Hamilton Accidents to 1875

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.

5 June 1851

Coal Pit Accident – Two Men Killed - While two colliers were engaged last week at work in a coal-pit at Hamilton a part of the roof suddenly gave way, and falling on them instantly crushed them to death. An investigation has been made by the Sheriff: but there is no doubt that the accident is entirely attributable to the over-confidence of the poor men themselves. [Caledonian Mercury 5 June 1851]

9 February 1857

Melancholy Death - We regret to state that in the beginning of the week, a young man named Wilson, a miner, met his death while engaged in one of the pits at Quarter, by some heavy substance falling upon him from thereof. He was killed on the spot and has left a wife and small family to bewail his sad fate. [Hamilton Advertiser 14 February 1857]

NB Deceased was James Wilson, ironstone miner age 27

23 April 1857

Melancholy Death - At No 1 Ironstone Pit, Quarter, on Thursday last, a young man named Thomas North, in the employment of Messrs Dunlop & Co, while engaged in his usual avocation in the pit, a large stone fell from the roof which struck him on the breast. He never spoke, and survived only some 20 minutes. He are told it took seven men to remove the stone off his body. This is now the second death that has occurred at Quarter in a similar way. Surely there is a want of caution somewhere, as the Government Regulations are very strict in regard to coal and other pits, and if attended to, accidents would be of less frequent occurrence. [Hamilton Advertiser April 25 1857]

NB Deceased was Thomas North, ironstone miner age 21

6 December 1857

Melancholy Accident - At Boghead Ironstone Pit, Quarter, on Wednesday afternoon, a miner named M'Nish, while in the act of proceeding to the smithy, for nearness took the back way. His leg was caught hold of by the large crank for drawing off the water, and pressed through an aperture of only one-and-a-half inch wide and mangled in the most frightful manner. Very faint hopes are entertained of his recovery. [Hamilton Advertiser November 28 1857]

NB James McNeish, ironstone miner, married, age 30, died at Boghead on December 6 1857. The cause of death was tetanus following amputation

13 December 1858

Fatal Accident - On Monday, the 13th inst., about 7 o'clock in the morning, Mr Francis M'Calligan, a bottomer in No 2 Pit, Quarter, met his death by the falling of a stone from the roof of the pit. The stone was 9 feet in length, 5 in breadth and 19 inches in thickness, and killed the unfortunate man instantly as he never breathed afterwards. He has left a wife and family to mourn his loss. [Hamilton Advertiser December 18 1858]

NB Deceased was Francis McLanachan, age 30

18 December 1858

Accident - On the Friday previous, Mr Matthew Law, met with a very serious accident in No 3 Pit, also belonging to the Messrs Dunlop, by which he got his back broken. While in the act of crossing along the bottom of the shaft. He had supposed the cage to be going up, while it was descending, and falling suddenly upon him, it bent him to the ground. With great difficulty he was removed home, where he lies in a precarious state. It is to be regretted that men who follow such a hazardous occupation should be so miserably remunerated throughout the country. [Hamilton Advertiser December 18 1858]

13 January 1860

Accident - A man named William Travers, employed at a pithead at Quarter, has been badly injured by an accident which he received on Friday last. It appears that, whilst engaged in taking a truck or hutch of coal off the cage on to the line of the hill for the purpose of emptying it, the engineman raised the hutch for the purpose of lowering, when the hutch and its contents fell over the head and shoulders of the poor man Travers, thus bruising and otherwise injuring his body. Since the accident he is confined to his bed and suffering severely from the effects of the injury. [Hamilton Advertiser 21 January 1860]

12 May 1862

Explosion of Fire Damp at Merryton - About 5.40 o'clock on Monday morning, an explosion of fire-damp took place in the Merryton Colliery, on the Lanark Road, situated about two and a half miles from Hamilton. The fire was first observed rushing up the shaft of the pit, and with such force carrying the cage from the bottom, which struck the pulley at the pithead, breaking it to pieces, and damaging the bratticing and air shaft at the top. There were three men in the pit at the time viz. - George McLean, collier, residing at Larkhall; Alexander Wilson, collier, Ferniegare; and Robert Barton, roadsman or fireman, residing at the colliery, and who had only gone down the pit but a short time previous to the occurrence. M'Lean and Wilson were got out about a quarter to 8 o'clock, M'Lean having his left leg broken at the knee and severely burned on the back and side. Wilson had his left arm broken at the elbow, a cut to the back of the head, and was burned on the body, though not severely. Barton's body has not yet been recovered. Mr J A Dykes, Procurator Fiscal and Captain Mackay were present at the colliery making enquiries and giving directions, some of the county police having been in attendance shortly after the incident took place. The colliery is leased by Messrs Cochrane and Brand coal masters, from his Grace the Duke of Hamilton. [Hamilton Advertiser May 17 1862]

