Lanarkshire Strikes & Court Cases
9 March 1848
We have just received the following from our correspondent :- Disturbances In The Mining Districts - It appears that there has been a strike of the miners for some time at Amoa [sic] Works, belonging to Mr Stewart, and that some of the men on. strike were apprehended, which led to a tumult in the neighbourhood of Newarthill, when the prisoners were rescued and the police defeated. The police have since been increased and armed, so that it is hoped farther disturbances will be prevented. The miners on strike have been ejected from their houses. [Caledonian Mercury March 9, 1848]
30 April 1856
THE MINERS' STRIKE.- A meeting of miners belonging to Glasgow and Maryhill districts, including a number of those at present working at the advance, took place on Monday, on the bank of the Clyde, near Dalmarnock Bridge. About 1500 were present. Mr Thomas Cruthers, of Maryhill, presided on the occasion, assisted by Mr J. Blee of Rutherglen. The meeting was convened with the view of ascertaining the feeling of the men, chiefly those employed at the 5s, in reference to the resolution passed at the meeting of delegates on Friday last, in favour of a general strike. After some conversation, it was agreed that the men from the different works should retire separately for a few minutes, and, having considered the matter shortly, bring in their several reports, so that the intention of all might be fully and properly understood. Brief reports were submitted accordingly. Of the nine works in the Glasgow district, agreed at the advance, two were not represented at the meeting, namely, Hurlet and Govan Colliery. The men at Nitshill and Newton were inclined to remain in at the 5s. There were only about twenty men present from Westmuir, the majority of whom were disposed to continue working, but, from the expressions of some in the minority, it appeared that, had there been a better attendance, the vote would have been the opposite, the general feeling at the place being declared to be in favour of coming out. Dalmarnock men (about 60 of whom were present) and those at Titwood, Gartocher, Hallow Glen, and Greenfield were all willing to come out. The men belonging to the other eight works in the Glasgow district who were on strike, were determined to hold out till they obtained the rate sought for. Some were willing to return to their work in the event of their masters offering them six months' agreement at the former wage, and others on condition that those employed at the 5s would join the strike, but otherwise all, without exception, were resolved to stand. In the Maryhill district, the feeling with the unemployed was the same—the men of Possil, Kenmure, Keppoch, Blackhill, Balgray, Netherton, Knightswood, and Clobarhill, were all determined to remain out. As regards the works agreed at the advance, there were few present from Springfield and Hunter's Hill, and those few thought it would be wrong in them to come out, unless they were able to assign a proper reason to their master for so doing. If it could be proved that they were supplying the demands of another whose men were on strike, then they would consider it their duty to come out, but otherwise they would be unwilling. At Blardardie, the men were inclined for working, and giving support to those on strike. Duntocher men were absent. Torfim mine, Glorat, Berries, and Peathill works, in the neighbourhood of Campsie, were likewise without representatives. Sculliongow men were willing to come out. Jordanhill men requested leave to continue work four days a week till the 15th of May, as the term of contract for the minerals was to expire at that date. Each man wag willing to give a shilling a-day off his wages to support those on strike. This, after some discussion, was agreed to, which concluded the reports. As the result of these accounts, the majority were declared to be in favour of a general strike; and on the vote being taken as to whether those present were of the same opinion, the meeting appeared to be almost unanimous. Messrs Blee and Cruthers were then appointed as delegates to represent the districts of Glasgow and Maryhill at the conference to be held on the following day, after which the assembly gradually and peaceably broke up.
On the morning of Wednesday last some of the workmen at Fergushill Colliery, near Kilmarnock, were assaulted and severely injured by persons supposed to be connected with those on strike. The Sheriff of Ayrshire has issued a proclamation offering a reward of one hundred pounds to any one who, within one month, will give such information as may lead to the apprehension of the guilty parties. He has also published a notice warning all those who, by intimidation, threats, and assaults, endeavoured to prevent any one wishing to work from doing so, that they will be punished with the utmost rigour of law.
