Scottish Mining Website

1890 Deaths listed in Mine Inspectors Report
This table is compiled from appendices to the reports of the Inspector of Mines and Collieries.  For some deaths extra information is available in the main body of the report. These will be added as soon as possible but if you'd like any of the infomation in the meantime, please ask. Additional details from the main body of the report are given where available. Many accidents are not listed in these reports and additional names have been added from newspaper reports and other sources - information not sourced from the mine inspectors reports is indicated by a shaded gray background
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Year MonthDayName of CollieryWhere situatedOwner or CompanyFirst NameSurnameOccupationAgeCategoryCause of accident and remarksExtra details available?
1889December17DunsystonLanarkSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdHughGoldieMiner34Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof died May 7 1890 
1890January5StanriggLanarkWm Black & SonsJohnJohnstoneMiner22In shaftsJumped down shaft; suicide 
1890January8Lightshaw No 3MuirkirkEglinton Iron CoDavidSymingtonDrawer19Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof in road while redding a fall 
1890January14CraigendStirlingJohn Logan & SonsJohnKayScreenman58Above groundCrushed by waggon at screen

From main body of report:  The manager of the colliery was, in the absence of the driver, driving the locomotive engine used at the pit. A screenman was warned to get off the top of a loaded waggon on which he was standing at a screen, as some waggons were to be pushed against it.  He appears not to have heard the warning, as he remained on the waggon, and was crushed against the screen.
1890January14NiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdJas.NewlandsGatekeeper17Above groundRun over by waggons

From main body of report: In a supplementary list, the names of three persons are entered who were employed on private branch railways, &c. (head C. in summaries), and who met with their death in such employment. These accidents were all caused by railway waggons. A gate-keeper, during a heavy wind, was thrown under moving waggons by the gate being blown forward by the force of the wind.
Newspaper report
1890January15EarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdAlexr.McDonaldBrusher35Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890January16Kelty No 3FifeFife Coal Co LtdPeterArnottMiner28Falls of roof & sidesFall of stoneNewspaper report - Beath accidents
1890January18Gilmilnscroft No 3CumnockGilmour, Wood & AndersonJosephKirklandEngineman46In shaftsHe overwound the cage, left his engine to adjust it, when the engine started and he fell down the shaft

From Main body of report: The first man who lost his life was an engineman, who by mistake raised the cage with a full hutch until it came in contact with a pulley on the pithead frame, and as the cage got out of the slides, it would not come down again. He thereupon left his engine, climbed up the pithead frame, and got into the cage to release it. According to the statement of the pitheadman, when the cage was released it came slowly down with the engineman on the top of the hutch until it reached the plates on the pithead, when he was jammed between the cage and the edge of the plates. At the same instant the cage was drawn up, which allowed the deceased to drop into the open shaft, to the bottom of which he fell. The engine continued to run on, and was not stopped until a blacksmith went into the engine-house and shut the steam-valve which the deceased had left open. As the brake was smashed by the cage falling into the engine-house, it is not known whether or not the deceased had applied the brake to the engine before he left it. Apparently he had not done so. From the manner in which the cage came down to the pithead it is probable that its weight was sufficient to start the engine, but the lever of the link motion, shifting of its own accord, reversed the engine and drew up the cage again.
1890January20Plann No 4KilmarnockPlann Coal Co.Robt.CurrieMiner45Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at working face Newspaper report - Ayrshire pages
1890January21Bredisholm No 1BothwellProvanhall Coal CoJohnMcLayDrawer19Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at working face at road head  
1890January23Wester Gartshore No 1KirkintillochJ & A F WallaceJohnBaxterMiner70Miscellaneous undergroundExplosion of compressed powder by a spark from his lamp  
1890January28Barncluith No 1LanarkArchd. RussellJamesMcKayMiner32Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof  
1890January30Plann No 4KilmarnockPlann Coal Co.Robt.AuldBottomer19In shaftsFell down shaft from a mid-working

From Main body of report: A drawer, who was alone at the time, fell down the shaft from a midworking and was killed. How the accident happened can only be conjectured, but it appears as if he had been putting a hutch on the cage; when it missed the rails. He then gave the signal "one," and when, in response, the cage was raised, the hutch being only partly on, tilted up, and in some unexplained manner both he and the hutch fell down the shaft.
1890January31AllanshawLanarkAllanshaw Coal CoThos.McCallMiner51Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone  
1890February1GreenfieldLanarkArchd. RussellJamesPittsMiner35Falls of roof & sidesFall of stoneNewspaper report - Hamilton pages
1890February13AlloaClackmannanAlloa Coal CoWilliamPatersonMiner53Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal at faceClackmannanshire accidents
1890February19Polbeth No 11EdinburghYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdWilliamForresterFan boy14Miscellaneous undergroundDrowned by inundation of mine

