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The Glendon Iron Company (1870-1885)

(Research by Roger Wood 2020)

The Derby Mercury Friday 14th June 1765 page 4.

New Beginnings at Simonfield, Mapperley, Derbyshire

The Glendon Iron Company

Mapperley Derbyshire (1870-1885)

A detailed report of the new colliery enterprise was published in the following newspapers:

The Derby Mercury Wednesday 7th September 1870 page 8.

New Colliery at Mapperley

Some months ago the Glendon Iron Company leased the minerals under the above estate from William Drury Lowe, Esq. of Locko Park, Derbyshire. Since then busy hands have been engaged in the necessary preliminary works preparatory of sinking two shafts for the mining of the coal and ironstone. It was decided to cut the first sod of the sinking on Thursday inst, and E. K. Fisher, Esq. Market Harborough, and G. Checkland, Esq., Leicester, sole partners in the Glendon Iron Company, invited a few friends to inaugurate the proceedings. At two o’ clock Mrs. Checkland cut the first sod and announced the works formally opened. Mr. Gillot, mining engineer, Derby, briefly alluded to the importance of the work now inaugurated, pointing out the benefits that would accrue to the proprietor of the mineral field, to the lessees, and to the workmen of the district, and especially noticed the happy auspices under which the works were begun, alluding to the kindness of Mrs. Checkland – accompanied by a few lady friends – having assisted at the ceremony of opening the works. The party then adjourned to a very elegant luncheon, served up in one of the newly erected offices, improvised for the occasion; Mr. Checkland occupying the chair and Mr. Fisher the Vice-chair. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were duly honoured; the followed “The Lord of the Manor, William Drury Lowe, Esq.” “The Lessees, Messrs. Checkland and Fisher,” &c., &c., all of which were most heartily given. Much regret was expressed at the unavoidable absence of William Drury Lowe, Esq., who has been somewhat indisposed, and who, although now almost entirely convalescent, was yet compelled to avoid any risk of a relapse. Amongst the party at luncheon we observed Mr. and Mrs. Checkland and Mr. George Checkland, Mr. Fisher, Master Edward Fisher, Mr. and Mrs. Gadsby and Miss Gadsby of Derby; Mr. Gillett, Mr. Purves, agent for William Drury Lowe, Esq., Mr. Green, &c., &c.

The energetic lessees have set about their work in a manner characteristic of themselves. We believe they intend sinking two shafts each 13 feet diameter, with two engines equal to one hundred horse-power. It is expected to reach the hard coal about 200 yards deep. Contracts have been entered into for the different kinds of work, whereby not only the cost of the winning of the coal is pretty well ascertained, but also the time when the completion of the works may be expected: the contractors, being men of experience and resources, give a guarantee for the proper performances of their respective contracts. F. C. Gillot, Esq., Mining Engineer, has the superintendence of the works, and Mr. Mason, late of Stanley Colliery, is the local manager. It is expected that the shafts will be in full working order in twelve month. Arrangements are being made to raise two tubs on one deck, and, if need be, a double decked cage, so that by this means four tubs at a time could be brought up, or say 600 to 800 tons a day. We understand Mr. George Checkland will represent the Glendon Iron Company on these works, the position will be an enormous one, but we doubt not his experience and business habits will be equal to the requirements of the position. We understand this mineral field will turn out between eight and nine million tons of coal. A small portion of the field was worked some , of hundred years ago by the late Richard Drury Lowe, Esq., of Locko Park, ancestor of the present owner of the Estate, but want of good roads to bring the minerals to market caused we understand, the abandonment of the works; but in this age of iron roads no such difficulty exists. The directors and officials of the Midland Railway actively alive to the interests of the company they represent have projected and are immediately about to carry into execution a branch line into the mineral field, thereby securing to their main line another excellent feeder. We understand Mr. Allport and Mr. Crossley have been most praiseworthy energetic in bringing about this result.

We are informed that the Glendon Iron Company propose erecting iron furnaces in connection with these works, for the purpose of manufacturing the material on the spot; we wish them every possible success in their undertaking, and we doubt  not that they are a long time in the district – at present thinly populated – will be teeming with industry and wealth. And we trust, above all things, that employers and employed may meet each other in a fair and reasonable spirit, and thereby ensure a fair reward to both, so capital  for its enterprise, and to labour for its supply of muscle and sinew: capital and labour when antagonistic result in grievous disappointment and loss; when united they form a gigantic power for good, for the production of wealth and increased prosperity, and that the later may be the result of the enterprise of the Glendon Iron Company with the co-operation of their employees in their newly acquired scene of operations is our hearty wish.


