At a meeting yesterday of the Eddlewood miners on strike, the men unanimously expressed their determination to continue the struggle, notwithstanding the threat of eviction. Arrangements to meet the ejectment cases, which will be called this morning in Hamilton Sheriff Court, were made, including the erection of wooden structures for the accommodation of ejected families. [Scotsman 21 September 1897]
Eddlewood Miners' Dispute - 100 Ejectment Summonses - In Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday, before Hon. Sheriff Patrick, 100 summonses of ejectment were called at the instance of John Watson Ltd, against their workmen presently on strike at Eddlewood and Neilsland collieries. The Court was crowded with a demonstrative audience, composed of respondents and their friends. Mr W. T. Hay, writer, Hamilton, appeared for complainers, and Mr P. Armour, writer, Glasgow, for respondents. The latter, among other statements, asked that a longer period than the usual five days should be granted to give the men time to find other houses. This was opposed by Mr Hay, who said the dispute was one not between complainers and their men, but between complainers and one or two so called leaders. Mr R. Smillie - That is not the case. The Sheriff granted decree of ejectment in five days except where medical certificates as to illness in the family were produced. Adjournments in a few cases were granted till tomorrow for the production of further medical certificates, and for the substantiation of an averment that, on a workman seeking to lift his graith, the manager persuaded him not to do so, and guaranteed that he would not be disturbed during the currency of the dispute. [Scotsman 22 September 1897]
The Eddlewood Ejectments - In Hamilton Sheriff Court yesterday, before the Hon. Sheriff Patrick the nine summonses adjourned from Tuesday in connection with the batch of one hundred at the instance of John Watson (Limited) craving to have their men, now on strike, ejected from the Company's houses, were again considered. Mr W. T. Hay, writer, Hamilton, again appeared for complainers. On behalf of respondents it was stated that their agent, Mr Armour, writer, Glasgow, was unable to attend. In circumstances, Mr D. Gilmour, miners' agent, asked to be allowed to appear for the men. An emphatic objection was taken by Mr Hay, and was sustained by the Sheriff, who at the same time offered to adjourn the cases in order that a regular agent might have an opportunity of appearing. Mr Gilmour, on leaving the bar, said the public would understand the circumstances under which he had done so on Mr Hay's objection. Mr Hay "That does not matter; you have no right to be here." Mr Thomson, manager, was called, and denied an averment in the case of a workman named Henry Burgoyne that he was guaranteed possession of his house provided he did not seek employment elsewhere. . The Sheriff granted decree of ejectment in five days. In the case of a man who asserted that he had a child dying, and that Dr Robertson, the medical officer of the colliery, had refused a certificate, stating that it would be as much as his position was worth, an adjournment was granted until tomorrow to enable him to procure a certificate from another medical gentleman. In a further case, a roadsman pleaded that he was willing to work, and had never been dismissed. The Sheriff dismissed the summons, leaving complainers to give respondent formal notice of dismissal. Loud cheers followed this intimation. In all the other cases, except where medical certificates were produced, decree of ejectment was granted, the time allowed being five days. [Scotsman 24 September 1897]
The Eddlewood Ejectments - Yesterday afternoon a largely attended meeting of miners was held in Hamilton, Quarry to protest against the Eddlewood ejectments. Placards calling the meeting were headed "Sir John Watson's Jubilee Treat to His Workers" and set forth that the ejectments were effected because the workers refused to submit to a reduction of wages that were only 3s. 6d. per day. The invitation concluded - "Help them to defeat tyranny. Come in your thousands." A heavy shower fell early in the proceedings, and somewhat shortened them. Mr Robert Jack, chairman of the strike committee, presided. Mr John Robertson,check weighman, moved - "That this public meeting protest emphatically against the inhumanity of the firm of John Watson (Limited) in proposing to eject 100 families from their homes at Eddlewood with only five days notice." He said the strike had lasted 6 weeks, during which the men had shown they were able to hold their own, but Mr Thomson, the manager, contrary to the assurance at the start, was resorting to