Annotated 1841 Census of Greater Seaham

The Census of June 6 1841, Greater Seaham
(Dawdon/Seaham Harbour, Dalton-le-Dale, Old Seaham and Seaton-with-Slingley)

Here is the 1841 census of the greater Seaham area, annotated by Tony Whitehead, a Seaham native and historian. Since this document was written in the mid-1990s, some of these census entries may have had corrections made to them in this site’s database, so if you are interested in a particular family, you should search for that family in our database and check to see if any corrections have been made that are not present in this article.

The Census of 1841 was the first to record any personal details and was largely experimental. The enumerator did not ask exactly where a person was born, only whether that person was born in the county in which he or she was now standing. The answer he put down on his sheet was either yes (Y) or no (N), or N(S) if a person was born in Scotland or N(I) for born in Ireland or N(F) if a person was born in a foreign place that was not Scotland or Ireland.

Part 1, Dalton-le-Dale (includes the village of Dalton-le-Dale, Dawdon and
most of modern-day Seaham Harbour) – HO 107 311/4, folios 1 to 44

Dalton-le-Dale

West Farm – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Anne Smithson, 5
Joseph Willis, 35, Farmer
Barbara W, 35
Nicholas W, 7
Margaret W, 6
Mary W, 4
Joseph W, 1
=============================
Robert Parkinson, 25, Manual Lab
Elizabeth Hutchinson, 15, Farm Lab

Dalton Moor – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Andrew Watt, 50, Farmer
Mary W, 40
John W, 10
Thomas W, 8
Mary W, 6
Martin W, 4
=============================
John Johnson, 50, Agr Lab
J. (male) Young, 15, Manual Lab
Elizabeth Clarke , 15, Farm Lab

Times Inn – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Thomas Minns, 57, Publican and Farmer, N
Jane M, 56
Thomas M, 20
George M, 18
Adam M, 14
Charles M, 12
=============================
George Pattison, 30, Farmer
Mary P, 25
Ann P, 1 month.

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
William Hall, 83, Farmer
Isabella H, 73
Joseph H, 30
=============================
Richard Coulton, 30, Agr Lab
William C, 5
William Thomas, 15, Manual Lab
Sarah Dawson, 15, Farm Lab

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Christopher Wilkinson, 35, Schoolmaster
Mary W, 28
Mary A. W, 3
Elizabeth A. W, 1

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Robert Richardson, 73, Independent means
Ann R, 66

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
George Oats, 55, Farmer
Isabella O, 60
Ann O, 24
Anthony O, 20
Margaret O, 35
=============================
Mary Jones, 6

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
John Jameson, 45, Cartwright
Mary J, 50
John J, 20
Thomas J, 15
William J, 14
Elizabeth J, 13
Peter J, 10
=============================
Margaret Robinson, 4

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Edward Pattisson, 60, Farmer
Jane P, 54
Joseph P, 25
=============================
James Dickson, 15,
Ralph Lister, 15, Manual Lab
Edward Nicholson, 2

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Thomas Wilkinson, 50, Farmer,
Dorothy W, 40
Frances W, 50
=============================
John Walker, 30, Agr Lab
Ralph Lister, 15, Manual Lab
Ann Watt, 12, Farm Lab

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
James Minns, 27, Agr Lab
Frances M. 29
Elizabeth M, 2

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
William Pattisson, 80, Independent means
John Elliott, 30, Joiner
Dorothy E, 40
Ann E, 8
William E, 6
John E, 4
=============================
Charlotte Craggs, 14, Farm Lab
Thomas Garbutt, 20, Cotton Weaver

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
John Craggs, 35, Agr Lab
Margaret C, 30
Margaret C, 15
Robert C, 10

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Joseph Elliott, 21, Engineer
Ann E, 21

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Anthony Walker, 34, Stone Mason
Ann W, 31
Thomas W, 7
Sarah W, 6
John W, 2

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
John Nicholson, 29, Joiner
Jane N, 28
Eliz N, 4
William N, 3
John N, 4 months

Dalton-le-Dale – Dalton-le-Dale 1841 Census
Hugh Jobes [Jones?], 25, Joiner
Ann J, 25
Edward J, 2
George J, 3 days

