The Mold Riots

No words about Mold would be complete without at least a mention of the Mold Riots. There had always been some friction between English and Welsh miners but by the mid 1800’s English owners had a tendency to replace Welsh managers with imported English ones.

In 1863 John Young , a man from the North East was appointed underground manager to replace a Welshman which caused some resentment and by 1869 there were many grievances against Young such as refusing proper roof timbers, speaking disrespectfully of Welsh miners as a body, and importing English miners allocating them the best places so they could earn higher wages than the Welsh miners.

1869 was a bad year for coal, prices were down, and when on May 1st john Young posted a notice regarding reduction in wages, it appeared to be the last straw for the miners at the Leeswood Green Colliery. On 17th May, the day the reduction was due to start, 300 miners did not turn up for work.

Then two days later over two hundred men confronted Young and demanded the wages should be reinstated to the old scale. Young refused on account of it being a company matter so he was marched to Hope Station, being told that his fare was was being paid to England.

Young wasn’t the first man to receive this treatment however, when they reached the station Young was rescued by local police and he laid charges against the leaders. He delayed his return to Leeswood but the Leeswood Green men with reinforcements from Coppa, Coed Talon and Nerquis stripped his house., Cae Gwial, and all the contents were taken to Canary Wharf.

By Colin Ashbury

From the book, Leeswood, Past and Present, edited by Lucille Ingham.

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