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Joe Stanley

The Yorkshire Miners 1786-1858: A Study in Protest, Politics and Work

Discipline/professional area


Outline of research project

My research examines the interplay between protest, politics and work in relation to the Yorkshire miners between 1786 and 1858, a group who have been relatively neglected in the standard histories of miners and protest during this period. Drawing on relatively under-utilised material, including local newspapers, estate records, colliery journals and diaries, my thesis will offer a lens into protest action, community and trade-union politics, and living and working conditions in the Yorkshire coalfield across a period of immense social, economic, and political change. I’m very interested in Carl Griffin’s methodological approach of placing the labouring classes in the wider realms of wages, living standards, and terms of employment. Only by fully understanding their quotidian life experiences and their cultures of work can we begin, I would argue, to understand what motivated and conditioned protest instances.

Key References

F. Machin, The Yorkshire Miners (Barnsley, 1958)

E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (Harmondsworth, 1968 ed.)

K. Navickas, Protest and the Politics of Space and Place (Manchester, 2016)

M. Chase, Early Trade Unionism: Fraternity, Skill, and the Politics of Labour (2000)

J.L. Baxter, ‘Early Chartism and Labour Class Struggle: South Yorkshire 1837-1840’ in S. Pollard and C. Holmes (eds.) Essays in the Economic and Social History of South Yorkshire (Barnsley, 1976), pp.135-158

C.J. Griffin, Protest, Politics and Work in Rural England (Basingstoke, 2014)

Director of studies
Dr Matthew Roberts

Professor John Singleton

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