This is the eagerly awaited first volume of the definitive History of the British Coal Industry. Well before 1700 Britain had become heavily dependent upon coal for its fuel, and coalmining had taken its place among the nation's staple industries. John Hatcher traces the production and trade of coal from the intermittent small-scale activity which prevailed in the Middle Ages to the rapid expansion and rising importance which characterized the early modern
era. Thoroughly grounded in a formidable range of sources, the book explores the economics and management of mining, the productivity and profitability of colliery enterprise, and the progress of technology. Dr Hatcher examines the owners and operators of collieries and the sources of
mining capital, as well as the colliers themselves, their working conditions and earnings. He argues that the spectacular growth of coal output in this period was achieved more through evolutionary than revolutionary processes. This is a scholarly, detailed, and comprehensive study, which will be an essential source for all historians of the medieval and early modern economy, and fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in the British coal industry.
`this is a splendid history, worthy of its subject, and now complete in the five volumes commissioned by an enlightened National Coal Board ... it seems appropriate that the final instalment should not be a study of the decline of a great industry, but a thorough account of its early and massive foundations ... Hatcher's exhaustive analysis of the accounts of thirty collieries provides invaluable data on the profitability of the industry and the nature of
investment in it ... it is difficult to see how this book could be bettered.'
Times Literary Supplement
'a masterly review of the regional evidence for the industry with excellent accounts of the north-eastern and north-western coalfields, and a thorough analysis of production and consumption'
'This massive work completes the new history of coal in Britain commissioned in 1975 by the National Coal Board ... this work commands respect ... it is well organised and I found it easy to read. Dr Hatcher and his researchers have gone back to the original sources and worked through them with care. They have discovered new evidence, and brought known matter together in a comprehensive, fresh and envigorating manner.'
C.B. Phillips, University of Manchester, Business History, October 1994
`This massive work completes the new history of coal in Britain...overall, this work commands respect. The book is over 600 pages long, but it is well organised and I found it easy to read. Dr Hatcher and his researchers have gone back to the original sources and worked through them with care. They have discovered new evidence, and brought known matter together in a comprehensive, fresh and invigourating manner.'
`John Hatcher has written an outstanding economic history, a great achievement for his period was in source and archive term the most difficult...This book will be a standard source for many years to come.'
Labour History Review
`it is an independent work of real substance, massively founded on fresh empirical research which not only reworks sources known to Nef but also greatly extends the evidential base for consideration of the nature and development of the industry ... this is not only a work of impressive scholarship but also one which is engaging and very well written ... And it is accessible, eschewing theoretical grandeur in favour of guiding the reader carefully along `the
unprepossessing route of empirical evidence'. It is a model of how economic history can and should be written.'
Keith Wrightson, Jesus College, Cambridge, EHR, June 1996
Part 1 Towards the age of coal: the era of cheap fuel -from early times to the mid-16th century; from abundance to scarcity - the rise of coal 1550-1700. Part 2 Regional developments and national trends: the coalfields of Britain. Part 3 The production of coal: mines and the techniques of mining; ownership and enterprise; management; labour relations and work discipline; the economics of mining; life and labour in the collieries. Part 4 The consumption of coal: sales and transport; measuring the coal trade; the organization of the East cost trade; the coal industry and the economy in early modern Britain.
Series: History of the British Coal Industry : Book 1
Number Of Pages: 656
Published: 3rd June 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24
Weight (kg): 1.21