Gloucestershire England Electoral Register 1848 (General)

by Matthewtanash, Sunday, March 11, 2018, 05:12 (1323 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

It that record of 1848, William NASH (b 1806 d 1850, my 3xG-grandfather) at the Miners' Arms at Clay Lane End and his brother Richard NASH (b 1808 d 1848) also at Clay Lane End, were freeminers who were awarded the gale of Old Sling Pit Iron mine in 1841, which was located next to the Miners' Arms.

That Richard was quoted in the inquest by the 1841 royal commission looking into child labor practices, as recorded in their report of 1842:

SLING PIT IRON MINE, near COLEFORD, carried on by JACKSON and Co.
April 13, 1841.

No.45 Mr. Richard Nash, aged 32, Mining Agent to Messrs. Jackson and Co., Sling Pit Iron mine, near Coleford.

“I am a free miner, and let the Sling Pit to Messrs. Jackson and Co., who opened it. I took the Gale of the Crown. We employ 35 hands. There are three boys under 13 years of age, the youngest is nine. He is a billy boy and carries about 60 or 70 lbs. of ore down a steep descent to the horse way. He earns 1s. a day at piece work, under the miner who employs him. I fix the wages, and pay them. The other two boys sometimes cart the ore, and sometimes carry billies. They earn from 1s. 4d. to 1s. 6d. a day. I believe we have no young person over 13 and under 18 years of age. We work by shaft, 106 yards deep, and a steam engine. Our pit has no water as we are on a dry tump. We had bad air all last summer but are now cut down to some old workings, beyond the memory of man and this gives us a better circulation of air. Our boys are healthy. Iron mining is a great deal healthier work than coal cutting. One man had his leg fractured, about six months ago, by the fall of a large stone. No other accident has occurred during the whole five years that we have been working. I have lived always in the Forest, and my father and grandfather before me. They were real old miners. I remember things well 20 years ago and think there is a great improvement in the foresters since then. They are more civilised, and better taught, a sight. Two of our boys can read, the others can not. The two eldest go to a night school within 40 yards of the pit. They pay 6d. a week. The least boy is the son of a widow, who has nothing but what he earns, and has one small girl to support besides. He has no change of clothes but a clean shirt but wears the same on Sundays that he wears in the pit.”

Mem.- The above evidence contains an instance, among many I have met with, of the peculiar destitution of instruction, to which the children of poor widows are subject. Partly from want of means to pay even a small weekly contribution to the school, and partly from inability to procure clothing, such as they like them to appear in, among their less impoverished yoke-fellows. It is a curious fact connected with the Sling Pit, that in the old workings spoken of in the evidence, there was found an ancient shovel, made entirely of wood, but shod with iron. It fell to pieces on being touched.

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