These rules were printed in the Inspector of Mines Report 1855 and were the blueprint of the rules that were drawn up for the collieries in the area. The Mines Inspectors were the instrument that enforced the Mining Legislation and was very concerned with safety. Much of their time was spent going from inquest to inquest into the death and men and boys, that had been killed in the mines in their areas. They had very large areas to cover and there were a great many accidents but they were in a position to see an overall view and were uniquely positioned to remake recommendations as to safe practice in the civilities.

In reading them the reader will get a very clear idea of the jobs of the workforce of the mine and the names that appear may sound strange when you first meet them but as you read on it will become clear what was expected of the man or the official in the colliery. Every man that was employed in the colliery had, by the rules, to be given a copy of them and it was assumed that he would read and understand them. In the early days, many could not read and there are many records in the Inspector’s Reports and in the local papers of the time of men appearing in court charged with a ‘Breach of the Special Rules’. The cases are reported with headlines like ‘Reckless Collier Charged’. Most were found guilty and were fined a few shillings and costs awarded against them. A few early copies have survived for some collieries and this book is a near copy of those that were given to thee men in the early days of mining so become a drawer, collier, engineman, underlooker, or fireman and learn what your duties would have been in a nine in the mid-nineteenth century.

Special Rules relating to:

Abram Colliery 1855

Lancashire Collieries 1855

Lancashire, Cheshire & North Wales Collieries 1855

Richard Evans & Company Collieries 1865


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

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