son of the proprietor, died soon after being admitted to the hospital.

1 May 1869 - The recovery of the bodies of the four men and a donkey who lost their lives on 2nd of April at Molyneux Colliery was effected at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. A great number of men had been employed night and day since the inundation. The water was pumped out some days ago, around the 20th April and it was found that about one hundred yards of roadway had fallen in and this had to be cleared before the bodies could be reached. On Sunday the jacket and watch, belonging to Cookson, were found, the watch having stopped at 8:20 so the water must have burst in some hours before that. At 2 a.m., on Monday, the exploring party knew they were approaching the bodies due to the stench emitting from them. At 5 a.m. they recovered the first body, which was difficult, due to decomposition. At 9 a.m. the other three bodies were recovered. Coffins had been procured, they were brought to the surface and placed therein and removed to the Carnarvon Arms Public House.

20 Aug 1869 – There was a fire on the pit top at Babbington Pit, near Ilkeston. A pole was placed across the shaft and a half moon scaffold on it about 3 yards from the top of the shaft which was 277 yards deep. Thomas Sisson and his son Thomas Sisson had a bucket of water in his hand when the scaffold gave way. The junior Thomas Sisson and a joiner grasped the chain with which they had descended and the senior Sisson grasped at the brickwork and held onto it for 15 minutes until rescued by a rope lowered down the shaft.

10 Jan 1870 - 700 men and boys were out of work at Shireoaks Colliery owing to the pressure of water forcing through cracks in the cast iron tubbing in the shaft. 150 tons of metal had to be replaced. The men were to be employed at neighbouring pits were possible. The shaft was flooded since Sunday.

June 1870 - Unstone valley now being developed. One colliery being sunk by the West Staveley Co was estimated to raise up to 1,000 tons per day.

11 Jan 1871 – An inquest was held on the 7th inst by W Wistton esq coroner at the Railway Inn, Ripley on the body of William Stokes, miner of Ripley. Deceased who was 52 years of age was so seriously injured while at work in the Waingroves Coal Pit on the 4th inst, that he died on eh 5th inst having in the interval been attended by Mr Allen, surgeon of Ripley. Verdict accidental death.

15 Aug 1874 - Staveley Coal and Iron Co. Ltd. Had a net profit for the year of £263,921-4s-10d and the last account was £23,639-8s-11d to give a total of £287,611-13s-9d. There was a £5 dividend on A and C shares and 16s-8d on B and D shares. In conjunction with the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Co. they completed the preliminary work for a new pit at Newstead.

There were 2 pits being sunk at Barlborough and also arrangements for a new pit at Stavely.

18 Sep 1874 - An explosion occurred at Newstead Colliery, shaft sinking on 9 July 1874 after a shot had misfired. They began to drill another hole with a steel duller and struck the shot which exploded. Sam Frear and James Towle and another William Ward was badly burned. A man called Lund was the chargeman.

27 Nov 1874 - Whilst sinking the shafts at Newstead John Baker (30) a sinker, John Isaac (27) a sinker and William Sweatman (21) were charged with attempting to wound Thomas Stack a sinker at No1 shaft. Thomas Thomas was in the shaft working with George Marshall and Joseph Shepherd when a stone fell onto the scaffold at 150 yards deep. Some more stones fell then some wooden wedges were thrown down the shaft. Both Isaac and Sweatman were found guilty and sentenced to 12 months in the Southwell House of Correction. Robert Stevenson was the Manager.

Feb 1875 - Annesley pit bottom was lit by Hutchinson Brothers gas lamps. The firm had a patent for a steam gas jet.

29 May 1877 – Overwind at Digby. The engineman was Isaac Stirling and the engine house was situated between the two shafts. 3 men descending in the cage sustained serious injuries when the cage hit the pit bottom with force.  Joseph Bercumshaw had a fractured leg and thigh, John Freer had a broken leg in 2 places and George Flint had also a leg broken in 2 places and injuries to his spine.

17 Aug 1878 – A horse was found drowned in the reservoir at Kimberley Colliery, Ilkeston.  The reservoir, which was 9 feet deep, supplied water to several pits.

27 Sep 1878 - Cotmanhay Colliery owned by Barber Walker was flooded. Old workings at neighbouring Bennerley Colliery were flooded and during the past week a portion of roof in one of the stalls showed signs of giving way and an influx of water began. 50 men and lads were thrown out of work but the majority were employed in the upper part of the pit.

6 Dec 1878 – The manager of Ellistown Colliery and Donisthorpe colliery was prosecuted by Her Majesty Inspector, Arthur Stokes. Reason unknown.