The labouring miner in Cornwall c. 1740-1870 : a study in social history
Rule, John (1971) The labouring miner in Cornwall c. 1740-1870 : a study in social history. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1618192~S15
This study is concerned with the working and community life of the
labouring miner in Cornwall from the seventeen-forties, to the collapse
of the copper industry in the late eighteen-sixties. These were the
years when copper wining dominated the county's economy. Production began
to overhaul that of tin in the 1740's and reached its peak in the quinquennium
1855-60. The rapid rise of this great industry, with the advances
in technology and industrial organization which it entailed, makes its
story the story of the Industrial Revolution in Cornwall. This study is
concerned with the social history of that period of transformation.
The first section is a statistical and historical introduction,
providing data on the growth of the industry, the size and nature of its
labour force, population, and the organization of the industry.
Section 2 is concerned with the miner at work. The working conditions
in the mines are described, as is the extent and nature of child labour.
The system of wage payment is examined in detail as are the changes in
hours of work and the rhythm of labour consequent upon the increasing
capitalisation of the industry.
A third section is concerned with the material conditions of the
miner's life; his standards of housing and diet, and considers the family
as an economic unit.
Section 4 is concerned with popular disturbances and the collective
action patterns of the Cornish crowd. The miners were notorious for the
frequency and determination with which they used direct action to secure
collectively desired ends. Food rioting was the most frequent of such
direct action forms, and the incidence, character and effectiveness of the
food riot are considered in detail. Other forms of crowd action are then examined.
Section 5 is concerned with community life in the mining villages.
After a placement of the mining community in its geographical and social
setting, attention is turned to Methodism. Methodism's introduction to
the county practically co-incided with the beginning of the period under
consideration. Thereafter its rise was rapid and its influence considerable.
Its growth is outlined, the character of village Methodism analysed and the
phenomenon of recurrent revivalism examined. Particular aspects of
community life are then considered in turn, viz. patterns of recreation,
education, and smuggling and wrecking, the last being examples of forms of
behaviour which were in conflict both with the law, and with the prevailing
moral teaching of Methodism.
A final section is concerned with the impact of trade-unionism and
political radicalism on the miners. It is a concluding examination in which
the lack of social, industrial, and political militancy among the miners is
examined in the light of the industrial and social organisation of the
region, the strength and influence of Methodism and the effect of the tribute
system. The period was one of transformation, this final section
looks at the problem of why the absence of forms of conflict usually
associated with a period of rapid industrialisation was so marked.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Miners -- England -- Cornwall -- History -- 18th century, Miners -- England -- Cornwall -- History -- 19th century, Cornwall (England) -- Social conditions -- 18th century, Cornwall (England) -- Social conditions -- 19th century|
|Official Date:||January 1971|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Social History|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Thompson, E. P. (Edward Palmer), 1924-1993|
|Extent:||iii, 400 leaves : charts|
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