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The Newcastle Weekly Courant from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England • 2

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Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England
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2
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2 NEWCASTLE COURANT, FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 1862. John Oliver, single, water. Another stapple affords a passage from th high main to the but between the yard seam and the high main there appears to have been no means of communication with the exception of the shaft. Closely adjoining the shaft, on the east side, stands a substantial stone structure, containing the machinery employed for keeping' the pit clear of water. The pumping engine is one of the largest to be met with in the coal trade with a power equal to 100 lioi-sna.

Tim lioom l.f i APPALLING ACCIDENT AT HARTLEYNEW PIT. TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY LIVES LOST. modes of operation were discussed by Mr N. Wood, Mr E. Potter, Mr C.

Can-, and others, and it was decided that on reaching the high seam the bratticing would be fixed, and the men, aided by air-boxes, would attempt the penetration of the furnace drift. The crowd about the banks on Tuesday was very great; many sorrowing women and children were amongst them; and many old, experienced men, who in a lifetime of danger and hair-breadth escapes, had learned to look upon such an occurrence as this with a manly and chastened grief, which might have been supposed to be indifference, but for their willingness to ran every hazard in attempting the rescue of their fellow -workmen. the corn bins were found to be empty, many of the men now lying dead had their pockets full of corn. There was only one pony in the seam, and that was dead, but Sod not been touched by the men. The men, he said, were all at the shaft, and the boys were lying among them, side by side with then- relatives.

It is sarcely possible to imagine a scene more touching than this fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, after undergoing unheard of misery and privation in that dreary dungeon, quietly resigning themselves to their horrid and impending fate, their last remaining-conso-lation being that, even in death they were not divided." One man, Mr Hall said, seemed as though he had not died without a straggle, as he was lying with his body extended aiid his hands firmly clenched. Several men then went down the pit for the purpose of carrying out the necessary operations preparatory to removing the bodies and were stationed principally in the high main, so as to be available when requisite, Mr Maddisoii, tho viewer at Burradon, also going down to superintend the work. ASSEMBLAGE ON THE PIT HEAPS. In the course of the afternoon, a meeting of those congregated about the pit was held, and approval of the course pursued by the managers was given. It was remarked that consultations had been held through the afternoon among the viewers and managers, and it was considered quite evident that tho plan of using the cloth brattice had succeeded admirably.

But for that it was agreed, the men might not have got down to the seam for many days. After the sad result of the calamity had become fully known, Mi' John Taylor, of Backworth, addressed a few words to the assemblage. He announced the fate of the men that had been found and, in reply to a question by a voice in the crowd, he held out no hope that any other person in the pit could yet be ahve. Mr Taylor added a few words befitting the serious and solemn nature of the oocasion and his remarks were listened to with almost reverential attention. A thrilling sensation seemed to take possession of tho people at the announcement of the fate of so many of their fellow-creatures, and in many cases their friends and acquaintances.

No demonstration of any kind, however, followed the recital of this sad event, which had brought woe and desolation to so many hearths; the effect produced upon the people being evidently one of calm resignation to the will of Providence, and of deep concern for the mourning families. A desire was, however, expressed by many that some of their number should go down the pit and relieve them from further anxiety and suspense by ascertaining, if possible, the full extent of the calamity. Upon this two brothers, named Richard Boyd and Thomas Boyd, of North Seaton, volunteered for the arduous duty, and at once made the necessary change in their clothing, and went down the pit. With a spirit of dauntless perseverance they prosecuted their search for about two hours, and contrived, during that time, to penetrate further into the seam than any previous party of explorers had then been, having succeeded, in fact, in getting right round it. The air, they said, was good in-by, and was only to call bad when they approached the shaft again on the road out.

Richard, apparently the strongest man of the two nearly succumbed to the effect of the noxious vapour, but was prevented from doing so by his brother, who got hold of him, and literally dragged him to the shaft, assisting him into the slings, and so got him safe to bank. Ou arriving there, they described the scene that presented itself to their gaze as one of the most harrowing description the general appearance of the men inuicatmg that many of them had been dead some time, and were fast approaching decomposition. The hole through the rubbish they described as being so small that it was with difficulty they could get through it, in fact they stuck fast two or three times in their upward passage. Many of the men who had gone down on the melancholy duty of sending the bodies to bank, had to be sent up in a fainting state, the ventilation not atlmitting of their remaining for any length of time together hi the shaft. One or two men, indeed, were all but lost in their humane attempt; but by proper and efficient means being resorted to, and restoratives promptly applied by the medical gentlemen in attendance, they were ultimately restored to consciousness.

Dr. White, of Newcastle Sir Pyle, of Earsdon; Dr. Pyle, of Sunderland; and Messrs. Nichol, Lambert, McAllister, and Ambrose were in attendance the whole of the evening, and were most assiduous in relieving the temporary suffering of the men as they landed from the shaft. It was at first intended to send the bodies direct to bank, but this was found from many causes to be entirely impracticable, the chief of those causes being the impossibility of bringing the bodies through the furnace drift to the shaft, in consequence of the narrow passage through the debris already alluded to; the bad state of the air at present in the shaft; and lastly, the state of the Codies.

It was therefore proposed, in the first place, to repair the shaft and clear away the debris to the bottom, ventilating the shaft as they went on; during which time the requisite number of coffins might be got ready in which to send up the unfortunate victims. It now behoved the managers to make the shaft more secure before the work of taking out the dead was commenced. Accordingly carpenters were employed in constructing a massive and strong crib to shield the sinkers from any fall that might occur, when this was introduced into the pit, endeavours would be made either to force down the obstructing material en mussc, or to enlarge the hole leading into the furnace drift. Coffins would then be taken into the drift, and the bodies would be placed in them and brought to bank. of the pit was exceedingly touching.

The intelligen. of the calamity had become diffused throughout the district, and from all quarters, on foot and by train, parties of men and women, belonging almost entirely to the mining population, kept pouring in towards the colliery. In the afternoon there must have been several thousand persons of all ages and both sexes on and about the bank. The great centre of attraction was, of course, tho pit mouth, and the police had some difficulty in keeping the bank top sufficiently clear to allow the work to be efficiently carried on. Towards the evening of Friday the men who were engaged in clearing the Bhaft heard sounds from beneath the mass of rubbish, which seemed to indicate that the imprisoned miners were using efforts to accelerate their escape.

There was reason to hope that, notwithstanding the destruction of the brattice had interrupted the ordinary ventilation, a sufficient quantity of fresh air was admitted to prevent suffocation, and that the victuals which a portion of the men had taken down shortly before the accident would sustain existence till they could be rolieved-from their painful ami perilous situation. Various sunnises were afloat as to the cause of the accident, which will be fully investigated at the coroner's inquest. During the night the work of clearing the shaft was prosecuted with vigour by relays of men at intervals of two hours; but about ten o'clock tho walls of the shaft gave way, and little could be done until this was bratticed up. In the course of the the workmen recovered two of the bodies of the men who were killed by the falling of the beam. The body of George Sharp, was first discovered, and subsequently the body of George Sharp, sen.

About five o'clock on Saturday morning they came to the body of Ralph Robson. The bodies were sent up to the upper seam. The men who came out of the pit at one o'clock on Saturday afternoon, brought up intelligence that they had got another of the bodies, that of William Brown. It had also been sent to the upper scam, and placed beside those of tho others. A fifth remained to be recovered.

The number of men and boys said to be hi the pit was 215. Tho number of boys was said to be about SO. There were an overman and three deputy-overmen in the pit. The men were in the yard seam. The authorities of the pit had no fears with regard to the ultimate rescue of the men the ventilation was said to be thoroughly good, and no danger of injury to them from water.

