People: Miners at Hemingfield

Hemingfield Colliery

Year Manager

(Certificate no & class: year)
Under Manager

(Certificate no & class: year)
Below Ground Above Ground
1842 Benjamin Biram William Goodinson
1849 Benjamin Biram James Uttley 56 – 21 colliers; 18 trammers; 5 blacksmiths; 3 engine tenters; 2 labourers; 3 banksmen, 3 masons and 1 accountant
1852 Benjamin Biram James Uttley (top and bottom Steward) Joseph Hodgson & William Ford (fire-triers) 193
1856 Benjamin Biram James Uttley 192 men and 27 boys
1857 John Hartop 12 horses and 1 ass
1869 John Hartop 76 hewers, 16 horses and ponies
1888 Thomas Newbould (371 1st class: 1874) Joseph Firth (466 2nd class: 1888)
1892 Thomas Newbould (371 1st class: 1874) 201 colliers, trammers and packers
1894 Thomas Newbould (371 1st: 1874) Joseph Firth (466 2nd: 1888) 292 43
1897 Thomas Newbould (371 1st: 1874) Joseph Firth (466 2nd: 1888) 293 43
1901 Thomas Newbould (371 1st: 1874) Joseph Firth (466 2nd: 1888) 303 41
1905 Thomas Newbould (371 1st: 1874) Joseph Firth (466 2nd: 1888) 329 43
1907 Thomas Newbould (371 1st: 1874) Joseph Firth (466 2nd: 1888) 338 43
1917 Asher Hollings (377 1st: 1891) 180 39
1918 ~ Transition from Earl Fitzwilliam to South Yorkshire Pumping Association ~
1926 Cyril Shaw (1606 1st) 1 2
1929 Cyril Shaw (1606) 5 6
1929 ~ South Yorkshire Pumping Association becomes South Yorkshire Mines Drainage Committee ~
1930 Cyril Shaw (1606) 3 5
1931 Harold Saul (no cert) 4 7
1932 Harold Saul (2119) 4 7
1934 Harold Saul (2119) 4 7
1935 Harold Saul (2119) 0 1
1936 Harold Saul (2119) 0 1
1937 Harold Saul (2119) 4 2
1938 Harold Saul (2119) 3 3
1947 ~ Nationalisation of Coal Industry ~
1948 Arthur Scargill (263) 2 1


Barnsley Archives and Local Studies, Newman and Bond Collection 553/27 – Inventory and Valuation of effects at the Elsecar Collieries, October 1857
Durham Mining Museum website – lists of certificates (compiled from published lists):
North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers (NEIMME) Archives – Forster/3/11 – Copy Reports on Elsecar Collieries
Rotherham Archives and Local Studies, 291-B (Thomas Newbould diaries and papers)
Sheffield Archives, Accession X417(2010/91) (Thomas Newbould’s memoranda books)
University of Sheffield Library, Lists of mines

Staff Profiles

Insights into the lives of some of the officials

William Goodinson (1796-1862)

William Goodinson was the manager of the Elsecar collieries when Hemingfield colliery was being sunk. From Kimberworth, he was employed by Earl Fitzwilliam, and was actively engaged in developing the Jump Colliery and Hemingfield pit sites, investigating materials and equipment required to establish and develop the workings. In 1843 after a disagreement, Goodinson was released from Earl Fitzwilliam’s employment and replaced byJames Uttley. Goodinson then worked as a senior viewer for J. & J. Charlesworth’s extensive collieries in West and South Yorkshire for many years until his death at Newmarket, Rothwell in January 1862.

James Uttley (1796-1862)

Underground steward at Hemingfield at the full opening out of the pit, James Uttley was responsible for the operation of all of the Elsecar collieries for much of the 1840s-50s. Born in Greasbrough in 1796, the son of a miner, he began working in coal mines when very young, and progressed through offices of responsibility, becoming a coal agent and later an underground steward for Earl Fitzwilliam in 1831 at the Park Gate collieries. Later, he was brought over to Elsecar to manage the collieries there, working under the supervision first of Benjamin Biram (active between 1833-1855) and latterly John Hartop (from 1855-1862). He lost the sight in one eye from an accident, and suffered ill health shortly before his death. He was very well respected in Elsecar where he died and was buried in 1862. Many of his family continued to be employed in Earl Fitzwilliam’s collieries.

Jabez Jackson (1823-1882)

Jabez Jackson worked in mining for almost 50 years, being employed by James Uttley in 1834 at Kents Main Colliery. He worked at the Earl Fitzwilliam’s Elsecar and Parkgate Collieries for 43 years. He took on the management of all of the Elsecar Collieries following the death of James Uttley in March 1862. The role involved the management of 600 workmen. In June 1873 he successfully sat examinations in Leeds and obtained a certificate of competency under the Coal Mines Regulations Act 1872. On his retirement in 1882 due to ill health, he noted that between 1862-1882 there had been 25 fatal accidents at the Elsecar Collieries, viz.: High Elsecar, 5; Low Elsecar, 8; and Simon Wood, 12.

He was a very active Wesleyan methodist in the area and established a building society in 1865. He moved from Cobcar House in Elsecar to Wath upon Dearne before passing away in December 1882.

Charles Herbert Cobbold (1854-1929)

Charles Cobbold took over the management of the Elsecar Collieries from Jabez Jackson in 1882. He served for a year and nine months before leaving in September 1883 to serve as Agent for the Vernon Wentworths at Wentworth Castle.

Under Managers at Hemingfield

Joseph Firth (1845-1929)

Joseph Firth started work at 10 years old, being employed in Earl Fitzwilliam’s Elsecar collieries for 58 years – first at the Jump, then the Simon Wood and finally the Hemingfield pits where he was under-manager for 30 years, from 1883-1913. He retired in January of that year, and in March received a clock as a retirement gift from Earl Fitzwilliam in a presentation at Elsecar Market Hall (now Milton Hall).

Asher Hollings (1860-1935)

Asher Hollings came from a mining family, as his brother Gad worked at the Old and New Stubbin collieries for 40 years. Asher became manager at Hemingfield Colliery in its final years as a coal winning concern for Earl Fitzwilliam, from 1913-1920. It was also Hollings who continued to manage the site in the early days of the South Yorkshire Pumping Association from 1920-1926 when he left the pit following a winding rope accident which caused the death of a chargeman, James Pentry.