Misc. Strikes, Riots & Court Cases

April 1912

Charges Against Miners - In Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday, the three miners arrested in connection with the disturbance the previous afternoon at Hamilton Palace Colliery were brought before Sheriff Shennan charged with having formed part of a disorderly crowd, and incited the crowd to resist the police-officers who were present in the execution of their duty. The accused, who all pleaded not guilty, are William Wilson, 6 Glebe Street, Bellshill; Charles Braski, 12 Morgan Street, Hamilton; and John Stangle, Auchinraith Road. Blantyre. The trial was adjourned till April 9, bail being refused. Intimation was made by the Fiscal that in the event of the accused, who are Poles, being convicted, he would ask for their deportation from the country. [Scotsman 3 April 1912]

24 March 1913

Bothwellhaugh Stabbing Affray  At Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday, a young Polish miner named Matthew Mitchell, otherwise Nattus Juistsnukis, was tried on a charge of having stabbed another Pole at the village of Bothwellhaugh on 24th March last. The circumstances, as reported at the time, were that late on Sunday night, 24th March, a quarrel took place between a number of Poles residing in the village, and later on the quarrel developed into a free fight. During the melee a Pole named Joe Savage was stabbed on the breast, and deep wound being inflicted. The accused, who was wanted on suspicion for the assault, disappeared immediately after the disturbance, but was apprehended last week. On hearing the evidence yesterday, Hon. Sheriff Stoddart convicted Mitchell, and, beside sentencing him to 60 days' imprisonment, recommended that he be deported at the expiry of that term. [Scotsman 2 September 1913]

14  May 1915

£50 in Betting Fines at Hamilton Francis McKenna, bookmaker, Waverley Place, Bothwell, and Kenneth McGinty, miner, Bothwellhaugh, were yesterday at Hamilton Sheriff Court charged with acting in concert in Bothwell for the purposes of betting and receiving bets, contrary to the Street Betting Act. McKenna, who had been previously convicted, was fined £20, and McGinty £10, the Alternate to fit in each case being 60 days' imprisonment. [Scotsman 15 May 1915]

24 December 1915

Attempting to Defraud the War Office  Yesterday in Hamilton Sheriff Court, John Semple, miner, 26 Roman Place, Bothwellhaugh, pleaded guilty to a charge of having attempted to defraud the War Office in connection with the allowance paid to him by his son, who is a private in the 8th Battalion Border Regiment. He represented that prior to enlistment he received 32 shillings per week from his son, and that his own earnings were only 15 shillings per week, whereas he was earning 34 shillings 9d, and his son did not pay him 32 shillings. In this way he attempted to induce the War Office to pay him an allowance of nine shillings per week. Sheriff Shennan imposed a fine of £2, with the option of 14 days' imprisonment. [Scotsman 25 December 1915]

31 January 1919

Ten workmen from various parts of Lanarkshire were charged before the Sheriff at Hamilton on Saturday with forming part of a riotous mob at Hamilton Palace Colliery on the previous day, smashing windows and doors of offices, ransacking drawers, and assaulting police constables with sticks and safety lamps. They were remanded in custody. [Scotsman 3 February 1919]

Yesterday nine of the accused who were charged with being concerned in the rioting, destruction of property, and assaults at Hamilton Palace Colliery and at Bellshill on 31st January, came before Sheriff Shennan at a pleading diet at Hamilton. A tenth accused who was absent, was reported to have joined the Army. The complaint was objected to by the accused's agent on the ground of want of specification, and he asked that the plea be deferred and the objections reserved for the High Court at Glasgow on 28th April. Sheriff Shennan thereafter continued the case till the second diet on that date. [Scotsman 18 April 1919]


At Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday, ten young miners from Crossgates, Bellshill were convicted of having used threats to five miners whom they met returning from work at Hamilton Palace Colliery, Bothwell. The working miners were stopped by a crowd numbering a score of which the accused formed part, and were told that if they continued at work they would be hung up on trees. One of the accused was imprisoned for one month, and the other nine each fined £3. [Scotsman 28 October 1926]

In Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday, for the third successive day, Sheriff Shennan and Sheriff Mercer were engaged in hearing evidence in cases in which the accused were alleged to have attacked workmen who had returned to work at collieries in the district. Seven young men from Bothwellhaugh were charged with having assaulted 2 colliery firemen, employed at Hamilton Palace Colliery, who were set upon in a country road and knocked down. Four of the men were acquitted. John Delaney, 5 Roman Place; Henry Murphy, 20 Douglas Place; and Patrick Sherry, 6 Avon Place, all Bothwellhaugh, were found guilty and were each sent to prison for two months.

Four young men from Uddingston were charged with having taken part in a demonstration against three firemen returning to work, but when evidence for the prosecution had been concluded, the Procurator Fiscal withdrew the charge and the accused were found not guilty.

Sheriff Mercer said that, if the sentences which had already been imposed were inadequate, even though these sentences had been substantial, there was an adequate margin for increase, and they would be increased to any extent that might be necessary. [Scotsman 1 November 1926

 At Hamilton yesterday, Sheriff Shennan concluded the trial of 10 person from Bothwellhaugh, who were charged in connection with a disturbance at Palace Colliery, Bothwell, when the me were returning from work. William Wallace was imprisoned for 60 days for assault; Andrew and Joseph Collins were each imprisoned for 30 days for mobbing and rioting; and Mrs Maria Strain was fined £2 for breach of the peace. The other six were acquitted [Scotsman 3 November 1926]

March 1933

The 800 miners who struck work at Hamilton Palace Colliery, near Hamilton, 4 days ago, as a protest against the dismissal of two oncost men, returned to work yesterday. Mr Alexander Hunter, president of the Lanarkshire Miners' Union, met the management yesterday, when it was arranged that work should be resumed and that negotiations should be carried on regarding the position of the two men who were dismissed. [Scotsman 29 March 1933]

November 1936

Pit Stoppage Ends - 800 miners who struck work at Hamilton Palace Colliery, Bothwellhaugh, on Friday, as a protest against non-unionism, and were locked out by the management on Saturday morning, were allowed to resume work yesterday. [Scotsman 10 November 1936]

March 1944

In regard to the position in Lanarkshire, Mr James McKendrick, general secretary of the Union, in a statement last night, said he thought there was a danger that a measure of unrest might assert itself at other collieries in the country which up to the present time had remained at work. Mr McKendrick yesterday secured settlement of a dispute at Hamilton Palace Colliery, where 500 men have been idle for fully a fortnight. The dispute however, had no relation to the Porter Award. [Scotsman 13 March 1944]

January 1945

The Executive of the Scottish Area of the National Union of Mineworkers, at a special meeting in Glasgow yesterday, decided to urge the 500 miners who have been on strike for over a week at Palace Colliery, Bothwellhaugh, to resume work immediately. [Scotsman 16 January 1945]

October 1947

The Scottish Division of the National Coal Board stated in Edinburgh yesterday that only one pit was still idle over the oncost men's dispute, this being Hamilton Palace Colliery, Lanarkshire. In addition, several pits were still partially affected in various districts, the total number of men involved being 1000.  [Scotsman 29 October 1947]