Mining Death Registered A Year Later?

Occupations and the like.

Moderator: Global Moderators

Post Reply
Posts: 1656
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:46 am
Location: Falkirk area

Mining Death Registered A Year Later?

Post by WilmaM » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:34 pm

My daughter has discovered an odd situation.
2 March 1863
Falkirk – Serious Accident - On Friday, a woman called Mary Bain was engaged at No. 9 Pit, Redding colliery, along with another woman, in "trimming" waggons, and while doing so several empty hutches which were standing about six yards off broke loose from their moorings, came against the waggon which was being trimmed, and propelled it along the line. Bain, in consequence lost her balance, and fell in betwixt the waggons, and a plank used in crossing the scree caught her by the throat, injuring her severely. She afterwards got entangled with the brake, and sustained a severe blow on the forehead. No hopes are entertained of her recovery. [Scotsman 3 March 1863]

NB Mary Bain, aged 36 died 2nd March 1863. The death was not registered until 2 April 1864.

She wondered why there was such a long gap between the death and registration.

Curious as always! I found the registration, and the dates are in fact as reported.
There was a Corrected Entry that starts with "the following report result of a precognition touching the death of Mary Bain"
the RCE is dated 2nd April 1964 and a further date of 25th February 1865 is written across the top would that have been when the RCE was added to the page?

there follows details of the accident and her death , but no obvious reason for the delay in the registration of her death.
If her death wasn't registered for so long, when would she have been buried?

Like her mother she's fallen down the rabbit hole of local history!!!

Posts: 3788
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Mining Death Registered A Year Later?

Post by Currie » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:09 am

Hello Wilma,

In 1863 she would probably have been buried within 24 hours, if not sooner.

Pretty well the same accident report in the Glasgow Herald, Tuesday, March 3, 1863 ... %2C3005364

Here’s a previous post about late registration of a death. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7484&p=55637

The original 1856 legal requirements of notifying “deaths not in a house” are set out in this 1861 publication, along with the author’s comments. (Practical Analysis of the Acts relating to the Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Scotland) ... AJ&pg=PA46

Hope that helps,

Elwyn 1
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Co. Antrim, Ireland

Re: Mining Death Registered A Year Later?

Post by Elwyn 1 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:16 pm

If her death wasn't registered for so long, when would she have been buried?
Scottish Law is often different from law in other jurisdictions but all the same I thought I would mention the position in Ireland regarding death and burial in the 1800s, as it may have been similar in Scotland.

There was no requirement to get permission to bury a body in Ireland until at least 1893. In 1893 a Select Committee was set up to look into “the sufficiency of the existing law as to the disposal of the dead, for securing an accurate record of the cause of death in all cases, and especially for detecting them when death may have been due to poison, violence or criminal neglect.”

The Committee’s proposals set out what is broadly still today the normal practice in many jurisdictions, ie a death cannot be registered unless certified by a Doctor or a Coroner (yes I know there are no coroners in Scotland). That the Registrar must issue permission to bury the body. That the practice of burial in pits or common graves be discontinued. And so on. Where a medical practitioner was unable to inspect the body, he should obtain a certificate signed by two persons, neighbours of the deceased, verifying the fact of the death. (I doubt that’s still the law!).

Above reported in the Portadown News 28.10.1893, in an article titled “Death certification.”

Interestingly some Doctors opposed these measures. Some argued that there was little point calling them to view a dead body, especially if it involved a long journey to some remote location. There was nothing they could do to help, and they’d rather be trying to cure the sick. The other argument was about who would pay them! Normally the patient paid in those days but obviously a dead patient couldn’t do that. Once the question of payment was resolved, their objections melted away.

But until these measures were introduced, death registration was simply a matter of the informant giving the details to the Registrar. No other paperwork was involved. So that could be weeks or months after the person had been buried.

Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:04 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Mining Death Registered A Year Later?

Post by Falkyrn » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:36 pm

You don't say who initially registered the death.

As the RCE mentions a precognition regarding her death this infers that there was an investigation held by the Procurator Fiscal into the circumstances. Only natural as the PF has the responsibility of investigating all deaths in public places and in addition to this there was a growing amount of legislation regarding workplace injuries/deaths at this time.

These investigations can sometimes take a considerable amount of time and only when concluded would the final Registration of the death be recorded sometimes if the PF is the only recorded source of the registration details then the actual registration can be skewed by the time it took to investigate the circumstances (and do all of the paperwork :wink: )
~RJ Paton~

Posts: 269
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:04 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Mining Death Registered A Year Later?

Post by Falkyrn » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:00 pm

Just an add-on

Although It became compulsory to Register a death with various amendments from 1855 onwards in Scotland the attendance of a Medical Practitioner was a very grey area. Like the sitiuation reported in Ireland Doctors in Scotland were reluctant to attend a death over the matter of fees and it was not until 1910 that the attendance of a doctor became compulsory. Although for several years before this doctors were called out to deaths as the family required confirmation in order to make any claim on benefits from Insurance or Friendly Societies
~RJ Paton~

Post Reply