The great portion of the men in the pit had been there since one o'clock on Thursday morning, and they had but little food with them. The boys, however, it was thought, brought down some provision with them. The want of food, however, to the whole party was a source of uneasiness. No decided opinion could be given as to the time when the men could be reached; but the most competent au thorities held out hopes that they would bo got out that night. On Saturday, a great number of persons congregated in the vicinity of the pit, the arrival of each train bringing an accession to the number.

A body of the county police, in charge of Superintendent Wookey, were on duty at the pit. Drs. Pyle, of Davidson, Waddle, and M'Callister, of Seaton Delaval, were in attendance at the pit, ready to render assistance. Mr M. Dunn, Government Inspector of Mines, and Mr IS.

Foster, viewer, were at the colliery again to-day, assisting Mr Carr and Mr Humble with their advice and counsel. A number of the men "immured," were said to reside in cottages at the New Hartley Colliery, about two hundred yards from the while others reside at Old Hartley. At nine o'clock on Saturday evening, the intelligence from below was less satisfactory. Mr Coulson, master sinker, who had been down the shaft all day, sent up a somewhat unsatisfactory report. He stated that tho obstruction in tho shaft had become more solid and wedged together as they got down.

The men imprisoned below were hoard during the course of the morning working, and, as the pitmen term it, jowling," in the shaft. The noise ceased during the day and at night several attempts were made to signal them from above the mass of obstruction, but no lvply was obtained. But it was explained that, as the men would not go out of the seam to work at the obstruction in the shaft, they had probably removed all they could, and then retired more into tho workings. The managers of the pit were nfident that there was not the least cause for alarm, unless they should suffer from the effects of foul air. It had been hoped that food might have been got down to them that night, but it seemed that the pump through which it was hoped it might pass was broken.

During tho whole of Saturday strong hopes 'were entertained of the men being reached, or at least communicated with, in the course of a few hours. About ten in the evening, however, an unfortunate occurrence had the effect of postponing that desirable consummation for a considerable time longer. From the commencement of the operations the principal source of difficulty, and consequently delay, was the fall of material from tho sides of the shaft. In some places the pit had been sunk through strata of loose shale, the crumbling material being prevented from falling in by the insertion of a wooden lining or cleading," supported by what are called cribs. The accident of Thursday morning carried away these cribs, and the consequence was that a large quantity of wet shale fell down and became intermingled with tho of the woodwork.

The effect of this was greatly to retard the progress of the work. On Saturday a slip took place, which threatened to overwhelm the workmen' with an additional accumulation of similar rubbish. It was found that the wooden lining of the shaft, immediately above the point at which operations were being carried on, was being forced inwards by the weight of the material behind it. Tinder these circumstances, nothing further could be done in the way of clearing the shaft downwards till precautions had been taken to prevent a catastrophe, which would doubtless have occasioned a further loss of life, and thrown tho work back for a very considerable time. Accordingly, the efforts of the men were at once directed to the removal of the mass of stone which was pressing behind the boarding, and generally to make good the ground they had already gained.

The consequence was that the operations directly connected with their downward progress were virtually suspended for nearly twelve hours. During the night the work was carried on with untiring zeal, under the immediate superintendence of Mr Coulson, master sinker, there being always at hand a band of volunteers, commis- "ons. V. deMean, French Vice-Consul at Blyth; Messrs Nicholas Wood; J. Easton, viewer, Hebburn; Jas.

Mather, South Shields; Hugh Taylor, chairman of the Cool Trade; and E. Potter. Crowds of persons continued to congregate in the vicinity of the pit, and there were several women among the spectators. The greatest anxiety was evinced for news respecting the imprisoned men, and the "bend up" of every rope was watched with intense interest. Mr Telford and some of the most experienced viewers and overmen in the steam coalfield were assembled at the pit, ready as soon as the obstruction was cleared away down to the furnace drift to work their way through it in search of the lost party.

Mr Atkinson, the Government Inspecter of Mines, and a large party of gentlemen experienced in the working of mines, were also on the spot. The anxiety of every one connected with the district became more intense every hour as time wore on, and the fate of the poor men and lads still hung in the balance. Sunday night, the fourth of weary watching by the families of the entombed men, was one of extreme anguish in their homes, though hope and the report of the jowling" of tho buried men in the shaft kept up the hearts of the poor women and children wonderfully. It may be here mentioned that on Friday night the wives and cliildren of the buried workmen wore induced to leave the pit heap, and keep away. "Various suggestions were made as to the best means, of communicating with the unfortunate captives.

It was at first seriously proposed that the other end of the fractured beam should be turned round upon the axle on which it worked, and cast into the shaft, in the hope that its ponderous body falling upon the obstruction would clear it entirely away. This plan was, however, too dangerous to be attempted. On Monday, a telegram was received from a Mr Hill, of Bristol, advising Mr Humble to bore a small hole down the shaft through the dclris, and by means of it send nourishment down to the men. There were, however, difficulties in the way that prevented anything of this kind being done. After many an anxious consultation, the united opinion of the most eminent viewers of the day was that the only practical plan was that adopted by Mr Coulson, and all that could be done was to work it.with the utmost possible vigour.

As Monday night closed in, the harrowing thought pressed itself upon the mind that the men and boys immured in the pit, or the greater portion of them, must already have met a fearful death. The worst fears were believed to be realised; and excitement of feeling began to change into resignation. About midnight, a rumour that the deadly stythe had made its appearance in the shaft got abroad; and there was immediately the most intenBe and violent excitement among the people at the pit mouth. The men became infuriated against the authorities who were conducting the operations; the impression among being that the true state of tilings had been concealed from them, and that tho worst that could happen had already taken place, while they were still continuing their exertions to save those who were already beyond the reach of human aid. To satisfy the men that they were doing all they could, the viewers invited two of the workmen to descend the shaft and satisfy themselves on behalf of their fellow-workmen, that the report respecting the existence of stythe was unfounded.

Accordingly, two of the men, Charles Gallagher and John McLeod, descended; and, during their absence, the men were very much excited, and inclined to take matters into their own hands. After a protracted absence, the two men were again brought up the pit. The report of the two men was emphatically that there was no stythe." Mr G. B. Forster added to the report of the two workmen his own personal assurance that he could see no stythe; but he did not disguise the fact that he feared the deadly fumes were too really there.

With the assurance that Mr Humble, the resident viewer, would personally report to them every two hours the progress which the work made, and the state of the air in the shaft, the rising fury of the men was appeased. On Tueaday morning, at five o'clock, matters assumed a most alarming aspect. The work in the shaft was proceeding in the usual quiet, monotonous style, when suddenly an alarm was raised on the pit heap that Borne of the men employed below had been seized by the stythe. Presently it appeared that the rumour was but too well founded, when a man was brought up in a state of great exhaustion, evidently suffering from the effects of some deadly species of choke damp. Another and another followed, till it was found that almost every man who happened to be in the shaft at the time had suffered more or less severely.

The names of the men thus placed in imminent jeopardy were John Lrddle, Richard Wilson, Richard Pickens, Wm. Coulson, -Matthew Dodds, John Fairburn, Robt. Fairbui'n, and Ralph Maughan. They were at once attended to. by Dr.

