1) An overlooker at a colliery, acting between the colliers and the mine operator.

In the wage rates for 1648, set out in the West Riding Quarter Sessions records, it was stipulated that noe bankesman or drawer up of coales shall take for his wages by the day, without meat and drinke above viiid. This placed him between the barrower of coals who earned 6d and the collyer with 10d. The description of the banksman simply as a drawer-up of coals partly obscures his role and significance. Elsewhere, for instance, the banksman was described more explicitly as an overlooker or a steward, and the historic importance of his job is that he acted between the colliers and the mine operator. He was actually in a position of trust, and his decisions about how much coal may have been ‘won’ were therefore crucial. A lease drawn up in 1633 includes an agreement that all Banksmen for the several places or pits shall be chosen by consent of both parties, Northowram. In Colsterdale, the banksman was responsible not only for work on the surface but underground also, and in one case a specialist was brought over from Lancashire for that purpose.

dates 1633 1648

Related Content Loading...

Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0