the matter of striking at them through their wives and children. He trusted the public would support them in their protest. Mr D Gilmour in seconding, said that although the weapons of eviction were being resorted to, the men were not nearly so firm at the beginning of the struggle as they were that day. In granting only five days to obtain new houses, and ejecting 700 souls into the street on that short notice, the Hon Sheriff Patrick had shown he had no humanity in his heart. Only a fortnight before in the same court, when the Viewpark ejectments were up, Sheriff Fife granted seven days. There would not be the same barbarity in the matter if the men were allowed to get work elsewhere, but they went 6 miles away. As soon as it was known where they came from, they were dismissed. In corroboration of what Mr Robertson had said as to Mr Thomson's assurance that he would not fight against wives and families, he said he had a written document off his hand to that effect. He further denounced Hon Sheriff Patrick, who, he said, was a shareholder in John Watson Limited, and Dr Robertson, medical officer of the colliery, for refusing a certificate as to the child who was dying on the plea that if he did so he would be dismissed by the company at the end of the strike; yet the men were contributing 6d. every fortnight for his support. He appealed to the public for support, stating that wooden erections for accommodation of the evicted families were to cost £300. The miners contributions were increasing every week, those for the week ending yesterday amounted to £173. No child had suffered through hunger, and by 12 o'clock on Monday shelter would be provided for most of the families. They would stand out till partial reductions were restored, though it was for 6 months or a ear. The motion was supported by Mr A McInulty, Blantyre and carried. Yesterday interested groups visited the site of the proposed erections to accommodate the ejected families. It is within a grass plot adjoining Cadzow RC Chapel, off Quarter Road. The summonses granted on Tuesday run out today, while those issued on Thursday expire on Tuesday. They have not yet been extracted, and no procedure under them is likely to take place till the middle of the week. [Scotsman 27 September 1897]
Eddlewood Miners - The miners were in expectation that the Eddlewood ejections would be carried out yesterday, but nothing was done. The probable date is being kept secret, and the ejection warrants have not yet been extracted. As the police will be taken up at the Lanark races today and on Wednesday, nothing is likely to be done before Thursday, if then. [Scotsman 28 September 1897]
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. - THE STRIKE AT EDDLEWOOD COLLIERY.
28th. September, 1897.
Sir, - In your issue of the 24th inst. About the strike at Eddlewood Colliery a letter appears, signed by Robert Smillie and David Gilmour, stating that the wage in the disputed section was only 3s 4 1/2d per shift and 3s 1d per day, and they are willing to prove this from the output books of the colliery. A notice signed by David Gilmour, as under, was posted up at the toll about 100 yards from the colliery, and a notice, as under by me giving the wages earned from 15th February to 31st July was posted up alongside of which is derived from an abstract of the colliery output books. None of the workmen. have as yet denied the truth of this notice:-
COPY OF DAVID GILMOUR'S NOTICE.
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC.
As there seems to be a desire on the part of the manager to mislead the public as to the actual earnings of the miners in the seam in which the reduction was
intimated, it becomes necessary to again publish a detailed statement from the checkweigher’s books :-
No. 53 - Anton M'Goon earned in 7 days £1 3s 6d - 3s 4 1/2d per day
No. 44 - Polish miner earned in 7 days £1 2s 10d – 3s 3d per day
No. 59 - Polish miner earned in 6 days £0 16s 1d - 2s 8d per day
No. 20 – Matt Wright earned in 6 days £0 16s 6d - 2s 9d per day
No. 18 - Robert Moncastle earned in 6 days £0 17s 3d - 2s 10 1/2d per day
No. 58 - Robt. M‘Vey, not in broken section, but earned 3s 6 1/2d per day
60-61 - Nisbet Middleton, not in broken section, but earned 4s 7d per day
No. 40 - Wm. Brown and two neighbours for 7 days £3 8s 5d - 3s 3d per day
No. 25 - Anton Millar, not in broken section, but earning 3s 8d
Note 60-61 had extra tonnage for driving slope road.
Note.—The above names were selected by the overman, and may be taken as typical of the earnings throughout the Longwall main coal section. We are prepared to prove the foregoing statement to be absolutely correct,
(signed) David Gilmour, Checkweigher.