Davison and Dr. SVard and all, except Pickens and Wilson, who had to be carried to bed on stretchers, speedily revived under the influence of fresh oh' and cold water, and a little internal stimulant. When sufficiently recovered to tell their talc, the men communicated intelligence which diffused general consternation. It appeared that those lowest down in the pit were working at the clack," when a great mass of the rubbish gave way under their feet, falling away into the lower part of the shaft. The men being slung in ropes did not fall with it, but almost immediately they felt the effects of the occurrence in a stream of stythe which flowed up from beneath, and threatened them with paralysis and speedy death.

The fatal vapour extended its influence up to the high main seam the workmen employed there, as well as those lower down the shaft, being severely affected. By putting forth desperate efforts, most of tlieni contrived to get out before the insidious poison had quite overpowered their muscular energies. One or two, however, had to be brought up in tubs, being so far gone that when they reached the bank they seemed in a state of insensibility. The half-suffocated men were brought up paralysed and stupified into the cabin, where their comrades were waiting to tako their turns at the work. This occurrence seemed likely to realise the most dismal forebodings as to the fate of the captives.

A consultation was immediately held, in which Mr Coulson, MrCharlcs Carr, Mr Humble, Mr Atkinson, and others took part, and at which, after some discussion, a plan of further operations Was decided on. The Bhaft was now understood to bo perfectly clear down to a point within a few feet of the furnace drift, but before anything could be done in the way of reaching that point, it was considered essential that steps should be adopted for establishimr vent'ilati nn in William Oliver, single, sons of ae above. Peter Oliver, single, Peter Ford, nephew of William Oliver. Joseph Humble, married (nephew of under-viewM Ralph Robson, married (killed on Thursday) John Watson, married. Thomas Watson, single, cousin of the above.

Thomas Hepple, single. John Burn, married. Thomas Burn, boy, son of the above. Joseph Nicholson, single. Thomas Dawson, married.

John Dawson, boy, sou of the above. John married. Alexander Richardson, married. George Hill, married. George Cariing, married.

William Logue, married. Patrick Dutty, married. James Duff'y, boy, sou of above. Thomas Robinson, married. James Hiiulmarsli, first day in pit.

Frank Smith, married. William Wilson, a boy, nephew of above. Philip Cross, married. Phihp Cross, single, 3on of above. John Armstrong, married.

Edward Armstrong, boy, I John Armstrong, Boy, )bcnsof above. Edward Elliott, single. Peter Mandersou, married. Peter Nesbit, nephew of above. Andrew Houston, married.

Richard Jl'Lnskey, single. Henry Sharp, married, cousin of George Sharn Thomas Sharp, married, brother of above, a dpnnto John Veitch, married. William Fairhairn, married. George Fairbairn, single, sou of above. Thomas Ross, married.

William Gledson, married. William Gledson, married, 1 George Gleds-on, married, isons of above Thomas Gledson, married, Thomas Gledson, son of above. John Broadfoot, single, stoneman. Walter Miller, married, stoneman. George single, stoneman.

James Hamilton, married. James Hamilton, boy, son of above, George Scurfield, married. John Hodge, snigle. John Wilkinson, married. William Dixon, single.

John McKie, married. Adam McKie, son of above. Robert Kounal, married. Wm. Smith, glassinan, belonging to Seaton Sluice down the pit as a visitor.

uw, William Mcllacoa, single. Thomas Macaulay, married. David -Myher, married. John Bennett, married. Robert Mullon, married.

John Mullon, married. John Douglass, married. William White, single. Robert Weir, single. Henry Gibson, single.

William Tibbs, married, stonemarr. Ellison Elliott, married, stoneman. wSterJMmerma a stoneman brother of Robinson, married. William Tranent, married an. onsetter.

Edward Softly, boy. John Nicholson, boy. William Wilson, boy. William Macfarlane, boy. William Anderson, boy.

Henry Hunter, boy. George Skinner, boy. Robert Dixon, boy. John Harding, boy. James Robson, boy.

John Long, boy. Robert Long, boy cousin of the above. John Cousins, boy, I Robert Cousins, boy, ortbers. Thomas Harrison, boy. James Walker, boy William Walker, tx boy, brothers.

This list gives a total of 205 men and boys whowero working the pit at the time of the accident It cartain that even this large number does not rive the whole, as the names of some of the men were un lggoUtoy couse1uence of there being new hands on INQUEST ON THE BODIES OF THE FIVE MFV KILLED IN THE SHAFT. An inquest on the bodies of Robert Bewicke and tli other four men killed by the fall from the cage was held on Tuesday at the Hastings' Arms ImCseaton Delaval, before S. Keed, coroner. The Government Inspector of Mines for Northum- The following were the jury Thompson (foreman), Roger Stobbs, Robert Tavler WilS Crawford, Juries Michael jS Patterson, John Bel 1 John Alexander, George Banks Robert Banas, and John Wharrier. Jikei Vli0 1 a few briof sentences, do tailed the subject of inquiry, Robert Staunton, heap-keeper at New Hartley Pit, was ealled, and examined by the Coroner He I)laie on Thursday, the 16th.

I was not on the heap at the time, bit was about ten yards to the west of it, walkhiR upon the branches I think the time was 'about a Vttfe eleven o'clock. The engine was then at Ml work The first notice I got was a crack, and I turned aboiVt on hearing it I saw the engine beam go right over and fall endwise right down the shaft. The 2 spear and brattice were all taken along with it There were amen coming up tho shaft at the time. The cage had been sent down to bring some men up It was at the time the men were changing ihe first shift were clianin" There was every exertion made immediately. I went awiv immediately for Mr Joseph Humble, the depute viewer, ami Mr Joseph Short, the engineer Thcv were on the spot a few minutes after.

Every means were speedily adopted to come at the men- who I know were expected up by the cage. I cannot say tbTdari? SOt them- was A Juryman What time did Watson come up' IV tlness He was ahve I cannot say B.C. Grieves: I was up at the house, and it was between eight and nine o'clock when William Sham was got up. juiLj The Couokek to Grieves Was he dead? No he was ahve. Was he much injured Heas a good deal injured, mainly about the face.

Thp PnilfiVffn j-l j.i y. me umernve men, how long was it before they were got up? P.C. The next man got up, half an hour afterwards, was Ralph Rooson. He was ahve nomas i mson was tne next got out ahve Thev were the only three got out ahve. The Coboxer: The five that lost their lives, what time were they got up? About twelve o'clock on Monday morning.

Witness UteplicnsonJ They were drawn up to bank then, but were got out before, and placed in the hisli seam. The Coroner: We may say, generally, that the other five upon whose bodies this inquest is now held were got out a day or two afterwards. Were thev much crushed? P.C. Grieves; I do not know. A Jurymas: None of them but Sharp.

Mr M. Duns You never heard any intimation of the accident before it took place? No never. The CoRO.N'KR said it was unnecessary to have more evidence. He would finish the inquest that day so far as the deaths of these men were concerned. There would be a more particular inquiry in case the men in the pit were not got out alive.

Mr Dunn Do you consider that this should terminate the inquest on those men? Tho Coroner Yes so far as regards these five men. A Juki-man said the jury wished to hear-the evidence of the engineman. Robert Taylor was accordingly called and examined. He said he was engineman at Hartley New Pit. By Mr Dunn I was working the engine at the time the accident took place, i The engine was going at its ordinary speed seven strokes a minute.

It had no more to lift than usual. All the working gear was hi order. I had observed nothing wrong about the engine; it was going very steadily. The ordinary steam pressure is 141bs. to the square inch.

By the Coroner Everything about the engine appeared, so far as I observed, to be perfect. Th beam gave way; but I observed nothing else go wrong. I had stepped across the beam the stroke before the accident. Heard nothing particular when npftm trnva wnv a.iunKn. o---- ---j, win urasn.