Miner's Meeting - A meeting of miners was held in Maryhill district on Saturday—Mr George Miller in the chair. After the delivery of several very intelligent statements, the meeting was addressed by Mr James Blee, from the Glasgow district, who delivered an impressive address, accompanied by exhortations to prudence, temperance, and a strict observance of the laws of the country. It was then moved and agreed to, that the miners of Maryhill district felt bound to declare their disapprobation of the mean conduct which masters, to the best of their belief, were adopting, by diverting the police force in Glasgow from its proper duties, namely, the order and protection of the best interests of society, to the persecution of them (the miners) as a class ; in justification of which motion, the words of Capt. Smart in the Glasgow Police Court of that day were quoted, namely—" That all the police force have strict orders to detect all beggars, and, in particular, you miners, if you solicit assistance for your distressed poor, even by subscription sheets, from persons willing to subscribe for that purpose." [Caledonian Mercury April 30, 1856]
21 July 1866
Meeting of Miner's Delegates At Motherwell - On Thursday afternoon, a meeting of miners' delegates was held in the Brandon Hotel, Motherwell, for the purpose of receiving reports from the respective districts. A Chairman having been appointed, the report given in were as follows:-
Larkhall - No reduction as yet at any of the collieries, except the one belonging to Messrs Merry & Cuninghame of Carnbroe, and the men were working. They had done so with the advica of the men belonging to the district.
Hamilton - The men determined to stand firm should any reduction be attempted at Haughend which also belongs to the Carnbroe Ironworks. There were a few working. At Ferniegair Colliery, no work had been done for the past ten days, as repairs were being made. All the other pits were working, and no sign of reduction.
Quarter - A number of the men had left, and the great majority were preparing to remove on Monday, as they had received notices of ejectment. A meeting had been held on Thursday forenoon, and the men were informed that they would get employment by asking it, and signing an agreement for work 12 hours a day. They, however, resolved to remove out of the houses rather than submit to such terms. They were told that the Clyde men had agreed to go in, but this was not believed.
Wishaw - No difference in the district. A very few men had begun work at New Mains, and the Garriongill colliery, also belonging to that iron work was totally idle. The men would not give in and they had been served with notices of ejectment from their houses. [Glasgow Herald 21 July 1866]
Ejection of Miners at Motherwell - In consequence of the miners in the employment of Mr Watson still refusing to submit to a reduction of wages, a large number of them are to be ejected from his houses. [Dundee Courier 23 February 1869]
7 September 1880
CHARGES OF INTIMIDATION. - At Airdrie yesterday - before Sheriff Mair - James Kearney, John Clinton, Andrew Kennedy, Michael Murphy, Patrick M'Guiness, Patrick Carey, Robert M'Dill, Charles Cuffield, John Broadlie, William Flannigan, Patrick Cormick, Michael M'Guighan, Charles Broadlay, and Matthew Steel, in the first case, Bernard M'Kenna in the second, and John Bonnar in the third, all miners residing at Motherwell and Hamilton, were charged with having aided and abetted and acted in concert with a crowd of evil disposed persons, who intimidated a number of miners on their way to work by throwing stones at them, striking them with sticks or bludgeons, knocking them down, using abusive language, and otherwise maltreating them. An objection was made by Mr Rose and Mr MacFarlane, solicitors, Airdrie, who appeared for the prisoners, to the effect that the words "aided and abetted," and "acting in concert with a large crowd of evil-disposed persons" be erased from the complaint. The Sheriff sustained the objection, and appointed the trial to take place on Friday first at 10 o'clock, and fixed the bail at £5 for each prisoner. - John Tonner, collier, residing at Hamilton, and Bernard M'Kenna, residing at Nackerty, were afterwards placed at the bar on separate charges of intimidation - the one at Faskine and the other at Nackerty. They also pleaded not guilty, and their trial was fixed for Friday. John Broadley, jun., and Jas. Broadley pleaded not guilty to a charge of breach of the peace and conducting themselves in a disorderly manner in Addies Square, on the occasion of their father being apprehended on a charge of intimidation. Their cases were also continued to Friday, bail in their case being fixed at £1. [Glasgow Herald 8 September 1880]