9 January 1863

Pit Accident – On Friday last week a young man named Farrel, residing at Ferniegare got himself injured while working in Ferniegare pit, by a hutch of coals passing over his leg. [Hamilton Advertiser 17 January 1863]

24 January 1863

Pit Accident – Early on Saturday morning last, George Bell, a driver in Ferniegare pit and residing in Lamb Street here, while at his employment in said pit, received severe injured under the following circumstances :- It was his duty to have charge of a pony and convey the coals from the face of the workings to the shaft of the pit. While he was returning from the shaft, and on arriving at a cross road, the waggons he was in charge of diverged from their proper course, and to save the pony being drawn away with them, he leapt off the waggon he was on to detach the chain and prevent this being done, but in his leap he came in contact with some obstacle or other, and fell on his head with considerable violence. A cleek also attached to one of the waggons caught him by the neck, dragging him along for some distance and lacerating his neck seriously. Other parts of his person are likewise more or less bruised. He was conveyed home where he was attended to by Dr Lennox. [Hamilton Advertiser 31 January 1863]

25 November 1863

Fatal Pit Accident – On Wednesday about 11 o'clock forenoon, a collier, named Henry Wilson, was suddenly deprived of life while working in the shaft of the Haughhead Pit, leased by Messrs Merry & Cunninghame, coal and ironmasters. It seems that Wilson, along with his brother, was employed in breaking in a new seam of coal from the side of the shaft, and was suspended on a scaffold 18 fathoms from the pit bottom. He had been looking for a wedge, and, it is believed that, in lowering his lamp too far, a quantity of fire damp which had accumulated about the scaffold readily ignited, whereby the scaffold was blown up, and Wilson was precipitated to the bottom and killed. A lapse of 20 minutes occurred before the workmen recovered the body. The brother, most fortunately, was not injured, having been at the moment of the explosion, several yards in the face face of the seam from the shaft side. [Hamilton Advertiser November 28 1863]

23 July 1864

Man Killed – On Saturday last, as three men, respectively James Inglis, engineman; Archd. Weir pit bottomer; and John Gilchrist, labourer, all of whom reside in Hamilton, were engaged in Ferniegare Colliery lowering the pump rods with the crane, for the purpose of changing the basket or sucker, the rods or buckets caught something in their descent which lightened the pressure on the handles of the crane. Being disengaged, the handles revolved unexpectedly, and caught one of the men named Gilchrist, and knocked him down, striking him several times, whereby, he got his shoulder injured, and a number of his ribs and one of his legs broken. He was removed home and attended by Dr Marshall, but the poor man died on Monday. [Hamilton Advertiser July 30 1864]

25 July 1864

Pit Accident - On Monday morning last, while a collier residing in Hamilton, and named Thomas Queen, was at his work in Haughhead Colliery, in the parish of Hamilton, and leased by Messrs Merry & Cuninghame, coal masters, he sustained severe bodily injuries. It appears that he, inadvertently, started on the rails underground a fellow workman's hutch, which was loaded with coals, letting his own hutch, which he was in charge of, alone, and the consequence was, ere he made up to the runaway hutch, his own came unaware upon him and knocked him down, breaking his right leg, and severely cutting him about the head and shoulders. He was conveyed home and attended to by Dr Marshall, of Hamilton. [Hamilton Advertiser 30 July 1864]

3 November 1865

Fatal Pit Accident At Quarter – Yesterday forenoon a collier named John Swarbrick, while working at the face in No 4 Pit, Quarter, was almost instantaneously deprived of life by a fall of coals from the roof. Deceased, who was about 40 years of age, was married, and had, we believe, only the day previous to his death, carried one of his children to the grave. [Hamilton Advertiser 4 November 1865]

