AND THE HAIGH FAMILY'S INVOLVEMENT
Map ref. SD 908216
See also COAL MINES IN TODMORDEN & WALSDEN
HAIGH John & Reuben
HAIGH John William
HAIGH, HIGGIN & Co.
first indication of the Haigh family's involvement with the coal
mines at Inchfield is found in a lease made in 1792 between JOHN HAIGH OF PASTURESIDE, when he was 44 years old, and George Travis.
This was for the lease of Foul Clough Coal Pit for 37 years for
the sum of £20 per year.
agreement allowed John Haigh to dig, sink, wind up and bank the
coal, and then to transport it down to the new road, which had recently
been made into a turnpike road at Travis Bridge.
was also provision for a new road to be made to enable the
coal to be carried from the pit down to the new road. John
went ahead and built a road that went from Wall Nook
to Knowlgate near the new turnpike road, and it can still
be seen today. It is known as Foul Clough Road. (left)
the horses and ponies that were used for carting the coal had to
be kept from straying on to George Travis' land, and gates had to
be erected and kept shut so that this wouldn't happen. It
was also agreed that money called "scorage" should be paid to George
Travis. This was a levy paid on the price that the coal was sold
for, with amounts and weights agreed upon beforehand. It was paid
at the same time as the rent for the pit, usually at the Roebuck
Inn at Rochdale. Travis
on his part, agreed to maintain the road from Travis Bridge up to
Inchfield Fold as far as Samuels Higher Gate. John
Haigh could repair the road himself and take the cost out of the
amount owing in rent and scorage. This excluded the removal of any
snow on the road!! John had to meet that expense himself, which
in winter would no doubt be quite a sum. Inchfield Road was known
as "t' Coil Gate" by the older generations, remembering a time when
it would be busy with traffic generated by the mining industry.
also had to agree to fill up any old pit shafts so that they would
not become a danger to either cattle or people and would revert
back to being able to be cultivated. The leasing of the pit was
a shrewd move on the part of John, as the demand for coal was growing
and he saw the future being reliant on a constant and ready supply
of coal due to the changes in the cotton industry that were taking
had inherited PEXES FARM and 3 cottages in his father's WILL, dated
whilst his brother Reuben got the living at DEAN. Reuben died in
1806, leaving Dean to his brother John, so John was becoming quite
an entrepreneur. He was a low thick set man, known locally as Cocky
Duck or Great Collap. The latter name arose out of his habit of
always helping himself to the largest slice or portion of food,
particularly when feeding his labourers after a days work. He built
up the coal business and his two sons, John, born in 1772 and Reuben
1787 helped in the business as it grew.
1800's were a boom time in the mining industry with coal in great
demand for the steam-powered mills that were sprouting up in the
|Foulclough and MOORCOCK were hives of activity with the arrival
of new families coming over from the Shawforth and Facit areas
of Whitworth, mainly the Jacksons, a well-known family of
mining people. They
lived in the farms of POTOVENS, BROWNROADS, DYCHES and THORNSGREESE along with the local inhabitants and married into the families.
The Barkers were also a family who came especially to work
at the mines and lived at Thornsgreece and Vicarage. |
all that remains of Vicarage today
about the 1820's the Haighs decided to open up a new entrance to
the coal pit near Coolham and began working this as well as the
Foul Clough pit. The
remains of this drift mine can still be seen. The family business
remains of the drift mine at Coolham
ruins of Coolham
housing had to be built to accommodate the miners and all
the various other tradesmen who were needed, such as joiners
to make and mend the pit props, carters to fetch and carry
the coal, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and others necessary
to keep the mines working smoothly. A small village grew up
around Coolham and the house itself housed many families being
quite a large one.
ruined interior of Coolham
of the farm inhabitants also had jobs in the mines and the women
would work in the cotton mills, leaving just the head of the household
with the task of running the farm. So life was good, with full time
employment and people prospered from the work, earning regular wages
from the various jobs of work.
Haighs also continued to prosper and in 1823, John the elder had
bought TOP OF ALL FARM from John Travis for £1400. He continued
to acquire property and when he died in 1831 he left the interest
in Dean and Pastureside to son John, Wall Nook and Dick Coat to
son Reuben and Pecks Farm, Top of All, Coolham, Vicarage, 2 cottages
at Nicklety and all the residue of his estate equally between his
two sons John and Reuben.
was 76 when he died in 1831, which for that period was way over
the life expectancy. An exceptional and far seeing man, who's instincts
proved right and his foresight proved to be the foundation of a
dynasty which would end in 1951 in the Welsh town of Ruabon. ( His
will can be read HERE ) John's
two sons, John and Reuben each progressed in different ways.
the elder son, a shrewd man like his father, saw an opening for
the business elsewhere and he left Walsden and made a home in Chadderton,
near Middleton, where he expanded the Haigh coal interests. He still
kept his partnership with his father and brother going, and must
have had to "commute" to Walsden quite frequently. He also acquired
an interest in collieries at Cliviger, near Burnley. He
had 5 children, of whom two were involved in coal as they became
older. Reuben born in 1804 and James born in 1810 and we shall hear
more of them later.
the younger son, who we shall call Reuben of Moorcock to clarify
the various Reuben names, stayed in Walsden, and as well as being
a coal proprietor, he farmed 270 acres at MOORCOCK. He married 3
times and had 13 children of whom only 9 survived him, and of these,
none carried on in a senior position at the mines.
