We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

The economic and social conditions of lead miners in the Northern Pennines in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Hunt, Christopher John (1968) The economic and social conditions of lead miners in the Northern Pennines in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the lead mining industry of the Northern Pennines passed through a managerial and industrial revolution. Superficially, life in the lead mining dales changed less between 1750 and 1850 than in the neighbouring coal fields and shipyards. The wild and romantic Pennine scenery remained little corrupted by industrialisation. Mining continued to be governed by an apparently unchanged elaborate system of sub contract. But population increased by a factor of three or four, and below the surface ( metaphorically speaking ) social institutions changed fundamentally. Technological advances in underground haulage and in ore dressing at the beginning of the nineteenth century forced organisational changes on the mine owners. In these fields sub-contracting was either abolished, or regulated so closely that the sub-contractors were direct employees in all but name. The contracts governing actual ore getting became tighter, reducing the practical status of the theoretically independent miner to that of an employee. The proportion of agents to workmen increased, allowing greater supervision. The miners were paid more regularly - and were expected to work more regularly. Outside working hours there was little of their social life not influenced by the mine owners by 1850. Education, churches and chapels, benefit societies, even organised amusements were provided or subsidized by the mining companies. But, misdemeanours in private life - drunkenness, fathering a bastard child, etc. - were as much the province of managerial discipline as any offence during working hours. By 1850, at work and outside, the lead miner was dominated by his employer.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1968
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:32

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter