|Year||Month||Day||Name of Colliery||Where situated||Owners name||Person(s) killed||Cause of death||Extra details|
|1856||January||3||Carfin||Near Holytown||William Dixon||John McIvor, collier||Walking into the pit in a dark morning|
|1856||January||16||Blackbraes||Near Falkirk||James Russell & Son||William Simpson, collier||Falling from an upper working to the pit bottom|
|1856||January||16||Rosebank||Near Glasgow||James Farie||Thomas Edmond, bottomer||Fell down shaft in consequence of the engine being suddenly moved while he was going off at a mid working|
|1856||January||21||Oakley||Near Dunfermline||Forth Iron Co||James Erskine, collier||Explosion of fire damp which had accumulated under a scaffold at an ironstone working|
From Main body of report: The accident at Oakley, near Dunfermline occurred in a pit, newly sunk to the main coal, which produced a considerable quantity of fire damp. In this pit, which is 85 yards deep, there is a band of ironstone 15 yards above the coal. In commencing the working of this ironstone, a scaffold was fixed in the pit; but being put there to serve a temporary purpose, no care was taken to make the joinings of the planks air tight which composed it. There was also an opening made in the partition (or midwall) where this scaffold was fixed, which would allow the downcast current of air to pass through it, into the upcast division of the pit, leaving that part of the pit under the scaffold, and the opening in the partition unventilated, which showed a great want of of consideration or judgement on the part of those under whose management these operations were conducted, in not either having the joinings of the scaffold made airtight or the space underneath it ventilated, particularly when i was known that the coal at the bottom of the pit generated a quantity of firedamp. By what means the carburetted hydrogen gas was ignited is unknown. The 3 men that were on the scaffold were found dead at the bottom of the pit, and a young woman who was on the pithead at the time was killed by a piece of wood falling upon her, which was thrown out of the pit by the force of the explosion.
|Robert Martin, collier|
|Andrew Mitchell, collier|
|1856||January||26||Cardowan||Near Glasgow||Blochairn Iron Co||Dennis Bryce||Fall of roof at his wall face|
|1856||January||29||Rosehall||Near Coatbridge||Addie and Miller||Edward Roddy,roadsman||Stone falling from side of pit whilst ascending|
|1856||February||7||Arniston||Lothian||Unknown Thomson||Death not listed in Inspectors report||Newspaper report - Lothian pages|
|1856||February||9||Annock Lodge||Near Kilmarnock||Merry & Cunningham||John Docherty||Fall of roof in a drawing road|
|1856||February||14||Grangemouth||Near Falkirk||Grangemouth Coal Co||Francis Russell, collier||Fall of roof at face of working||Newspaper report - Stirlingshire pages|
|1856||February||15||Redding||Near Falkirk||Duke of Hamilton||Richard Gibb, bottomer||Crushed betwixt the cage and side of pit||Newspaper report - Stirlingshire pages|
|1856||February||18||Hurlford||Near Kilmarnock||Allan, Gilmour & Co||Wm Doddridge||Struck by cage at the pit mouth while fastening back the “faulding boards”|
|1856||February||24||Kilgarth||Near Coatbridge||Wilsons & Co||John Diggins||Fall of roof|
|1856||February||24||Loanhead||Near Dalkeith||R B Wardlaw Ramsay||Andrew Young, collier||Fall of coal near the face of working|
|1856||March||7||Caprington||Near Kilmarnock||Thomas S Cunningham||John Shaw, engineman||Got entangled with the fly-wheel while in motion|
|1856||March||8||Dalmacother||Near Airdrie||William Simpson||John Cowan, collier||Fall of roof at face of working|
|1856||March||13||Kilmarnock||Near Kilmarnock||Merry & Cunningham||Richard Blackwood||Fall of stone at face|
|1856||March||14||Holmes||Near Kilmarnock||John Horne||William Brown||Crushed between the cage and the side of the shaft|
From Main body of report: There were two seams of coal worked at this Colliery, and a mine was being driven off the shaft at the level of the first working. The deceased, a collier, on being lowered with others to the first working, went off the cage into the mine above referred to, where he expected to find an empty hutch; having found one, and while in the act of crossing the shaft with it, the engineman raised the cage by which he was taken up a short distance, and crushed between it and the side of the shaft.
There appeared to have been some misunderstanding regarding the signals; the engineman stated there was a signal given to raise the cage, and those below with the deceased said the reverse.