Jt tnen ran away to the engme handles and stopped her. I found mo ueam naa Deen DroKen, ana that it had fallen into the shaft, carrying the spear and brattice with it. Mr Dunn There had been something done to thil beam a while before? Yes. Tell the jury what was done, and how long since? I cannot say. I think about a month.

The Coroner What was done to the beam They had it lifted off tho gudgeons. Well, what took place then One of the hydraulics broke. Mr DUNN But it was lifted for the purpose of putting in new brasses Yes, sir. The flOlldNRR Wnst thnt fn 1, J. 1.

vuu wajJA ju wuia. upon xes. Was there anything else deficient at that time? No. Mr Duto Were you assisting at the operation rwas at tho handles. This beam was lifted bodily off Rb seat 'Yes.

It was lifted up so far as to get the old brase3 out ana new ones put in Yes. Was the power sufficient to hold the beam up while changing the brasses It was expected it was, but it gave way. Were there two hydraulics 'There were three of them. Can you tell how far the beam was lifted from its seat when this took place? About three inches. The Coroner Mr Drum sks you if you saw the beam hi that position after it was lifted? No, sir.

Mr Dunn Then you only understood it was lifted three inches? Yes; that is what I heard. The Coroner After the repairs were made, did the engine work satisfactorily? Yes. Mr Dunn But he says the hydraulics failed. What was the consequence of this The beam came down and crushed the chocks down. Could it fall any more than three inches I wa not there.

A Juryman Before your hearing the crash, was the engine working smoothily Yea, sir. The Coroner We are now upon a different thing. You said Ehat the hydraulic 'failed, and that the beam fell upon the chocks. You are satisfied of that from some indication you had when at the handles Mr Dunn You can answer for its having dropped suddenly? When the hydraulics gave way the handles dropped. The Coroner Did tho beam get anv iniury by that? Not that I observed.

Do not you think it might have got some injury by that No, sir. Mr Dunn Did the drop-head not get some injury by that Not till the beam broke. The Cproner: The beam then received no perceptible injury from the fall? Not that I ever observed. you give any further account about the break continued in page 3 yjx vino jnituiime wits mi im mense beam of iron, cast by Messrs Losh, Wilson and Bell. Ever since its formation Hartley New Pit has boon subject to floods; and it is only recently that, by means of the most ponderous machineiy ever fabricated, the miner has been enabled to continue his labours.

Some six or seven years ago, the colliery was completely inundated in consequence of the machinery being too light for tho feeder, and was obliged to be hud in. About four years ago the present pumping engine, probably the largest of its kind in the North of England, was erected. The beam weighs no less than forty tons. Still, notwithstanding the matchless machinery, the water continued to inundate the workings. For iv time it was thought that the sea must have been struck, and the.

abandonment of the colliery was all but decided upon. It was only since they holed into the old workings of the Mill Pit" that the owners have had the satisfaction of seeing their expensive undertaking free of water, and of receiving some remuneration for their capital. PLAN OF THE PIT. The following rough plan of the pit will enable the reader more clearly to understand our description of the working of the mine. For typographical reasons, it is impossible to attempt accuracy in denoting the distances 'J- High Main.

99 Yard Seam. Drift to Low Maiu Water. Portion of Low Main Seam. Furnace Drift. THE ACCIDENT.

One end of the beam of the pumping engine already described worked right over the mouth of the pit and at half-past 10 on Thursday morning, without the slightest premonitory warning, this portion of theheam, weighing about 20 tons, broke and went headlong down the shaft, carrying with it everything in its way. The accident occurred at what is called, in mining districts, riding or changing time, which is, that the men who are in the pit are coming up, and the men at the bank are going down to supply their place. No less than 215 men and boys were in the mine when the catastrophe occurred, and of these only two sets, or about 16 men, had been sent to bank. The third set of eight men were on their way to the surface, when, just as the cage ascended to about half-way up the shaft, the ponderous mass fell 4 1. rni.

1 i i seeni, struck the top of the brattice with such violence that the whole of the massive wooden and iron framework was hurled to the bottom of tho mine. The wood was broken to splinters. The beam, as we have said, struck the ascending cage, and shattered it to atoms; and two of its unfortunate occupants were killed on the spot, and carried far down amongst tho ruins. The survivors who were in the cage, state that they first observed something shoot past them with the velocity of a thunder bolt, and then they found themselves overwhelmed by a perfect hail of broken beams and planks of every description. Of the remaining six, three survived only a short time, and the others were ultimately rescued.

All, however, suffered more or less severely from the falling timber, as well as tho privations they wore exposed to during tho twelve weary hours that elapsed before assistance could be conveyed to them. The mass of rubbish completely filled the lower part of the shaft, so as to cut off all chance of escape by that egress for the men and boys employed in the low main. Had they been confined to that portion of the mine, immediate fears might have been entertained as to their safety, considering the rapidity with which the water must accumulate on the stoppage of the pumping apparatus. As already stated, however, it would be in their power to pass through the stapple leading to the yard seam; and, having gained this higher stage of tho mine, it was hoped they might be able to hold out till assistance could reach them. There were also in the low main, at the time of the accident, upwards of thirty horses and ponies.

These animals, it was supposed, would be in a part of the workings where the water would soon overtake them, and little or no hope was entertained of their being recovered. As soon as the nature of the accident became known, no time was lost in sending for assistance and the pit mouth was soon crowded with noble fellows, who wni-o TviiuiiKini iii euier wie mine, ana render every assistance in their power to rescue the recover the mangled remains of the dead. The viewer of the colliery, Charles Can-, and his assistant, Mr Humble, were soon on the spot, and rendered every aid in their power. Hugh Taylor, of Backworth, was also soon on the spot, and was followed by T. E.

Forster, of Newcastle, M. Dunn, Her Majesty's Inspector of Mines, Mr Coulson the master sinker at North Seaton Colliery, and many other able and scientific men connected with the coal trade. The shattered cage was, after herculean exertions, hrnnrrlif fn flin li-niV Drnr.l.n.l i j. ami lorn as lr it had been manufactured of the weakest tin, instead oi uu strongest wrougirt iron. The runs, about an inch thick, were torn, as if they had been the thinnest of tissue paper.

The men killed in the shaft were, Ralph Robson, George Sharp, his son, George Sharp, aged 16 years Robert and William Brown. A beautiful instance nf the oiuiimi; piKby or an interesting section of the mmors was displayed in the nitslmft Turn nf tlici iron miocKeu out ol the cage were partly buried the ruins which choked the shaft. The elder Sharp could be heard pravin" among the rubbish where he was buried. Thomas atson, who was hanging by the broken cage, heard the moans ivnd prayers of his unfortunate companion and, though much bruised by tho wood that had struck him, he dropped himBelf down the pump on to the rubbish in which poor Sharp was buried, and prayed with him ui.t,l he expired, though every moment Watson himself expected to be engulnhed where he stood. After Sharp's death, Watson scrambled back to the cage, where he hung until he and his other two companions were rescued.

No time was lost commencing operations for extricating the buried miners. The clearing of the shaft was prosecuted with vigour, and by-and-byo the workmen were ehepiW trir. -i; niu uim vi some of the poor fellows below. An attempt was made to Sou ui mem up uy means oi a looped rope, but. unfortunately, the man in iia i.r i 1 I A rr iwwwu uimm ni vroiem; contact with something which threw him out of the loop, and he fell back, and perished when almost jo.i ul jli last, nowever, about eleven o'clock in aunninr.