From main body of report:  No. 9 in the list was an inundation of water, whereby a lad was drowned and two miners had a narrow escape. The Gavieside workings, see Plate I., had been worked by the West Calder Oil Company, Limited, given up and allowed to fill with water. The West Calder Oil Company went into liquidation, and a tracing of the plan of the mine was forwarded to the Home Office; this plan did not show the close place C B D. Some years afterwards Young’s Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company, Limited, took over the field and obtained a plan similar to that deposited at the Home Office. The drowned workings were approached from No. 11 Pit, Polbeth; a pair of close places were driven from the level to the rise, and the water was tapped at A and the great body of it run of. When this tapping was effected it was found that the relative positions of the Gavieside and Polbeth workings were not correctly delineated on the working plan, as it will be observed in the sketch that the close places from Polbeth had apparently penetrated the Gavieside waste some distance before they actually tapped the water. The water having been drained off to the level A D F, it was proposed to tap the remainder in the lowest level, and the waste was expected to be met with in this place, about H. The levels were not bored at the time of the accident, but the manager had given instructions that this should be done. On the day of the accident water burst from the close place C B D into the level at B, swept away two miners who were at B and a boy who was working a hand fan; one of the miners managed to get into an upset above the level of the water, the other held on to timber in the lower level until the water subsided, and both escaped, but the boy was drowned. The manager was charged with at breach of General Rule 13 of the Coal Mines Act, which is as follows:- "Where a place is likely to contain a dangerous accumulation of water, the working approaching that place shall not at any point within 40 yards of that place exceed eight feet in width, and there shall be constantly kept at a sufficient distance, not being less than five yards in advance, at least one borehole near the centre of the working, and sufficient flank bore-holes on each side." He was acquitted. The West Calder Oil Company were most to blame in the matter for not keeping an accurate plan, but l thought there were sufficient grounds for an investigation before the sheriff; as I found that a little inquiry would have established the fact that the plan handed over by the West Calder Oil Company was not up to date, and that workings had been prosecuted after the date of the last survey marked on the plan. This was proved at the trial. The manager at Polbeth was manager there at the time that the West Calder Oil Company were working at Gavieside, and had inspected the mine with a view to his Company taking it over shortly before it was abandoned.  At the same time I wish to say that I believe the manager to be a very careful man,  and I am satisfied that he had no suspicion of a close place like C B D being so near, and that no moral blame can attach to him for the accident.  At the trial it was found that General Rule 13 is not easy to understand, the doubt is whether the rule means that boring has to be commenced when the place approaching the  water is within 40 yards of it or does the distance 40 yards only refer to the width of the place ?
1890February19Southfield No 1StirlingWm Black & SonsJamesWhiteEngineman47Above groundCrushed while repairing machinery

From main body of report:  A fire had burned down the winding engine-house, and it was being repaired ; the winding engineman had loosened an upright pipe supporting the exhaust steam pipes, and some short time after he took hold of the loose pipe to swing himself on to the bed plate of the engine, and caused the pipes to fall on him, causing instant death.
1890February20Hamilton Palace No 1BothwellBent Coal Co LtdRobertGregoryMiner18Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at road head 
1890February20Ladyha' No 2KilwinningEglinton Iron CoGeorgeWhitelawBrusher49Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at brushing face 
1890February21Jordanhill No 6MaryhillJames Dunlop & CoThomasJacksonBottomer36In shaftsThe engineman raised the cage while he was adjusting a hutch on it and crushed him 
1890February23Aikenhead No 2Mount FloridaGeo Crookston & SonWm.CameronBottomer40In shaftsWhile ascending the shaft he fell out of the cage 
1890February24Kingseat No 3FifeWallace BrisDavidBrandMiner48Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal at face Newspaper report - Fife pages
1890February28Corby Craigs No 6DalmellingtonDalmellington Iron CoJohnSpiersMiner45Miscellaneous undergroundStruck by a stone from a shot while looking round a corner at it 
1890March3DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal CoHenryMuirFireman33Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire damp

From Main Body of report: No. 12 in the list occurred at Devon Colliery in an upset in the Upper Five feet Seam, not intended to be driven further until connected with the level above, which was approaching it. As it was not to be occupied by a workman on the day of the accident, the fireman, when making his usual inspection with a safety-lamp, before the entry of the workmen, did not examine it, but nailed a strip of canvas across the entrance and wrote on it with chalk, “No road this way.” Deceased, who was also a fireman, although acting as a roadsman at the time, went to the face of the upset to sound to workmen approaching it in the level ; his naked light ignited some fire-damp near the face, and he received burns which resulted in his death 20 days later. The depth from the surface was about 140 fathoms. The upset was highly inclined, and the seam is known to yield fire-damp, but is worked with open lights. The brattice was carried up the upset to within a few yards of the face. In this case there was some carelessness ; deceased was not in charge of the  district as fireman, and he was not justified in passing a fence. The fireman who made the statutory examination before the entry of the workmen did not commit any breach of the law in not examining the place, because no workman was intended to “work or pass” therein during the shift.  I think it is a defect that the general or special rules do not provide for the examination of a place situated as in this case, even if not to be occupied by a workman.
1890March4Kelty, Lindsay PitFifeFife Coal Co LtdThos.StenhouseMiner48Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal and stoneNewspaper report - Beath accidents
1890March6DenbeathFifeBowman & CoThos.ThompsonMiner20Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof coal Newspaper report - Fife pages
1890March10BrownysideLanarkWm Black & SonsGeorgeBurtDrawer18Miscellaneous undergroundSudden death from natural causes 
1890March11LoganleaEdinburghJohn McCullochJamesSmithCoal picker15Above groundRun over by waggons

From main body of report:  No one saw this accident happen, but it seemed probable that deceased, a boy, had improperly been attempting to snibble the wheels of a loaded waggon with a 5-feet prop, and that he had not been able to insert the prop sufficiently far, and it had been jerked forward, and thrown him under the wheels.
1890March11Muirhead No 19LanarkNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdWm.GardnerAttending engine14Above groundCaught by crank

From main body of report:  A boy employed to work a dook engine crossed a fence as a ready way to his engine, slipped, and was caught by the fly-wheel of an engine.
1890March11WemyssFifeR G E WemyssJohnDryburghMiner22Falls of roof & sidesFall of head coal Newspaper report - Fife pages
1890March13Sundrum No 3AyrGeorge Taylor & CoDavidVanceMiner19Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal 
1890March17Banknock Livingstone MineDennyJohn Young & CoWm.KirkBrusher42Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at brushing face 
1890March24Gilbertfield No 2CambuslangCambuslang Coal CoAndrewYoungMiner35Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire damp

