Extracts from Mining District Report 1856

- by the Commissioner appointed to inquire into the operation of the Act 5 & 6 Vict. c99, (Mines and Collieries Act 1842)  and into the state of the population in the mining districts

The strike in the principal coal & iron districts of Scotland

The late strike of the colliers and miners in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Clackmannan, and Stirlingshire, has again fixed the attention, not only of the employers, who are the first direct sufferers by these frequently recurring disturbances of labour, but of the public generally throughout those important centres of manufacturing industry, every individual within which is more or less seriously affected by them.

The employer, who, as he alleges, by no fault of his own sees his calculations set at nought, his trade injured, and his profits destroyed every few years, by these convulsions, is very naturally desirous that their causes should be thoroughly investigated, and a remedy, if possible, found ; while the workmen in other branches of industry, " thrown idle'' by the strike of the colliers and miners, the consumer who has to pay a higher price for his coal, the small shopkeeper whose sales are seriously diminished, the manufacturer whose goods are less in demand, the yeomanry who are kept for some months from their farms to their great inconvenience to assist in maintaining order, the peaceable inhabitants of the country who are subject to intimidation from some of the worst characters among the 30,000 or 40,000 idle men, who under the guise of begging extort contributions from those who have no means of resisting them; all these demand to know where the fault lies ; whether in the employer from his mode of dealing with his men, or from his neglect of the responsibilities of his position, or in the law, or in its administration.

It is calculated that the loss of wages to the colliers and miners alone, between the 8th March, when the strike became general in the districts affected, and the beginning of June, when it terminated, amounts to at least 500,00l. But such a sum, large as it is, very imperfectly represents the total loss inflicted upon the community, and the amount of which it is impossible exactly to estimate. Its extent may be inferred from the bare enumeration of the various sources. There was the loss of interest upon all the capital engaged in giving life and vigour to all that labour; there was the loss of the employer's profits ; there was the loss of wages and profits to all engaged directly or indirectly in making maketable the coal and ironstone which that amount of labour would have raised ; and there was the loss to the consumer upon the increased price of coal, varying from about 20 to about 45 per cent, at some periods of the strike. Large numbers of labourers in many branches of industry, small retail shopkeepers, railway companies, shipowners, all manufacturers using any quantity of coal, have great reason to complain of this and all similar strikes, as a very serious infliction.

Who was to blame?

Who are the parties chiefly to blame? for that serious blame rests somewhere there can be no manner of doubt.

" The men'' and their organs, say that the fault is with the masters, who could, if they pleased, grant them all they want, especially the amount of wages they demanded, and for which they struck.

It is important to know what is meant by that comprehensive term " the men !"

From 30,000 to 40,000 colliers and miners ceased work, and endured themselves, and inflicted upon their families, great privations.

Were they all free agents? Did they, or did any large proportion of them, adopt willingly such an extreme measure as a strike? Had they no recollection of former ones, and of the lessons they should have learnt from them ?

Notwithstanding the language in which interested men, who assume to speak for their class as delegates, indulge in regard to the employers generally in that part of the country, there are among those employers, as I willingly testify from having been conversant with those districts for upwards of thirteen years, gentlemen who have as accurate a knowledge of .the real condition and feelings of their workmen, and as sincere a desire to deal justly by them, and to benefit them, as are to be found in any part of the kingdom.

Characters of the Men

From them I learn that according to the best of their observations and experience, ''the men," may be classed as follows:-

About one-third are men who from their more mature age, their steady habits, and the enlightenment of their understandings, are averse to strikes; they have seen the ill-effects of former ones ; they are able by their steady industry and by not dissipating their earnings in drink, to live comfortably ; and they have learnt to judge temperately and correctly of the occasions when they have a right to expect that their wages should be increased, and when circumstances require that they should be lowered.

