1) These were occupational terms for the men who conveyed coal away from the face in barrows, part of a team that included face-workers and banksmen.

As early as 1486 the workforce at Cortworth consisted of ‘3 picks, one barrow-man and one bankman’. The wage rates later reflected the perceived importance of their work and in 1648 noe filler or barrower of coales was entitled to above 6d for his wages by the day without meat and drinke . This compares with 8d for the banksman and 10d for the collier. The word remained in use long after barrows had been replaced by other means of conveyance. Goodchild quotes: 1729-31 for getting and barrowing six dozen of corves at 15 to the dozen, Swillington. Wright defined a barrowman as a ‘putter’, one who pushes the tubs of coal from the working places to the flats or stations and in The Compleat Collier barrow-men were described as labourers who ‘take the hewed coals … filling the Corves … which are set when empty upon a Sledge of Wood’, and so hauled to the bottom of the shaft.

spellings barrow-man
dates 1486 1648 1708 1729-1731

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