-A 1 oi me eigne men who had been thrown trom the cage namelv. Thomas Watami Willing SI, lu juupu isoDinson were brought to bank ahve, though all in a state of creat exhaustion. RWyti Jnwl m.r.in.,1 on the head, besides several other severe bruises. The rv vijuci au were moo more or less Bruised, and all three had suffered severely from the cold and wet, to brought to bank, the sufferers were at once consigned Tu, oiu6wu, ui oearara ueiaval. TliAV wprfl in tnn ovnmiotufl -j their being removed to their homes at Old Hartley and accordingly they were removed to the houses of friends in the immediate neighbourhood of the pit.

With these three men came sad tidings as to the fate of the remaining two of the party to which they had belonged namely, Robert Bewick and George Sharpe, jun. These hapless fellows had been thrown con- JnnnI r.l.n 11 Diuoioui jiurrci uunu luc outkiu irutui vlik) blllu3 men who. were saved, and seemed in their fall to have i .1 suffering extremely irom the cold damps of the pit, vn 4V XZ MlllVJlg illUP rtaiUllflJ VUU Vll nuiu human aid. Messengers having been despatched to the neighbouring collieries, all the best men connected with them were sent to the rescue. The gin and jack were ngged, and wrought by an engine, as also the crab, wrought by men and horses.

It was determined not to send the timber and rubbish up to the bank, but to pass it up by meanB of the gin and jack to the upper seam which waB not blocked. But on descend-wL, it was 0lln1 tnt two men could struction at onetime, and in doing bo Smi i BlunS with ropes, and the process was frgeus ani Frida ht Ttousday and the whole of the sYaft wj50rtl.of the men employed in clearing On Mto, tZ ned with unremitting assiduity, the VlBited hy Mr Matthias Dunn, Mr Hnuh Twin- the day; as also by JohnEayk man of the steam rcoal trade Mr viewer of Seaton Delaval ancf CnlJ'i 1 Backworth. These gentlemen made iv, uU ouerea rnerr Bueees- tions as to the most desirable plan of operations 6..,,. olt, JU U1B neigntourliood It is our melancholy duty to chronicle the most disastrous colliery accident which has ever happened in the Northumberland and Ihirham coal field involving tho loss of the lives of two lrandred and twenty men and hoys under circumstances of the most harrowing character. Novel and simple in its cause, yet terrible in its consequences, no calamity of JUie nature has ever visited this district which involved so great a sacrifico of human life.

The appalling catastrophe occurred at Hartley New Pit on the morning of Thursday, the 16th of January. The pit is situated close to the Hartley Junction on the Blyth and Tyne Eailway, and is the property of Messrs Carr, Brothers. On the morning of the fatal Thursday, a pumping engine ef one hundred horse power, probably the largast ever employed in keeping a colliery in working condition, was plying its huge beam of forty tons weight, as usual; when suddenly the beam snapped in the centre, and one-half of its ponderous mass, twenty tons weight of cast-iron, was hurled down the shaft of the mine. The result was sudden or speedy death to five of the men who were ascending in the cage, and a lingering death to two hundred and fifteen men and boys who were entombed in the mine by the choking of the shaft with the pon-derousbeam, and the falling rains which accompanied its thundering descent till its course was stayed by the havoc its own fall had created. How simple, yet how fearful, the calamity The snapping of a single piece of iron was the death knell of two hundred and twenty human beings.

One had supposed that every possible casualty which could happen in connection with coal mining had been developed long ago. Not so this ponderous mass of iron falling like a tlmnderbolt into the bowels of the earth, has taught us that we had not yet ran the cycle of possibilities in mining adventure. On the immediate occurrence of the catastrophe, hopes were entertained that success might attend the efforts to disentomb the buried miners in time to save their lives. The most experienced miners and viewers in the north of England were speedily summoned to "the spot; and laborious and perilous efforts were at once made to rescue the unfortunate ones whose lives were thus endangered. Of these efforts full particulars are given below; and, alas! of their failure.

As day by day passed, the chances of life diminished for those who had thus been suddenly imprisoned in subterranean depths exposed to tho dangers of starvation and suffocation. Of the harrowing excitement of feeling in the breasts of hundreds at the surface, as wearv davs and slefm- less nights stole away, who shall attempt a description 1 Wo attempt it not nor can we sufficiently honour the bravery and heroism of the noble and skilful men who risked their own lives to save their- fellow-beings from a premature and dungeoned sepulchre. These tilings are too sacred for human pen to touch lightly; suffice it for us to know that sanctifying grief and consecrated heroism have their due fruition in a world where calamity, sorrow, and death are known no more for ever. Some high authorities, indeed, were of fYn-minn li Ini-of 4.1. tuv UXlttU XH tilt! pit would be sacrificed but reticence was observed, in order that the men engaged in clearing the shaft should not be discouraged in their exertions whilst there was the most remote chance of a single individual being rescued from death.

It is believed, however, that the Angel of Death completed his work of destruction in the subterranean galleries of the pit on Sunday, at the latest. Kappings, or jowlings" were heard from the imprisoned men on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning, for the last time and it is believed that suffocation from deadly gas had then done its work on the greater number. The excitement around the pit mouth, and in Newcastle, and neighbouring towns on Sunday and Monday, became intense but on the latter day, the worst fears were entertained, and feelings of excitement gave way to sorrow and resignation. On the bodies of the five men killed by the falling of the beam, Mr Coroner Reed opened an inquest on Tuesday. 1 he 'circumstances were simple, but sad and, with the examination of two witnesses, a verdict of accidental death in each case was returned the Coroner characterising the occurrence as one of those accidents to machinery which no foresight could prevent.

The fate of the large body of men imbedded in the ill-fated pit, was still concealed from human ken and for a temporary cessation from the heroic exertions employed for their deliverance, a painful necessity had arisen. Stythe, that source of dread to the miner, had presented itself in a form previously unknown the county but such was its pernicious effect, that two men wiio approached it, narrowly escaped instant suffocation. As to the unfortunate prisoners underground, the only hope was afforded by the supposition that they might have migrated to another part of the pit, where, breathing a purer and a healthier air, they might yet remain in a position of safety. Six long days of suspense and anxiety were relieved on Wednesday. The worst was proved to have taken place.

The dead bodies of most of the men and boys were found lying in the pit. Operations had proved successful in so far clearing the pit that the sinkers and others were enabled to penetrate, through the furnace drift, into the yard seam, where the bodies were lying tliickly strewn over the ground. The slender thread of hope to which the families of the lost ones had clung for so many weary days was broken and now there was woe unutterable in what, but a short week ago, was a happy and prosperous colliery Tillage. Thus perished two hundred and twenty unfortunate human beings. It Is not for us, but for more competent individuals and legally-constituted tribunals, to pronounce a judgment how far censure (if any) attaches to individuals for dereliction of duty in connection with the working of the colliery.

But this brief word we will not refrain from adding. Had the fatal beam been wrought iron instead of cast iron had there been two shafts to the colliery instead of one or had the air stapple by which the miners ascended from the low to the middle seam, been continued to the high main above, the lives of the two hundred and fifteen men and boys in the pit might have been saved. Had any one of these precautions been taken any or all of them being quite practicable this melancholy catastrophe, the source of so much distress and unutterable anguish of sprit, might never have occurred. Simple in tSpwVeVerrible in its consequences, the 2S-nWthafeDrfnl emPtasi3 some equally suuple lessons of precaution as to the tr CRIFTION OF THE PIT west side of tho line It JT7 onthe Brother and the il SS Me88rS supervision of Mr Charies Caw 0" the The colliery' comprises tK Sl fT the yard seam and thelowmain. lUptwevS' that for some time past operations have been entirely confined to the last-mentioned of these strata only two or three men being at the time of the icci' dent employed in the yard seam, and none at ah it the liigh main.