The Derbyshire Times Saturday January 14th 1871 page 3.


New Colliery at Mapperley Derbyshire

Glendon Iron Company, (consisting of E. K. Fisher, Esq., Market Harborough and G. Checkland, Esq., Leicester,) have leased the minerals under the Mapperley estate, within a mile or two of Ilkeston, from W. D. Lowe, Esq., of Locko Park. The sinking of two shafts for the mining of coal and ironstone is being proceeded with. They are to be each thirteen feet in diameter, with two engines equal to one hundred-horse power, and it is expected the hard coal will be reached about 200 yards deep. F. C. Gilliott, Esq., mining engineer, Derby, has the superintendence of the works, and Mr. Mason, late of the Stanley Colliery is the local manager. It is expected that the shafts will be in full working order in twelve months. Arrangements have been made to raise two tubs on one deck, and, if necessary, a double-decked cage, so that by this means four tubs at a time could be brought up, or 600 to 800 tons a day. Mr. George Checkland represents the Glendon Iron Company on the works. The field, it is understood, will turn out between eight and nine million tons of coal. A small portion of it was worked some hundred years ago by the late Richard Drury Lowe, Esq., of Locko Park, ancestor of the present proprietor of the estate, but want of good roads to bring the minerals to market caused the abandonment of the works. Now no such difficulty exists, the directors and officials of the Midland Railway having projected and being about to carry into execution a branch line into the mineral field from the Stanton-Gate Station, on the Erewash Valley Railway. The Glendon Iron Company propose erecting iron furnaces in connection with these works for the purpose of manufacturing the material.


This same article above was also published in the:

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal January 20th 1871 page 7.


The Northampton Mercury Saturday January 21st 1871 page 6.

Finedon, two mines from Wellingborough is the headquarters of the Glendon Iron Company and a considerable tonnage of stone is raised in the district, part of which has been used by the furnaces of the company, whilst the remainder has been sent into Derbyshire, for mixing with the local ores there.

Notes on the three articles (Brief History) :

The Glendon Iron Ore Company was Established in 1866 forming the Finedon Iron Works (Northamptonshire) eventually building six blast furnaces over a 16 year period. In 1870 Checkland and Fisher became the proprietors of these works. Their intention was to eventually build a new Ironworks at Mapperley Derbyshire which had ample supplies of coal and iron ore.

When the sixth furnace was built at Finedon in 1882 the works became the largest ironworks in the U.K. The furnaces were closed in 1891.

Names mentioned in the article showing correct spellings : 

William Drury-Lowe (1802-1877) of Locko Park, Derbyshire.

Richard Purves (1826-1880) of Flamstead House, Denby, Derbyshire. Land Agent for the Locko Estate.

Francis Calvert Gillett Mining (1826-1895) Engineer, Midland Road Derby.

Edward Knapp Fisher (1827-1901).

George Checkland (1823-1879) Father.

George Edward  Checkland (1845-1903) Son and Daughter in Law of above.
Agnes  Aked Checkland (Claye) (1850-1933).


The  Checkland Family

George Checkland (Senior) (1823-1879) of Leicester, Iron and Coal master married twice. His first marriage was to Mary Ann Crofts (1821-1854) they married April 1841. They had four children. Their eldest son George Edward Checkland (Junior) (1845-1903), continued in his fathers’ business opening several iron and coal mines throughout the Midlands. Mary Ann died in 1854 and George (Senior) re-married on the 4th October 1855 at St. Mary’s church Nottingham Millicent Taylor (1832-1893). She was the 6th daughter of John and Millicent Taylor of Elm House, Nottingham. This marriage brought issue of a further 5 children.
George (Senior) died 25 May 1879 at Hawkswich St. Albans, Hertfordshire.

George Edward Checkland (1845-1903) married Agnes Aked Claye (1850-1933) of Long Eaton, Derbyshire on October 15th 1873. She was the second daughter of Samuel John Claye (1819-1887) and Jane Fletcher (1820- ) of the Manor House, Long Eaton, Derbyshire. He was a railway wagon builder supplying many of the local collieries including Mapperley. George died 24th February 1903 at the family home of Thurmaston Hall, Leicester. Agnes continued to live there following her husbands’ death. She died 6th January 1933.


The Derby Mercury Wednesday  May 3rd  1871 page 3.