From Main body of report: Occurred in a part of the workings where the Ell coal was being stooped. The deceased left his working place, and went towards the waste for a private purpose, when his naked light ignited some firedamp which had, evidently unknown to the fireman, accumulated there. He received fatal injuries, and another miner was slightly injured by the explosion.
1890March26Bog No2LanarkHamilton McCulloch & CoWm.DavidsonCoal cleaner15Above groundCaught by engine fly wheel

From main body of report:  Deceased and another person were larking, and deceased hurriedly entered an engine-house containing an engine for moving an endless coal-cleaning belt. The engine was in motion at the time, and deceased slipped, and got his legs under the fence round the fly-wheel, and was fatally injured.
1890March28Orbiston No 2BellshillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdMarkCarlinMiner60Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal while stooping 
1890March30GloratKirkintillochGilbert Pitcairn & CoGilbertPitcairnOwner35Above ground Explosion of boiler (H Kelly, roadsman injured)

From Main body of report: Caused by the explosion of a boiler which killed one of the owners, and an engineman, and injured another man. This boiler explosion took place as Glorat mine, of which the deceased, Mr. Gilbert Pitcairn, was the managing partner. The boiler was of the ordinary egg-ended type, 15 ft. long by 3 1/2 ft. diameter, the plates having been originally 3/8 in. thick. I was informed that when the pit was sunk 18 years ago, the boiler was put in then, but that it had been in use before. The working pressure was said to be 40 lbs per square inch. It appears that on the morning; of the 29th March a longitudinal rupture of one of the bottom plates took place. This rupture was 18 or 20 ins in length, and through it the boiler emptied itself of water in two or three minutes, and put out the fire. It seems that the deceased then got two pieces of hoop iron, 35 ins long by 3 ins. wide by 1/8 in. thick, and after drilling three bolt holes along the line of rupture in the boiler and corresponding holes through the pieces of iron, they bolted them together, one on each side of the boiler shell, with a piece of sheet indiarubber between the inside piece of iron and the boiler. Water was then pumped into the boiler to a depth of 10 ins., and as it still ran out at the fracture, the engineman went inside and tightened up the bolts, which it was said had the effect of stopping the leakage. Water was then pumped in until it was within 6 ins. of the manhole, which was then put on. Next morning steam was raised to pump water out of the pit, and it appears that the deceased were on the top of the boiler, and the injured man was in the stokehole, when the boiler exploded. The back end with the first ring of plates was projected backwards 210 yards to the north, a portion of the front was blown 150 yards to the south, and the remainder 110 yards to the east. The owner's body was found 50 yards and. the engineman's 60 yards distant, while the injured man was found among the debris where the stokehole had been.

The plate where the rupture had taken place the day before the explosion was only from 1/32 to 1/16 in thick at that point, and in many other parts the plate and the one adjoining it was no more than 1/32 in. thick. Other parts of the shell were very much " pitted " and eaten away by corrosion. It appears that this boiler, which was the only one at the pit, had leaked badly at various parts, but so far as I could ascertain, no examination of it had ever been made by a competent person, and the leakages were stopped as best could be by caulking the seams, putting in horse's dung, and fitting in bolts tightly screwed up where there were bad rivets. At the time of the explosion the deceased were inserting a wire into the small pipes leading from the boiler to the gauge glass. I do not think that their clumsy attempt to close the fracture the previous day could possibly b successful, and I am of opinion that during the night the water had nearly all run out of the boiler. There can be no doubt that the boiler gave way first along the line of the fracture referred to, and the only wonder is that it had not exploded before in its weakened condition.
This accident showed either ignorance or foolhardiness on the part of the deceased to an extent that is hardly credible. Both men could not fail to know that the boiler was eaten away by corrosion until it was no thicker than a wafer, seeing that they actually drilled holes through the thinnest part. It is difficult to believe that they could be aware of the risk they ran, or that practical men would endeavour to repair the leakage in the manner they did. It appears, however, that the owners were giving up the colliery in a few days and I am of opinion that the deceased owner must have known to some extent the risk he was running, but thought that the boiler would last until they stopped. As to the engineman, he had signed the report book for over two years, including the day previous to the explosion, but reported nothing wrong with the boiler. This being the case, his reports are untrustworthy, and are no index of his knowledge as to its real state.
1890April3PolkemmetLinlithgowJames WoodJas.BeveridgeRoadsman55Miscellaneous undergroundRunaway tubs on incline

From main body of report:  No. 19 in the list. A roadsman although warned that the hutches had been belled away on a self-acting incline commenced to ascend it and was caught by the race.
1890April4HallsideNewtonJames Dunlop & CoWilliamMartinDrawer17Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire damp

From Main body of report: Happened in a narrow heading which was being driven in the Pyotshaw coal, and in which firedamp was freely being given off. This heading was 70 yards in length, and was ventilated by cloth bratticing round which the air circulated. It seems that the deceased was taking a loaded hutch down the heading when it went off the rails, knocked out a prop, and released a loose stone which in its fall tore down a portion of the bratticing some 45 yards distant from the heading face. The deceased, after inquiring at the pit bottom for the fireman who was in another section of the workings, commenced, along with the miner with whom he worked, to repair the bratticing with naked lights. About an hour after the breaking down of the bratticing it appears that the deceased was sent by the miner to the heading face to get a shovel, when the naked light which he carried ignited the firedamp which the derangement of the bratticing allowed to accumulate, and he was killed by the explosion. By the Special Rules it was the duty of the miner and his drawer to withdraw from their working place, instantly report what had happened to the bratticing to the overman or fireman, and not to return until proper remedies were applied. Proceedings for contravention of the Special Rules were taken against the miner, who was found guilty, but let off with an admonition.
1890April6NewhouseHolytownNewhouse Coal CoRobertNotmanFireman28In shaftsFound dead below cage 
1890April6BroomhouseBroomhouseHaughhead Coal CoThomasShawFireman45Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire damp