Dawdon

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Benjamin M. Stafford, 50, Farmer
Mary S, 45
Eleanor S, 15
Jane S, 15
Mary S, 12
Benjamin S, 8
Milburn S, 5
=============================
George Stonehouse, 30, Manual Lab
James Leonard, 20, Manual Lab, N (I)
Mary Thompson, 15, Farm Lab

NB: Dawdon Field House was a farm house which somehow was able to cope with seven families living in it. Today it still stands and is known as Dawdon Hill Farm. It is just across the small dene (Dawdon Field Dene) from the site of the former Dawdon Colliery. Like some of the other outlying farms it is probably vey old and almost certainly far older than Seaham Hall (1792). Dawdon Field House in fact has as good a claim as any to be the oldest continuously inhabited building in Greater Seaham. It has seen some noisy and dirty neighbours come and go – the Blastfurnace, the Chemical Works, the Bottleworks, the Gasworks, Watson Town and Dawdon Colliery, and it has seen them all off. Once more and perhaps for good it now overlooks only fields to the south.

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Edward Robinson, 30,
Agr Lab, N
Sarah R, 30, N

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Dodd, 30, Agr Lab, N
Margaret D, 25, N(S)
Ann D, 5, N(S)
John D, 4, N
David D, 3
James D, 8 months

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Lynn, 40, Agr Lab
Mary L, 35
Margaret L, 9
John L, 5
Robert L, 1

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Willis, 65, Pauper
=============================
William Clough, 15, Agr Lab
Mary Clough, 15, Farm Lab
Margaret Clough, 5

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Walker, 25, Agr Lab
Jane W, 26
Elizabeth W, 2

Dawdon Field – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Francis Carter, 45, Agr Lab, N
Latitia (?) C, 53
John C, 20, Agr Lab
Latitita (?) C, 5

NB: At first the below Pilot Terrace was intended exclusively for those of that profession but as we can see in later censuses this did not last long. The Pilot houses were both humble and primitive. The pilots however were very well paid and were regarded almost as princes among their fellow citizens. When better class houses went up they soon abandoned the Terrace to others less choosy than themselves. Lord Londonderry recruited experienced pilots from up and down the coast but South Shields and Sunderland were the biggest providers. The most famous pilot families to emerge in Seaham were the Ellemor(e)s/Elemores, Applebys, Dobsons, Marshalls, Millers and Scotts. Again and again you will come across those surnames in this census. Three Applebys and three Dobsons were drowned in the carrying out of their duty but countless lives were saved by them and their colleagues in their other role of lifeboatmen. In the first century of Seaham Harbour’s existence the pilots were very important people indeed and

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Francis Appleby, 35, Pilot
Sarah A, 30
Ralph A, 5
Francis A, 4
Moses A, 2
Thomas A, 4 months
=============================
Sarah Padley, 15, Farm Lab

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Geatonby [Gatenby], 30, Seaman’s wife, N

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Charlton Dobson, 35, Pilot
Mary D, 30
Mary D, 10
Frances D, 5
Charlton D, 4
Ralph D, 2

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Catherine Allan, 25, Seaman’s wife
Elizabeth A, 1

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Giles, 30, Seaman’s wife
John G, 5

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Hunter, 35, Seaman’s wife, N
Martha Lupton, 9

Pilot Terrrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Kirtley, 30, Ropemaker
Sarah K, 30
George K, 3
William K, 1

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Henshell [Henzell], 60, Ship Captain, N
Margaret Smith, 30, Farm Lab

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Henshell [Henzell], 50, Ship Builder, N
Ann H, 45
=============================
Mary Maugham, 95, Pauper, N

NB: According to Pigots Trade Directory for 1834 the above William Henshell (or Henzell) was the first landlord of the Wellington Inn in South Railway Street. He then turned his attention to shipbuilding. You can hear more of him in later censuses.

NB: The above Mary Maughan was the oldest person in Greater Seaham in the census of 1841. If she was right about her age then she was born in about 1746, the year of Culloden, the last battle fought on British soil. She would already have been about 79 when the Stockton & Darlington Railway opened in 1825, the event which ushered in the Age of the Machine. What changes she would have seen in her lifetime!