Ripley Petty Sessions May 1st 1871

John Jackson, Bosworth Park, was charged by Edward Roe of Mapperley, with stealing on the 15th April, a silver verge watch and guard, value £3-15s, a skirt, and a pen-knife, his property. The Prisoner had been employed at the Glendon Iron Company’s works at Mapperley, and had lodged with prosecutor, till the 15th April, when he disappeared, and was not heard of again till the 22nd, when he was, apprehended at Newhull, by Police Constable Watts. Prisoner denied the charge, but was remanded.

Fanny Flint, of Mapperley, was charged by the same prosecutor with aiding and abetting in the theft of the watch, and was also remanded.


Thursday 27th  April 1871 Kirk Hallam

The Reverend W. Smith, of Mapperley and the Reverend C. Newdigate, of West Hallam took the service at Kirk Hallam. After evening service, the new school, built by Colonel Newdigate, was opened by the Bishop, who gave a few words of advice to the parents and children present.

Prayers were given  to all the men working on the construction of the new rail-road in the area and the sinking the new pit at Mapperley by  the Glendon Iron Company. Wishing all, a safe outcome in their new enterprise.


The Derby Mercury June 14th 1871 page 3.


The  Glendon Iron Company’s works at Mapperley are progressing satisfactory. Last week the soft coal, at a depth of 120 yards, was reached. The seam is nine feet six inches in thickness, and is considered to be one of the finest seams in the district. A  seam of hard coal is supposed to be beneath it, and it is expected that it will be reached in a fortnight or three weeks. There is at work a pair of splendid engines, which have been erected by Messrs. Jessop and Co., of the London Steam Engine Works, Leicester. Some 2,400 gallons of water are being drawn out of the shaft per hour. Operations were commenced in September, and up to the present no accident worthy of note has taken place, which is very creditable to the managers. Mr. George Edward Checkland (junior), and Mr. Mason. The contractor for sinking of the shaft is Mr. George Green, the mining engineer being Mr. F. C. Gillett. The line of railway from Stanton-gate to the works is rapidly pushed on. It is calculated that when the operations are completed, employment will be given to 600 or 700 workmen.

London Steam Crane and Engine Works established 1866 by Appleby Brothers. Resident Leicester partner in Company Joseph Jessop. George Green main (shaft sinker) throughout the Midlands.


The Engineer June 23rd  1871 page 434


The Glendon Iron Company’s works at Mapperley are making good progress. Soft Coal was reached at a depth of 360feet. The seam is 9ft – 6ins thick. A seam of hard coal is expected to be reached beneath it.


 1872 Death

13th February 1872 John Potter (49) Fell Down Shaft

John Potter (1825-1872) fell down shaft moving a plank. He was the son of John and Hannah Potter of Smalley Mill, Derbyshire. Sister of Harriett Potter. John was an Iron stone miner and moved to the Glendon Iron Company working on the erection of the headstocks. Where he had his fatal accident.

March 1872 Mapperley Colliery (Opened), (Simonfield) Park Hall, near Ilkeston, Derbyshire (Glendon Iron Company). To work Deep Soft, Deep Hard, Piper, Low Main and Kilburn coals.

In April 1872 the Ironmaster Israel Parkes of West Bromwich went bankrupt through problems in the iron trade. George Checkland was called to chair the meeting of Creditors in Birmingham. Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Friday April 19th 1872 page 4.


Yesterday afternoon, a meeting of the creditors of Mr. Israel Parkes, ironmaster, of West Bromwich, was held at the Queen’s Hotel, Birmingham. There was a large attendance of creditors. Mr. Checkland, of the Glendon Iron Company, Northampton, was voted to the chair. The statement of the debtor’s affairs showed a total liability of £31,195 - 19s  -  1d., which sum included unsecured depts. Amounting to £19,217 - 4s - 6d., and liabilities on unfulfilled contracts estimated at £10,000.
May 1872 Richard Jackson Eley (1827-1887) born Heanor, Derbyshire married to Sarah Bagnall. Employed as Under-Viewer at Mapperley Colliery (Glendon Iron Company). His son John Eley was employed at the colliery as Deputy Under-viewer. (See court case written below “The Sheffield Daily Telegraph Wednesday November 12th 1873. Page 4.”)

Coal Sales 1873

Orders for the sale of Mapperley Coal were advertised in the Leicester Chronicle Saturday 2nd, Saturday 9th, and Saturday 23rd August 1873. Showing the price of  Coal and Slack.

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