10 February 1866

Death By Drowning – It was discovered on Sunday morning last, that Wm Docherty, underground furnaceman, residing in Quarry Street here, had gone amissing, and could not be found. It appears that he had gone down the shaft of Greenfield Pit the preceding evening to work, and nothing further was heard of him till Sunday morning when the day furnaceman went down to relieve him of his duties. The man seeing or hearing nothing of Docherty, became alarmed and stated the circumstances to other persons engaged about the pit, when a search was made. After all likely places had been visited connected with the pit to discover his whereabouts, it was surmised that he might have fallen into the shaft, between the ell and the splint coal, which is of a depth of 144 feet, and contained at the time upwards of 100 feet of water. This unfortunately turned out to be too true, his body having been found floating on the surface of the water by two workmen, who had been instructed to go down the shaft in trace of him. Deceased was about 60 years of age and left a widow to mourn his untimely end. [Hamilton Advertiser 17 February 1866 ]

17 May 1866

Hamilton – Colliery Explosion And Loss of Life - On Thursday, an explosion of fire damp occurred in Haughhead Pit, in the parish of Hamilton , which resulted in the death of John Lang, son of David Lang, weaver, Haddon Street, Hamilton, while Wm, Berry, residing ,at Lowwaters, was severely injured. It appears that the proper shaft for descending was at the time undergoing repairs, and the two men had gone down the other shaft in order to get to their work. . On reaching the soft coal bottom they commenced to search for a road to their places in the pit, and in doing so opened two or three doors leading to a recess which had been shut up for eight months. Lang was carrying in his hands a naked lamp, by which the foul air accumulated in the recess ignited, and an explosion following, Lang was instantaneously killed and his body was not recovered till yesterday morning. Berry was conveyed home and had medical attendance. [Scotsman 19 May 1866]

NB Inspectors report gives deceased as William Barrie. John Lang, age 15 died 17 May 1866

Serious Explosion of Fire-Damp At Haughhead Colliery - On Thursday afternoon, an explosion of fire damp occurred in Haughhead Colliery (Merry & Cunninghame's) , whereby a lad named John Lang, residing in Haddow Street, here, was deprived of life, and a man named William Berry, belonging to Lowwaters, sustained serious injuries. It appears that Berry is a collier, and Lang, who acted as a drawer under Berry, were proceeding to their work about two o'clock, and being unable to get down the shaft as usual, in consequence of some some repairs having been made, they descended the second shaft connected with the pit, instructing the engineman to let them off at the soft coal bottom, when, it seems, they should have got off at what is known as the pytoshaw bottom. Having made the decsent, they commenced to search for a road to their place, and in doing so opened two or three doors leading to a recess which had been shut up for six or eight months. Lang went first, carrying his naked lamp, which caused the foul air accumulated in the recess to ignite, resulting in an explosion with the consequences as above stated. The injuries which Berry has received, consist of burns on the head, face and hands. Berry was immediately conveyed home, but Lang's body was not recovered till yesterday morning. [Hamilton Advertiser 12 May 1866]

12 June 1866

Accident – On Tuesday last an explosion of fire damp occurred in Greenfield Pit, whereby three men were more or less burned. It would appear that Dugald Park, shanker, and David Semple, contractor, both residing in Hamilton, were employed driving a road through an up-shot dyke and having put in a shot were preparing to fire it, when the fire damp caught the blaze of the match which was about to be applied, resulting in an explosion. Park and Semple were both pretty severely burned about the face and other parts of their bodies – Park receiving the most serious injuries. Another shanker named Andrew Jeffrey, who was working near the place where the accident took place was likewise slightly burned. [Hamilton Advertiser 16 June 1866]