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jonathan Johnson, 60, Mariner, N
Jane J, 50, N(S)
John J, 15, App
Edward J, 10, App
=============================
Mary Henshell, 25
John H, 6 months

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Smith, 25, Joiner, N(S)
Mary S, 25, N(S)

Pilot Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Coverdale, 25, Engineer
Mary C, 25
Hannah C, 5

Wood Houses – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Forster, 35, Engineer
Ann F, 35, N
Mary F, 10
Joseph F, 5
Dinah F, 4
Robert F, 1

Wood Houses – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Makepeace, 30, Blacksmith
Hannah M, 29
George M, 12
Hannah M, 9
William M, 7
Wilson M, 2

Wood Houses – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Lonsdale, 50, Agr Lab
Mary L, 50
Robert L, 25, Agr Lab
Elizabeth L, 20
John L, 15, Carpenter’s App
Sarah, 14

Pottery – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Webster, 25, Mariner’s wife, N

Pottery – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Radcliffe [Ratcliffe], 25, Ship’s Carpenter
Sarah R, 20
James R, 3
Robert R, 11 months
=============================
Mary Berry, 45, Innkeeper
Elizabeth B, 15

Pottery – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Henry Burkett, 58, Tea Dealer, N
Elizabeth B, 60
Richard B, 15

Pottery – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Gray, 35, Potter
Margaret G, 35
Elizabeth G, 17
Margaret G, 4
George G, 1
=============================
John Wilson, 25, Potter

NB: Examples of work from the above pottery still exist and are held by Sunderland Museum. The Pottery itself had gone by the time of the 1851 census.

Adolphus Street/Adolphus Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Charles Spencer, 30, Rope Manufacturer
Elizabeth S, 25
Marshall S, 5
Mowbray S, 3
Elizabeth S, 6 months
=============================
Sarah Barrit (?), 28, Farm Lab, N

NB: Adolphus (1825-62) was the second son of the 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry and Frances Anne Vane Tempest. The street named after him was initially very small and would remain so for another couple of decades. Twenty years after this census it still contained only 5 families. Between 1861 and 1891 it expanded westwards and eventually totalled 68 houses. In 1841 it was on the very edge of the new town.

Adolphus St. (Braddyll Arms Hotel, formerly the Windmill Inn ?) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Chilton, 19, Brewer
Margaret C, 50
Margaret C, 16
John C, 13
Mark C, 5
Mary C, 15, Farm Lab
=============================
Thomas Cumming, 20, Customs Officer

NB: According to Pigots Trade Directory for 1834 Thomas Chilton was the landlord of the Windmill at Seaham. This may have been the Mill Inn or the original name of the Braddyll Arms before 1834 when the below Colonel Braddyll had not yet completed his railway from South Hetton Colliery to Seaham Harbour. The mineral line ran right past the pub.

NB: Colonel Thomas Richmond Gale Braddyll of Haswell (and Ulverston, Lancs.) was the proprietor of South Hetton and Murton collieries. He financed the Braddyll Railway (the South Hetton line), constructed from 1831 to 1833, which linked his pits with Seaham Harbour and which went past this public house. Another public house, the Braddyll Arms at Cold Hesledon, was also named after him. Braddyll went bankrupt in 1846 and some of his holdings were taken over by the Pemberton family who had previously owned Monkwearmouth (Pemberton Main) Colliery. They renamed the pub at Cold Hesledon which became firstly the Cold Hesledon Inn and then the Pemberton Arms. It still stands today and is sometimes called the White House. The pub in Seaham was demolished in the 1960s. Colonel Braddyll also owned Conishead Priory near Ulverston in Lancashire. Long after his death this house was taken over by the Miner’s union and became a convalescent home for their sick and injured members.

Adolphus St – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Neil, 25, Timber Measurer, N
Hannah N, 20
Margaret N, 7
Robert N, 5
Thomas N, 1
=============================
Isabella Ridley, 15, Farm Lab, N

Wood Cottages – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Pruddah [Prudhoe], 50, Mason
Mary P, 50
George P, 20, Mason
Mary P, 15
Thomas P, 15, Apprentice
John P, 10
William P, 5
=============================
Dorothy Paxton, 20

NB: The above John Pruddah , aged 10, was in fact John Seaham Prudhoe, the first child to be born in the new town of Seaham Harbour in 1828, mentioned by Tom MacNee in ‘Seaham – the first 100 years’. Wood Cottages apparently stood on Terrace Green opposite the Lord Seaham. They were later removed and placed at the top of Pilot Terrace. In the 1851 census they are called Marquess Cottages but they have gone by the 1861 census, probably merged by the enumerators with ‘Wood Houses’.

