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W. & D. Downey
W. Coulson, Master Sinker, and four of his men. Pit Mouth, Hartley Colliery
[New Hartley Pit Disaster, Northumberland, England]
1862, 30 January
Private collection of Billy Embleton
On Thursday 16 January 1862 204 miners were trapped in the Hartley Colliery in Norhumberland, England, with no means of escape.
Hartley Colliery disaster, Wikipedia (Accessed: 26 August 2018)
There is also a copy in the Royal Collection, UK (RCIN 2935021).
Curatorial description (accessed: 28 August 2018)
Photograph of a group of six men standing at the pit mouth of Hartley Colliery, during the Hartley Colliery Disaster, 30 January 1862.
The tragic events at Hartley Colliery began on 16 January 1862 when part of the pumping mechanism fell into the pit shaft, trapping over two hundred miners, and ended over a week later with the recovery of their bodies. The imagination of the public was captured by this disaster, and for the Queen, who had become a widow herself on 14 December 1861, the agony suffered by the wives and families of the trapped miners must have seemed particularly heart-rending. She followed events with great concern and was quick to subscribe to the relief fund set up to provide support for the dead men's families. W. & D. Downey had taken four photographs at the mine, and these were sent to the Queen with explanatory details. Recent research has, however, shown that the original caption for this group photograph is misleading. The six men are now known to be, from left to right: Mr Humble, the pit manager, the Coulsons (father and son), Charles Carr, owner of the pit, Mr Emmerson (probably), and David Wilkinson.