Paternalism in the north-east Derbyshire coal field 1840-1894. A case study of the Clay Cross Company

Williams, C., 1993. Paternalism in the north-east Derbyshire coal field 1840-1894. A case study of the Clay Cross Company. MPhil, Nottingham Trent University.

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Derbyshire is singularly lacking in a substantial study of any of its major nineteenth century coalmining communities and the effects of company control and dominance. The existing studies of the business, industrial and social history of the Derbyshire coalfield make reference to the nineteenth century community building activities of its leading enterprises,, but contribute comparatively little to the understanding of the social dynamics of these mining communities. The importance and significance of company paternalism as a powerful and critical variable in the development of these communities is also deplete.

This thesis will examine the experience and mandate of the Clay Cross Company's brand of paternalism between 1840 and 1894. It will emphasise a competitive model of paternalism that was about repelling organised labour and maintaining ideological hegemony that sought to secure and mould a compliant and deferential workforce. The aims and motives of company paternalism and their manifestations are investigated through the competitive provision of housing, education, social welfare, religion and leisure activities. Alternative ideas and institutions emerged from within the community that fractured company dominance with regard to trade unions, friendly and benefit societies and leisure and cultural pursuits. The impact of external influences and State intervention gradually eroded company paternalism that led to its demise. The contradictions of a benign paternalism are fully revealed when the productive relations of the coalmine are examined. Company paternalism was always conditional and paid for by the workers and did not fracture the company's notion of a dominant laissez-faire. It was an ideological hegemony lubricated by the ethics of middle class morality and leadership.

This case study clearly identifies with the notion of a 'new paternalism' that emerged in the mid 1840's and was of central significance to the evolution of British Society. This study, therefore, will hopefully contribute to the void in the historiography of the nineteenth century social history of the Derbyshire miners, their families and communities and generate further inquiry into the social and economic dynamics of paternalism.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Williams, C.
Date: 1993
ISBN: 9781369323528
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 02 Oct 2020 09:32
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2023 10:23

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