Gwannap Pit John Wesley

Princes of the working Valley


The Day & Night Book
of Two Dolcoath Mine Captains 1822-23


For generations mine captains in Cornish mines left notes for their colleagues coming on shift or core. These dealt with what had been done on the previous shift, what needed doing, what problems had occurred, what gear was required and anything else that the mine captain needed to know. Perhaps the earliest extant journal of this type is this one written by Captain James Thomas and Captain William Petherick between December 1822 and October 1823 at Dolcoath Mine.

The letters of the two men give us is not an 'official' record of a great mine. It is a picture of something far harder to evaluate today - life as it was, with its pastimes, prejudices, special vocabulary, and a lively depiction of the day to day life of the mine.

Alien Buckley, in his joint capacities as practical miner and prolific historian has edited and explained everything written in the 'Day and Night Book' with great thoroughness and erudition making this book a very interesting and informative read. It includes lists of all the men and bal maidens who are mentioned in the Day and Night Book.

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