The workings have been carried on by means of a single shaft passing through the yard seam, at a depth of about 70 fathoms, and penetrating to the low main, which here lies about 100 fathoms below the surface. The shaft, which iB of spacious dimensions, was divided into two equal sections by a substantial wooden brattice running through its entire length. One half was used as an upcast, and the other as a downcast pit, the arrangement answering the same purpose in connection with the ventilation of the mine as the duplicate shafts which are employed in many collieries, A short time ago, at the suggestion of Mr Matthias Dunn, the Government Inspector, a communication was established between the low main and the yard seam, independently of the shaft, by means of an au- stapple, within which a ladder was placed so as to afford an easy access from the lowest to the middle stage ol the mine. This arrangement happily enabled the men to escape from those parts of the workings where they would have been exposed to great danger from the accumulation of I MEETING OF PITMEN. Towards three in the afternoon, about 600 men, women and cliildren formed a meeting on the pit bank to discuss the expediency of adopting measures for the relief the women and children, who must now be distressed both in body and mind.

It was feared at first that some violent measures were about to be concocted by the men, in order to obtain even further concessions than those already granted to them. Listening for a short time to the speeches, in the main temperate and feeling, from the president, Mr Richard Fines, of Cramlington, and other men, soon set such suppositions at rest. One man we did not hear his reasons moved a resolution to the effect that all the collieries in the district should be laid in until the men were got out of the pit. The Chairman thought such a proceeding would be both foolish and unjust, and hurtful to masters and men. By acting in such a manner the men would place their own families in want, to say nothing of the necessity for the wants of others being supplied.

By keeping at their work they would be able to give their shillings and pence, whilst the gentlemen gave pounds. Mr T. M. Cathrall, of Newcastle, made a lengthy speech in the same strain; and then another of the workmen proposed, as an amendment, that each man should consult his own inclinations as to working. This amendment was carried, there being only a few hands held up for the original resolution.

After some more discussion, it was agreed, in accordance with a suggestion of Mr Cathrali's, to hold a meeting of delegates, consisting of two from each col liery, in Newcastle, on Saturday, to consider the best measures tor tne reliet or the destitute tanulies. This meeting was conducted in a very quiet, though not in a very formal manner; and no evidence of ill-feeling towards the masters could be gleaned from what was said. An allusion by Mr Cathrall to the necessity for double shafts, met with much favour. The meeting broke up in tho fast darkenine twi light; and, though many went to their homes, a large numuer conwuuea xo nover auouu me neaps. SUCCESS OF THE SINKERS' OPERATIONS ENTRANCE INTO THE FURNACE DRIFT.

During Tuesday night the work was prosecuted with vigour and success. The canvass brattice was found to answer satisfactorily, and the ventilation was so much improved during the night, that the working parties from above wore again able to reach the rubbish, though not to stay any time so as to work at the hole again. Mr Coulson, Mr G. B. Fors ter, Mv Daglish, ana other Kentlemen superintended the carrying out of the work, and it was confidently expecceu tnai tney wouiu ue aoie to reach tne imprisoned men by five or six o'clock on Wednesday evening, ana so De aoie to settle all conjecture as to whether or not they were still alive.

On Wednesday morning, at half-past eleven o'clock, some of the party that were down had to retire hi consequence of another escape of gas. One of these lieorge iimmerson naa, before retiring, succeeded getting into the furnace drift, and when there he found some tools, supposed to have belonged to some of the men that had been working in the drift, but a puff of bad air catching him he had to retire, not, however, before he succeeded in bringing some of IX Al 11.1. 1.1 TT wiL-ftc wuia ttway iviui mm. xxv was KiKen mco tne engine house and attended to by Dr. Pyle, of Sunderland, and shortly afterwards recovered.

It appears from his statement since his recovery, that he got cer the top of the cistern into the furnace drift, when he got so much affected by the gas that he had to be brought to bank. He had succeeded in getting a- great distance down the drift leading 'into the yard seam, and there saw a number of tools, supposed to have belonsed to the immured men. He also observed a portion of timber which had been an obstruction to thorn sawn end 'hacked, clearly indicating that the imprisoned men had been using their utmost efforts to assist in deliverinK themselves from their caotivitv. The presence of gas, however, becoming so strong, he was obliged to retire rather hastily, but not before he had brought away with him the tools already alluded to, and which consisted of two axes and a saw, togo ther with an old buckskin. Tho two axes have since been identified as belonging to John Tranent and Thomas Shan), two of the deputies in the pit.

The same is known to belong to the low seam, and is sun posed to have been brought up by tho men from tlience to aiu tneni tueir meiauclioly tasK or torcini a passage by the furnace drift into the shaft. The backskin was said to belong to one of the two on-set ters of the low seam, namely, George Laws and Wm. Tranent. It was further stated by Enimerson that he neither saw nor heard anything of the immured men, and it was therefore supposed that they must have retireu luruier into tne seam. At the time Iimmerson was at the furnace unit two men, named Edward Da vison and John Bowes, were at the bucket-door, and they stated that it had been so warm that they were unable to remain, and had consequently to retire and lollow iimmerson up.

VISIT OF THE BISHOP OF DURHAM TO THE SCENE. In the course of Wednesday, a number of gentlemen arrived from Newcastle and neighbourhood. Among others, the Lord Bishop of Durham, accompanied by his chaplain, the Rev. Mr Hitchcock, arrived about half-past ten o'clock in tho morning, and at mice entered into arrangements with the resident cleigy for the visiting of tho families of the immured men. His lordship at once commenced, in company with Mr Mason, incumbent of Earsdon, his benevolent and sacred mission.

Several ladies arrived also from adjacent towns for the purpose of assisting the relatives of the men in whatever might be needed in alleviating their sufferings and administering, to their wants of living. Among the gentlemen present were observed N. Wood, of Hetton; Huh Taylor, of Earsdon; Messrs C. Berkeley, viewer of Marley Hill Colliery; Daglish, viewer; M. Dunn, Government Inspector J.

J. Atkinson, Government Inspector T. Y. Hall, mining enguieer, At four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, Messrs Humble, Taylor, and Coulson came up to bank with the intelligence that they had been a short way in the furnace drift, and brought up several tools belonging to tho unfortunate men. They could not, they stated, got more than three or four yards along the drift in consequence of tho gas, which was there so veiy strong that a person could not remain in it alone more than four or five minutes.

Thev nlsn ata.ori that the sides of the shaft in the vicinity of the furnace wore so much fallen away, that they niUBt be timbered to render the work safe. THE YARD SEAM REACHED. DEAD BODIES FOUND At half-past four o'clock tho men just come off the shift stated that they had seen a number of them lying dead on the fumaco drift and yard seam. One of the workmen, named William Adams, on coming up, said that they went into the furnace drift, and there found two bodies lying on the furnace top. They then proceeded further, and there saw more and more bodies, lying about in different directions.

He still pursued his course along the drift, and got into the yard seam, and there the horrid spectacle presented itself of a larger number of bodieB lying on the ground. He still pursued his way further into the seam, baring to step, in so doing, over the bodies, until he came to the two doors; and, on opening them, he saw, to use his own language, the bodies lying thicker and faster." The mournful intelligence soon spread in the immediate vicinity of the pit, and a general rush was made to the pit heap to ascertain, if possible, the dreadful particulars. A report hod been current that a diver from London had gone down and found the men. This report originated doubtless from the fact of the workman named William Adams, who found the men. beinc generally known by the name of London Billy." THE WORKINGS FURTHER EXPLORED.