31 January 1867

Serious Explosion of Firedamp – Two Men Killed and Three Injured – On Thursday afternoon last, an explosion of fire-damp occurred in No 2 pit, Greenfield Colliery, whereby two men were killed and three burned and bruised. The pit is situated about a mile from the town, and is the property of Lewis Potter Esq, of Udston. About half past nine on Thursday morning, a party of six sinkers were enaged in making a site for a furnace at the main coal near to the shaft. One of them – a man named Wm. Lawson – was in the act of emptying a hutch of stones at a distance of about 100 yards from his companions, when , unfortunately, the lamp which he carried came in contact with a volume of gas, which is supposed to have proceeded from the “Pyotshaw” coal. Having become ignited, the deadly element travelled with tremendous velocity towards the shaft, and, in its progress, two of the party were swept completely off their feet, and hurled with great violence down the shaft to the splint coal – a distance of 16 fathoms. The two men were, of course, instantaneously killed. They were named respectively Alexander Miller and David Black, who were both married and resided – the former in Burnbank Road, and the latter at Sidebraes, High Blantyre. The rest of the workmen, on observing indications of the approach of the ignited air, at once threw themselves on their faces, and thus avoided the force of the explosion. One of them – named Dugald Thomson – escaped uninjured, the other three – Matthew Cornock, Jn. Napier, WM. Lawson – were more or less severely burned and bruised about the head, face, arms &c. The sufferers were all conveyed to their residences in Almada Street, where they were attended by Dr Marshall, and were yesterday progressing as favourably as could be expected. [Hamilton Advertiser February 2 1867]

6 March 1867

Explosion of Fire-Damp at Ferniegare – On Wednesday last an explosion of fire-damp took place at Ferniegare Pit by which two men, John Smith and William Byars, were injured, Smith seriously. It appears that Smith, while at work blasting, had gone into an adjoining compartment of the working with a naked lamp, and thus ignited some gas which was lodged there. The fire spread to another disused working, in which there was an accumulation of gas. Smith, who is 60 years of age, had his face and part of his body much burned. Byars was also burned pretty severely on the head, face and hands. [Hamilton Advertiser March 9 1867]

15 April 1867

Serious Accident At Haughhead Colliery – Three Lives lost - On Saturday afternoon an alarming explosion of gas occurred at Haughhead Colliery (the property of Messrs Merry & Cunninghame) which unhappily resulted in the death of three men who happened to be working in the pit at the time. It appears that about three weeks or a month ago symptoms of foul air had been observed at the foot of the road in the soft coal seam, which had caught fire and a bratticing was put up to confine it. On the miners leaving off work on Saturday afternoon, the underground manager, James Bryce , along with John McKay, a drawer, commenced to remove the stopping. It is supposed that between 3 and 4 o'clock the accumulated gas had escaped, and having ignited at the lamp of James Campbell, a miner who was employed nearly thirty fathoms distant, a violent explosion was the result. Of course he was instantly killed. The ignited gas afterwards reverted to the other two men, and thus they too lost their lives. The loud report and the quantity of debris that was forced up the shank as may readily be imagined, caused the greatest consternation, and a short time elapsed ere the manager, Mr M'Nish, with half a dozen volunteers, could venture down the workings. These having been reached, it was discovered that the force of the explosion had destroyed the principal air-courses ; and before a search could be made for the three unfortunate men, wood had to be taken into the pit and the bratticing temporarily repaired. After search, the bodies were recovered dreadfully mutilated and conveyed shortly before 6 o'clock to the pit bank, from whence they were taken to the different places where their families resided. M'Kay who resided in James Street, has left a wife and two of a family, whilst Bryce who resided at Haughhead, has left a wife and five of a family. Campbell was, we believe, a widower, and has left no dependants. He resided in Leechlee Street. The melancholy fate of the three men has created much sympathy in the town and neighbourhood. M'Kay was a member of the Hamilton Thistle Lodge of Free Gardeners, and at his funeral, which took place on Tuesday afternoon, there was a large representation of that body present, as well as of the Hamilton Olive Lodge. During the progress of the mournful procession through the streets, the Battalion Rifle Band played the “Dead March” in Saul, and other airs. The streets were lined with a large number of spectators, many of whom followed the funeral cortege to the burying ground in Hamilton New Cemetery [Hamilton Advertiser April 20 1867]

2 March 1868

Fatal Accident – Yesterday morning, an accident took place at Greenfield Pit, as follows:- Wm. M'Ginnes and Wm. M'Ilhattan, both colliers, were seated in the pit eating their breakfast, when a large stone fell from the roof. M'Ilhattan observed it in time to step aside, and escaped without injury. M'Ginnes however, was not so fortunate, and the stone fell upon him and killed him on the spot. Deceased who was a fine young man aged 23, and unmarried, lodged with his comrade above named, at 8 Leechlee Street, Hamilton. [Herald March 3 1868]