Copy of My Notice
Average rate of wages in No. 2 section, main coaI No. 1 Pit, Eddlewood Colliery from pay ending 13th February, 1897, to 31st July,1897:-
Note. - Any of the workmen whose names are in the above list can check the rates with their pay bags, and if not satisfied the details can be got at the office. (Signed) Thos. Thomson.
By inserting the foregoing it may give all whom it may concern a chance of judging the tactics used by the leaders to gain the sympathy of the public for the purpose of continuing a strike which is a loss to all parties interested.—I am, &c., Thos. THOMSON, Manager for John Watson & Co., Ltd.
P.S. - From the statement of wages accompanying above letter it appears that the lowest wage earned was 3s 6d per day for one pay, whilst the highest was 6s 5d per day, bringing out an approximate average of 4s 5d per day over six months. [Glasgow Herald 29 September 1897]
The Eddlewood Ejectments - Yesterday morning an effort was made to enforce the ejectment warrants obtained in Hamilton Sheriff Court by John Watson (Limited) against their Eddlewood workmen, who have been on strike for the past seven weeks. The warrants had expired several days ago, and the occupants of the Company's houses were being kept in suspense. At the same time their execution yesterday morning came on them as a complete surprise. In a dense fog,, Mr George Kemp, messenger-at-arms, came on the scene at seven o'clock in the morning. Messrs. D. Gilmour and J. Robertson, miners agents, were, however, on the scene, as they had apparently got an inkling of what was likely to occur. Superintendent Andersen, of the Lanarkshire Constabulary, and three constables were also present, with, in reserve, as it was understood, a force equal for any emergency. Since the proceedings in Court, when 100 warrants were issued, nearly one half of the families concerned have removed, and Mr Kemp had only twenty-seven names on his list for removal. He at once accompanied by Messrs Gilmour and Robertson, proceeded to the parties on his list, and warned them to remove. The process of going through the houses occupied more than two hours, and in the interval several assistants of Mr Kemp, one of them bearing a crowbar and other suggestive implements, freely mingled in the quickly gathering crowd. The greatest good humour prevailed, but from chaff, of which the officer's assistants were the chief butts, some rough play was indulged in. After this the whole of the assistants left, with the exception of a person named McIntosh. He insisted on accompanying Messrs Kemp, Gilmour and Robertson into the houses, while Mr Gilmour invariably put him out. The crowd waited on him until the last of the rows was reached, that fronting, the Strathaven Road, when a determined struggle took place between M'lntosh and the women and the younger colliers. He struck out bravely, and was more than once thrown to the ground. Eventually he was jostled to the side of the roadway, and bodily pitched over the hedge. Onlookers feared that he had come to harm, but were relieved to see him pick himself up, and make his way through the field, leaving the crowd behind him. Mr Kemp being left without assistance could proceed no further with the ejectments, which were abandoned for the day. Yesterday a petition was presented to Mr Thomson, general manager for John Watson (Limited), signed by the principal merchants in Hamilton, asking him to stay the ejectments in the hope that a settlement might be arrived at. A reply was afterwards received from Mr Thomson agreeing to delay the ejectments until he heard from the petitioners. At the same time he asked them to give their reasons for the request in the petition. The petitioners in response tendered him their thanks for his humane conduct in staying the ejectments. They added that they expressed no opinion, but hailed with satisfaction any scheme that would settle the question in a way that would be honourable to all concerned. [Scotsman 1 October 1897]
Miners' Meeting In Hamilton - Yesterday afternoon a meeting of miners and the general public was held in the Quarry - Mr R. Jack in the chair. Mr D. Gilmour said they were anxious to put before the public the exact position of affairs at Eddlewood from week to week Referring to the death of a child on the morning of the ejections, he said that Dr Robertson, who refused a medical certificate on the ground that it was as much as his place was worth at the end of the strike, received three or four hundred a year as medical officer of the colliery. They would make it part of their duty in future that Eddlewood and Neilsland men, and also the miners of Udston and Clyde collieries, where be was also medical attendant, would discontinue paying off-takes for such a man, and would employ one