From Main body of report: Happened to a fireman while making his inspection previous to the commencement of the shift. He found the bratticing in a narrow heading broken down, and it is said that while repairing the bratticing his safety-lamp fell over and was extinguished, and that when striking a match to relight his lamp the explosion took place.
1890April9BathvilleLinlithgowJames WoodJohnSinclairRoadsman56Miscellaneous undergroundCaught by pinion wheel

From main body of report:  No. 20 in the list caused the death of another roadsman who was moving an engine off the centre by means of the fly-wheel, when the engine moved away, his clothing was caught by the spar gearing and he was so injured that he died ten days afterwards.
1890April10NewlistonLinlithgowYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdAlex.McMichaelMiner24Miscellaneous undergroundExplosion of a shot

From main body of report:  No. 21 in the list was caused by the accidental explosion of a shot; deceased brought into the mine 5 lbs. of gunpowder in 1 lb. cartridges, and after the accident three whole and one half cartridges were found in his box. It is supposed he had put in one whole and half a cartridge into the hole, and that after breaking a whole cartridge to make a half he may have put it in as loose powder, and that a spark from the open lamp in his cap had fallen into it. I am surprised that more gunpowder accidents do not happen from sparks or snuff falling from lamps in the caps of miners.  
1890April11BalgonieFifeChas B BalfourGeorgeWallaceDrawer19Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890April11DurieFifeFife Coal Co LtdPatrickBrownSinker40In shaftsFall from kettleYes
1890April16Broomlands No 8DreghornBourtreehill Coal CoPeterStrachanMiner43Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at working face 
1890April17NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdGeorgeBuchanLabourer32Above groundCrushed by waggon

From Main Body of report: No. 24 in the list. A loaded waggon was being moved down a slight incline, and deceased stood with one foot on the brake lever and the other on the buffer, and was crushed between a wall and the waggon.
1890April19DevonClackmannanAlloa Coal CoGeorgeDavidsonPitwright52In shaftsSudden death from natural causes 
1890April22Greenlea Pit, JordanhillMaryhillJas Dunlop & Co LtdJohnSwanEngineman25Above groundCaught by fly-wheel owing to the engine creeping away 
1890April24Burghlee No 1EdinburghShotts Iron Co LtdPeterAllanMiner30Miscellaneous undergroundFall down incline

From main body of report:  No. 25 in the list was caused by a scaffold in a very steep incline, put up by the deceased man, giving way. The incline was being lined with brick, and scaffolding was erected for the masons to work on.
1890April25DysartFifeEarl of RosslynWm.DuncanMiner42Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal 
1890May3Calderhead No 3LanarkShotts Iron Co LtdJohnCampbellMiner50Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890May6CaldercruixLanarkJames Nimmo & CoJas.McGinnesMiner28Falls of roof & sidesFall of stoneYes
1890May6Longrigg No 11LanarkJames Nimmo & CoJohnLundyMiner13Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890May7DunsystonLanark  HughGoldie        See entry under 17 December 1898 (from 1890 report)
1890May8DalzellMotherwellWishaw Coal CoJohnDrinnanManager49Miscellaneous underground Suffocated by gases from an underground fire

From Main body of report: Resulted in the death of two managers from suffocation by gases from an underground fire. Nos. 1 and 2 pits of Dalziel Colliery, belonging to the Wishaw Coal Company are sunk to the Splint coal, a depth of 75 fathoms, the Ell coal being 55 fathoms from the surface. No. 1 pit was used for drawing coal from the Ell and upper section of Main seams, while the coal from the Splint and lower section of Main seams was drawn to the surface by No. 2 pit. A steam engine for haulage and pumping purposes was placed in the Ell coal close to No. 1 pit which was the upcast shaft; the steam pipe, which was uncovered, being taken down that shaft from the boilers on the surface. The ventilation was maintained by the heat from the steam pipes and the exhaust steam.