Another third consists of those who are always most ready to believe they are unfairly dealt with by their employers, and to follow any extreme course that agitators and "delegates" may suggest. They are for the most part either young men without experience, or men who have not long come from Ireland or from other parts of Scotland, without local ties, with but little, if any, knowledge of the character of their employers, whom perhaps they have rarely seen, and never spoken with, not the most orderly, well-behaved, or industrious of their class, and not willing, even if able, to take a calm and just view of the questions that may be at issue at the moment between themselves and their masters.

The remaining third is composed of men who profess that they are not dissatisfied with their employers, and that they are willing to go on working at the terms he offers, but who say they are compelled to do as others do, that they are sorry to be obliged to remain idle, and would go to work again if they dared ; who, in fact, have not the moral courage to act upon their opinions, but allow themselves to be banded together by the delegates or leaders, and mixed up in every action of hostility against their masters and in every transgression of the law, with the worst portion of their fellow workmen.

Dealings between the masters & men

It may at first appear not a very difficult matter for the masters, by just and fair dealing with their men, and by the influences of personal acquaintance with them, to bring to their side the third which now is said to turn the scale against them when any occasion of difference arises. From my knowledge of the district I am able to say that some masters have for years past been fully alive to the duty which devolves upon them of making the effort. The difficulties, however, are great in the way of such an amount of personal communication with the people in their employ as would be sufficient to give the latter the means of estimating the reasons and the motives by which a just and liberal master is habitually actuated in all his dealings, and thereby removing the mist of prejudice and error, which is ever before the minds of such a large proportion of the labouring class, in regard to the character and conduct of their employers. In these great centres of mining and manufacturing industry the difficulty arises from many sources; the numbers employed at or in connexion with the larger works are very considerable, and a large proportion of these are men of unsettled habits, and given to change their place of work. This naturally operates as a discouragement in any attempt on the part of the employer to make himself really known to his men. Many of the men work under contractors, and when this is so they are considered, more perhaps than is desirable, to have but little connexion with the superior employer. The time of the masters is so occupied with the details of business that but little remains for anything else in reference to their works and their people. Again, the art of governing large numbers is not so easy as to be successfully practised by every one who, with the best intentions, has nevertheless to contend with the mistaken impressions, the impulses, the perverseness, the cupidity, of a body of half-enlightened men. The masters of these large works are invested with a species of power, the right and successful exercise of which demands no slight degree of discretion. Strictness of discipline is not alone sufficient for the regular and orderly and uninterrupted progress of the labour required; the utmost amount of leniency or kindness is equally unavailing; it is of little moment that the intention should be all that is reasonable and fair, if the mode of carrying out the rules or enforcing the decisions in the government of a large work, should be harsh or vaccillating ; it is of no use to build schools, provide reading-rooms, lay out large sums in making the dwellings of the people decent and comfortable, if the manner of the master in his occasional intercourse with the men is severe and despotic. Power, to be respected, must be beneficent in manner, as well as in substance. If large bodies of working men are to be kept satisfied with their lot, and with those whom accident or their own superior intelligence has placed above them, it must be not less by touching their sympathies, than by appealing to their interests or relying upon their fears. The frequent recurrence of these disastrous strikes is a proof that these plain principles are not sufficiently attended to by a large number of the masters concerned. It is the more conspicuously so because in almost every instance, as is shown by the result, the masters were right and the men were wrong in the position they took up, and which led to the strike. In the last great one of 1847, the men, after standing out 14 weeks for 5s. a day, accepted the masters' terms of 3s. a day, which in the course of a few weeks was reduced to 2s. a day. In November of last year, the men forced the masters into granting an advance of from 4s. to 5s. a day. Many of the masters, since they could not .afford to continue that rate, before long felt obliged to take their stand against it, and to reduce the rate again to 4s. A strike took place ; it became general throughout the districts concerned at the beginning of March; and after from 30,000 to 40,000 men had been idle for 16 weeks, and had inflicted enormous loss upon their masters and the public, and great suffering upon themselves and their families, the event proved that they were again wrong, for they resumed work at their masters' terms. Surely the relations between the masters and their men are capable of being made such that it would be possible in every case of difference upon the subject of wages, to satisfy the minds of the men that the masters could not afford to grant what they ask. As matters have hitherto been conducted, in most instances, in those districts, the men have asserted that the masters can, and the masters have asserted that they cannot, afford to give the rate demanded, and in that state the question remains until the delegates or advisers of the men stir them up to the point of resistance. Here and there sufficient confidence has been established between the masters and the men, so that the latter either refuse to strike,or are the last to do so, and the first to resume work. But in the districts now under consideration, the contrary is the rule doubtless, in some degree, attributable to the rapid accumulation of people around these new works. But I venture to think that if the effort were fairly made, much more might be done towards establishing that confidence, or at all events towards preparing beforehand a mode of making clear to the minds of the men the facts on which the master relies when he resists the demands for an increased rate of wages or announces that he must reduce it.