AFFECTING SCENES. So soon as the above news was sent to bank, Mr Humble, theunder-viewerof the colliery, accompanied by Mr Hall, viewer of Trimdon Colliery, went down the pit for the purpose of exploring the workings as far as practicable, with a view to ascertain the fate of the remainder of the men. At half -past five o'clock a message was despatched by Mr Humble to the effect that more men had to be sent down )i that brought the message saying that they had been all round the seam and the air ma vom- rrnn.i ti.So was done; the mournful preparations for conveying uo uuuioo uu ueuiy uarriea on simultaneously. A large number of new leather straps, usually kept in stock in the harness room, were at once procured, each man taking down somo with him. These straps were for the purpose of slinging the bodies of any who were killed in the pit, it scarcely ever entering into the minds of those in charge that they would be required to such nn extent as at present.

At about 20 minutes to six o'clock, Messrs Humble and Hall came to bank, both suffering considerably from the combined 'effects of noxious air and the sad sight of which they had been the spectators. Both men were very much affected, and had to be assisted out of tho slings, and led to a seat in the horse hole, which had been temporarily fitted up for the purpose of canying on the workings during the last few days, much inconvenience being experienced in sending the men up and down by the stapple. As speedily a3 possible some hot tea, which had been constantly kept in readiness, wbb administered to the suffering men by Mr T. Pyle, of Earsdon, and Dr. Pyle, of Sunderland, who were in attendance at the mouth of the shaft.

In a short time both men were sufficiently recovered to relate what they had seen in the workings below. Mr Humble was visibly affected, and it was only between his half-stilled sobs that the painful recital of the scene he had just witnessed could be obtained from him. His first words, on retui-ning to consciousness were, "Oh dear oh dear so many of my fellow-creatures killed My canny fellows In ajwer to Mr Pyle, he said, Yes, they're all dead ii oply happy. May the Lord have mercy on them Hire the trial was too much for him, for ho agam gave full mt to his harrowed feelings, and was unable to go on witti his distressing story. It considered advisable to load him from the painful scene and get him conveyed liome, which was done, I Mr Pyle accompanying him thitht to watch over his recovery.

Before going, however, he enjoined those left in charge not to allow the men to go further than the first door, "as," he added mom-nfully, "there's plenty of work there yet a bit." Mr Hall, though suffering in an equal degree with Mr Humble, was rather more collected, and from him we learned that they had seen, they expected, everyone in the pit, and they were all dead The men had evidently not had to succumb to hunger, as, although EXPRESSION OF SYMPATHY BY HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. In the course of Wednesday afternoon, the following telegram was received by Mr Carr, the resident newer, from her Majesty Gen. Grey, Osborne, to the viewer, New Hartley Pit, Shields. The Queen is most anxious to hear that there are hopes of saving the poor people in the col-licry, for whom her heart bleeds." To this the following telegram was returned Charles Carr, viewer, to her Majesty. There are still faint hopes of the men, or a portion of them, being recovered alive." On the fate of the men having been ascertained, another message was transmitted to her Majesty, informing her' that upwards of 100 men had been found dead, and it was feared the rest had shared a similar fate.

This kind sympathy on the part of our beloved Queen will alleviate much of the sorrow of the bereaved ones, and will be as a healing bahn to many a wounded spirit. LIST OF MEN IN THE PIT. The annexed list, so far as it goes, will be found correct, though, it is possible that a few names are omitted ames Amour, married, backovernmn. liicliard Amour, boy, son of the above. Thomas Cole, married, a deputy.

John Tranent, married, a deputy. George Tranent, boy, sou of the above. William Pape, boy, nephew of John Tranent. Henry Younger, married, a deputy. John Davidson, married, a roily-way man.

"William Davidson, boy, sou of the above. Thomas Watson, married, rolly-way man. George Wilson, married, rolly-way man. William Telford, married, rolly-way man. Henry Olough, married, a rolly-way man, his first day in the pit.

George Brown, married, brakesman at inclined plane James Stanisby, single. Thomas Rutherford, married. Robert Bewicke (killed on Thursday.) John Bewicke, married, 1 James Bewicke, married, others of tho above. James Campbell, married. Joseph Taylor, married.

William Dixon, married. William Allan, married. George Fulton, married. George Hayes, married. John Coulson, married.

Samuel Birtley, married. Frank Axwell married. William Liddell, married. John Liddell, married. Thomas Liddle, George Liddle, sons of the above.

John Liddle, Oswald Gleghorn, lodger with T. Liddle. Thomas Liddle, brother of John Liddle. Thos. Liddle, son of the above.

William Brown, married, (killed on Thursday.) George Hall, married. Matthew Robinson, married. Christopher Wandless, single, Thomas Wandless, single, Drotaer9. woiiu Yauuiess, stogie. William Rednath.

married. Christopher Graham, married. Edward Rowley, married. Benjiunin Walker, single. James Watson, married.

Joseph Watson, son of above. Winship Jacques, married. Samuel Blackburn, married. Adam Atchison, married. George Thirlaway, married.

Alfred Cheetham, married. James Taylor, single. William Burn, single. Robert Small, single. Thomas Sebastian, single.

boy, rnomas crown, Ralph Brown, Hugh Mason, single. Morn neii, single. George Wade, married, brother-in-law of above. John Ford, married, I Henry Ford, married, Drottier3' William Rutherford, single, 1 John Rutherford, single, urthers. Thomas Weir, mionied.

Thomas Laws, single. George Laws, single, brother of aboTe, an onsetter. Thomas Chambers, married. Clark Chambers, son of the above. Robert Johnson, single, vihDM Joseph Johnson, married, Andrew Morgan, widower.

James Howard, single. James Glen, single, William Glen, boy, brothers. George Glen, boy, Patrick Gwinelly, single. Patrick Sherlock, single. Michael Murray, single.

George Sharp, married, (killed on Thursday). George Sharp, son of tire above (killed on Thursday) J50" son of George Sharp, sen. William Palmer, married. William Alderton, married. Robert North, married.

George North, boy, i John North boy, brothers of the above. Alexander North, boy, Peter Humble, married. John Ormston, married. John Youll, married. Robert'Marley, married.

John Gallagher, married. Duncan Gallagher, brother of the above. Gallagher, boy, nephew of the above. Wilhaui Stanley, singfe. Thonraa Bell, married.

Thomas Bell, boy, cousin of the above. John Nicholson, married. William Kennedy, married. Hugh Riley, married. Thomas Pearson, single.

Patrick Whalpool, single. William Oliver, married. ing all the most skilful men connected with the coal trade of the district. The men continued to work in slings, to prevent casualties from the rubbish giving way beneath. There were never loss than four in the shaft at a time, two at tho high main and the other two immediately above the mass of xlcbrix, and these continued to be rcgularlyielievcd by the sending down of two fresh hands every hour.

Ail tlirouirh the night the workmen were cheered by hearing the imprisoned miners "jowling" from below, that is tosay, making a rattling noise such as they do in working to indicate to one another the parts of the pit in which they are respectively engaged. About seven o'clock, the body of the last of the five persons killed by the falling of the cage that of the boy Bewicke was found, and whs placed alongside the other corpses in the high main. During Saturday night tho excitement at the pit continued unabated and despite the severity of the weather many people remained about the pit the whole night, in hopes of hearing something encouraging relative to the unhappy men entombed alive. Many of these persons had relatives in the pit, and were so deeply interested in the fate of the unfortunate men as to be almost insensible to tho bitter cold. Information of the progress of the clearing of the shaft was at intervals conveyed to tho wives and families of the unhappy men and the state of the poor women is described as truly heartrending, many of them having given up all hopes of ever again seeing their loved ones on thiB side of the grave.