A haulage road is driven in a straight line from the Ell coal bottom in No, 1 pit in a southeast direction, and at a distance of 660 yards from No. 1 pit passes by a stone mine into the main coal, and is continued in that seam. At a distance of 880 yards from No. 1 pit, a shaft is sunk from the surface close to the haulage road, and another shaft is also sunk to the Main coal near the line of the haulage road, 1,265 yards distant from the winding shafts, which are some 33 yards apart from each other. For convenience, I shall call the shaft 880 yards distant from the winding shafts A and the other B. A section of Ell coal was worked from the shaft B, the coals being lowered in cages to the Main coal, a depth of 9 fathoms and drawn by the haulage engine to No. 1 pit. There was also a ladder in the shaft B between the,two seams for the use of the workmen.
It appears that about 8.30 p.m. on the 7th of May, Wm. Drain an oncostman, and Charles Fisher, engineman, went down No. 1 pit to commence their shift. They stated that they both went into the engine house and after starting the engine to pump water out of the workings near the shaft B by means of a rope, they left the pit bottom about 9 p.m. Fisher stated that on returning to the pit bottom about 11 p.m., he found it full of smoke, and was unable to get near the enginehouse. The fire had previously, about 10.15 p.m., been discovered by a roadsman when about to descend No. 1 pit, and he informed Mr. Drinnan, the manager, who along with him went down the shaft A by the ladders and approached the fire, but they were unable to reach it on account of the smoke. After ascending by shaft A, a close scaffold was put over No. 1 pit mouth which was finished between 1 and 2 a.m., and efforts were then made to put out the fire by drawing water in chests, up No. 2 pit and pouring it down No. 1 pit. The next proceeding was to get the 13 horses up No. 2 pit from the Splint coal, but only five were got out when the others had to be left to their fate, owing to the smoke and foul air. There were 12 horses in the workings near the bottom of the shaft A, and these were all drawn to the surface by 1 p.m. At this time all the shaft mouths were closed, except the shaft B in which there was one horse in the Ell coal. This horse was got out, after which Mr. Drinnan, Mr. Weir, manager of the adjoining colliery of Shields, and Mr. Andrew Wilson, mining engineer, went down the shaft B to the Main coal, after leaving two other men at the Ell coal. It was stated by Mr. Wilson that, on reaching the Main coal, Mr. Weir said that he smelt smoke, and he (Wilson) also felt affected by it on reaching the haulage road some 40 yards distant from the shaft B. They then proceeded along the haulage road in the direction of No. 1 pit, when, on getting some 170 yards distant from shaft B he felt so affected by the bad air that he refused to go farther, and as the others would not return, he went back alone and could hardly manage to reach the shaft B. A few minutes after this, Alexr. Brown, bogie man, came down from the Ell coal and found Mr. Drinnan lying breathing heavily about 25 yards distant from the shaft, but the air, although the lamps burned brightly, was so bad that he had to retreat as fast as possible to the pit bottom, when, after some delay, Mr. Wilson and he were drawn up in the cage to the Ell coal, and thence to the surface. Word was next sent to remove a part of the scaffolding from No. 1 pit mouth, which at once restored the circulation of air, and allowed a descent to the Main coal. Messrs. Jas. Ormiston, Richard Gray, and Jas. McLurg went down and found Mr. Drinnan's body where he had been seen by Alexr. Brown, and that of Mr. Weir was found near it.
It is supposed that it was Mr. Drinnan's intention to reach if possible the stone mine through which the haulage road passes from the Ell to the Main coal, where it had been proposed to put in a stopping, but as about 8 a.m., or six hours before his last entrance to the Main coal, the smoke and fumes from the fire were found coming up this mine by the men engaged in taking the horses up the shaft A, he might have known that it would hardly be possible again to reach that point, and still less possible to put in a stopping unless he first restored the ventilation. From the fact that the lamps continued to burn brightly even when the men were overcome, it is probable that carbonic oxide gas was present, and was the cause of this unfortunate fatality. It is stated that Mr. Drinnan and some of those present had discussed the properties of this poisonous gas before going down the shaft B, and as they were aware of these, and as, owing to the mouth of the upcast being closed, the imperfect combustion was likely to produce carbonic oxide gas, it is difficult to imagine what could have induced the deceased and Mr. Wilson to enter the workings in the circumstances. No useful purpose could thereby have been effected, and there was no life at stake which might have been saved except the horses in the Splint coal, and these they could not possibly reach. I have been unable to ascertain how the fire originated.
1890May10LongriggLanarkJames Nimmo & CoWm.McGuireLabourer50Above groundCrushed between waggons

From main body of report: In a supplementary list, the names of three persons are entered who were employed on private branch railways, &c. (head C. in summaries), and who met with their death in such employment. These accidents were all caused by railway waggons. ……..A labourer at a coal-washing machine was bringing forward a loaded waggon of dross, he neglected to secure three other waggons he had left behind, and they moved forward and crushed him.
1890May12North Motherwell No 2MotherwellMerry & CunninghameThomasCareyMiner60Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal while “stooping” 
1890May17WestburnCambuslangWestburn Colliery CoWm.SinclairChain runner22Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed between a “race” of hutches and a propNewspaper Report
1890May17LetterickBlantyreMark HurllJohnSteinBrusher40Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at road headNewspaper Report - Blantyre pages
1890May29Quarter No 7LanarkColin Dunlop & CoSamuelReidMiner21In shaftsCrushed by cageYes
1890May30Rosehall No 13CoatbridgeRobt Addie & SonsWm.Collinsreddsman19Miscellaneous undergroundRun over by a bogie full of rails while drawing in front of it 
1890May31BroadriggStirlingJohn Nimmo & SonThomasBlairMiner17Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890June9Bredisholm No 1BothwellProvanhall Coal CoWm.DollanBottomer21In shaftsCrushed by the cage in a blind pit coming down on him 
1890June10HolmesLinlithgowHolmes Oil Co LtdJohnMcLachlanMiner27Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire dampYes
1890June10Braidhurst No 2MotherwellSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdJamesPenmanPony driver26Miscellaneous undergroundRun over by a “race” of hutches 
1890June13GartnessLanarkGartness Coal CoThos.FanlanBrusher34Miscellaneous undergroundExplosion of gunpowder

From main body of report:  No. 33 in the list caused the death of a brusher by an explosion of gunpowder; deceased and another man were opening a box containing cartridges of compressed gunpowder, when a spark fell from deceased’s lamp, which was in his cap, and caused the contents of the box to explode.
1890June13Hallhill No 1BailliestonWm Baird & CoJohnAllisonLabourer55Above groundCaught by back balance of pumping engine while taking out a prop which had fallen into the pit beneath it 
1890June18KingshawLanarkShotts Iron Co LtdDavidDunlopMiner37Miscellaneous undergroundWhen igniting the fuse of a shot the powder exploded Third hour of shift 
1890June23PentlandEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdJohnWheelanDrawer27Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by tubs

