Margaret Mantaj
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Fatality at Steetley Colliery Gathorn BARTHOLAMEW


Inquest and verdict

On Saturday afternoon an inquest was held by the District Coroner (Dr John Housley), at the Golden Ball Hotel Worksop, on the body of Gaythorn Bartholamew, aged 15 a colliery pony driver, who met his death on Friday morning last in a somewhat extraordinary manner, as the following evidence will show. The jury consisted of Messrs. John White (foreman), F. Mallender, J Preston, J Stevenson, J. Nutall, Henry Simpson, Robert Platts, J.B.Spencer, Frederick Eason, Joseph White, M.Marks and T.H.Hatfield. Mr W.H. Hepplewhite, inspector of mines, Nottingham, was present and Mr.R.E.Jones (Whitwell) represented the company.

The first witness was the Frank Bartholamew the unfortunate lad’s father. He said he lived at 24 Clumber Place, Worksop and was a collier. He recognised the body that had been viewed as that of his son, who was a colliery pony driver, 15 years old last birthday. He was employed at the Steetley Colliery. Witnesses last saw deceased alive about 5 o’clock on Friday morning. He passed him on the road as he was going to work. He was in good health. He had been at the colliery about 13 months. He had never made any complaint to witness as to the nature of his employment. The lad was generally healthy, and was not subject to fits.

Walter Richardson said he lived at 66, Norfolk Street, Worksop and was a day labourer employed at Steetley Colliery. He knew the deceased by sight. Witness was on Friday driving down number 8 road and Bartholamew was on the same road. They generally ran with four tubs, and took the empty tubs to No8. Three horses were driven on the road. There were four stalls. The road was very steep, and the horses had to pull hard all the way. Witness last saw deceased about ten minutes before the accident at the forty-gate end. That was about seventy yards from the place of the accident. At that time Bartholamew was driving with three full tubs. Mr. Hepplewhite: had he got a light? – Witness: Yes - Mr. Hepplewhite: Did any conversation take place between you? - Witness: No, sir. – Witness further stated that deceased was walking in front of the horse when he last saw him. – Mr. Hepplewhite: - Are you allowed to ride? – Witness: Yes, sir. – Mr. Hepplewhite: No one prevents you? – Witness: No, sir. Mr. Hepplewhite: Where do you ride? - Witness: On the tub. Richardson continues that ten minutes after he went down the same road, and found deceased under two tubs. – Mr. Hepplewhite: What did you do? – Witness: I spoke to him, but he did not speak back. – Mr. Hepplewhite: Was any part of the tub on him? – Witness: You could just see his legs. The second tub was across his stomach. His legs were hanging outside the rails altogether. – The Coroner: Was the wheel resting on his body? – Witness: No, sir; the axle. – The witness said he went for help to the engine room.

David Burbridge walked back with him to the scene of the accident. – Mr. Hepplewhite: Was the lad dead there? – I think so. – Can you account for him getting under the tub? – No, sir. – Do they turn the points in that particular place? – Yes, sir. - How do they do this? - They stoop down. – Was the deceased likely to be knocked down by the horse? – Yes, he might have been. – You have never been knocked down? No, sir. – Mr. White: Is the road fairly level? – No, it is not. – Are you likely to stumble? – You might do that. – Was the horse driving a quiet one? It is quiet, but middling fast.

David Burbidge deposed that he lived at 13, Frederick Street, Worksop, and was a day hand at Steetley Colliery. He knew the deceased, but knew nothing regarding the accident, no further than he saw the lad lying underneath the tubs. It was 10.30 when he was fetched by Walter Richardson to the 36 gate end. Richardson told him that he should follow him directly, as he thought there was a lad underneath the tubs, who, he thought, was dead. Witness immediately went with Richardson and saw deceased. His legs were underneath one tub, and his chest under the other. – Mr. Hepplewhite: Was the whole of the body under the tub? – Yes, sir. – There was no part outside? – No sir, nothing. The tub end was on top of his chest. – Was the horse attached to the tub when you found him? – Yes, sir. - What sort of road is it? - Good enough as far as height and width is concerned. – Was the deceased liable to stumble over the sleepers? – No, sir. – Witness added that the roof was 6 feet from the ground, and that the tubs were about 3 feet. There was plenty of room for the boy to sit on the tubs.