7 January 1869

Hamilton – Charge of Culpable Homicide - On Thursday morning, John M'Kay, collier, residing in Union Street, Larkhall, died from the effects of injuries sustained a few days previous in Merryton colliery, Hamilton, where he was employed. While engaged "waffing" out a quantity of foul air which had gathered in his working place, it ignited at his naked: lamp and exploded, and resulted in injuries which have proved fatal. In connection with the case, the fireman at the pit, Alexander Mathieson, was yesterday apprehended, examined by the Sheriff, and committed to prison on a charge of culpable homicide. [Scotsman 9 January 1869]

NB John Mackie age 35 died 7th January 1869, of burns, 12 days after the accident.

18 May 1869

Hamilton - Serious Accident - About nine o'clock on the evening of Tuesday last, John Mathie, collier, residing at Merryton Colliery, met with a very serious accident in the pit there belonging to Messrs Cochrane & Brand, coalmasters. The ''cube" or furnace by which the air in the pit is regulated had taken fire a day or two previously, and Mathie, along with a number of others, was employed in endeavouring to check its progress when a stone fell from the roof on his left foot, crushing and bruising it so severely that it had to be amputated on the following day at the ankle-joint. Drs Loudon and Lennox, Hamilton, attended him. [Glasgow Herald 21 May 1869]

31 March 1870

Fatal Accident - A miner named Robert M'Mechan was killed at Allerton Colliery, near Hamilton, on Wednesday afternoon, by his head being caught between two moving waggons. [Falkirk Herald 2 April 1870]

24 June 1870

Larkhall – Serious Accident – A serious accident took place at Quarter on Thursday the 24th ult, whereby a miner named Patrick Lyons, residing in Millheugh and working in No 5 pit there, had his spine fractured, and was severely crushed in various parts by a fall from the roof while working. He lingered on in great agony until the following Sunday, when death put an end to his sufferings. He leaves a wife and five children. [Hamilton Advertiser July 9 1870]

19 July 1870

Yesterday morning a fatal accident occurred at Ferniegate [sic] Colliery, near Hamilton, to a boy named John Wilson. While he was taking an empty hutch from the pit-bottom to the main coal face, it went off the rails. In endeavouring, with assistance, to get it again on the track, he was struck by the hutch on the neck, under the chin, so severely that he died shortly afterwards. [Scotsman 20th July 1870]

NB Deceased was John Wilson, single, aged 17, address 19 Muir St Hamilton

Fatal Accident at Ferniegare Colliery -A serious accident occurred on Tuesday last in No 1 pit, Ferniegare Colliery, to a young man, aged 17, named John Wilson, residing with his father in Muir Street here. Deceased was taking an empty coal hutch from the bottom to the main coal face, when it got off the rails. He was trying to put the hutch on again with the assistance of two lads, named Marshall, when from some cause it gave a sudden and violent jerk upwards, and struck Wilson a terrible blow under the chin. He was rendered unconscious and taken home in a cart. Dr Marshall of Hamilton attended, but his services were of no avail, as the poor lad expired the same afternoon. [Hamilton Advertiser July 23 1870]

12 January 1871

Hamilton – Fatal Coal Pit Accident - Yesterday afternoon, while Robert Brown, collier, Stonefield Row, Blantyre, was removing "stoops" in the spent seam workings in Greenfield pit , a portion of the roof fell upon him, killing him instantly. He was twenty-two years of age, and had been only recently married. [Scotsman 13 January 1871]

Fatal Accident - Between one and two o'clock on Thursday afternoon, Robert Brown, collier, Stonefield, Blantyre, while engaged removing stoops in the ell or splint coal seam of Greenfield Colliery, was killed on the spot by part of the roof falling upon him . Deceased was about 22 years of age, and has left a widow. [Hamilton Advertiser 14 January 1871]

18 February 1871

Hamilton – Fatal Accident – A boy named William Black, employed in the Gallowhill Pit, Larkhall, near Hamilton, was engaged yesterday, along with his father, in removing pit props or stoops in the splint coal seam, when an immense block of coal fell from the roof of the workings and buried him beneath it. When the body was extricated life was extinct. [Scotsman 21 February 1871]

NB William Black, son of Hugh Black (name given in Mine Inspectors report) died 18 February 1871, aged 10.

