Author Topic: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838  (Read 55010 times)

Offline tomkin

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The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« on: Wednesday 05 December 07 00:45 GMT (UK) »
In a small Churchyard, In a small Village, not many miles away from where
   I live, stands a Monument.
   A Sandstone Monument that records the horrendous events of the 4th July
   1838, whence 26 children died.
  Died in total darkness and within a few minutes.
   The young Queen Victoria, herself not much older than some of them,
   was so shocked that she called for a Royal commission to investigate
    the employment of children.

   So a Commission (under the Royal seal) for inquiring into the
   Employment and Condition of Children in Mines and Manufactories
   was set up and presented its results in early May 1842.     

     The Events of that fateful day became known as “The Huskar Pit 
       Disaster.”   
    A small coal mine known as Housecarr ( pronounced Huskar
     in the local dialect) was connected underground by tunnels
    to Moorend colliery.  The “Huskar” was a drift mine whose coal had been
   “worked out” and was used as part of the ventilation of Moorend.
 
    Moorend had a vertical shaft with a small steam engine which would
    raise and lower coal, workers and materials. Huskar pit was a drift mine
    in which the shaft is driven down at an incline from the surface to the coal
    deposits. The workers would go down the sloping tunnel to their place of
    work and coal would be hauled up the slope to the pit top.
    The 4th of July 1838 was a very hot and oppressive day. During the 
    afternoon storm clouds gathered and resulted in a violent thunderstorm.
   Hailstones and torrential rain fell upon the small mining communities.

    The rain fell so heavily that it flooded the Moorend boiler house and put
    out the fire. A message was sent down the pit for all workers to assemble
    at the pit bottom for their own safety. Finding that the winding engine
     was out of use and, not knowing what was happening ( some said that the
    sound of the thunder was an explosion in the pit) about 40 children decided
   to leave the Pit by the Huskar Incline. At this time they had been down
     the pit for about 9 hours. Ignoring the advice of the older miners who
   told them to “Stay Put” they set off and thus the fate of 26 of them was
   sealed.

    Eventually the children reached an Air Door at the bottom of Huskar Drift
    went through and excitedly started their ascent up the slope. On the
    surface, a small stream ( which many said was dry for 9 months of the
    year) started to overflow. Soon water started to flow towards the open
    mouth of the Drift and then poured down the incline towards the children.
   
    Some of the older children, who were at the front, escaped by a small side
     tunnel in the drift. 26 others were swept off their feet and ended up
     against the closed Air Door. The water, finding no escape, rapidly filled
    the small tunnel and the lives of 11 Girls and 15 Boys came to an end.

          They worked each day in total darkness and died in total darkness.


   


Offline tomkin

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 00:48 GMT (UK) »
                                  The Names and Ages of the Children that Died

                      Boys                                                       Girls
              George    Burkinshaw   10 years old          Catharine   Garnett      11 years old
              Joseph      Burkinshaw     7 years old         Hannah      Webster     13 years old
              Isaac       Wright            12 years old          Elizabeth   Carr           13 years old
              Abraham Wright             8 years old          Anne          Moss           9 years old
              James      Clarkson        16 years old          Elizabeth    Hollings   15 years old
              Francis    Hoyland         13 years old          Ellen          Parker       15 years old
              William   Atick              12 years old         Hannah      Taylor        17 years old
              Samuel    Horne             10 years old         Mary           Sellors      10 years old
              Eli           Hutchinson       9 years old         Elizabeth    Clarkson   11 years old
              George    Garnett              9 years old         Sarah          Jukes        10 years old
              John        Simpson            9 years old         Sarah          Newton      8 years old
              George    Lamb                 8 years old
              William  Womersley         8 years old
              James      Turton                8 years old
              John        Gothard              8 years old
         
               
                  On the 10th August 1842 The Mines Act became law. Females were
        prohibited from working underground and the employment of boys under
         10 years old in mines was banned.


Offline tomkin

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 00:49 GMT (UK) »

     Tomkin


Offline Half Pint

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 01:27 GMT (UK) »
I can't find any words to describe how I feel on reading this
Beds: Chapman, Norris, Nicholls
Cul:  Bone, Casson, Cuppage, Ellwood, Harrington, Harrison, Huddleston, Mawson, McAvoy, Rooney, Sherwen, Singleton, Stephenson, Taylor, Tunstall, Tyson, Wedgwood, Whitehead, Woodall
Herts:  Chapman, Merridan, Seymour
Ire:  Macken, McAvoy, Rooney
Lancs:  Casson, Dixon, Huddleston, Hunter, Muschamp, Skirrow Stephenson, Tyson
Staffs:  Burslem, Tunstall, Wedgwood
Yorks:  Harrison, Lund, Roberts, Swire


Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives

Offline Half Pint

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 01:28 GMT (UK) »
Can you please tell me where the mine was
Beds: Chapman, Norris, Nicholls
Cul:  Bone, Casson, Cuppage, Ellwood, Harrington, Harrison, Huddleston, Mawson, McAvoy, Rooney, Sherwen, Singleton, Stephenson, Taylor, Tunstall, Tyson, Wedgwood, Whitehead, Woodall
Herts:  Chapman, Merridan, Seymour
Ire:  Macken, McAvoy, Rooney
Lancs:  Casson, Dixon, Huddleston, Hunter, Muschamp, Skirrow Stephenson, Tyson
Staffs:  Burslem, Tunstall, Wedgwood
Yorks:  Harrison, Lund, Roberts, Swire


Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives

Offline tomkin

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 01:32 GMT (UK) »
   I know what you mean Half Pint.
    I thought long and hard before I put the topic on, but,
     next year will be 170 years since this event took place.

       I think that they deserve to be remembered.

       Tomkin

Offline tomkin

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 01:42 GMT (UK) »
Hi Halfpint,

                   This link should show you the village where the Memorial is.
     The pit was in a place called Silkstone Common which is about 1 mile
      above Silkstone itself.

       http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/388869

           Click on the "More Nearby" Link at the side of the photographers name for
            photographs of the locality (2 pages)

     Tomkin

Offline miagre1

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 01:50 GMT (UK) »
They do deserve to be remembered.  :'(

You're a good man Tomkin.

George
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Please feel free to alter any work by me for the benefit of the Poster.


Linklater - Middlesbrough/Orkney/Shetland
Cantley - Longhope/Hoy


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Offline tomkin

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Re: The Sad Death of 26 Children at Huskar Pit 1838
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 05 December 07 01:56 GMT (UK) »

 Hi George,
                    I'll be putting some more on this topic including
     interviews with some of the children who worked in the area
    and were questioned by the commisioners. It certainly alters
   your thinking about the early victorian era.

        Tomkin