The trade union and political activities of the North Wales slate quarrymen in relation to their social and working conditions, 1870-1905
Jones, R. Merfyn (1975) The trade union and political activities of the North Wales slate quarrymen in relation to their social and working conditions, 1870-1905. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1747523~S9
The slate quarrymen dominated a cluster of communities
in North-West Wales, stamping them with their own distinctive marks; characteristics many of which originated in the customs of a group of industrial workers albeit a
group with some very close relationships with the land.
These were also Welsh communities and the quarrying villages
reflected many of the concerns of Welsh society in the
19th century - culturally, politically, and in religion.
The slate quarries and mines themselves were responsible
for forging much of the quarryman's identity, the nature and
organisation of work and wages determining much. The
question of control at the point of production was the major
point at issue in the industrial relations of the slate
industry in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
The North Wales Quarrymen's Union was established in
1874 following an earlier and unsuccessful attempt in 1865.
The first five years of the union's existence witnessed
some heartening successes but following the depression which
set in to the industry from 1879 onward the union's path
became an increasingly difficult one; this became especially
true after 1885 when employers strove to reduce their
costs and increase their control. A series of major disputes
followed in 1885,1893 and 1896-7 culminating in the
set-piece battle in the Penrhyn Quarries from 1900 to 1903;
a dispute of national importance-which witnessed many
attempts - peaceful and violent - to maintain the solidarity
of the workforce and which drew on all the resources of the
The quarrymen largely accepted the leadership of the
active local middle-class but they also came to develop
a consciousness of themselves not only as craftsmen but
also as workers, a consciousness encouraged, though by no
means crystallised, by the Penrhyn experience.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Penrhyn Quarry (Wales), Slate industry -- Wales -- Penrhyn Bay -- History, Working class -- Political activity -- Wales, Labor union members -- Wales, Wales -- Politics and government -- 19th century, Wales -- Economic conditions -- 19th century|
|Official Date:||December 1975|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Social History|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Harrison, Royden ; Thompson, E. P. (Edward Palmer), 1924-1993|
|Format of File:|
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