. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

Califat Stone Fall Fatality 1872

Charles King was killed by a stone fall at the Califat Colliery, leaving a widow and four children.

Leicester Journal 9th February 1872



On Wednesday, an inquest was held at Swannington, before J. Gregory, Esq., coroner, upon Charles King, deceased.

George Marriott a loader employed at No. 2 pit of the Coleorton Colliery, said deceased was a stallman, and worked in No. 7 stall.  The day previous he was at work in the stall with Enoch Bird, and deceased was making the roof safe.  He had set one bar at the left hand of the stall, and he was getting ready to set another at the right hand end, when a little three-cornered piece of stone came from a break in the roof, and fell upon him, and knocked him down against the way-head path, and fastened him by his left leg.. Sent Bird for the Corporal, William Bird, and I got him out just before he came, but he was dead, and his head was very much injured. Bird had been in the stall that morning between six and seven. Deceased was an experienced miner, and a careful and good man in his place.

Verdict ” Accidental death.”

Deceased was 35 years of age.

Charles King and His Family

Charles King 1836-1872

Charles, son of labourer Aaron King and his wife Ann, was baptised at St Mary the Virgin church, Broxted, Essex on the 11th December 1836.

Charles was a 24 year old labourer when he married 23 year old Rachel Barker, daughter of blacksmith Thomas Barker, at Holy Trinity, Kentish Town, Middlesex (now the Borough of Camden, London), on the 12th August 1861.  Rachel was born in Thaxted, Essex in 1837.

Charles and Rachel were living in Thaxted in 1863 when their son Thomas was born.  Shortly afterwards they moved to Ibstock, Charles was probably tempted by working in a coal mine, and daughter Ann was born there in 1865.

Charles and Rachel moved to Swannington, where son Charles was born in 1867 and daughter Emma in 1869.  At the 1871 census they were living in The Rowlands, so just a short walk via Limby Hall Lane to the Califat mine.

Charles King’s Family

When Charles died in 1872 Rachel had to continue feeding four children – Thomas 9, Ann 7, Charles 5 and Emma 2.  Life would have been challenging, but Rachel got through it.

By the 1881 census they would have been much better off as four of the family were working and they also had a boarder.  They were living in Main Street, near the Robin Hood where the household comprised:

  • Rachel King, 43, lace embroider
  • Thomas King, 19, coal miner
  • Annie King, 17, elastic weaver’s assistant
  • Charles King, 14, coal bank boy
  • Emma King, 11, scholar
  • Elizabeth Lovett, 21, elastic weaver