Deaths and injuries at Parys and Mona Mines.
The Mona Mine manuscripts contain a number of references to Miner’s widows appealing to the Marquis of Anglesey for a small pension following the death of a husband in the Mona Mine. In some cases, individual appeal letters were written with some additional information being noted by agents in the mine. There are a number of widows in the lists of pensions being paid up to about 1820.
In 1821 the miners elected Dr Roose as the Doctor under which they would receive treatment for injuries sustained at the mines. However, by 1831 up to three doctors where treating the miners.
In February 1831 Sanderson visited the mines and wrote a letter to Treweek complaining of the ” Reprehensible inattention towards sick and hurt miners on the part of three medical attendants. Want of experience and surgical skills is imputed of one of them leading to want of confidence in him by his patients. In the other whatever skills, he possesses he is utterly unable to exercise from habitual drunkenness. The third, and only other medical man, is in the predicament of the second. Seldom sober but fortunately skilful when not drunk. Miners are taxed, well or ill to pay Mr Williams and Mr Roose for general attendance. Mona Mine agents must ensure that Medical aid is available ” (MMS 2655)
Later in 1831 a Dr Webster, the son of the assay agent arrived in Amlwch and miners were allowed to attend him in a case of accident while still being “taxed” for medical attention. From 1845 onwards the miners were free to choose their own doctor with the cost being paid for by the company. In the early parts of the 19th Century Lord Anglesey paid for some injured mines to go to hospitals in Liverpool, Bangor or Chester. (MMS 998)
In the first part of the 19th century many older miners, who had given 30 or 40 year service to the mines also appealed for a pension because of disability many caused by accidents in the mine.
Around 1860 there seems to have been a sudden increase in this sort of appeal as a policy of retiring older miners and bring in younger fitter men seems to have been started. This left some older miners with no other means of support than to appeal for pensions.
Some of the Mona manuscripts have additional explanatory notes written by Evan Evans the chief Clerk of the Mona mines. In many he seems to make recommendations as to whether a certain appeal for a pension should be allowed. Unfortunately, apart from a few lists of pensioners and the payments they received we do not know if some of the people who appealed to the Marquis and were recommended by Evans received any money.
In 1850 a new act of parliament was past which meant that an inspector was appointed for all mines. The first inspector for North Wales was Thomas Fanning Evans who eventually also become a shareholder and owner operator of parts of the Parys and Mona mines.
Some of the information on this page has been obtained from a data base of deaths and injuries complied from the Appendices of the Mine Inspectors reports for the years 1850 to 1914. All of the reported injuries for this time period where from the Mona Mine. For more information see the web page at Ian.winstanley (wkweb5.cableinet.co.uk)
From the data in these lists it can been seen that losing your sight from an exploding gunpowder charge was always a problem. Fracture and broken limbs often lead to disability later in life. The other common accident seems to be a rupture Many of the older and infirm miners were set to work in the precipitation pits. This work seemed to be a sort of “light duty” for injured or frail workers. Some of the men in this area were still working aged 70 after given up to 65 years’ service to the mines. This is in contrast to copper miners in Cornwall of the same time who rarely survived beyond 40 years of age.
