THE PINXTON PIT TRAGEDY - 22nd MARCH 1825

The research into my wife's ancestors led me to the Braddows of Pinxton and an article that appeared in the Derbyshire Times dated 14 June 2007 entitled "Revamp riddle of church relics". At the conclusion of the article he stated

"An interesting slate headstone in the churchyard recalls a local mining tragedy.

Charles Braddow (42), who lived in an old cottage at Pinxton Toll Bar known as Pinxton Castle, was killed by a gas explosion in the old Green Engine pit at Pinxton on March 22, 1825.

His epitaph reads: "The wild fire proved my fatal destiny"

I was left wondering 

Is the Charles Braddow, mentioned in the article Jerimiah's father, Elizabeth's husband and my wife's grandfather (x4)?

I checked the newspapers of the period and found the following report in the Derbyshire Mercury dated 30th March 1825.

The report is I'm afraid not that distinct and so I have transcribed it below 

"On the 22nd instant, a most melancholy circumstance took place at the colliery at Pinxton, in this county. At about eight o' clock in the morning, the inflammable air, normally called "wild fire", exploded with great violence in one of the coal-pits, by which we regret to state that Mr Charles Braddow, an industrious man, (having a family of seven children and his wife far advanced in pregnancy), Benjamin Braddow, his son and three other youths, the eldest not more than twelve years of age, fell a sacrifice to the destructive element: several others were also severely injured, but hopes are entertained of their recovery. An inquest was held on view of the bodies on the following day, before Thomas Wright, Gent. Coroner when a verdict was returned by the Jury, that the deceased came by their deaths casually and by misfortune, owing to the explosion of the foul air"

To say this report is illuminating is an understatement. I was unaware that Charles and Elizabeth had seven children and so I checked the IGI Index and found the following

Parents: Father: Charles Braddow Mother: Elizabeth Braddow

Benjamin Braddow - Birth:1810 Of, Pinxton, Derby, England Burial:24 March 1825

Joseph Braddow - Christening 7 November 1811  Of, Pinxton, Derby, England 

Hannah Braddow - Christening 26 November 1813 Of, Pinxton, Derby, England 

Charles Braddow - Christening 26 October 1815 Of, Pinxton, Derby, England 

Jerimiah Braddow - Christening 26 October 1817 Of, Pinxton, Derby, England (my wife's grandfather x3)

Frances Braddow - Christening 11 March 1820  Of, Pinxton, Derby, England 

Samuel Braddow - Christening 27 June 1822 Of, Pinxton, Derby, England 

And so Elizabeth was left a widow with six children, and another on the way. The eldest of the children was just 12, and Jerimiah (my wife's grandfather x3) was just 6 years old when he lost his father and eldest brother.

In the excellent article History of Pinxton by William G Barrett, their is a brief reference to the pit where the tragedy occurred - in the 1890's it was part of Langton Colliery

"No. 8 Pit known as Waterloo in the 1890 period was chiefly to draw water in special water trams - by a winding engine of its own - water was a great trouble and anxiety. 

The steam engine pump was situated mile from No. 8 Pit and known as the "Green Engine", the site was named Pinxton Green.  This pump was very important and received constant attention day and night.

The engine house remains can still be traced out - having ceased working for many years".

In April 2000, a subscriber (Graham Freeman) to a mailing list, submitted a "brief history of Pinxton" in which he notes

"Mining has been the mainstay of Pinxton industry from the beginning of the 19th century until the last pit closed in1968. The first mines where probably of the bell-shaft type and were to be found to the west of the village where the coal seams came close to the surface.

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This page was last updated on 06/12/18 09:45