Wood Cottages – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Rogerson, 50, Lab, N
Jane R, 45
Ann R, 25
Mary R, 15
Robert R, 14
John R, 20, Clerk
Elizabeth R, 8
Sarah R, 5

NB: The Rogerson family seem to stay put in Wood Cottages for the next 50 years at least, despite a change in location and changes of name to first Marquess Cottages and then Wood Houses. They can be found there in every census up to 1891.

Wood Cottages – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Alexander Thompson, 50, Joiner, N(S)
Elizabeth T, 50, N(S)
John T, 18, Mariner
Jesse T, 16
=============================
William Lowes, 3

South Crescent (Vane Arms) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Dorothy Green, 35, Innkeeper, N
Samuel G, 15, App
George G, 10, App
Joseph G, 9
John G, 7
Ralph G, 5
=============================
Samuel Coxon, 60, Sinker of Pits, N
Ann C, 25, Farm Lab, N
Ann Halliday, 20, Farm Lab

NB: Named after the Vane ancestors of Frances Anne this pub was demolished in the 1960s. The site is still empty. In this 1841 census the enumerator included it as part of South Crescent – later it would be regarded as being the bottom house in the north side of Church Street, number 74.

South Crescent – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Halliday Dixon, 30, Ship Chandler
Mary D, 40
=============================
Henry Hutchinson, 25, Painter
Elizabeth H, 20
William H, 2
Joseph H, 2 months

South Crescent – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Wilson, 30, Tinner & Brazer
Alice W, 25
=============================
William W, 20, Tinner

South Crescent – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jonathan Johnson, 30, Agent
Ellen J, 30, N
Elizabeth J, 8
South Crescent (Londonderry Arms)
Matthew Patton, 49, Innkeeper, N
Mary P, 40
William P, 19, Architect
=============================
Mary Cummins, 15, Farm Lab
Robert Loraine, 20, Coach Driver
Mary Harrison, 15, Farm Lab
Elizabeth Spraggon, 19, Farm Lab

NB: Named after the 3rd Marquess, the Londonderry Arms was the first house begun in the new town of Seaham Harbour. It is now called ‘Sylvia’s’. As the nearest pub to the harbour it soon became known as a house of ill-repute. Six generations and 167 years later it still has that reputation, perhaps unfairly.

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Sheridan, 55, Lab
Ann S, 55
Ann S, 20
Elizabeth S, 15
=============================
Ann Ridley, 5

Church St – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Woodifield, 25, Agent
Elizabeth W, 25
Elizabeth W, 4
Jane Smith, Farm Lab, N

NB: At first Church Street had only one (the north) side and for a long time even this was incomplete. From its houses and shops there was a clear view to Kin(g)ley Hill. Soon though it would become much bigger.

Cross Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Stonehouse, 25, Sailmaker, N
Mary S, 25
Ann S, 4
Jane S, 2

NB: Cross Street disappears after this census. It may have been renamed Green Street in 1860 in honour of Sam Green, first manager of the Londonderry Seaham & Sunderland Railway, who succeeded in getting himself run over and killed by one of his own trains.

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Charlton, 25, Agent, N
Sarah C, 20, N
Sarah C, 3, N
Elizabeth C, 3 months, N

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Magee, 20, Coal Trimmer
Jane M, 20
Mary M, 13
Margaret M, 10
James M, 4
Jane M, 1

NB: A ‘trimmer’ had an horrendous job. He was employed at the docks in the extremely heavy task of getting the coal from wagons into boats. Sometimes this could be done cleanly and effortlessly with the use of chutes and gravity but more often the coal simply piled up beneath the hatch and did not reach into the corners of the hold of the boat. The trimmers then had to get down into the hold of the ship and make sure that coal reached into the corners. They did this by either using moveable steel plates to direct the coal to the desired spot (difficult to describe without a diagram) or by manually shovelling it into the corners as fast as it poured in from above. Backbreaking work and all done in complete darkness ! And of course a trimmer suffered as much from ‘the dust’ as any miner and got home from work just as filthy and exhausted. Trimming was part of the job of dockers at Seaham Harbour until the 1980s.

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Nicholson, 20, Joiner
Margaret N, 20
Elizabeth N, 9 months
=============================
Joseph Maddison, 25, Blacksmith, N

South Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Watson, 25, Painter
Isabella W, 23

NB: Only one house in South Terrace at this stage.

