Disturbances by Women & Breach of Contract

March 1877

1877 March 27 th

The Dispute at Denaby Main Colliery.

Serious disturbances by women

At the Rotherham Police Court, yesterday, Mary McCale, Denaby, was charged by Bridget Clarke with using threatening language at Denaby on the 20th inst. The complainant said she was going to fetch some pork, when the defendant threatened to run a knife into her.

Mary Ann Street and Caroline Ottley, corroborated the complainant’s statements.

Mr F Parker Rhodes said he was instructed by the Denaby Main Colliery Company to defend. The real facts were that on the day in question the defendant was at home and her husband was at work, and their house was attacked by 20 or 30 women. The windows were broken, the sash was driven in, bricks, was thrown into the house, a child was knocked down, and its head was cut open. The women and child were obliged to take refuge upstairs. The case was dismissed.

Breach of Contract

At the same court, Richard Birks, Maurice Dunn, Jabez Padgett, William Peace, George Russell Venables, and Alvin Webster, all Colliers, of Denaby, were charged with breaches of contract.

Mr Parker Rhodes prosecuted, and said that the company claimed 10 shillings damages from each of the defendants. When the notices given for a reduction of wages expired, the defendants continued at their work, but on the 13th interest they suddenly stopped work, and have not been near the place since.

Padgett, Peace and Webster said they did not like to go to work because they were strangers in the pit, and they were in danger of their lives. Dunn said it was not a nice thing to meet 200 or 300 men in a body threatening to take his life.

Mr Rhodes said they did not press charges against those men who were afraid to go to work. He advised them to go to work, and said that on behalf ofthe colliery company he would guarantee that if they were assaulted the assailants should be made to pay for it.

On the suggestion of the bench all the defendants promised to return to work, and the cases were adjourned for a month to give them an opportunity of doing so.