11 April 1871

Hamilton – Fatal Fall Down A Coal-Pit - Yesterday, a boy named Alexander Jackson, fourteen years of age, was killed at one of Messrs Dunlop's pits , at Quarter, near Hamilton. The deceased was engaged emptying hutches at the pithead , and while in the act of shifting one of them to the opposite side, he ran against a railing with considerable violence. The hutch rebounded with great force, and threw the boy down the shaft - a depth of 60 fathoms. Death resulted in two hours. [Scotsman 12 April 1871]

NB Name given in Inspectors report for this date is Francis Cadzow. A Francis Jackson, was killed on 11 April in Quarter.

18 April 1871

Hamilton – Fatal Accident - Yesterday afternoon , a young man, named James Salfridge, residing in New Wynd, Hamilton, was killed while removing stoops in Haughhead colliery, belonging to Messrs Merry & Cunninghame. An immense block of coal, weighing between 6 and 7 tons , came suddenly away from the roof, burying him and a companion, named Hugh Campbell in the debris. Campbell was severely injured about the face neck and shoulders, but Salfridge must have been killed almost instantaneously. Nearly two hours elapsed before his body could be extricated. He was twenty-two years of age , and unmarried. [Scotsman 19 April 1871]

13 May 1871

Hamilton – Fatal Colliery Accident – On Saturday morning, a collier named James M'Millan, forty-five years of age, was killed by a fall of coal in the workings of Ferniegare Colliery (Messrs Russell & Co.'s) The deceased was married, and leaves four children. [Scotsman 15 May 1871]

8 July 1871

Hamilton – Accident at the Quarter Ironworks - About five o 'clock on Saturday morning a boy named Alexander Cassels, thirteen years of age, residing in Quarry Road, Hamilton , fell in front of an engine attached to a train of waggons which were being conveyed to No. 6 Pit, Quarter Iron Works. Both of his legs were nearly severed from his body and he was otherwise so greatly injured that he is not expected-to survive. At the time of the accident Cassels was engaged throwing sand on the rails to prevent the engine from slipping. He was an assistant pitheadman, and resided with his mother, who is a widow. He has been conveyed to Glasgow Infirmary. [Scotsman 10 July 1871]

NB Alexander Bell Chassels died 10 July 1871 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary

7 September 1871

Serious Explosion of Fire Damp At Ferniegare Colliery Hamilton – Ten Men Burned – About eight o'clock yesterday morning, a serious explosion occurred at No 2 Pit, Ferniegare colliery, Hamilton, belonging to Messrs Russell & Co., whereby ten men were more or less severely burned. The workings at Ferniegare colliery are very extensive, and at a distance of several hundred yards from the bottom of the pit shaft a number of miners and others were engaged in taking down stoops. Work commenced as usual about 6am, and nearly two hours after they were startled by a loud report, caused by an explosion of fire damp . A man named Michael Morran, who was engaged at the time at the spot where the accident occurred, seeing the danger, threw himself on his face on the ground, and escaped unhurt; but ten others, all separated at greater or less distances from each other, were caught by the blast, and burned. John Wilson. the underground manager, was knocked against one of the stoops, and got his face cut on several places, in addition to being slightly burned, but fortunately he was able to attend to the others, who were more severely burned. A miner named John Pheely, with his two sons, John and Robert; John Ferguson, also a miner, all residing at Ferniegare Rows, and John Inglis, pony driver, Hamilton, received the worst injuries, the boy Robert Pheely being in the most precarious condition;the others - John Russell and John Cairey, miners, and James Tierney, roadsman - were slightly burned about the head, face, and arms. The whole of the sufferers were promptly attended to by Dr Lennox, Hamilton, and late last night were all progressing favourably. The cause of the explosion has not yet been ascertained, but the Government Inspector and the county authorities are making the necessary investigations. [Scotsman 8 September 1871]

Hamilton – Death From The Ferniegare Explosion - The boy Robert Pheely, thirteen years of age, who was so severely burned by the colliery explosion at Ferniegare on Thursday died yesterday morning from the effect of his injuries. The other boy, John Pheely, and Ferguson are still in a precarious state, but the others are progressing favourably towards recovery. [Scotsman 11 September 1871]

