Click on the links for some background information on various aspects of life in mining areas.
Mining Terms & Occupations
Lists of Mines
- Transcribed lists of mines click here
Acts of Parliament
- 1842 Act to prohibit the Employment of Women and Girls in Mines and Collieries, to regulate the Employment of Boys, and make Provisions for the Safety of Persons working therein
- Full transcript of the 1887 Act which may provide useful background when reading reports of accidents and prosecutions.
- Memorial For The Colliers of Scotland, July 23, 1762 provides an analysis of the early Acts of parliament which effectively bound colliers to their coal works
Education & Housing
For more on education and housing see the extracts from the reports on the Mining Districts and Report on Housing of the Industrial Population of Scotland and 1842 Commission and the 1875 Notes on Miners' Houses, published in the Glasgow Herald
Trade Unions & Truck System
A new section on Trades Unions and Strikes has been created. This includes a transcript of the 1824 Address to the Colliers of Ayrshire, setting up the Ayrshire Colliers Association
Other items of general interest include a section on early history, a listing of miners wages and costs, newspaper articles on emigration, strikes, biographies and obituaries of notable people associated with mining and a description of the Gothenburg system of public houses.
Please also see our separate sections on Health & Disease for accounts relevant to mining populations and our extracts from the 1843 Poor Law Commission. These contain general descriptions of the assistance provided by the parishand often names and biographical details of those receiving relief.
Historical accounts of the Mining Industry:
- Among The Fife Miners by Kellogg Durland. Durland was an American journalist and social reformer who spent 4 months living and working with the miners of Kelty. The pages include the complete 198 page book published in 1904, two magazine articles published in 1902 and reports of the action raised by Helen McKechie against Blackwoods, the publishers of the 1902 article.
- The Industries of Scotland: Their Rise, Progress and Present Condition by David Bremner. This interesting book on the key industries of Scotland was published in 1869. We have transcribed the chapter on Coal Mining, Ironstone Manufacture and Mineral Oil and Paraffin Manufacture. This last chapter provides an interesting overview of the development of the shale industry in West Lothian.
- The Miners of Scotland by Robert Haddow from “The Nineteenth Century”. The views expressed by the author on miners, and particularly the Irish, in this account from 1888 may seem rather offensive to us now, but provide a useful insight into how the miners were viewed at that time.
- Slavery in the Coal Mines of Scotland by James Barrowman, 1897
- The Health Conditions of Coal Mining by James Barrowman, 1896
- Health of Old Colliers, by J.S. Haldane, 1916
- Mining Mortality, by James Barrowman, 1898
- 1934 report on depressed industrial areas.
- Memorial For The Colliers of Scotland, July 23, 1762
- Coal Produced Before 1800 – From Coal Commission Report 1871
- A General View of the Coal Trade of Scotland Chiefly that of the River Forth and Midlothian. To which is added an inquiry into the condition of the women who carry coals underground in Scotland, known by the name of bearers. By Robert Bald, Alloa, 1812
The Mining Folk of Fife, David Rorie M.D., published 1914. David Rorie was a doctor who lived in Fife for 12 years from 1894, including 10 years in Auchterderran Parish. This account covers folklore and customs of the community including sections on marriage, birth & childhood and health.
- Chapters on Iron Industries & Mining, from “The History of Stirlingshire”, 1880. By William Nimmo
- Accounts of cases in the Court of Session related to bound coaliers, including some names of coaliers
- Extracts on mining from "Romantic Culross, Torryburn, Carnock, Cairneyhill, Saline and Pitfirrane" By Andrew S. Cunningham, 1902
- Series of newspaper articles from 1871 on Lochgelly – Its Rise and Progress
- Extracts from the Coal Industry Commission 1919
Petitions By Colliers 1842-1843
Interesting collections of petitions by colliers mainly asking for repeal or amendment of the 1842 Act to
prohibit the Employment of Women and Girls in Mines and Collieries, to
regulate the Employment of Boys, and make Provisions for the Safety of
Persons working therein. In addition 3 petitions request that methods are implemented for the weighing of output.