Accidents at Hamilton Palace Colliery

This section contains newspaper reports on selected accidents. Please check the indexes in the Accidents Section for details of Inspector of Mines reports and other accidents covered on the site.

3 October 1887

Fatal Accident at Hamilton Palace Colliery – About 3 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, Wm N'Nair, 28, miner, was accidentally killed at Hamilton Palace Colliery, belonging to the Bent Coal Coy. M'Nair and another miner named Archibald Anderson were driving a stone mine when a stone weighing about two tons came away from the roof. M'Nair was killed instantaneously, while Anderson escaped with slight injuries. Deceased leaves a widow and five children. [Hamilton Advertiser October 8 1887]

1 March 1890

Thomas Forbes (52), miner Greenfield, was on Saturday injured at Hamilton Palace Colliery. The signal was given to lower the men, when, on its being discovered that nine instead of eight were in the cage, Forbes tried to get off but was jammed between the cage and plates. His nasal bone was broken, one of his eyes was knocked out and he was injured on the back and ribs. He was removed to the Royal Infirmary Glasgow. [Scotsman 4 March 1890]

1 August 1891

Miner Killed - Samuel Dickson, 29, miner, Hamilton Palace Rows, has died from injuries which he received on Saturday in the Ell coal seam, Palace colliery. He had fired a shot which failed to bring down as much coal as he expected, and was undermining the remaining mass when two tons came away and crushed him. [Scotsman 4 August 1891]

20 March 1893

Yesterday forenoon, while a man named Thomas Connelly was engaged in screening at Palace Colliery Pithead, he overbalanced himself, and fell between the coal waggons, which were being shunted in at the moment. His body was severely crushed, and he died 2 hours afterwards [Scotsman 22 March 1893]

14 October 1895

Yesterday morning an accident occurred at the Bent Company's Hamilton Palace Colliery near Bothwell whereby a young woman named Elizabeth Findlay lost her life. Deceased was at work at the travelling scree, and had occasion to step over an exposed revolving shaft, when her petticoats were caught and she was drawn into the machinery, and so fearfully mangled that death ensued almost immediately. Deceased was 30 years of age, unmarried, and resided with her widowed mother at Cross Rows near the Colliery. [Scotsman 15 Oct 1895]

15 November 1895

Fatal Accident at Hamilton Palace Colliery – Yesterday James Wilson, 28, miner, Hamilton Palace Colliery Rows, was killed in the ell coal seam of Hamilton Palace Colliery. He was at work at the face when a large stone fell upon him from the roof, and death was instantaneous. He leaves a widow and two children. [Scotsman 16 November 1895]

6 December 1898

Hugh Neilson (36), engineman, has been fatally injured at Hamilton Palace Colliery. He was engaged in the pumping engine-house, where no one had much occasion to see him, and was latterly found squeezed between part of the gearing and the brickwork, quite dead [Scotsman 10 Dec 1898]

10 October 1899

Fatal Accident Inquiry – On Thursday Sheriff Davidson and a jury inquired in the death by a fire damp explosion in Hamilton Palace Colliery on 10th October, by which Wm. Armour, jun., was fatally injured. The evidence allowed that deceased and his father were employed together, and, having prepared a shot, the fireman attended for the purpose of firing it. After he had lighted the fuse an explosion of fire-damp took place, with the result that all three were burned, young Armour so severely that he died from his injuries. The fireman admitted that in his examination before firing the shot he found a slight trace of fire-damp. The Inspector of Mines, Mr Ronaldson, stated that had a proper examination been made the existence of fire-damp to the extent that caused the explosion should have been discovered by the fireman. The jury found that the accident was due to an error of judgement on the part of the fireman in having fired a shot after finding gas in the place. [Bellshill Speaker 2 December 1899]

13 February 1900

Fatal Accident – On Tuesday afternoon, John Buchan, employed at the Palace Colliery, met with a serious accident. He was removed to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he died shortly after his admission. Deceased leaves a young widow. [Bellshill Speaker February 17 1900]

