1) In the seventeenth century, used not only for a collier but also for an owner of a coal-miner.

A relatively uncommon term before the modern period. In 1686 Richard Williamson of Huddersfield was described in his will as coalemyner but he was actually a prosperous businessman, the first farmer of the town’s market tolls. ‘Coal-miner’ was not an occupational term in this case but an indication that he was in possession of a coal-mine: indeed he left coal-pits to one of his sons when he died. The word may already have come into use more generally as a synonym for ‘collier’: 1699 Joseph Woodheade of Shelffe, coalminer.

dates 1686 1699

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