Joseph Wingfield said that he lived at 164, Cheapside, Worksop. He was employed at Steetley pit. He did not know the deceased. He was fetched by Burbidge about 10.30 on Friday morning to 36 junction. When he got there he saw deceased under the first and second tubs. The lad was on his left side, looking "in by". He was entirely between the rails. – Mr. Hepplewhite: No part was outside the rails? – None whatever. The end of the tub was resting entirely on his right shoulder, and the side of his neck was on the sleeper. He had the full weight on his shoulders and neck. The lad was not cut. There was no blood. The point was correctly turned; one tub had completely passed over it. Witness’s own idea was that the deceased had been in the action of turning the point, and had not given himself time enough. The horse had consequently got him down. – Mr. Hepplewhite: Was the body in a position the horse would have knocked it in? – Yes, sir. – The Coroner then summed up, and, after careful consideration, the jury returned a verdict of "accidental death". – Mr. White remarked that it might be better if the company employed boys specially to turn the points. Such a course might avert possible accidents.


Gathorn Bartholomew was born 7th September 1881 Stourbridge and is buried in the Priory Churchyard Worksop

St Mary and St Cuthbert



Gathorn Bartholomew was my late mothers uncle.


The earliest BARTHOLOMEW relative I can find is;

1. Francis BARTHOLOMEW born 1785c married Sarah MILNER 24th Feb 1824 Elmton Creswell Derbyshire He was buried 23 April 1845 (taken from the Elmton Parish Registers)

I can only find one child from this marriage but I am sure there are more.

2. William BARTHOLOMEW married Mary GLOSSOP 1 July 1850 at Whitwell Parish Church. He was born around 1827 and can be found in the 1861 census at Elmton.

Sarah Bartholomew is head of the family a widow aged 75 a Landlady and Innkeeper. Living with her is her son William Bartholomew aged 34 a Farmer. Both are born in Creswell Derbyshire. Mary Bartholomew is described as her daughter (? daughter-in-law) aged 33 born in Whitwell. Sarah Bartholomew a grand daughter is aged 11 born in Whitwell. Other grandsons are Thomas Bartholomew aged 4, William Bartholomew 2 and Robert Bartholomew 1 are all described as being born in Whitwell.

There are 2 servants living with the family William Smith age 28 a Carter born in Fuby Lincolnshire and Harriet Freeman a house servant age 14 born in Norton Nottinghamshire.

There is also Mary Rawson who is described as daughter, married born in Creswell a visitor age 31.

In the 1871 Census some of the Bartholomew family are living at the Rose and Crown Public House Elmton. William is missing from this census, but his son Frank (my great grandfather is living with his maternal grandmother.

So, Mary Glossop is head of the family a widow age 69 farmer born in Clowne, Derbyshire. William is her son unmarried a joiner age 44 born in Whitwell Derbyshire. Betsey Glossop is daughter age 44 also born in Whitwell Derbyshire. Mary Bartholomew is described as daughter age 42 married born in Whitwell. Sarah Bartholomew is age 20 granddaughter. Frank Bartholomew grandson 18 born in Whitwell, Thomas Bartholomew grandson born in Creswell, Derbyshire a scholar age 14 , another grandson William Bartholomew born in Creswell age 12 scholar.

Finally a lodger John Dennison a widower aged 50 labourer born in Bristol Somerset.

3. Frank BARTHOLOMEW was born at Elmton 24th September 1852 and christened at Whitwell Parish Church 31st October 1852.

He married Annie LADLEY 26th May 1879 at the Boston Stump (St Botolphs Parish Church) Lincolnshire.

Children to Francis (Frank) and Annie were;

i Robert 1880

ii Gathorn 1881

iii Bruce 1884

iv Joseph Carroll (Cyril) 1887

v Edgar 1890

4vi. Novada

vii I John Francis 18th February 1894 born 24 Clumber Place Worksop

died April 1968

viii Blanche 1896/97

viiii Rufus 1898/1899

4. Novada BARTHOLOMEW was born 29th December 1891 Warsop Mansfield Woodhouse. She was my grandmother and sister to Gathorn.

Novada married William Thomas KIRKHAM at St Johns Church on April 29th 1911. He was a painter and decorator aged 21yrs and she was 19yrs. William Thomas was living at 2 Garden row Worksop and she was living at 18 Portland Street Worksop. Her father is stated as being a miner. Witnesses were Joseph Caroll BARTHOLOMEW her brother and his wife Fanny BARTHOLOMEW.

William Thomas KIRKHAM died at the early age of only 28yrs on 20th July 1918 and was buried on 23rd July. He died of Asthma (during the 1918 Flu epidemic which spread through Europe)

If anyone has information, or would like to exchange information my e mail is





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