ROSCOE’S. Rochdale, Lancashire, 18th. February, 1852.

It was reported that due to the very bad weather water burst into the main level of Mr. Roscoe’s and Lords colliery in Rochdale between 5 and 6 p.m. The mine was 54 yards deep and the main drift 260 yards long.

Some of the men were at work and those near the shaft managed to get into the cage and be drawn to the surface before the rapidly rising water. Two men and two boys in the upper workings retreated before the rising water until they reached the top of the drift where they could do nothing but stand and watch the water rise. Before it reached them it began to subside and they were able to escape but others were not so lucky.

Those who died were:

  • Samuel Wolstenholme aged 16 years,
  • Benjamin Shepherd aged 12 years,
  • W. Yates aged 30 years, married,
  • T. Lees aged 30 years, married,
  • M. Howarth aged 18 years,
  • Robert Howarth aged 14 years.
  • Noah Howarth aged 16 years, three brothers and the sons of a local farmer.
  • Robert Shepherd aged 30 years who left a wife and six children.


Inspectors Report, 1852.
The Illustrated London News 28th February 1852.

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

Return to previous page