I suggested that a road should be formed round the end of the pit, so that hutches might be passed safely when required, and that the bottomer or his deputy should be at the pitbottom or other landings when men were being lowered, to give the proper signals and prevent irregularity.
|1856||March||15||Gas Water||Near Cumnock||Trustees of late John Wilson||John Cushie||Fall of coal|
|1856||March||22||Palace Craig||Near Airdrie||William Baird & Co||Daniel McMillan||Fall of stone while “robbing” a coal stoop, contrary to the rules of the colliery|
|1856||March||31||Wellwood||Near Muirkirk||Trustees of late John Wilson||William Milligan||Fall of coal at the face|
|1856||March||31||Wellwood||Near Dunfermline||Thomas Spowart||John Smith, wheel keeper||Fall of roof whilst repairing incline||Newspaper report - Fife pages|
|1856||April||4||Minivie No 3||Near Dalmellington||Dalmellington Iron Co||John Irvine||Fall of roof at the face|
|1856||April||18||Summerhouse||Near Falkirk||John Wilson||Adam Menzies, not employed||Falling down an unfenced pit|
|1856||April||22||Clackmannan||Near Alloa||Mitchell & Mowbray||Simon Cadzean, collier||Drawn over pithead wheels by neglect of engineman||Newspaper report - Clackmannan pages|
|1856||April||24||Bartonholm Colliery||Patrick McGuire||Death not listed in Inspectors report||Not confirmed as mining accident - no cause of death given on death certificate. With thanks to Lindsay Bullard for this information|
|1856||April||25||Halbeath||Near Dunfermline||Henderson, Wallace & Co||David Blyth, collier||Fall of coal at face of working|
|1856||April||25||Sebastapol||Near Airdrie||Unknown||Death not listed in Inspectors report||Newspaper report - New Monkland pages|
|1856||May||2||Rigside||Near Lanark||James Swan||William Hamilton, collier||Fall of coal at face of working|
|1856||May||10||Dalkeith||Near Dalkeith||Duke of Buccleuch||David Pride, weigher||Fell down pit while assisting pitheadman|
|1856||May||13||Chapelhall||Near Airdrie||Monkland Iron & Steel Co||James Burns, drawer||Fall of roof near face of working|
|1856||May||28||Barr||Near Beith||John Dunsmuir||Robert Craig||Fall of roof|
|1856||May||28||Legbrannock||Near Holytown||Monkland Iron & Steel Co||David Wyper, sinker||Falling down pit whilst ascending by coming into contact with midwall|
|1856||June||18||Gartshore||Near Kilsyth||Matthew Wallace &Co||David Connel||Preparing to blast when the powder ignited unexpectedly|
|1856||June||19||Carronhall||Near Falkirk||Carron Co||Thomas Waugh, collier||Fall of coal at face of working|
|1856||June||23||Warrickhill||Near Kilmarnock||Merry & Cunningham||Wm Reid (boy)||Fall of roof at face|
|1856||June||30||Bonnyton No3||Near Kilmarnock||Merry & Cunningham||James McFarlane||Fall of roof in the drawing road|
From Main body of report: A fall had occurred during the night in the drawing road leading to the wall where deceased worked, he had passed it in the morning going to his work; sometime after, while the roadsman was engaged clearing it away and securing the roof, the deceased incautiously came out from his wall, a number of yards distant, and sat down on the road side directly under the shattered roof, which had shortly before given way and was being secured.
According to the statement of the roadsman, he had not time to warn him of the dangerous state of the roof before a portion of it fell away upon him.
|1856||July||1||Chapelhall||Near Airdrie||Monkland Iron & Steel Co||John O'Donald, collier||Winding machinery getting out of gear by neglect of engineman not securing it properly to the engine|
From Main body of report: Four men were killed whilst descending a pit at Chapelhall near Airdrie, belonging to the Monkland Iron and Steel Company, by the winding machinery becoming ungeared (or detached) from the engine. In this case the engineman was tried for culpable homicide at the Glasgow Autumn Circuit, and after the usual evidence for and against was acquitted. I am, however, quite satisfied that the accident was caused solely by the neglect of the engineman, from the imperfect manner in which the winding machinery was attached to the engine, and not from any defect in the machinery.