who would be their servant. (Cheers.) With regard to the manager's published statement that the wages of the men in the disputed part of Eddlewood averaged 4s. 5d, they had the men's pay lines to prove the contrary. John Rodgers' lines brought out 2s. 11 1/2d. If the managers statement was correct, Rodgers had been underpaid £6, 19s., and they would raise an action to recover the balance. (Laughter.) He condemned the Sheriff-officer for employing a body of drunken men at the ejections. One was known by the name of " Greasy " (laughter) and he was a sample of the rest. Mr Kemp told him he had scoured all hot-plate shops in town, and could not get one single man to assist him, and so he had to fall back on "Greasy " and his pals. The ejectments had not been carried out, and he hoped when the officer returned he would bring decent people with him, and not disgrace the law and himself in the eyes of the public. Various attempts had been made to settle the dispute, and he would have thanked the merchants more who had sent requisitions to Mr Thomson if, instead of asking him to delay ejectments, they had asked him to withdraw them. Mr Thomson had now posted up a notice that the men are to resume work to-morrow in three of the pits, and that the one in which the dispute originated was to be closed till the 1st November, when the section in dispute was to to put up for offers. He supposed the lowest offer would be accepted. Mr Thomson magnanimously wound up by saying that if the men were not at work tomorrow the ejections would be enforced. Before they return to work the reduction must be withdrawn. They would not allow him, so long as they were able to put up places to the lowest bidder, nor would they permit him to make use of Poles in lowering wages. Mr R. Smillie, who also spoke, said it was difficult to talk calmly on the subject. They were not sufficiently strong to defy the law. As to ejectments, it was a bad law, and they considered themselves justified in using every legitimate means in their power to make it as impossible as they could to prevent the officers this week or this month from turning them out. He held Sir John Watson and the shareholders as much to blame as Mr Thomson in resorting to evictions, He concluded by moving that this meeting of the public of Hamilton and surrounding districts expresses its sympathy with the Eddlewood and Neilsland miners in their struggle against oppression, and while condemning the action of the employers in evicting families from their homes, called on the Government to introduce legislation to alter the law which gives power to employers to eject workers from their dwellings on such short notice. Mr J. Robertson seconded the resolution, which was unanimously carried. [Scotsman 4 October 1897]
Eddlewood Colliery Ejectments - Sheriff-Officers Resisted - Animated scenes again occurred yesterday when another attempt was made to enforce the ejectment warrants taken out by John Watson (Limited) against certain of their colliers now on strike at Eddlewood near Hamilton. The Sheriff officers had a very hostile reception, they were resisted with the utmost determination, and ultimately, having for fully two hours carried on their work amid great opposition - expressed both vocally and practically - they had to abandon their efforts after ejecting only three tenants. The situation was fraught with danger of serious disturbance and even of bloodshed, but fortunately beyond one slight scuffle with the police, who drew their batons, there was no grave breach of the peace.
Eddlewood Colliery is in the heart of the mining district of Hamilton, and lies about a mile and a half to the south west of that town, a short distance to the right of the Strathaven and Quarter turnpike. It is in the immediate vicinity of the Meikle Earnock pits, and the two Neilsland shafts, sunk within the last year or two, are so near that for the purposes of the dispute they have been regarded as one pit, and the men employed there have joined those m the two Eddlewood pits in a strike of sympathy with the men whose wages are the subject of dispute. These number about a dozen. They alleged - what was not admitted - that they earned only 3s. 6d. a day, and consequently could not afford to submit to the reduction which the manager proposed. Various attempts to come to an arrangement were unsuccessfully made, and about eight weeks ago the Eddlewood and Neilsland men, the the number of between 500 and 600, struck work, and they have remained out since, despite an amended offer which was made a few days ago to the effect that the: disputed section should be allowed to remain idle until next month, and that then it should be put up for offers, so that the men should have a chance of arranging the rates for themselves.