One poor woman had her husband and six sons in the pit, besides Ja boy whom they had adopted. One of the miners had taken a little boy, only ten years of age, down with him to see the pit. As early as six o'clock on Sunday morning, an anxious crowd again congregated around the pit, and it was estimated that from ten to fifteen thousand persons visited the scene of the accident. The workmen had succeeded in overcoming the obstacles occasioned by tho mishap of the previous night, so as to be once more in a position to continue their downward progre.13. Between twelve and one o'clock, a large number of experienced viewers and engineers met in one of the adjoining cottages, to hold a consultation regarding the progress of tho work and the course which it might be most desirable to follow in future operations.

A deal of discussion took place as to whether any thing else' could be done, or any other method of procedure adopted, with a view, if possible, to accelerate the deliverance of the imprisoned miners. The unanimous opinion seemed to be that nothing could be done beyond what was at present in progress. All concurred in thinking that the method hitherto adopted was the Bafest and speediest, or-at all events that the time which would be lost in making any change would more than counter-balance any advantage which might be thus obtained. With regard to the condition of the entombed miners, good hopes continued to be entertained among those best qualified to judge and these were not a little strengthened by the fact, that during the morning the jowling" already alluded to was frequently heard. The ventilation, it was believed, would not have been so much deteriorated as to endanger life, owing to the constant draught which must have been Eroduoed by the downward flow of the water, and the eat of the men's bodies.

As to food, it was suggested that starvation could not take place so long as the horses were accessible, as supposed they still would be. There would also be no lack of light, there being a Bupply of oil and candles in the pit, which, with economy, might be made; to last for a considerable time. During Sunday night there was a continual fall of stone, which, at times, became heavy, and made the work of clearing away the deins very dangerous. Towards eight o'clock on Monday morning, the stone was secured, so that the men were able to work in safety. The work of removing the debris was at no time intermitted the men worked with unflagging energy.

About one o'clock on Monday morning, the bodieB of the five men killed on Thursday were brought to bank, and subsequently removed to their own homes. Tho bodies were not bo severely mangled as, under the circumstances, might have been expected. About one o'clock on Monday afternoon, Mi- Coulson, the master sinker, sent up the cheering intelligence that, from the satisfactory progress made in the operation of removing the rfefira, he hoped to he able to reach the men in two shifts, that iB in four hours. The receipt of this gratifying intelligence caused great joy. Everything was prepared for the reception of the immured men immediately on their release.

Ambulances, stretchers, hot beef -tea, blankets, were all at hand in abundance, and in every cottage in the village similar preparations had been made. The following medical gentlemen were in attendance at the pit, ready to render assistance Drs. Davison, of Seaton Delaval; Pyle and Son, of Earsdon; Ward and Son, Blyth; Ambrose (of the discovery ship Endeavour), Lambert, Waddle, M'AUister, Nichol, and Bennett, of Gateshead. The following gentlemen visited the pit on Monday; The Mayor of Tynemouth (J. 3 Spence, the pit.

To effect this, it would be necessary to put in a temporary brattice from the high main downwards. With a view to such an emergency, Mr Forster telegraphed for a canvass brattice to be sent from Seaton Colliery. Meanwhile operations wore commenced at the top of tho shaft to make the necessary repairs, with view to carrying out the scheme now contemplated. With regard to the fate of the buried men, there wasstill some hope; and this hopeful view was entertained by Mr Atkinson, the Government Inspector, and other viewers of very great experiencee. The gas that nearly suffocated the sinkers in the shaft was not the gas usually emitted in the mine: and.

lwin.n- extremely light and volatile, it would attempt, as an old pitman said, to sail above the ah- in the pit; hence it would find its way into the shaft and not into tho workings. The view now taken was this The men have not been heard "jowling" Bince Sunday afternoon. On Sunday morning, there was a fall of stone in the shaft, which would make the obstruction in the shaft more compact, and cause -this gas to accumulate there. Some of the men, it was thought, might have come into the shaft; and, having either felt the effects of the gas or been stricken down by it, the body of the men and lads might have returned more into the workings, where the air would be comparatively pure. But, after all, this theory was only like the last plank held by the drowning mariner.

In the course of the forenoon, by way of experimenting on the state of the air, a live cat was lowered a considerable distance into the shaft, and retained there half an hour. On being brought to bank, the animal was slightly affected with giddiness and numbness of the limbs, but did not appear to have sustained any serious injury. The experiment sufficed to show that the foul air still existed in the shaft but of course, it could not be taken as a criterion with' respect to the quantity to be found hi any particular part. Under theBe circumstances, the workmen confined themselves to repairing the upper part, of the shaft and making preparations for putting in tho brattice, to be brought from Seaton Colliery, near Sea-ham, It was conveyed fran. Percy Main to the pit in a special train, kindly granted for the occasion by Mr Laycock, ohairman of the Blyth and Tyne Railway Company and arrived about one o'clock on Tuesday afternoon.

The pit heap was again visited in the course of the day by a number of the gentlemen whoso names have already been mentioned; and Mr Joseph Watson, of Newcastle, with his wife and another lady were visiting among the cottages of the bereaved families. Many of the poor women have suffered dreadfully. One, indeed, Mrs Liddle, having a husband and three sons among the loBt, suffered from hysteria. It was hoped that the brattico, when fixed, would be the means of enabling the men to cany a supply of air down the shaft, and thence into the workings. The upper part of the shaft, between the Burface and the high main seam, had never been cleared since the accident, but was now being done.

-It was determined that the stapple would In future be the upcast shaft, and, with this object, a tunnel was made for the purpose of carrying the return air over tho furnace belonging to the boilers, and into the chimneys. Up to this time, the men who conducted the operations had gone down and come up by the stapple, which was in the engine houBe. For the future, however, it was intended they should ascend and descend by the coal shaft. At noon on Tuesday, when the shift was being ohonged, the men employed in clearing tho shaft between the surface and the high main seam, reported thecontinued presence of the noxious gas, and said that it was not without some difficulty they were able to continue their work. The gas, indeed, was so strong that no person could get nearer than within about twenty -eight fathoms of where the men were employed in the morning, when they had to be brought up.

The effects of tho stythe upon the sinkers was news almost too dreadful to communicate to the tempestuous crowd around the pit heapB. That which could not be diBguised, however, was soon seen, for ill-news travels fast and the anger of the multitude at being kept in the dark, as to the real danger, became so tumultuous as hardly to be controlled either by the assurances of further exertion, or by the despondency of blighted hopes. It was pacified but then appeared the necessity of an entire cessation of the shaft workings for some hours. To a public bursting for every scrap of information, and joyfully accepting anything which told them of the slightest progress, this new intelligence was more unbearable than tho excitement of successive reports of the active operations. To the pitmen from neighbouring collieries, (many of which had been laid in), and to the wives and children of thoso in the pit, it was no less so.

It was Boon known that such a turn of affairs had been to some extent provided against that bratticing for the shaft would, as soon as the strength, unflagging energy, and skill of the niost skilful men of the north couW make it, be fitted the shaft; and that with the use of air-caps, even the stythe would not daunt the courage of the volunteers and their leaders. Some hours were to pass before that could be done. During the interval the continuation of tho present, or tho adoption of other,.

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About The Newcastle Weekly Courant Archive

Pages Available:
47,740
Years Available:
1713-1900