Mining

 

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Coppull

 

Although it is uncertain when coal was first mined in Coppull, the probate inventory of Edward Dicconson, probably of Coppull Hall, dated 1687, may make one of the earliest references to coal, in the form of a coal cart. (The document DDL5 at Lancashire Record Office, refers to "Edward Dicconson of Coppull Halle", almost certainly the Edward referred to above. It is uncertain however, whether the Coppull Hall referred to is the house now known as Coppull Hall, or that known as Coppull Old Hall, although both would be close to the coal deposits around what later became Coppull Colliery, in the fields adjoining Coppull and Birkacre).

Map evidence shows where the early mines in Coppull were.

It is unclear when commercial mining started in Coppull but Jane Pearson, the Lady of the Manor, was in partnership with local businessmen to mine for coal in the 1760s. Here is their contract.

Jane Pearson had an active mine in Coppull in 1791 and had expressed interest in the mining operations of her neighbour, Sir Richard Clayton, Lord of the Manor of Adlington. He was interested in cutting through a lane in Coppull to extract coal.

When the Manor of Coppull was sold in 1812, the sale particulars boasted of the coal under a number of the plots of land being sold. The description relating to the Coppull Hall estate was as follows: " The estate is known to abound in coal and cannel of a very superior description, a small part of the mines on the northerly side of it having been formerly worked.

In 1833 the only two householders with a coal-related occupation were women. Ann Mason was described as a "collier" and Mary Robinson a "coal merchant". Presumably the latter trade had had a setback because Mary was described as living at the workhouse.

By 1844, the following householders were all listed as coal miners:
Thomas Smith 20
William Cubbin 25
James Masddin 25
John Halliwell 60
James Whittle 30
William Hilton 30
William Pulforth 60
Thomas Banks 25
William Harmsworth 25
James Whittle 30

It appears that they may all have moved to Coppull to work in the mines as none of them appear to be listed as householders in the 1833 census by the Rector of Standish.

By the 1840s, large scale mining was taking place in Coppull, and there was a major colliery explosion in 1852 in which 33 men and boys were killed.