Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bottallack Mine Disaster -- Poldark popularity and my ancestors that died there

With the popularity of the BBC and PBS drama "Poldark" there has been much interest in the scenic Cornish coastline where it was filmed.  A central theme of the show is the mining industry and the hardships of the miners.  One of the mines used in the show is the Bottallack mine, near Pendeen, Cornwall.  This was the site of a mine disaster in April 1863, where 7 men and 1 boy were killed by the breaking of the drawing chain.

Those who lost their lives were:-
John Chapple aged 50 years of Naucherrow who left a widow and several children. He was a widower and his wife a widow when they re-married.
John Chapple aged 16 years, his eldest son.
Peter Eddy aged 17 years of Nancherrow, the son of a widow with six or seven other children. Michael Nicholas of Botallack who left a widow and seven children. (His widow, Elizabeth Ann Thomas - my 7th cousin 4x removed)
John Eddy of Botallack aged 18 years.
Thomas Wall aged 46 years of Carnyorth who left a widow and several children.
Richard Wall aged 19 years, his son.
Thomas Nankervis of Trewellard. He had worked in the Wheal Hazard part of the mine but this was his first day in this mine. (My 6th cousin 3x removed)
Richard Nankervis of Bojcwyan

I can only imagine how this affected the whole community.  There was a collection fund for the widows and orphans, but money can't replace a loved one.  Some of the Nicholas family, without benefit of a Father, did what many did -- emigrate to Australia.

Another mine disaster, at the Levant Mine in 1919 affected even closer family members.  My 1st cousin twice removed (Mt Great Grandmother's niece), Gracie White lost her husband John Kevern (he my 4th cousin twice removed).

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