List of recorded injuries and deaths at the mine
|Hugh Williams||26/5/1776||Miner at Parys who died when “A piece of earth fell and crushed him” (Inquest report at Llangefni record office)|
|Robert Edmund||27/7/1776||Miner at Parys died due to “an accident / misfortune”.(Inquest report at Llangefni record office)|
|Richard Jones (Burwen)||1794||Widow applied for pension in Feb 1817 Husband had been killed at mines 23 years ago (MMS 3175)|
|1796||Widow applied for pension in Feb 1817 Husband had been killed at mines 21 years ago, had initially received a pension of 2/6 per week for 1 year. (MMS 3175)|
|Richard Hughes||1796||Widow applied for pension in Feb 1817 Husband had been killed at mines 21 years ago, had initially received a pension which was then discontinued. (MMS 3175)|
|Hugh Jones||1802||Widow applied for pension in Feb 1817 Husband had been killed at mines 15 years ago, (MMS 3175)|
|William Hughes||11/3/1803||Widow Ellen received £2/10/6 as husband was killed at Drift mawr.(ucnw 1516)|
|15/7/1803||Six widows received a total of £1-15-0 from MM as pension for 3 months. (UCNW1516)|
|Richard Joseph||1804||Widow applied for pension in Feb 1817 Husband had been killed at mines 13 years ago, (MMS 3175)|
|Hugh Jones||30/11/1805||Widow received £2/7/6 as Husband died consequential to injuries at the mine. (UCNW1516)|
|G.Williams||26/7/1806||Widowed after being hurt at Drift mawr. Received £310/6.(UCNW1516)|
|Hugh Williams||25/11/1806||Widowed after being hurt at Whimsey shaft. Received £3/7/6.(UCNW1516)|
|Richard Williams||4/11/1807||Widowed after being hurt at Boundary shaft. Received £3/7/6.(UCNW1516)|
John Robert Pritchard
|2/12/1815||Pension of 2d per week given to widows of miners killed at MM (MMS 3174)|
|William Hughes||Feb 1817||Widow applied for pension. He had given 40 years’ service Fractured his ribs in one accident and lost eye in another. Had one son killed and another maimed at MM ( MMS 3175)|
|Unknown Widow||27/11/1817||Widow petitioned Lord Anglesey for assistance after her husband had been killed by a fall of stone.(MMS 1302)|
|William Hughes||28/11/1817||Father had been killed in the mines and son Hugh Hughes “had been brought up in the mines” He was now 17 and worked in the kilns for 9d/day. This was not sufficient to keep him in cloths which did not last long in the acidic fumes of the kilns.He asked for a pay increase.( MMS 1304)|
|Robert Evans||27/7/1818||Widow of miner who had given 45 years to the MM before being killed in an accident at work, petitioned Lord Anglesey for assistance in keeping herself and three children. son works for 8d/day in precipitation pits. (MMS 1301)|
|Robert Edwards||27/7/1818||Widow petitioned Lord Anglesey for assistance after losing husband to falls at the Mona mine after 19 years’ service and having 2 children to raise. (MMS 207)|
|24/9/1820||Widow Jane of penysarn applied for pension as her husband had worked at MM for 10 years. Around 7 weeks ago he had been working in Lucky shaft in the hillside. He had been stamping his hole when the fire took and a large quantity of rock broke and flew against his body and face, which crushed and bruised him causing him to die within two hours. (MMS316)|
|David Owen||19/10/1820||Killed at Sanderson shaft in consequence of rope breaking as he was lowered down the shaft to his work. leaving wife and three children ( MMS 317)|
|Mona mine pension list||28/9/1822||
of the following receiving pension ( MMS3177)|
Richard Jones, Richard Williams, John Evans, William Williams, John Rodgers , Thomas Roberts. 37 other living pensioners listed.