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Turnbull, 35, Seaman’s wife, N
George T, 8
James T, 6
Jane T, 1

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Middlemass, 35, Seaman’s wife, N
Elizabeth M, 3, N
William Sutcliff, 30, Monister, N

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Dryden, 30

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Turnbull, 40, Agr Lab
Ann T, 25
Mary T, 1

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Carter, 30, Dressmaker

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Tinlin, 34, Agr Lab, N
Jane T, 34, N
Robert T, 13, N
Elizabeth T, 11, N
Thomas T, 9, N
William T, 7, N
Jane T, 1 month

Church St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Taylor, 25, Seaman
Isabella T, 25
George T, 1
=============================
Elizabeth Earnshaw, 4

NB: The below Dunn’s Buildings are not mentioned in later censuses. They were probably one of the yards of Back South Railway Street or became merged with it as far as enumerators were concerned.

Dunn’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Smith, 40, Lab
Ann S, 37
William S, 16, Lab
Thomas S, 14, Lab
Dorothy S, 12
Harriet S, 6
Robert S, 4

Dunn’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Stephen Duckwood, 58, Lab
Frances D, 43, N
Emma D, 15, N
Charles D, 15, App, N
Peter D, 10
Mary D, 5
=============================
John Tomlin, 19,
Seaman, N

Dunn’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Scott, 48, Pilot
Morley S, 19, Pilot
James S, 10
Margaret S, 5

Dunn’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Paxton, 32, Ropemaker
Jane P, 30, N
Robert P, 7
James P, 4
Jane P, 2
Eliz P, 1
Margaret P, 2 months

Dunn’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ralph Dunn, 70, Independent means
=============================
Elizabeth Lindsay, 20, Farm Lab

NB: The above Ralph Dunn gave his name to the buildings listed here.

Dunn’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Philip Burley, 35, Lab
Thomas Colling, 17, Lab
Isabella Colling, 15, Farm Lab

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Ploughman, 35, Manual Lab, N
Mary P, 25
Jane P, 8, N

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Gibson, 50, Lab
Eliz G, 49
Frances G, 20
Eliz G, 15
Joseph G, 10
=============================
Cuthbert Roddam, 40

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Gray, 40, Seaman’s wife
=============================
Ellen Stokeld, 30
William S, 11

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Howe, 40, Lab
Catherine H, 40
William H, 5
=============================
Abraham Pearson, 70, Lab
Margaret Pearson, 69

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Smith, 35, Bellman
Ann S, 30
William S, 7

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Todd, 45, Keelman
William T, 18, Seaman

Back St (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Clarke, 30, Schoolmaster, N
Mary C, 25
Elizabeth C, 1

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Breton, 22, Shoemaker, N
Ann B, 28, N
=============================
William Davey, 11, Apprentice

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Huit [Hewitt], 21, Tailor, N
Dorothy H, 24, N
James H, 1, N

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Greenlaw, 30, Seaman
Mary G, 30, N
Robert G, 15, App
James G, 2
Eliz G, 13
Margaret G, 10
Mary G, 7
Catherine G, 4

NB: Quite who Malcolm was is a mystery. Malcolm’s Square disappears after this census. It too probably was one of the yards of Back South Railway Street or became merged with it. A Malcolm’s Yard appears in the census of 1861 but this seems to be part of Back North Railway Street.

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Gordon, 47, Carpenter, N
Mary G, 38, N
Rebecca G, 10, N
=============================
Margaret Milburn, 36, Ind. Means, N

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Margaret Smith, 30,
Potter, N(S)
Jane S, 6
Elizabeth S, 4
James S, 1 month

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Spence, 45, Seaman’s wife, N(S)
David S, 15, App, N(S)

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Johnson, 35, Lab, N
Hannah J, 30
=============================
Christopher Harrison, 25, Lab, N
Robert Straughan, 20, Shoemaker

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Wilson Lister, 30, Cartwright

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Hinde, 30, Brakesman, N
Elizabeth H, 30, N

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabella Robson, 30, Widow, N
Barbara R, 4, N
Thomas R, 2
=============================
Owen Anwoods, 28, Lab, N(I )
James Anwoods, 26, Lab, N(I )

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Jackson, 25, Widow
William J, 5

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Stewart, 25, Seaman’s wife, N(S)
James S, 1, N(S)