12 October 1871

Melancholy Accident - On Thursday afternoon a melancholy accident occurred at Haughhead Pit (Merry & Cunninghame's) to a collier named Edward Houston, aged 17, residing in Back Row, Hamilton. He was working along with a number of others in what is known as the Pyotshaw seam, and had finished the day's darg. His comrades had entered the cage to be drawn up to the surface and shouted on him to follow, when, failing to notice the cage, he jumped down the wrong shaft - a distance of 13 fathoms - and was killed on the spot. The engine was reversed and his remains were discovered at the bottom fearfully mangled. [Hamilton Advertiser 14 October 1871]

11 January 1872

Hamilton Fatal Colliery Accident - Yesterday a collier, named John Summers, 19 years of age, was killed by a fall of coals from the roof of the workings of Allanton Colliery, Hamilton, belonging to Messrs Austine & Company. The deceased was married, and has left one child [Scotsman 12 January 1872]

8 August 1872

Fatal Coal-Pit Accident - On Thursday forenoon a lad named James M'Ginnes, residing with his father, a labourer in Leechlee Street, Hamilton was almost instantaneously killed while at work in Ferniegair Colliery, by a stone weighing ten cwts falling on him from the roof. [Falkirk Herald 10 August 1872]

15 October 1872

Melancholy accident at Greenfield Colliery – Three Lives Lost - About half past four o'clock yesterday afternoon a melancholy accident occurred at Greenfield Colliery, the property of the Hamilton Coal Company, whereby three miners have been killed. The names of the deceased are William and Andrew Carrick, father and son, residing at 26 Leechlee Street Hamilton, and Thomas Docherty, residing at Dixon's Rows Blantyre. They were employed on the day shift in the main coal seam of No 2 pit and had dropped work for the afternoon. They were among the last, if not the very last, of the men who entered the cage for the purpose of being conveyed to the pithead, and reached within half a dozen fathoms of the surface when, by some unaccountable cause, the pit rope broke, and the three miners were precipitated to the bottom of the shaft – the “cage” in its descent dashing in pieces the wooden beams dividing the separate seams of coal between which they were working. The pit is the deepest in the district; and as the fall was 130 fathoms, death must have been instantaneous. The bodies were brought up in about an hour and a half after the accident. Carrick, who was 50 years of age, has left a widow to mourn his loss. Docherty was unmarried, and had only arrived at Greenfield the day before the occurrence, and was, it is said, leaving the place yesterday. Mr Hastie, manager, and Mr Williamson, underground manager, were at the works when the accident occurred, and rendered every assistance in procuring the bodies. The sad event created great excitement throughout the town last night, and at the pits work was entirely dropped. The matter has been reported to the authorities, who are making an investigation as to the cause of the occurrence. [Herald 16 October 1872]

27 February 1873

In Dykehead Pit, belonging to the Summerlee Company, a fireman named Gardiner Bell was yesterday, along with two boys,at work in the main coal seam, in bringing in two hutches of bricks. While being wheeled along the pavement, one of the hutches came into contact with one of the pit props, knocking it away, and bringing down from the roof a large quantity of stones, which falling upon Bell, killed him instantly. The deceased, who was 39 years of age, resided in Drygate Street, Larkhall, and has left a widow and 6 children. [Scotsman 1 March 1873]

Larkhall - Fatal Accident - About 6 o'clock on Thursday night, Gardiner Bell, fireman, Drygate Street, was killed in Dykehead Colliery (the property of the Summerlee Company). He was engaged in the main coal seam, along with two young lads, who were bringing in two hutches of bricks for building purposes. The place where the bricks were to be laid down was a little way off the main road, and as one of the hutches was being conveyed along the pavement, it came into contact with a wooden support, knocking it away, and bringing down from the roof a large quantity of stones and debris, under which the poor man was buried - death being, of course, instantaneous. Deceased, who was 39 years of age, has left a widow and six of a family to mourn his untimely end. [Hamilton Advertiser 1 March 1873]

29 April 1873

Hamilton - Fatal Colliery Accident - At Allanton Colliery, Hamilton, yesterday, a hammerman named Andrew Meikle was killed. He had been temporarily engaged in conveying hutches of coal from the pitmouth to the coal bing, when in pushing forward one of the hutches, it fell off the scaffold, drawing Meikle along with it. His skull was fractured by the fall, and he only survived for half-an-hour. The deceased, who was years of age, was married, and has left a family who live at Allanton Colliery Rows. [Scotsman 30 April 1873]