|Owen Lewis||21/10/1824||Late tennant of Ty newydd, Tymod who met with a premature death whilst working at Parys Mountain leaving a widow and 9 children. Aged 50. (Gravestone in Llanelian churchyard)|
|Mona mine pension list||1832 – 1839||
widows of these miners are recorded as receiving a pension of about 8
shillings a quarter from the Marquis of Anglesey. (WDAAK/21) Dick
Williams, John Evans|
Will Williams,John Rodgers
|David Jones||3/3/1859||Died age 25 Engine driver Talhirion, Hugh Hughes and son, Fell between the pinion and spurwheel of the engine.|
|Hugh Griffiths||Oct 1859||Was being hauled up a shaft at the mine when it is thought that the rope was let loose out of jealousy as he also farmed Glanrafon farm in Penysarn. He fell down 200 feet and broke “every bone in his body” he lived groaning for two more years. His son age 10 had to start work as a carter. His first job was to carry dead bodies from the Royal Charter wreck which occurred 25/10/1859. (Information from a relative Idris Jones gaerwen)|
|Roger Pritchard||8/7/1861||Tyddyn Engan,Yr hwn a fu farw mewn canlyniad i niwed a gafodd yn ngwaith newydd Mynydd Parys trwy damaid pylor 43Y ( Died following accident with gunpowder) (Grave stone at LLanellian)|
exploded in ore crushing plant killing 7 workers.|
(Quoted in Masts and Shafts, E.W.Rowlands)
|Unknown||Oct 19th 1870||
Pary’s Mines Copper Works, Nr Bangor. Anglesey. Cornish Boiler, 26’0″
long x 5’6″ Dia. Flue [i.e.furnace], 3′ dia. Load on safety valve – 23
lbs. [23psi] Effect of explosion – Shell rent open Cause – External
corrosion. 1 Killed; 8 injured. (All This information was supplied by a Mr
Martin) Newspaper article:- BOILER EXPLOSION IN WALES (from our own
correspondent). While the men and women employed at the Paris [sic]Mine
Copper Works, Amlwch, were at dinner in the engine-room on Wednesday, the
large boiler measuring 25 feet in length and about seven in circumference,
suddenly burst. The doors, windows and roof of the building were blown to a
great distance, and the boiler lifted up, turned round and dropped down again
in it’s bed. As soon as the dust and smoke cleared it was found that some of
the men were completely buried in the debris, from which, with some
difficulty they were extricated, half suffocated, bruised and scalded. Nine
or ten persons have sustained injuries; three of them, John Owens Nebo, Hugh
Jones, and his son, a lad of eight or nine years of age, being still in a
precarious state. Fortunately, the workpeople were at the opposite end of the
room to that occupied by the boiler, else the consequences might have been
much more serious. .|
(Information supplied by David Barrett)
|E Jones||24/5/1870||Carter at Madyn farm killed age 18. (Burial records Amlwch)|
|Unknown||29/10/1870||A boiler on a coal haulage incline engine at Amlwch Port exploded ,killing a workman.|
|Hugh Jones||29/11/1873||Died age 18 labourer, Mona Mine Company, Falling down a working place underground.|
|Joseph Jones||26/11/1875||of Dafarn Drip who departed this life because of an accident at Parys Mountain aged 18. Grave stone at LLanelian)|
|Bryan Williams||23/3/1969||Aged 14 died after an accident on Parys mountain.|
|1785-1788||Total of £244/16/3 paid as Allowance for workmen hurt at mine and surgeon attending them.(MMS)|
|10/3/1792||Rock fall at MM making it unsafe to go underground for a few weeks. Reported by John Price mine agent, one man injured.|
|Joseph Parry||1798||Had worked in Parys open cast and then at old Whimsey in Mona mine when an explosion deprived him of his sight. He was sent by Thomas Williams to Liverpool and then London where he regained some sight. However, by 1824 he was blind again and made an appeal to the Marquis of Anglesey for a small pension. This was not forthcoming (MMS490)|
|Richard Thomas||20/4/1801||Received 7/- as he was hurt at Drift Mawr. (UCNW 1516)|
|Lewis Williams||1/10/1802||Received £1-1-0 to go to Liverpool infirmary after he had been hurt at mine. In August 1803 John Smith received £2-13-0 for maintaining Williams at the school for the blind. a similar payment was made 6 months later. in 1804 in July 1805 a payment of £2/17/6 is recorded towards the funeral of Lewis Williams (UCNW 1516).|
|28/1/1803||Payment of £3/7/0 to Evan Thomas for attending to sundry injured miners. (UCNW1516)|
|14/9/1803||Dr Morris of Chester paid for examining J.Rowlands eyes.(UCNW1516)|
Hillside and received 10/6 as pension. (UCNW1516)|
Also payment to Evan Thomas Bone setter.
