1846-Dec-22: Mansfield Colliery

1George Brown36fall of coal

George Brown and his wife Margaret Miller lived with George’s parents at High Linn which sat on the upper reaches of the Mansfield Burn, above the Mansfield Linn. It was here in 1836 their first son Thomas was born. The young family briefly moved away from New Cumnock where a second son John Miller was born two years later at Sorn, where George worked as a ‘plowman at Castle Offices‘, presumably Sorn Castle.

High Linn ruins with Corsencon in the background (photo Robert Guthrie)

The family returned to New Cumnock and settled at Mounthope, half-a-mile, west of High Linn, where George worked as a “Tyle manufacturer“; the clay probably sourced at the pits near the Hall of Mansfield. At Mounthope three other children were born – William (1840), Elizabeth (1842) and Jean (1845) while during this period George began working at Mansfield Colliery,

He later found work at the Mansfield Colliery and it was here three days before Christmas Day 1846, that he was killed by a fall of coal.

Map 1: Mansfield Colliery | By permission of National Libary of Scotland

Fatal Accident – New Cumnock, 22d Dec 1846 –

At Mansfield Colliery, in the neighbourhood of New Cumnock, this day, one of the workmen, named George Brown, was in the act of undermining that portion of the seam he meant to take down for the day’s “dark,” when it unexpectedly gave way, and crushed the unfortunate man to eternity in a moment. The deceased was a sober, inoffensive, individual, and in the prime of life. He has left a wife and small family to lament their irreparable loss.

Dumfries and Galloway Standard 23 December 1846

He was buried alongside his father Thomas in the Auld Kirkyard, New Cumnock. Although his headstone records he was 42 years old when he died, based on Census Records he was 35 years old when he ‘lost his life in Mansfield Coalworks’.

George Brown headstone (Robert Guthrie)
who died 10th August 1846 aged 83 years

And GEORGE BROWN who lost
his life in Mansfield Coalworks 22d
Dec 1846, aged 42 years
Also ELIZABETH BROWN daughter of
who died at Hutton, Dumfriesshire
3d April 1866 aged 23 years

George’s widow Margaret remained in New Cumnock and in the 1851 Census Records she is recorded as living at Polquheys Hill (High Polquheys?) living with her children William (11), Elizabeth (9) and Jane (6) and earning a living as a woollen spinner. In later years she worked as a dairy maid at Barr, Ayrshire and later at Hutton near Lockerbie , Dumfriesshire where sadly her daughter Elizabeth died and was buried alongside her father and grandfather at the Auld Kirk, New Cumnock.


The British Newspaper Archive
The British Newspaper Archive
[1] Dumfries and Galloway Standard 23 December 1846
Scottish Mining Website
Fatal Accidents
Reproduced by Permission of National Library of Scotland
Map 1: Mansfield Colliery