24 January 1874

Pit Accident – On Saturday, Robert Rankin, 23 years of age, residing at 12 Duke Street, met with an accident at Allanton Colliery (Austine & Co). While working at the face, a stone, nearly a ton in weight came away from the roof, by which he was bruised all over the body, he lies in a precarious state. Drs Lennox and Robertson attended. [Hamilton Advertiser 31 January 1874]

30 March 1874

Serious Accident to a Colliery Manager – On Monday morning, Walter Harvie, manager, Dykehead Colliery (wrought by Mr Robert Ure, East Kilbride) met with a serious accident. About 10 o'clock he had been engaged in taking a piece of coal off a stoop in the Pyotshaw seam of the pit in question, when a lump weighing between 2 cwts and 3 cwts fell from the stoop, and, striking him on the abdomen, he was thrown to the ground and jammed between two pieces of coal. The only other man in the pit at the time was a pony driver named Wining, to whom Harvie called for assistance. He was with difficulty extricated; and on Dr Robertson being sent for, he found that Mr Harvies spine was fractured, and that other severe injuries had been sustained. [Hamilton Advertiser 4 April 1874]

19 August 1874

Hamilton – Colliery Explosion At Greenfield - An explosion of fire-damp occurred yesterday in Greenfield Colliery, the scene of the late lamentable disaster. From information gathered at the spot, it would appear that two miners belonging to Blantyre named William Campbell and David Martin, had been driving a road in the main coal seam of No. 1 pit, and having just finished, after working for eight hours, they prepared to leave. While standing near the underground manager and fireman, the miners were thrown over by a sudden outburst of fire-damp, and burned about the face and arms, and. slightly cut. The flame by which they were enveloped extended to only about two feet, and passed over the manager and fireman without doing them any injury. The bratticing and interior of the pit was damaged to only a trifling extent, and the work went on as usual. The injured men were attended by Dr Marshall. [Scotsman 20 August 1874]

2 November 1874

Serious Accident at Greenfield Colliery – Between one and two o'clock on Monday afternoon, a waggon trimmer, named Owen O'Hare, met with a rather serious accident at Greenfield Colliery. It seems that O'Hare was standing on a plank at No 2 pit, engaged in the work of trimming waggons, when another man named Bald brought forward some empties, of which he unfortunately lost control as they approached the “scree” and coming into violent contact with a waggon under the scree, it in turn knocked against the plank on which O'Hare was standing, throwing him in front of the waggon. The wheels passed over both of his legs, fracturing them near the ankle. Dr Marshall, who attended, ordered the man's removal to Glasgow Infirmary, where amputation was found to be necessary. O'Hare resides at Barrack Street, is 40 years of age, and has a large family. [Hamilton Advertiser 7 November 1874]

Fatal Result of An Accident – Owen O'Hare, waggon trimmer, residing in Barrack Street, here, who was run over by some waggons at Greenfield Colliery, on the 2nd inst., died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary last Tuesday forenoon, from the effects of his injuries. Deceased who was 43 years of age, has left a widow and 6 of a family. [Hamilton Advertiser 28 November 1874]

20 November 1874

Fire Damp Explosion at Haughhead Colliery – An explosion of firedamp occurred yesterday at this colliery, wrought by Merry & Cuninghame, which resulted in injury to three colliers named James Cullen (19), Mill Buildings; George Kay (19), Brandon Street; and Thomas Milligan (42), Gateside Street. It appears that the three men were engaged in clearing away a quantity of coal which had fallen on to the road in the ell coal seam of No 2 Pit, when Cullen's lamp, it is supposed, came in contact with the fire damp which had accumulated in the workings. A violent explosion was the result. Cullen, Kay, and Milligan were severely burned about the head, face, and arms, and, on being conveyed home, were attended by Dr Marshall. [Hamilton Advertiser 21 November 1874]

9 May 1875

A pony driver, thirteen years of age, named John Stewart, employed at Greenfield Colliery, belonging to the Hamilton Coal Company, was run over by a train of loaded, hutches, and sustained injuries from which he died within twenty-four hours. [Scotsman 11 May 1875]