And Lewis Morris education at Blind asylum.
44 persons either widowed or injured at the Mona mine and receiving
Widows received 2/- per week and injured miners 2/6 to 7/- per week.
|Gabriel Owen||5/11/1816||Petitioned Mof A for pension after working upwards of 30 years and met with two disagreeable accidents underground during the last 14 years. Fracturing one leg making him incapable of earning for many months while being treated by Dr Jones. Later he lost the use of both eyes by “an explosion in a hole” in the works and that within 4 1/2 years. he has since been led by his son to the mine every morning to look for work, he asked to be included as a pensioner. (MMS168)|
|John Robyns||1817||Surface agent with 30 years’ experience at MM. He was wheeling a barrow with copper he had picked from the waste heaps. He lost his footing and fell down and so badly bruised himself that he was not able to work again. Died 25/6/1820 when widow Elizabeth applied for a pension. (MMS318)|
Pension Applications Feb 1817|
43 service severely hurt and crippled.|
Aged 62 44 years, severely hurt twice.
Gadfa. Aged 77 43 years ruptured.
Cerrig man 50 years several times seriously hurt.
Aged 73 fractured leg after 35 years.
Penmaenbach Aged 51 33 years fractured thigh and leg.
Ty canol. Aged 83 worked at MM from start. Never injured.
people receiving assistance ( MMS 3175)|
Owen Ellis aged 77 , 4/- per week after 38 years in mine.
Gabriel Owen aged 46 2/- per week with 27 years in mine.
Robert Williams 3/1 per week 40 years in mine.
|Hugh Thomas||18/9/1817||Injured when hot copper ore fell on him while working at the kilns. He had worked for 30 years at the Mona mine and petitioned Lord Anglesey for some light work to keep his family. Following the accident at the smelters be had been 26 weeks on crutches and then 17 weeks without work.(MMS 1302)|
|Thomas Gaynor||1820||Underground sub agent at Mona Mine who was made Tally man due to disability.|
|July 1821||Two men scorched in face with gunpowder as rock cannon where set off to celebrate the coronation of King George IV. ( North Wales gazette 26/7/1821)|
|William Fraser||8/11/1822||Had been employed at MM & PM for 42 years and very seriously hurt twice underground. Now 75 and too weak to work at mines. Asking for some light work such as tallyman or counting carts. (MMS 419)|
|Robert Williams||19/9/1822||Met with an accident in the mines which means he has lost the use of his eyes. His medical attendant in Liverpool thinks that he will regain the site of one eye. Asking for help to live in Liverpool until he recovers. (MMS420)|
|Cullen Bawden||5/10/1825||Friends Petitioned Lord Anglesey for ” the same allowance as those who have the misfortune of being injured in the mines” Cullen had worked for 12 years and lost his left eye and wounded left arm and now sells mugs etc. but cannot maintain himself, wife and 3 children. He had received 5/- per week while under the hands of the surgeon at Liverpool. (MMS641)|
applied for pension. he had worked at MM for30 years. in 1847 he had
fractured his leg and arm making him totally disabled for the rest of his
Evans Evans added a note to the application saying it was ” far from correct” Michael had suffered an accident but regained his strength and returned to work at the mine. He then left for greater wages on the Chester and Holyhead railway.