From main body of report:  No. 34 in the list; a drawer having come to the mine in his wrong shift, and apparently under the influence of liquor, was not allowed to descend on the carriages used to convey the miners underground. He afterwards attempted to descend in a rake of hatches, but was prevented doing so. Eventually he started to walk down the incline and was caught and crushed by a rake, and so injured that he died in the course of three hours.
1890June23WestriggLanarkWestrigg Coal CoThos.DunlopMiner28Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890June28MuiredgeFifeBowman & CoThos.TaylorWaggoner50Above groundFell before waggon

From main body of report:  Deceased, an old man, was attempting to place a trig before one of the wheels of a moving waggon, when he fell before it, and was crushed.
1890July4GrangemouthStirlingGrangemouth Coal CoRobt.MarshallBottomer73In shaftsFell down shaftYes
1890July8TillicoultryClackmannanAlloa Coal CoJohnWrightMiner16Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone and coal 
1890July14Highfield No 1DalryMerry & CunninghameRobt.StevensonBlacksmith53In shaftsKilled while ascending the shaft. Cause of accident unknown 
1890July19Dykes No 1CumnockEglinton Iron CoGeorgeHyslopFireman66Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof on horse road 
1890July29BalbardieLinlithgowHenry Walker & CameronRichardSmithBrusher16Miscellaneous undergroundBreakage of dook rope

From main body of report:  No. 39 in the list. This accident took place on a dip mine or incline, extending from the bottom of the shaft. Mr. McLaren investigated the accident and reported as follows:- A single rope was used for haulage, the empty hutches took the rope in with them, the dip varying from 1 in 3 to 1 in 6. The length of the incline was 880 yards. The rope was made of plough steel, it was 2 1/4 inches in circumference, and weighed 5 1/4 lbs. per fathom, the breaking strain was stated to be 25 tons. It had not been in use quite four months. The weight of the usual rake of five loaded hutches was 74 cwt., and the speed was about six miles per hour. The miners were forbidden to ride on the rake. On the day of the accident several miners were travelling up the incline when a rake of five loaded hutches passed them, and some of them got on to it ; shortly afterwards the rope broke and the rake moved backwards ; in getting off and trying to keep clear of the descending hutches deceased was killed and another man injured. The fracture of the rope appeared to be a clean break, but some of the wires were much worn. Four of the miners were charged with a contravention of Special Rule 72, which forbids riding on hutches. Two were admonished, one absconded and did not appear, and one was found not guilty.
1890August6EddlewoodLanarkJohn Watson LtdJamesGowansSinker46In shaftsFell from kettle


Newspaper report - Hamilton pages

1890August8EddlewoodLanarkJohn Watson LtdWm.GrahamOffice boy16Above groundCrushed between waggons

From main body of report: In a supplementary list, the names of three persons are entered who were employed on private branch railways, &c. (head C. in summaries), and who met with their death in such employment. These accidents were all caused by railway waggons. …….. A lad employed as a post boy was crushed on a siding near the public railway by the unobserved approach of some loaded waggons moved by it locomotive engine.
1890August9DalbeathFifeFife Coal Co LtdRobertStewartMiner26Falls of roof & sidesFall of roofNewspaper report - Beath accidents
1890August18ShottsLanarkShotts Iron Co LtdGeorgeLindsayMiner49Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal and stone 
1890August20LongriggendLanarkJas Nimmo & CoJohnMcDonoughNot employed70Above groundCrushed by machinery 
1890August21RawyardsLanarkRawyards Colliery Co LtdRobt.McLeanMiner28Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890August21WellshotCambuslangDavid G DunnRichardBrownMiner40Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at working face 
1890August23Drumpeller Nos 3 and 4CoatbridgeSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdAlex.EnglishPony driver13Miscellaneous undergroundSupposed to have fallen and got jammed between hutches 
1890August30KinneilLinlithgowKinneil Coal & Coke CoWm.GallowaySinker58Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire dampYes
1890September1WhitehillEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdDavidPentlandMiner40Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone; pick pierced head 
1890September3Little RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdPeterMcCullochReddsman50Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890September5TarbraxLanarkCaledonian Mineral Oil Co LtdWm.BrownTub greaser13Above groundCrushed by haulage rope wheel

From main body of report:  In this case a boy placed himself in a position of unnecessary danger by getting on to the fence of a pulley used in connexion with an endless rope haulage on the surface. He was drawn in and killed.
1890September8PentlandEdinburghClippens Oil Co LtdJamesMulhollandMiner23Falls of roof & sidesKnocked down shoot by fall of shale 
1890September9Caldwell No 2BeithWm Dixon LtdMichaelLennonBottomer67In shaftsThe cage came down upon him while in th cage seat 
1890September10RochsollochLanarkAirdrie Coal CoPatrickMcDonachMiner20Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal 
1890September12DarngavilLanarkDarngavil Coal Co LtdThos.McLachlanDrawer13Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof 
1890September15PoltonEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdMichaelKellyLabourer21Above groundBlood poisoning, not due to accident 
1890September17Ballochmyle No 7CumnockWm WalkerRobt.KirklandPony driver14Miscellaneous undergroundRun over by a “race” of hutches which he was driving 
1890September19Nether Croy No 1KilsythCarron CoHenryTanshMiner45Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire damp (two other men injured)