In view of the seeming remoteness of a settlement, John Watson (Limited) obtained ejectment decrees against the men living in Eddlewood Rows, who are tenants-at-will. On Thursday last a Sheriff-officer attempted to enforce them, but utterly failed, and his men had some rather exciting experiences. In view of that non-success general impression prevailed amongst the tenants themselves that no further effort would be made to carry out the decrees. Yesterday's visit was therefore a surprise, It was made by Mr Thomas Scott Bell, Sheriff-officer and messenger-at-arms, Hamilton, who had about a dozen assistants, variously alleged to hail from Motherwell, Airdrie, and Glasgow. The men proceeded from Hamilton on foot, and approached Eddlewood about nine o'clock. No sooner were they seen advancing up the hill which leads from the town than their purpose was guessed. The news spread like wildfire through the Rows, and in an instant the inhabitants were swarming out of their houses like bees. The officers were never left in doubt as to the character of their reception. The main road was filled by a hostile crowd of men, women, and children, who hooted and jeered to the full power of their lungs, pressed round the officers and jostled them, and pelted them with cinder ashes, turf, and even stones. One man was knocked down and had the side of his head cut. The Sheriff-officer and his men made their way to the Company's offices, and thence it is believed, telephoned for police assistance. At any rate a short time later a detachment of between 20 and 30 constables arrived in brakes under Superintendent Anderson and Inspector Middleton. With this escort the Sheriff-officer and his men reappeared. Meanwhile, those who expected to be evicted, had been maturing their plan of campaign, and preparing to make the work as difficult as possible. Surrounded by the jeering mob, the officers of the law proceeded to the front row, which faces the turnpike road. The buildings there are two storeys in height, and are substantially built of grey sandstone; they have a bright and clean appearance, and are lacking in the sordid squalor so often associated with miners' rows, The only indication of anything unusual was that instead of standing ajar as usual, every door was shut, and the occupants were invisible. The officers repaired to a house near the centre - No 180 - occupied by Henry Burgoyne, treasurer of the Strike Committee, his wife and his family. The officer having demanded admittance, proceeded to read his warrant; but was cut short by a woman throwing a handful of white pepper in his face. Force was hen resorted to in order to effect an entrance, but the tools at hand made little impression on the barricaded door. Ultimately a blacksmiths hammer was secured from the colliery, and its resounding thuds were quickly followed by the crashing of wood and soon the door was forced open. This was the signal for a renewed outburst of groaning. The presence of the constables prevented the crowd from serious interference; but the Sheriff-officers assistants had to submit to being deluged with dirty water and receiving other unpleasant attentions. When Burgoyne's house had been entered, they proceeded to carry out the furniture, and a large and substantial collection it made. The mens sympathisers refused to touch it until it had been placed on the roadside, and then they placed it on a lorry which was in waiting, and which removed the goods to the house of Mr David Gilmour, the secretary of the Lanarkshire Miner's Union.
Mr Gilmour addresses the gathering in front of the Burgoyne's house from the lorry. He mentioned that 22 years had elapsed since similar proceedings were taken against Lanarkshire miners, and the circumstances of the present case were aggravated by the fact that the manager had repeatedly declared to the workmen that he would never use the weapon of ejectment, as he considered it fought more against the women and children than the miners. Mr Gilmour expressed the belief that this action would only serve to further strengthen the determination of the men, and though the strike should continue for months he was certain it could only end in one way - the defeat of the manager in carrying out the reduction.
Mr Bell and his assistants then proceeded to the row immediately behind and parallel to the front one where a single room house was occupied by a young man named William Brown and his wife, to whom he was married only at the beginning of the year. The visit was not expected, as Brown has no official connection with the Strike Committee, and the result was that an entrance was soon effected - again amid the groans and hooting of the onlookers. While the furniture was being carried out Mr Gilmour made another speech. He explained that this was a case of peculiar hardship. Brown was not on strike, but had been off work for two months prior to the dispute owing to ill-health. His fellow-workers had subscribed to tide him over his troubles, and the money he thus received Brown handed over to the cashier at the works to pay arrears of rent. Mr Gilmour further mentioned that this couple had been provided with a temporary home, so that they would not require to go to the wooden houses erected at Quarter chapel. The Sheriff-officers third visit was to the house of Robert M'Ilroy and his wife, who also were taken by surprise, and had time to do no more than lock their door, a device which was overcome by removing the skirting at the side of the door, More effective preparations had been made at another house in the same row occupied by William Kerr, who is stated to be one of the most highly respected men in the district. While the officers were approaching this house Mr Gilmour stated to Mr Bell that if any attempt at ejectment was made in this house those who did so would be held responsible for the consequences, as Mrs Kerr was suffering from heart disease. Dr Robertson the colliery medical officer, had refused to grant any certificates. Mr Bell said he had no wish to proceed in any case where illness prevailed in the family. Had he desired to do so, it was apparent that in this instance he would have met with opposition, probably even more strenuous than at Burgoyne's house. The door had been elaborately barricaded, and at the window Kerr, the occupant - a tall, muscular fellow - could be seen, with what appeared to be a poker or a hammer in his hand. His shirt sleeves were tucked up showing a brawny arm, and his general bearing gave the impression that even though the officers did effect an entrance, their most serious difficulty would still remain to be faced. Mr Bell, after consultation with his assistants, retired to the colliery offices. It was while he was proceeding thither that the most serious disturbance of the day occurred.