27 September 1901

In Hamilton Sheriff Court, before Sheriff Davidson, on Saturday, David Swan, fireman, Hamilton Palace Colliery, pleaded guilty to, on 27th September last, contravening the Mines Regulation Act in No1 pit there, where safety laps are used, by firing a shot without making the statutory examination. The Fiscal said accused made a perfunctory examination but failed to reach a space in the roof containing fire damp, and on his firing the shot, an explosion occurred, and four men were burned. He was fined 10s or thirty days imprisonment.[Scotsman 14 Oct 1901]

23 December 1901

Fatal Colliery Accident – On Monday, Alexander Ogilvie, 21, miner, Hamilton Palace Colliery Rows, was injured in No 1 Pit, Hamilton Palace Colliery. About 2 o'clock in the afternoon he was filling a hutch at the face, when a piece of coal weighing about a quarter of a hundredweight suddenly came away from the face and roof and struck him on the head. He was removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he died on Thursday. [Hamilton Advertiser 28 December 1901]

12 April 1902

While a miner named William John Neil, 34 years of age, was at work in Messrs Dixons Palace Colliery, Bothwell, he fell in front of a bogie, which passed over him, and so severely injured him that he only survived a few hours. [Scotsman 15 April 1902]

9 June 1903

At Hamilton Palace Colliery, belonging to the Bent Colliery Company, Peter Sime (21), pony driver has been fatally injured. He was driving a horse with an empty hutch in which he was seated, from the working face to the haulage road, when a stone fell from the roof and pinned his neck against the edge of the hutch, strangling him. When found he was quite dead. [Scotsman 12 Jun 1903]

19 June 1903

Pit Fatality at Bothwell - On Saturday morning while two men named Peter Wilson and James McKeown were at work, drawing wood in the soft coal seam of No 1 Pit, Hamilton Palace Colliery, belonging to the Bent Coal Co Ltd, a huge stone weighing over 8cwt fell from the roof. McKeown had a marvellous escape, sustaining only a few bruises, but Wilson was pinned to the ground, and on being extricated life was found to be extinct. Deceased who resided at 31 Roman Row, Hamilton Palace Colliery, leaves a wife and one child. [Glasgow Herald June 22 1903]

24 June 1904

Fatal Pit Accident - John Cook (19), residing at 5 Roman Place, Hamilton Palace Colliery, died in the Royal Infirmary. Glasgow, on Saturday morning from the effects injuries received while at work in the Hamilton Palace Colliery. A fall came away from the roof, striking him on the head and fracturing both jaw bones and base of the skull. [Motherwell Times 1 July 1904]

20 October 1904

Yesterday a serious accident happened at No 2 Pit Palace Colliery, Bothwell, belonging to the Bent Coal Company, whereby one man was killed and three others were severely injured. The men had been employed building a brick arch in the main haulage road of the splint coal seam, when the wooden supports gave way, and the building fell, burying the men underneath. Assistance being called, the work of extrication commenced. One of the men, William Meek, 22 years of age, labourer residing at Palace Colliery Rows, when taken out was found to be dead. The other injured men are:- John Mooney (31), bricklayer, Camphill, Bothwell - fracture of ribs; Anthony Strain (64), labourer, Palace Rows - side and back injured; William Ritchie (32) labourer, Cross. [Scotsman 22 Oct 1904]

19 September 1908

A fatal accident took place at Palace Colliery Bothwell on Saturday, when a young man named John Tinlin age 321 years, lost his life. Deceased had been at work at the scree of No 2 pit, when his arm got drawn into the machinery, and before the engine could be stopped the arm had been broken in several places and the chest so severely crushed that he immediately expired. He resided at 125 Brandon St, Palace Colliery Rows. [Scotsman 22 Sept 1908]

31 March 1909

A serious accident occurred at No 1 Pit, Hamilton Palace Colliery, Motherwell[sic]. While Arthur Dickson aged 27, was returning from his work he was jammed between 2 runaway hutches. He was immediately conveyed to the Royal Infirmary in an unconscious condition, suffering from serious internal injuries. [Scotsman 3 April 1909]

18 October 1909

About 4 o'clock yesterday morning, while a miner named John Gallocher, residing at Haugh Place, Bothwell Haugh, was at work at No 1 pit Hamilton Palace Colliery, belonging to the Bent Coal Company, a fall took place from the roof, and he was buried in the debris. On being extricated, life was found to be extinct. He was 50 years of age, and leaves a widow and children [Scotsman 19 Oct 1909]