Unfortunately, as matters have hitherto been, the moment these questions arise they are seized upon by delegates or agitators who are neither the best disposed, the most temperate, or the most enlightened of the class to which they belong, and whose direct interest it is to aggravate every existing cause of dispute, and to bring forward as many others as can be made available.

One very injurious consequence immediately arises from this, namely, that the question of wages is generalized for the whole district; whereas it is essentially a question for each individual master to determine according to existing circumstances. A low rate of royalties, the favourable position and easy working of his minerals, facilities of communication, judgement in the original arrangement of his works, favourable contracts, may make it the interest of one master to give a rate of wages, which at the time might be ruinous to another. All these individual differences disappear the moment these questions get into the hands of paid delegates.

I am aware that it is only with much caution and reservation that it can be becoming in me to offer any suggestion to gentlemen of the ability, experience, and good intentions of those who preside over the great industrial establishments in question. I cannot, nevertheless, forbear observing that, in addition to the general remarks which I have felt it my duty to make in the preceding paragraphs, there are a few specific measures that are already not without the sanction of some experience, and that are capable of being turned to a further account towards strengthening the bonds of amity between the men and their employers.


In the course of the frequent disputes at the various works between the men and the masters on the subject of weights, which will be adverted to particularly hereafter, the men have solicited and have frequently been allowed to employ a man upon the pit-head to see that they are not unfairly dealt with. This man they have termed their " Justice-man'' He takes care that their " hutches " are not improperly confiscated for want of weight, or for containing stones, or for any other cause. He is a man of their own appointment, the term is their own, and they are accustomed to intrust their interests to him in that particular.

It appears natural to ask why they might not be invited to elect from among themselves, once in every year, three or four of the ablest and best of their fellow workmen, or any three or four other suitable persons, whose names should be given in to their employers as delegated to confer with them should any question arise in the course of the year on the subject of wages, or any other of mutual concernment.

If these men were discreetly chosen they would, doubtless, be accepted by the master as the channel of communication between himself and his men. Circumstances might be explained, facts communicated, and proofs given to them, of which it would otherwise be impossible to satisfy the mass, but which would at once carry conviction to the minds of the whole body when received through those in whom they had confidence.

Some successful instances of this mode of communication with the men have been mentioned to me among factories, and I have met with a few also in the mining districts. Could such a mode of discussing matters of difference be generally adopted by individual works it would be a great relief both to the men and the masters. It would deliver the well-disposed and the intelligent among the latter from the thraldom so often imposed upon them, against their better judgements, by the ignorant, the rash, and the malevolent, and, if carried into effect in a liberal and generous spirit, would save the masters from the frequent necessity now imposed upon them of incurring a great amount of loss in order to prevent a still greater, while the struggle exhibits them to the world as unable to govern their own people, and responsible for the great loss and suffering inflicted by these strikes upon the public.