The emissaries of the law were followed, as they had been throughout their course, by the jeering crowd, which, as already indicated, was largely composed of women. It could not, however, be described as an angry assemblage; it seemed rather in a mood for horse-play and badinage, and with the exception of the first reception, its opposition had been confined to that. When the sheriff officer's men went within the colliery gates, however, they had a clear space to cross, and as they were doing so some members of the crowd at the entrance threw stones. The constables who were standing at the gate keeping back the onlookers fixed upon a young man, William Mackay, as one of the offenders. They arrested him. Thereupon an attempt at rescue was made, and in the scuffle one of the constables drew his baton. His comrades followed his example, and together they charged the crowd. Matters now had a grave aspect, and a riot seemed imminent. Some of the cooler heads in the throng attempted to restrain their companions, but in the brief melee which ensued, those who stood in front, whatever their intentions, were the sufferers. Two old men, Terence Murphy and John Boyle, both about 70 years of age, and another named William Berry, who, according to the story of by-standers, were attempting to maintain peace, were knocked down and struck by the batons. However the constables attacked the least vulnerable parts of their assailants, and in a few minutes Mackay was removed inside the gates and the disturbance subsided. Several of the miners declare that the constables drew their batons without order from their superiors. They also stated that Mackay was wrongfully arrested. It may be mentioned that his marriage is fixed fro this day week.
Mr Bell's withdrawal into the colliery offices was taken as an indication that the attempt to enforce the ejectments had been abandoned for the day. The surmise proved correct. After about half-an-hour he and his assistants mounted a brake which was in waiting and drove off amid loud groaning. As the vehicle turned down the turnpike road towards Hamilton, a few stones were thrown, but, if seriously intended, they fell far short of their mark. A few minutes later the constables marched off - no demonstration being made against them - and in a remarkably short time the village streets, which had been thronged by a turbulent crowd were quiet and deserted.
It would seem that the officers were fortunate in selecting two of the houses they did, for most of the others had been very strongly barricaded in anticipation of their arrival. The favourite method, as shown to a "Scotsman" reporter, was to place an iron bedstead in the entrance, and to wedge it firmly between the door and the opposite wall, the whole being strengthened where necessary by boards, &c. One tenant who lived on the second storey barricaded his door so effectually that he had to make his exit by lowering himself from the window by a rope,
After the departure of the officers and the constables an indignation meeting of the inhabitants was held near the house of Mr Thomas Thomson, manager. It was addressed by Mr Robert Smillie, Larkhall, president of the Scottish Miners Federation, who had been present throughout the proceedings. He strongly condemned what he described as the unwarrantable action of the constables in charging defenceless women and children, and advised the men, while keeping within the law, to place every obstacle possible in the way of the Sheriffs officers. Messrs Gilmour and John Robertson spoke in similar terms. Mr Gilmour said he believed the manager had declared that the dispute was the result of personal ill-will towards him on his (the speaker's) part. That was not the case. He had in his possession a letter which Mr Thomson recently sent him entirely disproving that allegation. It was a letter expressing thanks for his assistance in settling disputes at John Watson's (Limited) collieries, and enclosed with it was a private present of a £5 note from Mr Thomson. That money was returned to the sender through the officials of the Union. Under these circumstances would the public believe that the dispute was due to Mr Gilmour's ill-will to Mr Thomson? (Cheers.) The meeting concluded with cheers for the strike, and groans for the manager.
