Coal mining on a Yorkshire estate: land ownership and personal capitalism, 1850-1914.

CROSS, David Stewart (2015). Coal mining on a Yorkshire estate: land ownership and personal capitalism, 1850-1914. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The Winn family were landowners with estates at Nostell in Yorkshire and Appleby in Lincolnshire. Their property was mainly agricultural but included a small colliery on the Yorkshire estate. In the late 1850s the Winns’ land was heavily mortgaged and the family was in financial difficulty. The thesis centres on the successful efforts led by Rowland Winn (1820-1893), elder son of the landowner Charles (1795-1874), to restore the estates’financial ‘equilibrium through the exploitation of their mineral resources. Edmund Winn (1830-?1908), Rowland’s younger brother, supported him in these endeavours, as did George Winn (1863-1952), Rowland’s fourth son. The thesis places the Winn family in the context of the mid-nineteenth century landowning class, with particular reference to their characteristic attitudes to the preservation, management and economic development of landed property. The Winns’previous experience in mining is linked to their plan for a new and larger colliery at Nostell, which they considered the best opportunity for increasing the income from their estates. This plan was overtaken by the discovery of ironstone on the Lincolnshire property, and the thesis investigates the Winns’ rationale for leasing the stone rather than mining it on their own account. The ironstone generated a rapid and growing income and, building on this success, the Winns sank a new colliery at Nostell that opened in 1866. Unlike the ironstone, the colliery was directly financed and managed by the Winn family, who took on the full capital risk of the venture. The thesis investigates the sources of the colliery capital, and considers the running of the colliery between 1866 and 1914 from the perspectives of accounting policy, transport and logistics, marketing and management. It concludes that in establishing and running the colliery the Winn family combined the characteristic and in some ways contrasting approaches to entrepreneurialism and management of the landowning class, and of the personal capitalists who dominated contemporary British industry. The conclusion challenges the suggestion that the mid-late nineteenth century landowning class had an inherent dislike of all forms of industry. The thesis also attempts to contribute to the knowledge of the evolution of marketing and management in the Victorian and Edwardian coal industry.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Lewis, Merv
Thesis advisor - Lloyd-Jones, Roger
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2015 15:02
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:49

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