On the 11th of May, 1665, Francis Roydhouse married Ann Raynor at St Mary’s, Barnsley, Yorkshire.
Barnsley is a city in Yorkshire, between Leeds and Sheffield. Former industries included linen, coal mining, glassmaking and textiles.
The Domesday Book refers to Berneslai, and in 1086 has a population of 200.
I visited Barnsley as a part of my journey around Britain, and spent some time wandering around the churchyard cemetery at St Mary’s, looking for Roydhouse names on the mossy, faded gravestones, without finding any.
The next record for Francis and Ann shows the baptism of a daughter, Sara, at Royston in 1673, some 4 miles from Barnsley.
I have been unable to establish any more about this family- they have done a good vanishing act!
While in Barnsley I was interested in the history behind the monument pictured.
The history of mining, and in particular for coal, is unfortunately weighted with many fatalities.
Explosions and flooding were the main causes, although unsafe conditions also contributed.
Mines employed children for many tasks, and families needed the extra income that this provided.
The following statistics are recorded for the Barnsley area alone.
1805: died in an explosion
1809 :10 drowned
1838 Huskar Pit :26 children drowned
1847 :73 died
1852: 10 died in an explosion
1866 :Oaks Colliery 383 men and boys died in two explosions, the second explosion occurring as rescuers attempted to search for survivors the next day. The fatalities ranged in age from 10 to 67. The Oaks Colliery disaster remains the worst in an English coalfield.
1883 :20 men and boys died
1907 :7 died
1907: 4 died
1914 :11 died in an explosion
1942 :13 died in an explosion
1947: 9 died in an explosion
Over 500 lives were lost in the Barnsley area coal mines in 142 years.