Malcolm Square – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Draper, 25, Mason
Ann D, 20
Michael D, 1
=============================
Richard Draper, 20, Mason

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Bambrough, 26, Waggon Driver
Jameson B, 30
William B, 12

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Rush, 30, Pilot
Isabella R, 30
Mary R, 9
Ann R, 6
Isabella R, 3
Dorothy R, 1

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Hardy, 35, Coal Trimmer, N
Jane H, 26
James H, 2
William H, 8 months

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Hunter, 30, Coal Trimmer
Barbara H, 25
Margaret H, 7 months

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Watson, 23, Pilot
Sarah W, 23
Mary W, 3
Elizabeth W, 1

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Edward Brown, 41, Seaman
Mary B, 41
Jane B, 20
Mary B, 18

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Snell, 25, Seaman’s wife, N
John Snell, 2

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Lyall Henry, 46, Pilot
Mary H, 45
Mary Bambrough, 1

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Jarvis, 45, Carpenter, N
Jane J, 45, N(S)
Jane J, 15, N
John J, 15, N
Thomas J, 9, N
Richard J, 6, N
=============================
Francis Thomas, 20, Carpenter, N(S)

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Nicholson, 55, Carpenter
Mary N, 55
Martha N, 30, N
Elizabeth N, 20, N
George N, 15, N

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Brown, 40, Pilot
Sarah B, 35
Elizabeth B, 17
Jane B, 5
Sarah B, 17 months

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Davison, 25, Mason
Margaret D, 23

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Silas Willis, 30, Seaman
Frances W, 27
Mary W, 8
Ellen W, 6
Thomas W, 3
Parkin W, 3 months

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Stewart, 67, Seaman, N(S)
Ann S, 67

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Kirk, 35, Seaman’s wife
=============================
Mary Swinney, 15
Isabella S, 12

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ralph Hunter, 40, Coal Trimmer
Margaret H, 39, N
Robert H, 11
Ralph H, 5
Luke H, 3
John H, 3 months

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Gordon, 50, Lab
Ann G, 50
John G, 15
Robert G, 5

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Williamson, 61, Seaman, N
Margaret W, 61, N
Jane W, 36, N
Gilbert W, 36, Joiner, N
Matthew W, 12
James W, 6

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabella Fox, 20
Elizabeth Fox, 11 months
=============================
James Fitzsummers, 45, Lab, N(I )
Peter Burn, 30, Lab, N(I )
Thomas Muckman, 20, Lab, N(I )
James Clarke , 40, Lab, N(I )
Peter Fitzsummers, 40, Lab, N(I )

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Samuel Palmer, 35, Seaman
Mary P, 40, N
John P, 10, App
Samuel P, 5
Mary P, 3

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Wilson, 25, Seaman
Elizabeth W, 25
John W, 4
James W, 2

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William White, 35, Coal Trimmer
Jane W, 35
Martin W, 15, Lab
Jane W, 13, N
John W, 11, N
Thomas W, 9
William W, 5

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Stephenson, 29, Lab
Sarah S, 25
Thomas S, 7
John S, 5
Joseph S, 3
Elizabeth S, 3 months

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Jackson, 30, Seaman’s wife
William J, 9
Mary J, 7

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Hudson, 30, Seaman, N
Ellen H, 25, N(S)
Ellen H, 5, N
Elizabeth H, 3
John H, 1

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jonathan Lancaster, 25, Potter
Ellen L, 20

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Elernor [Elenor or Elemore], 15
Henry Elernor, 10
Francis E, 7
George E, 5
========
Ann Brown, 10, Farm Lab

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Jones, 25, Seaman’s wife
James J, 1

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Henry, 18
Dorothy H, 14
Margaret H, 8
William H, 17, Pilot
Lyall Henry, 11
=============================
Robert Parker, 4

Back Street (Back S. Ry. Street) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Copeland, 45, Carpenter
Elizabeth C, 40
Thomas C, 9
Elizabeth C, 7
Dorothy C, 4
John C, 1

Cross St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Graham, 45, Lab
=============================
Ann Hardy, 15, Farm Lab, N(S)

Cross St – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Boggon, 30, Lab
Sarah B, 26
John B, 4
Samuel B, 2
=============================
Margaret Johnson, 35, Farm Lab
Elizabeth J, 2
George Ferry, 35, Seaman

Cross St – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Leighton, 25, Mason, N
Isabella L, 30
Mary L, 3
Henry L, 9
Dorothy L, 5 months
=============================
Henry Hall, 42, Lab, N

Thornton’s Buidings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Raine, 30
Ann R, 30
Elizabeth R, 9
James R, 7
Ann R, 6
Mary R, 4
Jane R, 10 months

NB: Thornton’s Buildings were probably owned by and named after Parkin Thornton, landlord of the Mason’s Arms. They disappear after this census and probably were one of the yards of Back South Railway Street or merged with it.

