KIRKLESS  HALL. Wigan, Lancashire. 28th. June, 1847.

The colliery was known as the Higher Patricroft Colliery and was the property of the Kirkless Coal Company. It was between Ince and Aspull on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool canal about two miles from Wigan.

A shot had been fired which set the coal on fire and before the fire could be dealt with, an explosion occurred killing thirteen and injuring about thirty men and boys. Blasting was against the Rules and no one was allowed to go into the pit without a safety lamp.

Some of those known to be killed were:

  • John Cartwright.
  • John Berry.
  • John Rhodes.
  • Henry Hewson.
  • John Riley.
  • Samuel Evans.
  • Ashmore, a boy.
  • George Evans, underlooker.
  • Joseph Williamson, a boy who died on the way home.
  • Robert Williamson, his father.
  • Robert Southern was missing and believed dead.

The injured were:

  • William Jackson.
  • William Currie
  • John Webster.
  • James Balshaw.
  • John Holcroft.
  • John Barton.
  • James Naylor.
  • Joseph Penman.
  • Eli Monk.
  • John Mills.
  • Thomas Laurenson.
  • Samuel Simpkin.


Annals of Coal Mining. Galloway. Vol.2, p.82.
Mining Journal. Vol.  xvii, p.310, 324.
The 1849 Report. p. 460.
The Illustrated London News, 3rd July 1847.

Information supplied by Ian Winstanley and the Coal Mining History Resource Centre.

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