Fife & Lothians

A remarkable instance of the intelligence and good judgment of the colliers and miners of Fifeshire occurred at the time that the strike was in progress in Lanarkshire and elsewhere. A difference arose between themselves and their employers on the subject of the new rules which had been published by authority for the regulation of the working of mines and collieries in that county. Instead of committing themselves to the imperfect guidance of a man of their own class, they held meetings, and agreed to appoint a legal gentleman, Mr. Beveridge, a Writer to the Signet, resident in Dumfermline, to consult with delegates appointed by each mine, and after making him acquainted with the nature of their complaint, to instruct him to represent their case to the law agent of the masters. This was done, and, at a conference, the dispute was satisfactorily arranged in the course of a few hours.

Also these colliers and miners of Fifeshire showed equal intelligence and good judgment when solicited by the delegates from Lanarkshire, and elsewhere, to join in the strike. They confronted them with fair argument, and informed them " that not a man was disposed to go out." The Alloa and Clackmannan colliers also met the delegates at a large meeting and informed them " that when they had any difference they had only to send a deputation to their manager ; and that they did not approve of throwing down the implements of labour on every occasion of difference between themselves and their employers'' When reproached by the delegates for not coming to the assistance of their suffering fellow-countrymen, one of the Alloa men had the spirit to answer, " Are you going to run a man down because he intends to keep the law ? Because some men break their engagements are other men not to be allowed to keep theirs?" In the same way, at a meeting between the delegates from the West and delegates from the collieries of the Lothians, the latter refused to strike, for the reason well-assigned by the delegate from the New Winton colliers, namely, " that they had found that previous strikes had done no good''

The difference between the conduct of these colliers and miners of Fifeshire, Alloa and Clackmannan, and the Lothians, and of those " on strike " in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, and elsewhere, deserves to be kept in mind ; and if the prominent causes of this difference can be correctly assigned, an important step is gained towards the correction of what is defective among the latter.

I believe the principal cause is to be found in the fact that society is older and more settled in the first-named districts than in the latter, that the proportion of ignorant and turbulent characters is less, that a large number of the collieries are, or have been, worked by the proprietors themselves, and that they have looked more closely into everything that affects the condition or influences the feelings of the workpeople, and placed those matters upon a more satisfactory footing; and that their conduct in those respects has been followed by their lessees, and has given the tone to other works that have arisen around them. There are not wanting instances in Lanarkshire and the other districts lately disturbed, of similar causes producing similarly good effects. The Messrs. Baird have again, during the recent strikes, had cause to be satisfied with the conduct of their Gartsherrie colliers. Those of the Carron Ironworks have sustained their previous reputation for confidence in their employers. The "old established colliers" of the Muirkirk and Lugar works gave very little trouble, and consented to work on their employers' terms. Some of the colliers being in the employ of the same company (the Dundyvan) refused to follow the lead of the delegates, and were supported by the civil power, as well as those of the Gartsherrie company, in going to work in spite of the determined opposition of large bodies of the men on strike. Other similar instances might be named. But none of the iron or coal works in Scotland have approached that of Messrs. Dixon and Co., of Govan near Glasgow, in the intelligent and most useful organization which they have effected among the people in their employ, and maintained for many years with the most satisfactory results.

Dixon's Colliery, Govan

At the termination of a protracted and most injurious strike in February 1826, Mr. Dixon determined that no workman should in future be taken into his employ who would not subscribe the rules of "The Govan Colliery Friendly and Free Labour Society."

The rules were arranged with the men taken to work at that time, - "men who were engaged at the Market Cross, Glasgow, and trained to be colliers," together with such of the old hands who offered themselves. " They were discussed over and over again with the most intelligent of the men who were taken into consultation in framing them''.

Subsequently there were added the funeral fund (established in 1841), the library, the reading-room, and the school fund, all under the same management, the nature of which is so remarkable, and so likely to be of eminent use as an example, that I beg permission to call to it the serious attention of all employers who have large bodies of the labouring class to deal with.