|Newspaper report - New Monkland pages [NB Engineman was John Ballantyne, son of Thomas Ballantyne, age 22, residing with his father at Chapelhall. He was a native of Dumfreisshire. He was tried for culpable homicide at the High Court, Glasgow, 1 Oct 1856 and found not guilty - Source NAS catalogue]|
|Henry Orrick, collier|
|Owen Crossan, collier|
|Patrick O'Donald, collier|
|1856||July||3||Dundonald||Near Dunfermline||James Naysmith||David Greive, collier||Fall of roof at face of working|
|1856||July||4||Plan||Near Kilmarnock||John Gilmour & Co||James Robertson||Fall of roof at face|
|1856||July||11||Bankhead||Near Glasgow||McNaughton & Hood||William Rymes||Fall of roof at face|
|1856||July||12||Wellwood||Near Dunfermline||Thomas Spowart & Co||George Anderson, drawer||Fall of roof in drawing road|
|1856||July||18||Nitshill||Near Glasgow||George & Thos Coates||James Dougray||While repairing the upcast|
|1856||July||22||Cairnhill||Near Airdrie||Mansfield Grieve||James Tod||Rope breaking in a blind pit|
|1856||July||23||Espieside||Near Coatbridge||William Baird & Co||George McMillan||A pick being lowered from the sinking shaft got disengaged from the fastening|
From Main body of report: The deceased and his fellow workman were putting in a column of pipes ; they were standing on a " hanging " scaffold about fourteen fathoms from the surface; for some purpose they had desired the hillman to send down a pick, he had fastened one to a hand line and was lowering it, when, from some flaw in the fastening or otherwise, the pick got disengaged and fell upon the deceased, from which, or by endeavouring to avoid it, he lost his balance upon the scaffold and fell to the bottom, a distance of sixteen fathoms or thereby.
|1856||July||26||Gatehead||Near Kilmarnock||Archibald Finnie||Andrew Aitken (boy)||Crossing the shaft when the cage lifted unexpectedly|
From Main body of report: After the men were lowered in the morning, and before the "cleek'' (drawing coals) had commenced, the oversman had occasion to change a pump-bucket, he had gone to the surface to arrange the connexions, and was being lowered again a few feet to complete the operation, this necessarily caused the cage to be raised at the bottom, which caught the deceased who was in the act of crossing the shaft at the time, which he ought not to have done, there being a road round the end of the shaft clear of it, and which formed the proper passage from one side to the other.
|1856||July||30||Dounieston||Near Patna||Dalmellington Iron Co||James McCulloch||Fall of roof|
|1856||July||31||Steelend Pit||William||McCowan||Death not listed in Inspectors report||Newspaper report - Fife pages|
|1856||August||2||Rosebank||Near Glasgow||Colin Dunlop & Co||Robert Burns||Overwinding- the engineman raised the cage instead of lowering it|
From Main body of report: The deceased with three others had gone on the cage (in the morning) to be lowered to their work, when the engineman through inattention, or by mistake, raised the cage instead of lowering it, consequently it was drawn over the pit-head pulley, and the deceased fell to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of fifty-two fathoms.
In this case, the engineman was tried for neglect of duty by Sheriff Steele and a jury, found guilty, and sentenced to thirty days' confinement in Bridewell or pay a fine of fifteen pounds sterling.
|1856||August||6||Dalmarnock||Near Glasgow||George Wilson||Alex. Docherty||Fall of roof in the drawing road|
|1856||August||9||Whitehill||Near Dalkeith||R B Wardlaw Ramsay||William Lawson, collier||Being crushed betwixt cage and pithead framing||Newspaper report - Lothian pages|
|1856||August||11||Stevenston||Near Kilwinning||Merry & Cunningham||Jno McPhail (boy)||Explosion of fire damp|
From Main body of report: The "fireman," in this case, was charged by the Procurator Fiscal, Mr. Gross, for culpable and reckless breach of duty, and tried by Sheriff Christison, of Ayr, and a jury.
It was the duty of the fireman, every morning, and before any one was allowed to pass a given point, to proceed with a safety lamp through every drawing road, and along the whole coal faces and working places in the Colliery, to ascertain if they were free from firedamp, chokedamp, or other impurities; contrary to this he went with a naked light, and took the deceased, a boy about fourteen years of age with him, the result was an explosion of firedamp, by which the boy lost his life.
The Special Rules of the Colliery, a copy of which (Rules No. 1) accompanies this, defines the fireman's duties, but were found insufficient by the jury to convict him.
The Judge was of opinion the Rule (XXI) was incomplete; however, as it is the most important of all the Special Rules, if the construction that was put upon it by the above decision be correct, viz., that the fireman was bound to examine the suspected parts only of the Colliery, then I am of opinion it should be revised, as leaving it in this undecided form will lead to looseness and uncertainty.