From Main body of report:Happened in the Kilsyth coking coal, resulted in the death of one man and the injury of other two. A downthrow fault of 7 feet had been met in the North-West level, and the deceased and another miner were engaged brushing the pavement about 55 yards back from the level face. From the point at which they were working bratticing was carried forward to the level face, and apparently by their operations the miners disarranged the bratticing and thus cut off the air current. It was stated that the deceased went through the bratticing towards the level face in order to look for nails with which to fasten rails, when his naked light ignited an accumulation of firedamp. I made an inspection of this colliery, in which the coking coal had just commenced to be worked, a fortnight previous to the explosion, and the following day wrote to the owners stating that, in my opinion, it was necessary to work this seam with safety-lamps. To this I got no definite reply until after the explosion, when they at once agreed to put in safety-lamps throughout the workings.
1890September26NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdJohnDennisonPony driver16Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by runaway tub

From main body of report:  No. 51 in the list was caused by a lad at the bottom of a self-acting incline being crushed by a loaded hutch which had carelessly been pushed over the brae head without being attached to the rope.
1890September26HopetounLinlithgowYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdPeterDevineWaggon trimmer55Above groundRun over by waggons

From main body of report:  Deceased seated himself in a dangerous position on the brake lever of the first of four waggons loaded with shale; he was warned, and got off. He then attempted to stop the waggons by snibbling a pair of wheels with a 4-feet prop, but, not inserting it far enough between the spokes of the wheel, it was twisted out of his hand, and he was thrown forward under the wheels.
1890September27DaldowieBroomhouseDunn BrothersHughMcKennaPony driver19Miscellaneous undergroundRun over by a “race” of hutches which he was driving 
1890September29CadzowLanarkCadzow Coal Co LtdFelixOaksBottomer46In shaftsCrushed by cageYes
1890October1DenbeathFifeBowman & CoDavidGreyWood cutter59Above groundRun over by waggons

From main body of report:  Deceased appears to have been gathering loose parrot coal on the siding at the pit when some waggons, moved by a locomotive engine, crushed him.
1890October3NiddrieEdinburghNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdWm.MunroRoadsman29Miscellaneous undergroundFall of material down incline

From main body of report:  No. 55 in the list. Deceased and another man were examining and repairing a carriage incline having an inclination of 60°, they used the carriage for this purpose, standing on the cover; deceased belled to the engineman to move the carriage, and immediately afterwards heard something falling down the incline; he attempted to shield himself by getting behind some timber, but was struck by the falling material and fatally injured.
1890October4ArdenLanarkWm Black & SonsRobertCheyneMiner17Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof 
1890October4WallyfordEdinburghDeans & MooreJohnHughesSinker39Miscellaneous undergroundSuffocated by choke damp

From main body of report:  No. 56 in the list. An old shaft was being re-opened and loose material sent to the surface out of it; as the work progressed slides were put in and ventilation was provided for by a large fan forcing air down another shaft close by, the current passing along a road in an upper seam to the pit in which the accident happened, and then descending behind a brattice which was carried close to the bottom. The ventilation appeared to me to be ample, yet, notwithstanding this, an outburst of black-damp from old workings took place and caused the death of a sinker in the bottom; the under manager who had just descended to him in the cage having a very narrow escape. On the cage reaching the bottom of the shaft, the sinker said that black-damp was coming off, and came forward to get into the cage, the under manager tried to assist him, but fell back unconscious, fortunately having belled first to raise the cage; as the cage approached the surface the pithead man happened to look down the shaft and saw the under manager lying in the cage, his body projecting into the shaft ; he called to the engineman to stop the ascent, then slid down the rope and placed the under manager safely in the cage. Had this not been done the under manager would have been crushed against the framework at the high scaffold and probably killed.
1890October6MillburnLanarkCornsilloch Coal Co----PrenticeNot employed8Above groundDecapitated by waggons 
1890October9BillyfordHaddingtonDeans & MooreJamesStocksBottomer63In shaftsCrushed by cageYes
1890October13Hattonrigg No 3BellshillSummerlee & Mossend Iron & Steel Co LtdDavidCrichtonPony driver16Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof on drawing road 
1890October13EastfieldCambuslangJ. R. Gray BuchananWm.BoothFireman50Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire damp while inspecting with a naked light

From Main body of report: Happened to a fireman who was making his inspection previous to the commencement of the night shift. Although he had on former occasions found firedamp in the part of the workings he was inspecting, he carried with him a naked light as well as a safety-lamp. On coming unexpectedly upon an accumulation of firedamp, the usual result under such circumstances followed, and he paid the penalty of his rashness with his life.
1890October14Rankinstone No 2AyrMerry & CunninghameWm.TownsleyMiner38Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at working face 
1890October15NewbattleEdinburghLothian Coal Co LtdThomasMoffatCrane-footer45Miscellaneous undergroundLeg lacerated by chain on brae

