Alison was born in Adamsrow on 22 October 1828.

    William was born in Adamsrow on 10 January 1829.

    David Adams was born in Newton on 1 Oct 1782.

Edmonstone Colliery Childrens' Employment Commission 1842

Evidence collected for the Commision from some of those working at Edmonston Colliery:


No.12. Alison Adam, 13 years old, coal-bearer:-

I know my age from mother's Bible.  Father is dead; I never wrought while he was in life but went to a school kept by Miss Hunter, who taught me reading and writing and sewing.  I go now when able.

My hours of work are from 2 in the morning till 10 and 12 at day; after work get porridge which neighbour has ready for me, who take a look in at house while mother is away and locks up the bairns, who are four and seven years of age.

I generally get four hours schooling, for mother pays 4d. a-week.  I wash and change before going to school.  Work in No.28 pit; the water covers my ankles and there are frequent accidents from stones falling from roof which is soft. Bad air frequently stops my breath, when I run to mother who hangs the baskets on at the pit bottom.

[Knows scripture history very well, reads and writes fairly; seemed to have a great dislike to the work; very intelligent.]

Alison left the area for Edinburgh, and married in 1853.  She lived there until she died, in 1907.

No.16:  William Adam, 12 years old, coal-hewer:  Works on father's account, has done so for three years.

"Father took me below to assist him; did not like the work when first below; can't say I like it muckle now, as am o'ersore wrought.  I gang at three and do not see daylight at all in winter, only on Saturday and as I never come up till five or six.  I go to Mr. Robertson's night-school and am reading and writing, can do a little at both; as also I go to the Sabbath-school.  I live about half a mile from pit where I work."

[Knows Scripture pretty well, cannot count, but knows that if he earned a shilling a-day, and worked 20, he should have a pound. Mother was a coal-cleaner, left off working two years; has five children in life.]

William died, of fever, 2 years after giving this statement.

No.27 Mr David Adams, overseer to the Edmonstone Colliery, in the occupation of Messrs. Alexander and Mowbray Stenhouse, of Whitehill, near Edmontone.

I have five pits at present in operation and the numbers employed underground do not exceed 300, comprising men, women, and children.

The thickness of the seams are from 32 inches to five feet and the main roads are 42 inches to five feet high Female children carry coal on their backs through the main-ways and I think much coal could not be got out without carrying, as the dip and rise is one foot in six and eight; besides those who bear coal are more regular than those who do the putting [drawing].

It is owing to the nature of the roofs that carrying coal is allowed, they being soft and dangerous; and I am free to admit that the work is unsuited to females but it would be a hardship to discontinue those who have grown up to the labour.

I think limitation of age at which children should be employed in mines desirable and I should recommend 13 to 14 years.

There is, in connection with this colliery, a school in which reading, writing and arithmetic are taught and a sewing school for the lassies: very small fees are taken. There is no library. The colliers have a yearly sick society, and one for defraying funeral expenses and medical attendance.

It would seem that David Adams reached his managerial position without having too much regard for those working under him, including his relatives, William and Alison.

He died, aged 66, in 1849.