The original society was directed against the great delusion, and indeed the master-evil of the district, the restriction of the "darg" or day's work by combinations of workmen aiming at placing every man on the same level - the strong with the weak, the industrious with the idle, the man with a young family with the single man ; and by this process also to reduce the quantity of coals raised, and thus raise the price, and together with that, the rate of wages. The rules of the society had the additional effect of establishing a friendly society upon a sound basis, of preventing the usual dissipation of the funds at the public-house meetings, of bringing in the employers as friendly and liberal contributors and coadjutors, and, above all, of providing a tribunal freely and fairly composed of representatives of both masters and men, to manage the funds, watch over the interests and the conduct of those partaking of its benefits, and settling disputes and adjusting differences.

The preamble of the rules states, that "The workmen of Govan colliery, deeply impressed with a sense of the evil effects of combination to restrict free labour, have resolved to form themselves into a friendly and free labour society, for the purpose of supporting each other when visited with sickness or accident, and for their legal individual protection from the threats and intimidation of the combined, while exercising their just right of working with whom and on the terms considered best for their individual interests''

The members of this society are at present 380, all colliers; drawers and roadsmen being excluded on account of their migratory disposition.

There are 1,370 members at present in the funeral fund; every person employed at the colliery, and in the iron-works and forge, above 16 years of age, being members.

The following were the payments for the last three years, under the different heads :-

 Year Ending
May 1854
Year Ending
May 1855
Year Ending
May 1856

Friendly & Free Labour Society

Funeral Fund

Library (consists of 2500 volumes)

Reading Room

School Fund 

£205 16s 6d

£720 6s 7d

£26 16s 7d

£39 11s 3d

£120 1s 5d

£181 0s 6d

£1036 10s 0d

£33 18s 0d

£50 4s 10d

£126 11s 9d

 £195 4s 6d

£450 17s 6d

£42 0s 9d

£45 13s 5d

£115 10s 1d

 £1112 12s 4d£1428 5s 1d£849 6s 3d

Govan Colliery 28th May 1856

The composition and mode of election of the Master-court, mentioned in the above extract, is a very interesting feature of this remarkable society.

It consists of a president, (or according to the Scotch term " Preses'') treasurer, clerk, and thirteen managers.

The mode of election is as follows: - Article 10. "The Master-court shall meet one week before the election, and lay out two candidates for president, in the follow manner : the president shall name one who shall stand candidate, and the court another, both of whom shall be present members of the Master-court, and he that hath the majority of votes shall be considered duly elected. Every member shall have a vote for the president, whether present or by proxy, if he is free of all the society's dues, but not otherwise.

" The treasurer shall be chosen as follows: the president shall name one, the Master-court one, and the society at large a third ; and he that hath the majority of votes of the members present shall be held duly elected.''

"The thirteen managers shall be chosen as follows: the president and treasurer going out of office, and the member who stood candidate along with the president, shall be managers for one year, without further election.''

"The president shall name one, and the owner of Govan colliery three, who shall be managers without further election."

"The other six managers shall be chosen in the same way as the treasurer."

Article 14, concerning the manner of settling disputes, is also worthy of observation. ''If any difference shall arise between the members of the society concerning the business thereof, if such difference cannot be settled amicably, each party shall choose one man, and in case of difference, these two shall choose an oversman (none of whom shall belong to the society,) whose decision shall be binding upon both parties''

The number of members and the amount of the funds, as shown above, are sufficient proof of the importance of these societies and institutions of the Govan Company, and their successful working during thirty years points them out as well worthy of the most attentive consideration. The resident manager, Mr. Allan, who has been connected with these works for forty years, informed me, than since this Friendly and Free Labouring Society had been in operation, they had had no strike, except the brief one just terminated, which Mr. Allan very candidly admitted had arisen from an inadverted departure, on the part of the Company, from one of the rules they had hitherto acted upon in regard to wages, and of which the men reminded them.

Not only had a general feeling of confidence in their employers been diffused by the instrumentality of these societies, but their advantages were so palpable that to be dismissed from the employment of the Company for ill-conduct or for infraction of any of the rules and regulations, was recognized by every intelligent workman as a severe penalty.

