Catalogue Finding NumberSH:7/ML/E/17/0073
Office record is held atCalderdale, West Yorkshire Archive Service
TitleDiary page
Description[Diary Transcription]

August Tuesday 12
7 1/2
12 55/..
Not at all with her last night fine morning Fahrenheit 70° at 8 35/.. a.m. — Out at 9 5/.. A- [Ann] and
I — crossed the bridge over the Gier and walked down to the 1st iron foundry and then to the coal pit steam engine just above — the forgeur,
man who has the care of the engine. Victor de Seine, very civil — has 130 francs per month — the coal varies
in thickness here from 30 to 3 feet — from 120 to 80 toises deep — 20 horses in some of the pits — should see the
pit called Grande Croix about 1/2 way between here and Chamont [Chaumont], close to the road side — 120 toises deep — coal
comes out at the day at St Etienne but not at Rive de Gier — the piqueurs (colliers) earn 3/. to 5/. a day
and the lads (huniers) 1/50 — some of the galleries of the mines here not more than 3 feet high — home at 10 and breakfast immediately — our hostess
very sorry I had not told her about seeing the mines — Monsieur Foy (who eats at her house) nephew to the late general of
that name, is ingénieur here, and would have accompanied us — but should ask for Monsieur Delseriés ingénieur en
chef à St Etienne à l’Ecole des mines — breakfast at 10 5/.. to 11 1/2 — Made all right with A [Ann] she told
me she thought I had said all we did (meaning all we were now spending) was hers and I ought to think it
as much mine as hers I said I could not bear her to refuse me anything or keep anything secret from me
and we were both attendries and better friends than ever ~ Rive de Gier large black smoky town of
coal pits, and founderies, and long chimneys — 12,000 inhabitants — well satisfied with our auberge — honest
people — off from the hotel St Jacques à Rive de Gier at 11 33/.. — hilly road broad and good, though a great
deal of rough pavé as yesterday — no coal pits at St Chamond, a long, large blackish town —
built of dark coloured lime stone — riband manufactories and stone quarries and lime and brick kilns — very hot and dusty — a gin pit
just out of St Chamond (right) — fine hilly country, like that about Shibden — hilly winding road
several times could not see for the dust — the old road left in several places and the new one a great improvement —
very well done — St Etienne a large, good town — alight at the hotel de l’Europe at 2 20/.. —
longish while bargaining — nouriture breakfast and dinner selves 11/. vin ordinaire compris — servants 8/. Logement
our 2 single bedded rooms 6/. and servants 1/. would not give more — took off my dress and had it shaken — washed —
Char and 1 horse and A- [Ann] and I out at 4 1/4, and at the École des mines at 4 20/.. 4 3/4 — Monsieur Delsèriés
very civil, but less usefully communicative than I expected — mentioned only the coal pit here of Monsieur Néron, and said
it was dirty and he did not advise our seeing it — but mentioned the coal pit of Firminy, 1 lieue off —
might see it and return today — hesitated a moment — Monsieur Lecoq and Monsieur Prevost live at Clermont,
the former has written several good notices on Clermont and its environs — see the professors there Burdin?
and Boudin? — Paris the place for all works on St Etienne and the coal districts — Carrier? and compagnie
near Bachelier on the quai at Paris ~ Monsieur Delsèriés goes to the Hotel du Midi at Montbrison
but many go to the Hotel du Midi — only one room for minerals at the Ecole — and nothing but quite common things
the collection brought from Moutiers on the French giving up possession of the place to le gouvernement Sarde —
Néron’s pit not visited now by strangers — wet and dirty — at the Côte Thiollière pit at 5 12/..
bureau and entered my name and country — very large steam engine to lift the water — went into a large gallery
(entered from the day) 6 feet high by 4 feet broad? rapid descent — A- [Ann] with me 8 or 10 minutes till we got to a door below then afraid for her
and sent her back — very well for, on passing through the door, the shaft rather wet — the pente = 1/2 i.e. one
metre out of 2 — bed 30 feet thick — get the 10 feet in the middle — went down to the puits — 43 metres from
where we stood to the top, and 18 metres below us to the bottom — 5 principal galleries — only descended into the 3rd — left
the 2 lower ones afraid of leaving A- [Ann] so long — the throughs or montées and descentes driven into the
principal galleries, called Chantiers, are not every quite regular but generally every 15? or 20? metres —