Haigh coal business was a hard fought one and everyone in the family
had to pull their weight. These were not the wealthy mine owners,
but the drift mine proprietors whose living was hard earned and
who worked hard at manual labour to achieve their goals.
of Moorcock's only surviving daughter was JINNY HAIGH,
and of his sons, only Abraham, a son by his second wife Betty Jackson,
born in 1834, followed him into the "managerial" side, as a coal
proprietor at Clough where in 1861 he was employing 15 men and was
first wife, Charlotte Bancroft who he married in 1861, died in 1864,
and Abraham married again. By 1881 he had left Walsden and was living
in Surrey where he was employed as a mercantile clerk.
Reuben of Moorcock's other sons, John, the eldest, born in
1811, took over the farm at Top of All and died in 1868. This
farm is also now in ruins as can be seen right and below.
his second son, was known as BUTTY.
another son, worked as an employee in the pit and when he died in
1857, five months after his father at the age of 42, he had progressed
to being a book keeper.
his next son was a clogger, so left the mining to his other brothers.
It is quite likely that he had the work of mending the miner's clogs,
so he was still working in the family business in a way. He was
married to Mary Fielden and had two children that we know of, John
born in 1844 and Grace born 1845. James died in 1862.
born in 1820 made his living from the mines, at one time as a carter
and later on as a banksman. He married Sarah Pearson and they had
11 children. He died in 1870.
born in 1825 worked in the mines all his life, apart from the few
times he was helping his sister Jinny in her various pubs. He married
Susy Jackson and they had 9 children. During the mid 1870's the
family moved from Moorcock where they were living, down to Inchfield
Mill, and a letter sent to Jinny's daughter Grace in New Zealand
provides an insight into his life. He died in 1884 whilst Susy lived
on until 1919.
Mill, Walsden May 8 1875
Mr. And Mrs. Watson
I have not had any communication with you since you left England
I hope you will excuse me in sending you a few lines. I have
not been able to get your address until just lately and our
brother's ptr. (?), Mr. James Lord informed me that you desired
me to send you a Todmorden Newspaper-I beg to do so and -at
the same time-I hope you will give me a few lines in return
please let me know what family you have got and how you are
getting on in your distant Colony. I visited London in 1874
to see brother Luke and wife and family I stopped there about
9 days and liked the place-Called Bexley Heath very well,
it is distant from London about eleven miles-where there is
excellent scenery. We have left the Moorcock this last March-and
returned to Inchfield Mill-Walsden-a place better adapted
to our present family we have seven children alive five boys
and two girls.
still have the old situation as Banksman at the Coal Pit hoping
you will accept our best respects and give me a few lines
kindly provided by Beverley Watson)
Hamer, the youngest son, born in 1827, married Sarah Watson in 1852
and moved to Manchester, where he stayed for nearly ten years, when
the family moved again, this time to London.
first son of his second marriage was Young Haigh who was born in
1831 and died in 1833, leaving Abraham as the only surviving child
of his second marriage.
of Moorcock, brother and partner of John, also possessing a shrewd
eye for making a bob or two, decided that rather than the miners
going elsewhere to spend their hard earned money, they may as well
spend it in his beerhouse, so he opened one at the Moorcock, which
enabled him to regain the wages he had paid out to them!
night after the shift in the mines was finished, the colliers
would walk down the road from Coolham and the other outlying
farms to gather at the Moorcock for their evening pints and
catch up on the day's events.
As the evening progressed many
an argument and fight broke out between the miners and the
young sons of Reuben. It was all the outcome of youthful high
spirits and too much ale, with never any lasting damage done
or any malice meant.
Moorcock ruins in 2003. An old fireplace is visible
the census of 1841 nearly every farm in the area had workers employed
in the mines. The Jacksons of Furnace, Mount Peasant, Dytches, Potoven,
Thornsgreece and Brown Roads; the Crowthers of Dytches, Coolham
and Thornsgreece; the Barkers of Vicarage and Thornsgreece. These
were the families that were to dominate this area for many years
Foul Clough Road would have been a hive of activity with carters
taking the coal down Inchfield Road to the coal yard owned by the
Haighs at Clough. This was between the main road and the river,
near to the road leading from Hollins to Clough. From here it would
have awaited being taken to the local factories or going by rail
or canal to Manchester, or just for the householder to collect and
pay for, as they needed it. The carters would be employed in delivering
it to the various locations around the town.