The construction I put upon the rule was, that when firedamp was known or suspected to be in a Colliery, the fireman was bound to make his round of inspection through the working places with a safety lamp, and the only exceptions would be Collieries which have been at work for a considerable period, and where firedamp was neither known, nor suspected to exist.
|Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages|
|1856||August||18||Eastfield||Near Glasgow||J G Buchanan||John Robertson||Fall of roof at face|
|1856||August||18||Oakley||Near Dunfermline||Forth Iron Co||Peter Donelly, collier||Fall of coal at face of working|
|1856||August||30||Auchenheath||Near Lanark||Duke of Hamilton||William Smith, bottomer||Being crushed betwixt cage and side of pit|
|1856||September||3||Rouchsilloch||Near Airdrie||Wilson & Alison||John McAvoy, drawer||Being crushed betwixt cage and roof of mine|
|1856||September||4||Stonelaw||Near Glasgow||J R Reid||James Martin||Fall of roof at the face|
|1856||September||5||Allanton||Near Wishaw||Shotts Iron Co||John Hamilton, driver||Fall of stone from roof of horse road|
|1856||September||5||Gatehead||Near Kilmarnock||Archibald Finnie||James Logie||Drowned or suffocated by water from an old waste|
From Main body of report: It was known to the manager of the Colliery that a small quantity of water lay to the "rise" of the works, and the men who were driving the exploring room had orders to keep a bore in advance of it; this precaution was observed, and the bore hole, at the time of the accident, was seven feet beyond the face of the room in solid coal.
In this case, the quantity of water was certainly small, but sufficient to produce the accident. It would appear if the men had remained in their places they would have been comparatively safe, but under such circumstances, even though danger was not seriously suspected, it is not possible to prevent con-fusion, and it would require some nerve for men to stand in a body of water where the lights were extinguished, or grope their way safely in gloom and darkness.It is always unsafe to approach a waste containing water, with a single bore in advance, and the following sketch, shewing the position of the place after the accident, is another striking illustration of it. Certainly the safe way is to keep, at least, a centre or " breast" and two " wing" bores, at all times, in advance of the solid coal, and the distance ought to vary with the known or anticipated pressure of water.
|1856||September||6||Chapel||Near Wishaw||William Aitken||William McQueen, drawer||Fall of roof in drawing road|
|1856||September||9||Denny ironstone mine||Unknown MacLean||Death not listed in Inspectors report||Newspaper report - Stirlingshire pages|
|1856||September||11||Niddrie||Near Edinburgh||R B Wardlaw Ramsay||George Runsieman, sinker||Falling down pit by a scaffold giving way|
|1856||September||12||Kilgarth||Near Coatbridge||Wilsons & Co||Owen McGew||Fall of coal|
|1856||September||13||Auchengreoch||Near Johnstone||Ludovic Houston||John Gray||Was drawn up above the usual landing place and leapt off the cage upon the bank|
From Main body of report: The unfortunate individual (who was the underground manager) had been examining the state of the shaft, and signalled to be taken up, on reaching the surface and finding the cage being raised above the regular landing place he leapt off it, (no doubt thinking to avoid being drawn over the pulley,) and falling partly on the plates and partly on a beam of wood at the pitmouth, was so much injured that he died shortly after.
|1856||September||15||Overton||Near Kilmarnock||James Robertson & Co||James Rightford||Fall from a mid working|
|1856||September||22||Woodhill||Near Kilmarnock||Merry & Cunningham||Henry O'Neil||Fall of stone and coal|
|1856||September||26||Loanhead||Near Dalkeith||R B Wardlaw Ramsay||David Blair, collier||Fall of roof at face of workings|
|1856||September||27||Broomlands||Near Irvine||Young and Black||Alex. Waters||Explosion of fire damp|
From Main body of report: The deceased had, on some trifling business, gone in to a room which was standing on account of a fall of roof, when a slight accumulation of fire -damp exploded, which caused his death.
When I examined this Colliery, after the accident, I found the air-course in a very insufficient state, and the ventilation, for want of some efficient appliance, extremely languid.