Allusion has already been made to the wooden houses erected beside Quarter Roman Catholic chapel. The Rev. Father M'Avoy, the incumbent, while desiring to occupy a neutral position in the dispute, felt that, as a matter of charity, he could not see the women and children turned out homeless on the roadside. Consequently, when the miners' union officials approached him, he granted permission to erect the temporary buildings on the ground adjoining the chapel. They consist of two wooden two-storey sheds, measuring about 40 foot by 22 feet, and the union officials state that, if forced, they could there accommodate over thirty families. However, it is believed that most of those against whom warrants have been issued have made arrangements to go elsewhere. Yesterday, Robert M'llroy and his wife were so little expecting active measures against them that they had not done so, and they were consequently forced to avail themselves of the shelter provided by the the Union. Their furniture was removed there and a "Scotsman" reporter, who visited the place, found the two - a decent-looking elderly couple - busy storing their goods. They were putting a brave face on their awkward situation, but they were apparently sorely troubled at their rude removal from their home. As showing the cheery spirit in which the scheme has been launched, it may be added that arrangements have been made for a "house warming" social gathering in the temporary premises.
The officials at the colliery offices refused to give any information. [Scotsman 8 October 1897]
The Eddlewood Ejectments - While the situation at Eddlewood remains the same, it is understood that summonses have been served on Harry Burgoyne and others in connection with the ejectment proceedings of Thursday morning last. It will be remembered that Burgoyne's house was the first to be attacked, and that it was there that the pepper throwing and other alleged disorders took place. The summonses are to be brought up in Hamilton Sheriff Court on Wednesday next. The Convener of the Strike Committee (Mr Jack) has informed our correspondent that Mr C. K. M'Kenzie, advocate, Edinburgh, who at last election contested the Mid-Lanark Division, in which Eddlewood is situated, has written offering to defend Mackay, the man charged with stone-throwing on Thursday last, and the Defence Committee have accepted his offer. It is expected that he will also defend Burgoyne and others; who come up for trial on the same day. [Scotsman 12 October 1897]
The Eddlewood Disturbances - Before Sheriff Davidson yesterday, two cases wore called in connection with the recent ejectment disturbances at Eddlewood. Henry Burgoyne, miner, and his wife were charged with assaulting Sheriff-Officer Bell and his assistants by throwing cayenne pepper in their faces and eyes, as also water and milk, and striking one of them with a piece of wood. They pleaded not guilty, and the ease was adjourned till Tuesday for trial. Afterwards, William Mackay, miner, Hamilton, was charged with throwing a stone on the same occasion at Francis Cassells, sheriff-officer. Proof was led at great length, and the accused was convicted, and sent to prison for twenty-one days. [Scotsman 14 October 1897]
The Eddlewood Colliery Dispute - The only change yesterday morning was that in accordance with the offer of the manager, the places in the section of No 1 pit, in which the dispute arose that has led to a cessation of work in both Eddlewood and Neilsland Collieries, have been let to the highest bidder. The accepted offerer is a man named Macbeth, who resides in the Rows. Yesterday morning nearly fifty interested persons turned out to see him going down the pit. There was no demonstration. [Scotsman 2 November 1897]
Settlement of the Eddlewood Dispute - A conference was held in the Council Chambers, Hamilton, yesterday, between representatives of John Watson (Limited) and the men on strike at Eddlewood and Neilsland Colliery, to endeavour to settle the dispute. Provost Keith presided. John Watson (Limited) were represented by Mr John Ross and Colonel King, directors, and Mr Alexander Watt, law agent; Mr J. Wallace, secretary; and T. Thomson, manager. The men were represented by R. Smillie, D. Gilmour, J. Robertson, W. Jack, J. Cunningham, H. Burgoyne, and W. Menzies. After a most harmonious meeting, which lasted for over three hours, and after discussing the whole points in dispute, it was agreed to refer the matter to arbitration - the men to resume work on the old terms on Monday, pending, the decision of the arbiters. [Scotsman 6 November 1897]