From main body of report:  No. 59 in the list. In this case a loaded hutch was pushed over the top of a self-acting incline without the rope being attached to an empty hutch at the face, the rope was pulled away and deceased got entangled in it and was dragged up the incline and so injured that he died in five days.
1890October17CauldhameKilmarnockA. Finnie & SonThos.NottmanMiner19Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof at working face 
1890October24ClydeLanarkClyde Coal Co LtdArchd.FergusonMiner36Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal 
1890October24BlackstonPaisleyBlackston Mineral CoThos.McGrertyMiner53Miscellaneous undergroundPremature ignition of a shot 
1890October24Common No 11CumnockEglinton Iron CoFrederickAndersonSteeplejack26Above groundFell from a chimney which he was repairing 
1890October25Little RaithFifeLochgelly Iron & Coal Co LtdJohnInnesNot employed8Above groundRun over by waggons 
1890October28CowdenbeathFifeCowdenbeath Coal Co--------Not employed  Above groundRun over on railway 
1890October30GreenhillLanarkRobert YoungPeterBlackOverman51Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890October31NewlistonLinlithgowYoung's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co LtdJohnDenholmFiller17Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof 
1890November8Wellshot No 1CambuslangDavid G DunnRobt.McKillopPony driver22In shaftsCrushed by the cage being raised before he got off it 
1890November11FenceLanarkNitshill & Lesmahagow Coal CoAndrewKerrMiner45Falls of roof & sidesFall of stone 
1890November12Davie PitGlenbuckCairntable Gas Coal CoRobt.KerrMiner30Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal 
1890November14AllanshawLanarkAllanshaw Coal CoGeorgeBinnieMiner65Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by tubs

From main body of report:  No. 64 in the list was an accident of a very simple character, and was partly due to the fact that at Allanshaw Colliery very large hutches, holding more than a ton of coal, are used.  A loaded hutch was being brought from the face down an inclination of 1 in 15 ; deceased was in front of it and his son behind ; the hutch should have had one pair of wheels snibbled, but this had been neglected and overlooked; the son left the hutch for his father to stop, which he would have been able to do had the snibble been in, but as it was deceased was overcome, and in trying to clear himself was caught against a tree. It was quite unnecessary for deceased to travel before the hutch while regulating its speed. This practice was referred to in my last year’s report.
1890November21BurntislandFifeBurntisland Oil Co LtdPatrickKellyDrawer24Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by tubs

From main body of report:  No. 65 in the list was, like No. 51 [see 26 Sept], caused by a loaded hutch having been pushed over the head of a self-acting incline unattached to the chain. The miner who pushed over the hutch was charged with culpable homicide, but on trial he was acquitted.
Newspaper report - Fife pages
1890November22GilmertonEdinburghGilmerton Gas Coal Co LtdThomasSharpeSinker39Miscellaneous undergroundSuffocated by choke dampYes
1890November22Westburn No 1CambuslangWestburn Colliery CoCharlesKerrMiner48Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal at stoops 
1890December5BentLanarkBent Colliery Co LtdJohnFreelandRoadsman46Miscellaneous undergroundSudden death from natural causes 
1890December9West BenharLanarkNiddrie & Benhar Coal Co LtdGeo.HarrisonSinker41In shaftsFell from kettleYes
1890December9Tannochside No 1UddingstonCalderbank Steel & Coal CoAndrewDonnellyreddsman35Falls of roof & sidesFall of roof on roadNewspaper report- Bothwell pages
1890December11Quarter No 1DennyWm Baird & CoAndrewMurphyMiner56Miscellaneous undergroundRun over by hutches on self-acting inclineNewspaper report
1890December12WoodhallAirdrieBarr & HigginsAlexr.DavidsonMiner16Miscellaneous undergroundFell into lodgement and was drownedNewspaper report
1890December19LongriggLanarkJames Nimmo & CoJohnEastonUnder manager45Explosions of fire dampExplosion of fire dampYes
1890December19EarnockLanarkJohn Watson LtdJohnCampbellBrusher45Miscellaneous undergroundCrushed by tubs

From main body of report:  No. 69 in the list. A crosscut mine extends from the Ell coal to the Main coal seam, dipping inbye 1 in 9. The coal from the Main coal is brought up it in rakes of 18 hutches by an endless rope. A bogie with screw clips is attached to the front of the loaded rake, and the clips provide attachment with the rope. A man rides in the bogie. A loaded rake was approaching the shaft, and the man in charge saw some full hutches standing on the same line of rails in front of his rake; he improperly slacked his clips, intending to reduce the speed of his rake by allowing the rope to partly slip through the clips. At this time part of his rake was still in the crosscut mine ; the rope dropped out of the clips ; he endeavoured to raise it with a hook, but was unable to do so; the rake began to move backwards, and eventually ran amain down the crosscut mine. Another bogie man ran to alarm anyone travelling in the crosscut mine, but deceased, a brusher coming from his work, was caught by the rake and fatally injured.
Newspaper report - Hamilton pages
1890December20Annandale No 9KilmarnockArchd. Finnie & SonJas. R.BreckenridgeMiner32Falls of roof & sidesFall of coal

From Main body of report: The deceased man was working beneath a mass of coal which had an open end, and which he had holed to a depth of 4 feet and a length of 10 feet. His neighbour, who worked near him, happened to come into his place, and noticed that the coal beneath which he was working without being supported by sprags was loose, and warned him of his danger. He replied that there was no fear of it coming away, and continued at work, when shortly after this the coal gave way, and killed him. There are, unfortunately, miners who risk their lives in this manner, and too often suffer the penalty of their rashness.
1890December31GilmertonEdinburghGilmerton Gas Coal Co LtdArchd.BlythMiner27Miscellaneous undergroundExplosion of a shot

From main body of report:  No. 70 in the list was a blasting accident. Deceased and another miner were engaged in driving a stone mine. Deceased had drilled a hole and placed in it one cartridge of gelatine, a smaller cartridge of the same explosive, with cap and fuse attached, and then some loose powder, and he was in the act of using the striking end of a steel jumper to push the charge home, when it exploded, and he was instantly killed. The stone in which the hole was drilled was not of a hard description, and was damp. Whether the premature ignition of the charge was caused by deceased using a steel jumper as a stemmer, or was caused by a spark from his lamp in his cap, l could not determine.
Last Updated 29th September 2013