4 October 1911

Colliery Cage Accident at Bothwell - A serious cage accident occurred at Bent Coal Company's No 1 Pit, Palace Colliery, Bothwell, early yesterday morning, 8 men being injured, 5 of them so seriously as to necessitate their removal to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The colliery which is one of the largest in the county of Lanark, is situated near the banks of the Clyde, at Bothwellhaugh, midway between Hamilton, Motherwell, Bellshill and Bothwell. The depth of the shaft is close on 100 fathoms (600 feet) and shortly before 6 o'clock the lowering of the dayshift had been begun. Four sets had been successfully lowered, but on the cage containing eight men going down for the fifth time, the engineman in charge lost control of the winding engine when it was about half way down, and it fell with a crash to the bottom, a distance of about 300 feet, the men being thrown in every direction. Medical aid and ambulance waggons were at once summoned, and the injured, on being brought to the surface, had their wounds dressed, and those more seriously injured were at once sent to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The cage was badly damaged by the fall.

The Injured
Adam Ross (70), serious internal injuries, and removed to the Royal Infirmary in a critical condition.
John Suggistaff (41), left leg badly smashed and likely to require amputation; removed to Royal Infirmary.
Charles Wright (25), right knee dislocated and fracture; removal to Royal Infirmary
James Mullen (17), fracture of the left thigh; removal to Royal Infirmary.
Thomas Walker (27), fractured thigh and compound fracture of the leg; removed to Royal Infirmary
Edward Hasson (26), generally bruised; removed home
James McMahon (20), generally bruised: removed home
William McCulloch, generally bruised; removed home [Scotsman 5 October 1911]

Cage Accident at Hamilton Palace Colliery – Eight Men Injured - The village of Bothwellhaugh, hitherto immune from any serious colliery accidents, was on Wednesday morning startled by the report that the cage of No 1 pit had got beyond control, and had gone to the bottom of the shaft with eight men. The news reached Hamilton and surrounding district at first in the worst possible form, which subsequent inquiries proved, happily to be far from correct. True eight men were injured, some of them severely, but there were no fatalities. The lowering of the dayshift men and the raising of the back shift had begun, and four times the cage had descended safely with its living freight of workers – forty in all. Eight men entered the cage for the fifth “tow” as the lowering is technically called, and all went well until the cage had got near the bottom, when control of the cage seemed to have been lost for the moment and it descended to the ground with great force. Immediately Mr Stewart Thomson, cashier, got word of the the mishap, he summoned Drs Macpherson and Skinner, and the ambulance waggons. The injured had their wounds dressed, and those more seriously injured were at once sent to Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The following is the list of the inured men:-

Adam Barr (73), fractured limbs and internal injuries.
John Suggistaff (41), left leg fractured.
Charles Wright (25), right knee dislocated and fracture
James Mullen (17), fracture of the left thigh
Thomas Walker (27), fractured thigh and compound fracture of the leg
Edward Hasson (26), injury to back (slight)
James McMahon (20), suffering slightly from shock and bruises
William McCulloch, sprained ankle.

The first five mentioned in the foregoing list were taken to the Infirmary. Hasson and M'Mahon were able to walk home, and M'Culloch who resides in Beckford Street, Hamilton, was conveyed home in the ambulance waggon. Had the accident to the cage occurred when the fourth tow was descending, the result might have been far more disastrous, as four men were then ascending on the other cage, which was drawn up the the whorles by the force of the fifth descent, when, fortunately, the up-coming cage was empty. The engineman, Richard Leghorn, has been regarded as a very capable man, and has been in the employment of the Bent Coal Company for the last two years. The injured men in Glasgow Royal Infirmary were last night reported all making satisfactory progress. [Hamilton Advertiser 7 October 1911]

14 May 1912

Bothwell Miner Killed – Owing to a serious fall in Bent Coal Company's Palace Colliery, Bothwell, early yesterday morning, Alexander Rankin, residing at Waverley Place, Bothwell, was instantaneously killed. He leaves a widow and three children. [Scotsman 15 May 1912]