[margin text:] this has only been worked 3 years
dips from west to East.

get 15 metres and leave 15 metres for roof — 15 metres between each chantier — 4 horses there — on
returning saw the ingénieur Monsieur Vachier, very civil, gave me almost all the above renseignmens — have
15 men, working alternately day and night — one man can get 2 metres carrés per jour — 6 (bens, how
spelt?) = 1 metre carré — 1 ben (according to the pronunciation) weighs 150 kilos and sells for 10 sols
here, and 5 francs at Paris — the workman has 2 sols per ben for getting small coal and more for getting the
large (3 sols?) which sells for more — but he said the men earned about 3/50 per day — They get 10 feet thick — then if a
collier gets 2 metres square of surface being 10 feet thick he gets from 40 to 42 bens? at 2 sols, or more
of the large coal of which he cannot get so much in quantity per day — great analogy between this mine and that
of the 10 feet coal at Bradwell mine near Bilston in Staffordshire of which a plan was hung up in
the bureau — the mine here clears about 15,000 francs a year — I could not make him own to getting 1/2 for the
the other profit — i.e. 5 sols clear per ben — but said nothing against getting 3 sols per ben clear profit —
he owned however he did not speak very exactly under circumstances such as at present before people etc.
said I had coals — 27 or 24 inch thick and could get £100 per 3100 yards (or Day work) — said I should perhaps come again
if he would teach me to measure etc. etc. Yes! with pleasure — gave him my address at Shibden and said I should be glad to see
him in England — A- [Ann] began to be frightened — I had left her 1 5/.. hour — not out of the mine till 6 1/2 —
and near an hour talking to the ingenieur — home at 7 40/.. — dinner at 7 50/.. — to go to Firminy at 6 1/2
a.m. tomorrow in our char of this afternoon 1 1/2 poste there and same back (hard bargaining) for 11/. — wrote
all the above of today till 12 5/.. tonight at which hour Fahrenheit 70° very fine day — very hot — Ten minutes quietly
with Miss Walker her cousin came this morning ~

Wednesday 13
6 1/4
11 40/..
Twenty minutes quietly with A [Ann] before getting up ~ fine morning Fahrenheit 68° at 6 1/4 a.m. Made tea
for A [Ann] off in cabriolet to Firminy at 7 25/.. — good road (only opened 5 years ago — the old road considerably to the right — and very
up and down) all the way except through the village of Chamond or some such name — and there the street narrow and pavé
terrible — the street to be widened and made good — a few houses already rebuilt and set back — left the
town of Firminy (left) and drove down to the coal mine or rather coal quarry, and there at 8 50/.. the ingenieur
not there — would not come till 11 — lives in the château — 1/2 hour in the quarry — exactly like a common
stone quarry, only coal instead of stone — quarrying enormous masses — 100 workmen — the piqueurs
earn 2/25 and the carriers 1/75 per day — as much as a man carries of large pieces sells for 4 sols — 3 men killed
7 months ago by the falling down of a mass of rock — drove to the chateau — Monsieur Morillo (ingenieur en chef des
mines de Firminy) at home — very civil — would return with me to the coal quarry, — and had the horse put up at the
chateau — above an hour shewing me all over the quarry, and explained about the steam engine pump — 24
horse power — much power lost by being at such a distance from the works and communicating with the well by iron bars, 100 yards length? but the ground so tender so full of old
mines, and given to fall in, that they durst not sink the pit or well nearer — this pit 20 toises deep, but the pump
only brought up the water to 1/2 way, and then it runs off by an old gallery — the water I saw forming a little
cascade from the top into the quarry and thence by an old gallery is turned there on purpose — the mine here often on fire — afraid of it now,
so has turned the water down — the numberless old galleries, and wet and pyrites, cause the fire — will be obliged
to noyer the mine, fill it with water once every 3 years — of course, prefers doing it in winter — this mine
worked as now (au jour) only 3 years — was worked before underground, in the common way — the different proprietors
of the soil worked the coal, and made nothing of it — the mine was given up — coal immediately under the row
of houses that bounds the quarry to the East, but the proprietors not willing to take a reasonable price, so the
coal company prefers having the coal — but when they have got it 4 or 5 yards from the houses, they have only had 12 feet of
DateAug 1834
Extent1 page


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