Evans recommended ” not to allow the poor woman anything permanent or weekly for it would form a precedent and those poor widows o,who’s husbands lost their lives in the mine, who unfortunately are numerous, would be at once sending petitions to his lordship.” (MMS 3166)
|Mar 1839||Men aged between 70 and 83 who had all been employed at both the MM and PM for over 40 years. They had been dismissed from light work at the pits and were asking for pension. Thomas Beer replied that as their disabilities could have been caused at PM his lordship could not supply them with a pension. (MMS 3614)|
|July 1850||Capt Dyer records that he had an accident in July 1850 and was now totally blind but continues to work on his small holding of Capel Bach Rhosybol. Had received £30 compensation and so no pension. he was grandson of a miner killed at the mine. (MMS3617) 18/5/1860|
|Aged 69 with 42 years’ service. Overseer at pits after severe underground accident.(MMS 1882)|
|Aged 66 with 40 years’ service. Underground injuries now let water in and out of precipitation pits.(MMS 1882)|
|Aged 68 with 40 years’ service. Ruptured while working at precipitation pits. (MMS 1882)|
|Aged 62 with 55 years’ service. Received slight injuries three times underground. (MMS 1882)|
|Aged 82 with 40 years’ service. Received rupture injuries while underground. (MMS 1882)|
|Aged 76 with 65 years’ service!! Received rupture injuries while underground. (MMS 1882)|
|Aged 70 with 48 years’ service Injured at these works.(MMS 1882)|
|Aged 74 with 62 years’ service very feeble has been dismissed from the mines twice for bad conduct.(MMS 1882)|
|Aged 66 with 56 years’ service Received hurt underground..(MMS 1882)|
|William Hughes Parry.||
|Aged 63 with 49 years’ service Received hurt underground..(MMS 1882)|
|1863||Royal Commission on Mines Dr Parry of the Mona mine and Dr Hughes of the Parys mine describe the respiratory problems caused by the sulphur and vitriol works.|
|William Parry||7/11/1881||Injured aged 24. Mona Mine Company, Explosion of a charge of powder which had missed fired while illegally tampering with it. One eye slightly hurt. 3days off work.|
|William Allen||7/11/1881||Injured aged 22. Mona Mine Company, Explosion of a charge of powder which had missed fired while illegally tampering with it. Index finger of right hand broken. 1 month off work.|
|Owen Owens||11/10/1882||Injured age 30, Mona Mine company. Six holes had been charged with dynamite. When fired only 5 reports were heard. Thinking that two holes must have gone off simultaneously the men returned to their working place, when the last hole exploded. face and eye slight injury. 2 weeks off work..|
|Owen Thomas||26/3/1883||Injured aged 25, Mona Mine company. He was boring a hole in his pitch when some loose stone fell on him and broke his arm. 6 weeks off work.|
|Richard Williams||31/12/1884||Injured aged 47 Mona Mine company. A plank which he had put up to stand on turned over and he fell 6 or 7 feet injuring his head slightly. 2 days off work.|
|Evan Hughes||3/2/1885||Injured age 16. Trammer at Mona Mines. he stumbled over a rail and fell 7 or 8 feet over a tip injuring his foot. 3 Months off work.|
Pension applications 1866|
(MMS2021) Policy to replace older men.
75. 42 service unable to walk to mine|
Aged 78.63 service badly ruptured always worked in MM
Aged 55. 42 service Lost leg in accident at MM
Aged 75 43 service Incapacities by injuries.
Smelter 65/43 always worked in smelter badly burnt.
Aged 70/54 service Suffered many injuries and illnesses.
Aged 79 60 years. Smelter Asthmatic.
Aged 74 54 service. Attended kilns for years now ruptured.
Aged 72 52 years Injured arm by accident at mine.
Aged 75 64 years. Always at mine. Suffered serve accident.
Blinded by accident at the mine.
|William Williams||Superintendent of the Mona Smelting works on 1881 census. He was injured and rendered a cripple while in work, got ten shillings’ compensation and the sack. (Information supplied by descendant Hugh Gibbon.)|
|William Allen||Before 1928||Lost his right hand following an explosion with black powder whilst working underground in the Calciners shaft.|
|Richard Jones||1930s||Mine worker who fell part of the way down Gwen shaft. He landed on staging and had a bad chest injury. He would not let local doctors work on the injury claiming that the copper water would keep it sterile and help it heal.(Information supplied by Grandson Len Jones)|