12 August 1912

A serious accident, resulting in the death of one man and injury to three others, occurred yesterday afternoon at the Palace Colliery, two miles from Hamilton. The colliery is one of the largest in the county, and occupies, along with the community of 2000 souls wholly dependent upon it, an isolated situation. It appears that John Bell, shiftsman, 20 Raith Rows, and Hugh Robertson, shiftsman, 9 Douglas Place, both in the village, were engaged driving a road in the Pigotshaw seam of the Bothwell Bridge section, about a mile from the pit bottom. All was going well, when, without warning, the roof, which was from nine to ten feet high, and composed of sandstone rock, gave way, and fell on top of the two men. Robertson had a miraculous escape, the fall just grazing him as he slipped out, inflicting an ugly cut on his head, and partially stunning him. Bell, who was further in, had no chance to get clear. He was pinned to the earth and instantaneously killed.

John Semple, roadsman, 24 Roman Place, Palace Colliery; James Haldane, roadsman, Jubilee Buildings, Bothwell; and John Robin, roadsman, all of whom were working near at hand, rushed to the rescue, and while they were strenuously endeavouring to remove the debris another fall took place, injuring both Semple and Haldane. The former was severely hurt about the back, and Haldane suffered from arm and head cuts. Other rescuers, with the underground manager, Mr Robert Lang, who arrived at the scene of the accident, had the injured men removed and the body of the deceased shiftsman taken from under the fallen mass of rock. Last night the injured men appeared to be progressing favourably. [Scotsman 13 August 1912]

23 September 1913

Fatal Accident at Bothwell Colliery - John Smith, miner. 47, residing at 32 Brandon Place, Bothwellhaugh, was injured while at work in Palace colliery, a fall from the roof springing a six-foot tree, which, striking him on the stomach, resulted in serious injury. He was removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he has since succumbed. [Scotsman 27 September 1913]

2 October 1914

Accident at Bothwell Colliery - On Friday afternoon an accident occurred at Bent Coal Company's Palace Colliery pits, Bothwell, a man being killed. The communication signal wire between the pit bottom and the engine-house had got jammed, and Robert McCart with another workman was sent to relieve it. In doing so the bell rang, and the cage moving, McCart was thrown to the bottom and instantaneously killed. He was 39 years of age, and leaves a widow and five children.[Scotsman 5 Oct 1914]

5 March 1915

Yesterday three miners were injured by a fall of stone in Hamilton Place Colliery, belonging to the Bent Colliery Co. The two most seriously injured were James Brown, 23 Roman Place Bothwellhaugh, who was badly bruised all over the body, and James Simpson, 15 Douglas Place, Bothwellhaugh, who sustained serious injuries to the head. They were removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the motor ambulance. The 3rd man, whose injuries were of a lesser nature, was able to walk home. [Scotsman 6 March 1915 ]

NB James Brown, age 44, died 6 March 1915 in Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Bothwell – One of the victims of the recent accident at Bothwellhaugh Colliery has died. Deceased whose name was Brown, resided at Roman Place and leaves a widow and seven children. [Hamilton Herald 10 March 1915]

22 November 1915

Bothwell – Miner Killed – A distressing fatality took place on Monday evening in the Bent Colliery Company's Palace Colliery, Bothwellhaugh. While some men were engaged at repairing work in one of the roadways, a quantity of strata came away from the roof. Alexander Neilson, a miner, who resided at Palace Colliery Rows, was caught under the fall and almost instantaneously killed. Deceased leaves a widow and large family. [Hamilton Herald 24 November 1915]

While Alexander Neilson, a miner, Palace Rows, Bothwellhaugh, was at work yesterday in the Bent Coal Company’s Palace Colliery, a huge fall of strata fell upon him from the roof, killing him almost instantaneously. He leaves a widow and large family. [Glasgow Herald 23 November 1915]

28 June 1919

Fatal Result of Colliery Accident – John Chalmers, 46, who resided at Rowan Terrace, Old Mill Road, Uddingston, was injured while at work in Hamilton Palace Colliery, and removed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, has died in that institution. [Hamilton Advertiser 5 July 1919]