The Company contributed £40 to each of the societies, as a basis; but in times of much sickness they were often indebted to the Company to the amount of £200 or £300, which was paid off gradually, at the easy rate of 1s. per fortnight from each member. The sums payable to widows are enough to enable them, if so disposed, to set up a small shop; and their children are either taken into the employ of the Company, when of proper age, or recommended for employment elsewhere.

The books of these societies are said to be kept as regularly as those of any merchant's office, and all the births, deaths, and marriages of members entered, with a view to the contingencies which raise claims to relief or assistance.

The right of nomination of three members of the Master-court, reserved to the Company, is exercised in a manner calculated to conciliate the good will and confidence of the workpeople. Mr. Allan stated to me, " Some of the existing members of the Master-court bring me the list of those whom they propose as their fit candidates at the forthcoming election for office-bearers. If I see the majority consists of judicious men, I ask if any good men have been outvoted. If there are, I add three of them as our nominees''

This Master-court, although primarily, having to do with nothing else than the management of the funds of the societies and institutions connected with these works, cannot but have, incidentally, a very good effect in maintaining a general harmony of feeling and of action between the employers and their workmen. It must, by means of the annual elections, bring into prominent notice the best and most intelligent of the working men, give them a conversance with business, and a position of responsibility in relation both to their masters and their fellow-workmen. These are the men, who on any question arising between the masters and the men, would be most capable of judging rightly upon the point in dispute, and advising their fellow-workmen temperately and wisely. And it would seem to suggest the possibility of forming a tribunal elected for that special object - a Master-court, having the confidence both of the masters and the men, for the frank and friendly discussion of any question of wages, or of any alleged grievance that may at the moment occupy the thoughts of the workpeople. These questions are always best settled by the workmen and their employers without the intervention of delegates or any other extraneous interference. At all great works, as easily as at those of Mr. Dixon, every workman might be requested to conform to rules which he would be called upon to subscribe on being admitted to employment. The advantages which he and his family would derive from belonging to such societies and institutions as those of the Govan Company, would make him feel that it was his interest so to act as not to forfeit them. Contributions on the part of the employers, in aid of the funds derived from the workmen, might add sensibly to their value; and the general spirit of fairness presiding over the management of those societies would prepare the way for acquiescence in the decisions of the Master-court on the subject of wages or any other point of dispute, or of the Master-court and the persons nominated for the special purpose, as provided for by Art. 14, given above. The annual arrangement between the masters and the men of friendly tribunals of this kind would be but the development of the idea with which the workmen are already familiar, and which originated with themselves, of appointing a " Justice-man " to look after their interests. It would invest their own representatives with a weight and authority which they do not now possess, and by providing beforehand, and while all parties are cool and dispassionate, a kind of Court of Appeal, in whose decision each party would be disposed to have confidence, would tend to prevent differences from being widened into quarrels and contests, which are productive of nothing but the bitterest feelings, and the most lamentable sufferings and losses.

Restriction of "Darg"

These societies, instituted by Mr. Dixon, and the rules (see Appendix) signed by all his colliers and miners on entering his employ, effectually prevent the adoption among them of that most injurious regulation which pervades the mining districts of Lanarkshire, - the restriction of " the darg " or day's work. I have so frequently given the particulars of this unfortunate delusion, which has taken so great a hold of the colliery population of that part of Scotland, that there is no need again to notice it at any length. The restriction of the darg is defended by those who practice it:

1st, because the restricted darg is as much as a man ought to do in a day's work;
2ndly, because it keeps men in employ who would otherwise not be wanted ?
3rd, because it tends to raise the price of coal, and therefore, the rate of wages.