I suggested that the air-courses should be enlarged, and that means should be used for inducing a circulation of air, by rarefaction or otherwise.
|1856||September||30||Coalburn||Near N.Cumnock||Nisbet & Sloan||John Kennedy||A back weight fell upon him in a sinking shaft|
|1856||October||7||Stevenston||Near Holytown||Stevenston Coal Co||John Simpson||Fall of roof at face of workings||Newspaper report - Bothwell pages|
|John Glassford, collier|
|1856||October||14||Alloa||Near Alloa||Alloa Coal Company||John Snaddon, driver||Falling off cage whilst ascending the pit||Clackmannan accidents|
|1856||October||15||Oakley||Near Dunfermline||Forth Iron Co||Patrick White, bottomer||Stone or coal falling down pit|
|1856||October||15||Wishaw||Near Wishaw||James Anderson & Co||William Baillie, drawer||Explosion of fire damp under a scaffold in pit|
From Main body of report: Accident by explosion of fire damp, in a pit at Wishaw belonging to James Anderson and Company, where 2 boys were killed whilst standing on the cage to ascend the pit. In this case the fire damp seems also to have accumulated under a scaffold placed in the pit, at an upper working. There was an abandoned working at the bottom of the pit, used at the time of the accident as a water lodgement; it was in this working where the firedamp generated, which would escape into the pit when the water was pumped out below the roof of the mines. In neither of these cases is it possible to arrive at a correct knowledge of how the gas under the scaffold was ignited. The probability is, that it was caused from a light having been dropped upon, or through the scaffolding. That such was the case at Wishaw there can be little doubt, from the circumstances that none of the other workmen were injured, and even the person who was close to the pit at the time signalling the engineman escaped unhurt.
Newspaper report - Cambusnethan pages|
[NB Names should be Robert Wilson Baillie and William Davidson]
|Adam Davidson, drawer|
|1856||October||16||Auchenheath||Near Lanark||James Ferguson & Co||Mitchell Sorbie, drawer||Fall of stone from side of drawing road|
|1856||October||18||Redding||Near Falkirk||Duke of Hamilton||Helen Snaddon, pithead woman||Falling down pit whilst pushing forward a hutch|
|1856||October||20||Arniston||Near Dalkeith||John Christie||Archibald Taylor, bottomer||Falling down pit whilst attempting to go off cage when in motion||Newspaper report - Lothian pages|
|1856||October||22||Blair||Near Dalry||William Baird & Co||William Lynch, bottomer||Jammed in the shaft by the cage|
|1856||October||30||Palace Craig||Near Airdrie||William Baird & Co||James McMillan||Fall of coal at face|
|1856||November||1||Barleith||Near Kilmarnock||John Galloway & Co||Thomas Ritchie||Overwinding- the engineman raised the cage instead of lowering it|
|1856||November||13||Rosehall No3||Near Coatbridge||Addie and Miller||James Brownlee||Fall of roof|
|1856||November||18||Fergushill No 19||Near Kilwinning||Archibald Finnie||John Rodger (boy)||Fall of coal at face|
|1856||November||18||Minivie No 3||Near Dalmellington||Dalmellington Iron Co||John Judge||Fall of roof|
|1856||November||22||Shotts Iron Works||Near Wishaw||Shotts Iron Co||Robert Burke, enginekeeper||Falling amongst the machinery of an engine underground|
|1856||November||23||Sillyhole No5||Near Dalmellington||Dalmellington Iron Co||Adam Reid||Explosion of fire damp|
From Main body of report: The deceased, with his two sons, had, contrary to the special rules of the Colliery, gone into their room in the morning before the fireman completed his inspection, when a quantity of inflammable gas, which had accumulated there during the night, exploded upon them.
The mode of working pursued in; this Colliery is by forming large pillars in the first working. It had not been the practice, previous to the accident, to lead the air to the face of the work by brattice, and some of the rooms had extended one hundred feet beyond the current. Since the accident this very important precaution has been partially observed.
The workings produce very little inflammable gas and ordinary care and attention on the part of those entrusted with the ventilation, should prevent the recurrence of a similar accident.
I suggested that the airways should be enlarged and the ventilation carried to the coal by brattice or otherwise.
|NB Son Adam killed 13 Jan 1863|
|1856||November||25||Caronbroe Iron Works||Near Airdrie||Merry & Cunningham||John Keane, collier||Fall of coal at face of working|
|1856||November||27||Kilmarnock||Near Kilmarnock||Archibald Finnie||Barnet Hughes (boy)||Fall of roof|
|1856||November||27||Loanhead||Near Dalkeith||R B Wardlaw Ramsay||William Harper, collier||Fall of roof at face of working||Newspaper report - Lothian pages|
|1856||December||3||Redburn||Near Kilwinning||William Baird & Co||Edward Butler||Fall of roof|
|1856||December||4||Cliftonhill No 4||Near Coatbridge||Thomas Jackson & Co||Stevenson Grant||Fall of roof|
|1856||December||27||Carfin||Near Holytown||William Dixon||Charles Reid, pithead man||Falling down pit whilst pushing forward a hutch|