12 August 1924

Colliery Fatality - Whilst at work on Tuesday morning at Palace Colliery, John Duffy (26), a single man residing at Grants Model Lodging House Motherwell, met with his death through being crushed by the fall of a stone from the roof weighing about two tons. The unfortunate man failed to clear himself in time and received the full force of the fall. Help was immediately forthcoming, but on extricating Duffy he was found to be lifeless. Death must have been instantaneous. John King (31), residing at 20 Oakfield Place Motherwell, who was working near the scene at the time, had a narrow escape with his life. He received a slight injury to the head and after being medically attended was able to proceed to his home. [Motherwell Times 15 August 1924]

6 October 1928

Bothwellhaugh - Killed On First day At Work - Work was stopped on Wednesday at both pits of Hamilton Palace Colliery , belonging to the Bent Coal Co, after an accident in which Sarah Cunningham, 14, Hill Place, Bothwellhaugh, was killed. While she was sitting on a plate near the stone conveyor, she overbalanced and fell into the machinery, receiving fatal injuries. The girl, whose father is a fireman at the colliery, was about to start her first day's work, having taken up duty at the pithead in place of her sister, who had a burning accident on Saturday. [Hamilton Advertiser 6 October 1928]

Bothwellhaugh - A distressing fatal accident which occurred at No 1 Pit, Hamilton Palace Colliery on October 3, when Sarah M'Dowall Cunningham, 24 Hill Place, Bothwellhaugh, met her death, almost instantaneously, was the subject of a public inquiry in Hamilton on Monday. The girl had started work as a pithead scree worker only that morning. The evidence showed that she was sitting on an iron plate at the top of a shoot [sic] when she overbalanced in some way and fell down the shoot, and was so seriously injured that she died almost immediately. It was stated that no accident has happened there before, and that precaution had since been taken to prevent the possibility of anyone falling down the shoot. The jury returned a formal verdict. [Hamilton Advertiser 24 November 1928]

16 December 1930

Bothwellhaugh – Father's Death In Pit – A fatal accident to a Bothwellhaugh miner, Thomas M'Conaghy (48), 21 Roman Place, which occurred while he was working beside his two sons in the splint coal seam of Hamilton Palace Colliery on December 16 was described at a Fatal Accidents Inquiry at the Sheriff Court, Hamilton, on Wednesday. The deceased's sons, in evidence, stated that their father was picking coal at the face when a large piece weighing about 5 cwts became dislodged from the upper part of the working and fell upon him. He was seriously injured about the legs and was removed to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, where he died that night. A workman who had been in the vicinity stated that the deceased had told him afterwards that he was about to get a wedge to dislodge the coal when it came away. The jury recorded a formal verdict. [Hamilton Advertiser 17 January 1931]

17 June 1935

James Robertson, miner, 48 Calder Place, Bothwellhaugh near Hamilton, was killed when working underground at Hamilton Palace Colliery, yesterday. A rake of hutches got out of control and ran down the incline on the main road, striking Robertson, who died almost immediately. Robertson, who was 28, lived with his parents. [Scotsman 18 Jun 1935 ]

28 November 1936

George Cousins, mineworker, Elmbank Street, Bellshill, was killed at Palace Colliery , Bothwellhaugh, near Bellshill, early on Saturday. A large piece of rock fell from the roof on to him, crushing him among the coal dust. Cousins is survived by a widow, and family of three. [Scotsman 30 November 1936]

31 March 1938

Anthony Strain, aged 17, the eldest son of parents living at Bothwellhaugh, near Bellshill, became entangled in a belt and wheel operating the screening plant at the Palace Colliery of Bent Colliery Co., where he was employed. He was so badly injured that he died almost immediately. As a tribute to the unfortunate lad miners employed at the colliery did not go to work yesterday. [Scotsman 2 April 1938]

29 December 1940

George M’Farlane (54) oversman, who resided at 2 Raith Place, Bothwellhaugh; was killed when he was struck by hutches just before finishing his shift in Palace Colliery, Bothwellhaugh. [Scotsman 30 December 1940]

26 June 1941

Bellshill Miner Killed - A Bellshill miner, John Muir (43), who resided at Motherwell Road, was killed yesterday in the course of his employment at Palace Colliery, near Bellshill. He was struck by a fall from the roof. [Scotsman 28 June 1941]