was good and the two Haigh brothers prospered enough to be in a
position of being able to build houses at PEXWOOD, which can still
be seen today.
coal road was in need of constant repair from the wear and tear
that the horses and the carters caused. The weather also took its
toll on the surface, pitting it, and the winter frost would deepen
the usual potholes, making them a cause for concern and a danger
to the horses and the wheels of the carts.
character who worked at mending the road was a cousin of the Haighs,
he was called Reuben Hiley and lived at Nicklety. He was nicknamed
"Old Wraggs", but nobody knows how he came by it. He
used to be a handloom weaver in his younger days but as he got older
he was permanently employed on mending the Foul Clough Coal Pit
Road. This was an outdoor job and as such, he encountered all the
various changes in the weather and began to notice certain occurrences
and patterns in the changes. He
noted that, "the reason why there was so much rain about Todmorden
was because the clouds in coming over the hills, got worn through
by rubbing on them, and then th' weets ran ewt at th' hoils."
of Moorcock died in 1857 at PEXHOUSE and he was noted as a farmer
and coal proprietor. With him, died the interest he had in the mines
as they were taken over by his nephew Reuben, son of his brother
John. The farming of Moorcock passed into the hands of the Jacksons,
whilst two sons of Reuben of Moorcock, Joseph and Samuel, lived
in the new buildings at Moorcock. There is no indication of any
beerhouse here at this time and Joseph and Samuel were both workers
in the mine. It was the end of an era with the death of Reuben.
1861 nothing much had changed. The Jackson, Crowther, Barker and
Haigh families continued to inhabit the farms and work in the mines.
A few new families had moved into the area, the Newall, Blezzard
and Pearson names had appeared.
the brother and partner of Reuben of Moorcock, had moved to Chadderton
near Middleton by 1810 and after he died in 1855 his son Reuben
took over his interests in the Foul Clough mine and also Freeholds
at Whitworth. Reuben had been living at Pastureside, the family
home in Walsden, since at least 1837 when his daughter Elizabeth
was born there.
his father, had left the Pastureside estate to Reuben in his WILL and to Reuben's eldest son on his death and so on. During
his lifetime John had become the owner of Top of All and Deacon
Pasture which he left to his son James, but not the coal and cannel.
The cottages at Pexwood and 3 houses at Rochdale Rd., Middleton
went to his other children. His son James also took over the interest
in the Cliviger Coal Company, which on his death passed over to
his brother Reuben.
it seems that Reuben inherited and became the sole owner of all
the properties and mines that had been handed down from the earlier
generations. He married Susannah Smith of Worsthorne and had a daughter
Elizabeth and a son JOHN WILLIAM HAIGH.
lived most of his life at Pastureside but had moved to Clough
House by the time of his death in 1886. He was 82 when he
died and left everything except the 28 cottages at Pexwood
to his son, John William, who carried on the family business. He
left the sum of £78,000, which was a great amount of
money in those days. The
cottages were left to his married daughter, Elizabeth Barwick.
wife, Susannah died in 1897 in Keighley, and they are both buried
in the family vault in St. Peter's, Walsden.
was the end of the Haigh mining family who lived in Walsden. Reuben
and Susannah's son, John William had gone to Ruabon in Wales and
his son, another REUBEN,
although still involved in mining and holding the family interests
which still existed in the Cliviger Coal Company and others, never
returned to Walsden.
1926, a drift mine at the back of Ramsden Hill was opened by the
Cliviger miners and the road past Top of All was used for the first
time in it's history. The road was built during 1860's and was a
Fielden cotton famine road. This was a way of keeping men in employment
during the cotton famine, rather than having them to resort to poor
relief, which the Fieldens were against. They were paid half wages
for doing this and by doing so, were able to keep a certain amount
the coal mines of Inchfield are now just a memory, with only the
outcrops of coal and the ruins of the old buildings, standing open
to the elements, remaining as reminders of the days when the coal
mines were the main means of employment, and which maintained a
whole community who lived out their lives on the moors above Walsden.
to John Travis, John William Haigh has left the
for future contingencies.
researched, recorded and referenced by Mrs Sheila Wade
Hebden Bridge WEA Local History Group
Walsden Rates Book 1861-68
owned and occupied by J. and R. Haigh, colliery, Foul Clough, R.V. £306.0s.6d. 1866 - rateable value £322.9s.0d.
Walsden Rates Book 1869-90
owned and occupied by Reuben Haigh, colliery, Foul Clough, R.V. £322.9s.0d. 1873 - additions to colliery R.V. £67.12s.0d.
1874 - Reuben Haigh of Pastureside owner/occupier.
1881 - R.V. £296.10s.0d.
1888 - R.V. £252.
Walsden Rates Book 1893
Walsden Rates Book 1894
occupied by Haigh & Higgin & co; owners - freeholders of Inchfield Common, colliery, Foul Clough, R.V. £252.