1851-Nov-21: Mansfield Colliery

1John Campbell?fall to bottom of shaft
2George Houston47fall to bottom of shaft

The accident at Mansfield Colliery was summarised in the following newspaper article.

Fatal Colliery Accident at Mansfield Colliery, New Cumnock on Friday last. Two workmen being hauled up the shaft when half way up a rock fell from above causing them to fall to the bottom of the shaft killing both George Houston and a John Campbell. Houston left a wife and family. Campbell was unmarried                            

Ayr Advertiser Newspaper dated Thursday 27th Nov., 1851]
By Permission of National Library of Scotland

1. John Campbell

I have been unable to identify John Campbell from the Census Records etc. There is a John Campbell, aged 14, coalminer, Mansfield Cottage in the 1851 Census Record but he also reappears in the 1861 records at the same address.

2. George Houston (1804-1851)

George Houston was born in 1804 at Skerrington, Old Cumnock the son of George Houston and Jean Campbell. In 1829 while living at Abbey Green, Lesmahagow he married Jean Gilchrist and that year a son George was born at Mutton Hole. Two years later a daughter, Margaret,  was born before the family moved to New Cumnock where they settled at Mossback, a steading near to the farm of High Polquheys and just over a mile south-west of Mansfield Colliery. Here they had two other daughters Helen and Nicholas followed by five sons George (first son George had died in infancy), James, John, Alex and David.

Mossback ruins with High Polquheys in the distance (Robert Guthrie)

His son George, erected a headstone in the Auld Kirkyard, New Cumnock in memory of his father George aged 47-year-old and his sister Nicholas who died three years later, aged 12 years old.

Headstone of George Houston (Robert Guthrie)


British Newspaper Archive
[1] Ayr Advertiser Newspaper , Thursday 27th Nov., 1851
Reproduced by Permission of National Library of Scotland
Ayrshire, Sheet XXXVI (includes: Auchinleck; Old Cumnock)
Survey date: 1857   Publication date: 1860
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