As regards the first, it is denied to be the fact by every individual conversant with the subject, whose position renders him responsible for the correctness of any assertion he may make relating to it. So far from the fact being as the delegates on behalf of the workmen allege, I believe the truth, if it is to be gathered from testimony, to be, that in the great majority of collieries and ironstone pits, it is very greatly- in some, ridiculously - under, a fair day's work. In some instances the restricted day's work can be got through, it is alleged, in two hours; in most cases, in not exceeding six or seven, of steady and not arduous labour.(see footnote*) The first argument is, it seems to me, used chiefly as a pretence to cover the two last, which are not always or openly avowed. (continued in part 2)

*Footnote: The following statement was made to me by one of the most experienced persons in Lanarkshire in everything relating to mining industry :-

" In the hardest coal which requires to be blasted, able-bodied men can put out their restricted "darg" in six hours. This is the main coal. It very seldom requires to be blasted. The use of powder is avoided as much as possible, as it shakes the roof. In many collieries, such as Messrs. Baird's and others, where the coal is soft, an able-bodied man can do the work in two hours. The soft coal seams are very extensively worked, and in those seams the men can do the restricted day's work in two hours.
Masters must have the quantity they require; they, therefore, employ more men, and everything in proportion.
The assertion of the men, or their advisers, that they are unable to work more than 4 ½ days a week, either from the difficulty of the work, or from any other cause, is absolutely untrue."

Another gentleman of long experience in the district stated, -
" The men earn their 5s. a day for five hours' actual work ; they may be about eight hours in the pit. That is a fair average. They earn their wages with about one-half the bodily labour of a farm-labourer, or a navvie. The proof is, that infirm old men can earn their 5s. a day, at the restricted darg. In my remembrance the darg was one-half more than it is now, and was not beyond the strength of an average workman."

This is confirmed by what was stated to me by Mr. Allan, as the practice of the Govan pits, where, as has been seen, there is no restriction upon the day's work :-

"The men in all our pits can perform their portion of the work in 7 to 8 hours. If two men are working in one place, one can come up in 7 or 8 hours ; the other stops to fill. The engine goes from 6 to 6 when in full work. Our cart is 14 cwt. A man puts out 3 or 4 carts a day, according to the nature of the coal; 18 cwt. may be an easy day's work at one pit, while 13 cwt. may be a difficult one in another."

Appendix - Rules at Govan Colliery

Standing rules and regulations which all colliers and others employed at Govan colliery, by William Dixon, shall, by their acceptance of Employment, be bound to observe and adhere to.

I. No warning shall be required to be given to any person employed, nor shall any warning be required to be given by any Person employed, before leaving the employment. .

II. Every person occupying a house at, or provided by, the Colliery, shall be bound to flit or remove from the house, upon the day that he leaves, or is discharged from the employment.

III. That no collier, or other person employed, shall interfere in any manner of way with the Employer's just right of employing, retaining, and discharging such workmen as may be considered proper, or with a workman's right of working and engaging to work, in the way, upon the terms, and with whom he may think best for the interest of himself and family.

IV. That every person employed at the colliery shall pay at the Office, each pay-day, the accustomed allowance for the colliery surgeon, rent of house occupied, price of fire coal, tools, or other implements furnished or repaired by the employer, as well as for pick sharping.

V. That every person employed at the colliery shall enter as a member of the Govan Colliery Friendly and Free Labour Society, unless the managers of the Society have objections.

VI. That every person employed at the colliery shall enter as a member of the Govan Colliery Iron Works and Forge Funeral Fund, unless the managers of the Fund have objections.

VII. That every person occupying a house belonging to the colliery, shall pay, at the office, each pay-day, the school wages fixed by the managers of the school, for each of his children from 6 to 12 years of age.

VIII. That the evening school wages shall be retained in the office each pay, if not paid to the teacher.

IX. That no person shall keep a dog, either at his place of work, or in any of the houses belonging to the colliery, nor shall keep fowls.

We, the parties hereto subscribing, do hereby, by our several subscriptions, engage and bind ourselves to observe and conform to the foregoing rules and regulations in all respects; and consent and agree that deduction be made from our wages, of the several sums or payments specified or referred to in articles four, five, six, seven, and eight; and we further acknowledge, by our respective subscriptions, that a copy of the special and general rules of the colliery have been delivered to us by our employer.
(Copy was signed by workman and 2 witnesses)