Eddlewood miners sent in a motion asking the county to arrange for the presentation of a testimonial to the Roman Catholic clergyman at Quarter for his generous action in granting the use of ground for the accommodation of the ejected families during the late strike. Motion adopted. [Scotsman 26 November 1897]
Before Sheriff Davidson in Hamilton yesterday, nine summonses of ejection from their houses were brought by the Merryton Coal Company against their workmen now on strike. With one exception, respondents appeared, and gave it as a reason for not leaving their houses that they could not submit to the masters' terms of employment, and could not got other houses. They were allowed five days to remove. The man who did not appear was ordered out in three days. [Scotsman 25 February 1896]
Cadzow Colliery Dispute – The Charges Against Miners - On Tuesday -before Sheriff Davidson - David Gilmour, miners' secretary, Low Waters, pleaded not guilty to a charge of having, on 3rd August,; at the stair leading to a house in Moor Street, Cadzow Colliery Rows, while William Miller, ,bricklayer, Low Waters, was employed repairing the stair landing, first assault Miller by seizing him by the collar and drag him about, threaten to throw him down the stair, and called on others assembled at the foot to assist him, and several having gone to his assistance, he, acting in concert with them, pushed him down, and, second, committed a breach of the peace. Through his agent, W. T. Hay, writer, he pleaded not guilty, and the case was adjourned till Thursday, 24th for trial.
A similar course was followed in three other charges. The first was against John Robertson, miners' agent, for Row, Hamilton ;William Cox, wasteman ; Hugh Morton, James Robertson, Myles Welsh, miners, Cadzow Colliery Rows and Luke M'Gowan, miner ,Low Waters charged with having on 3rd August, with picks and shovels, maliciously removed and destroyed 140 square feet of concrete then newly laid on three stairs leading to houses in Cadzow Colliery Rows; the second against John Davidson, miner Cadzow Colliery, Rows, charged with having, on 6th August, at Wilson Terrace, Cadzow Colliery Rows, assaulted David Henderson, sheriff officer, Glasgow, by butting him with his head; and third, against Matthew Keith, or White, bottomer, Low Waters, charged with having on 6th August, in Moore Street, Cadzow Colliery Rows, assaulted Robert Wilson, sheriff officer, Glasgow, by striking him on the head with a stone.
The Court, while the proceedings lasted, was crowded with idle miners and their wives.
At the, instance of Hay, Cassels, & Frame, agents for the Miners' Union, a messenger at arms has served on Cadzow Coal Company, 38 suspensions of Sheriff's ejection warrants. This makes 53, the largest number of Court of Sessions suspensions on record in connection with strike ejections. John Cunningham, check weighman and nine other residents of Cadzow Rows, have had indictments served on them charging them with deforcing sheriff officers while endeavouring to serve ejection notices. [Bellshill Speaker 18 August 1900]
Appeal - John Cunningham & others vs Robert Wilson - The appellants here, John Cunningham, check-weighman, Eddlewood, Hamilton, and nine others, were charged in the Sheriff Court, at Hamilton at the instance of the respondent, Robert Wilson, Procurator-Fiscal with having, on 6th August last, in Austine Street, Cadzow Colliery Rows, prevented John D. Taylor, Sheriff officer, Glasgow, from serving a summary ejection warrant on behalf of the Cadzow Coal Company upon a miner, Thomas Neilan, residing at 52. They were also charged with kicking the officer on the left knee, thrusting pins or needles into his legs and cursing and waving their arms at him. Sheriff-Substitute Mark Davidson held that the accused were amongst the crowd round the door of Neilan's house, and that they were guilty as libelled, except the kicking, thrusting of pins or needles, and the cursing, swearing, shouting, and waving the arms libelled: and fined them 30s. each, with the alternative of twenty-one days' imprisonment. They appealed on the ground that the conviction was not warranted by the facts.
The Court remitted the case back to the Sheriff- Substitute to state whether he is was satisfied that the people had good reason to know or to believe not only that the man was an officer, but also that he was in the execution of his duty. [Scotsman 8 December 1900]