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabella Wealands, 55, Dressmaker

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Thompson, 25, Lab
Isabella T, 25
=============================
Joseph T, 30, Lab

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Slater, 20, Seaman, N(S)
Margaret S, 20

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Newton, 25, Seaman
Mary N, 20
James N, 8 months

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Andrew Robson, 45, Seaman
Isabella R, 40
James R, 19, Carpenter
Elizabeth R, 15

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Adamson, 40, Seaman’s wife
William A, 10
Andrew A, 5

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary McLashon, 45, Seaman’s wife
=============================
Sarah Fifam (?), 45, Seaman’s wife
Robert Fifam (?), 45, Seaman

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Ritson, 54, N
George R, 16, N

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Ward, 25, Seaman’s wife
Ellen W, 3
Martha W, 2
Ann W, 3 months

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Hannah Harrison, 30, Seaman’s wife
Ann H, 12, N
Isabella H, 8, N
Thomas H, 5, N
Elizabeth H, 2

Thornton’s Buildings – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Cuthbert Pattison, 35, Seaman
Alice P, 30
Ann P, 3
Joseph P, 2

(South) Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Hall, 20, Shoemaker
Elizabeth H, 20

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John T. Moor, 25, Lawyer, N
Mary M, 20

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Blair, 38, Master Shoe Maker
Jane B, 39
Joseph B, 10
Catherine B, 8
Elizabeth B, 15
===========
John Camble [Campbell], 20, Shoemaker, N(I )
William Portous, 17, Shoemaker

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census (Golden Lion)
George Reed, 40, Butcher
Ann R, 30
Jane R, 12
Anna R, 10
John R, 8
Mary R, 6
Elizabeth R, 4
George R, 2
Elenor R, 4 months

NB: According to Pigot’s Trade Directory of County Durham (1834 edition) George Reed was also a publican. The beasts were probably slaughtered in the courtyard of the pub.

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Marwood, 32(?) , Farm Lab
John Davison, 25, Coach Driver

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Smith, 40, Master Shoe Maker
=============================
Charles Harbron, 15, App

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Storey, 35, Grocer
Elizabeth S, 30
Mary S, 12
William S, 5
John S, 2

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Greenwell, 34, Butcher
Margaret G, 29
Sarah G, 5
Maria G, 3
Thomas G, 1
=============================
Sarah Mustard, 13, Farm Lab

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Malcolm McLear, 45, Lab, N(S)
Esther M, 50, N
=============================
Thomas Bowmaker, 20, Hairdresser

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Lister, 30, Lab
Elizabeth L, 25
George L, 10
William L, 8
Isabella L, 2
=============================
Joseph Holcroft, 20, Lab, N(I )
John Hand, 24, Lab, N(I )

(South) Railway Street (Wellington Inn)

Edward Burwood, 45, Innkeeper, N
Isabella B, 35
Charlton B, 11
=============================
Ann Robinson, 20, Farm Lab
Edward Earle, 20,
Seaman, N
Thomas Watson, 25, Seaman, N
George (surname unknown), 25, Seaman, N
James Lawson, 25, Musician

NB: The 1st. Duke of Wellington, an old Napoleonic Wars comrade of the 3rd. Marquess, visited Seaham in 1827 before the new town and harbour were constructed.

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Field, 45, Bread Baker
Mary F, 45
William F, 20, Grocer
John F, 12, App
=============================
Samuel Myers, 12, App
Ann Cunningham, 15, Farm Lab

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Elemore, 25, Shopkeeper
James E, 15, App

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Gibson Keenliside, 25, Grocer, N
Isabella K, 30
Ann Bell, 14
William Bell, 8
Isabella Bell, 5 months

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Painter, 25, Seaman’s wife, N

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Givens, 76, Seaman, N

(South) Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Henry Smith, 40, Mason
=============================
Margaret Whitehead, 60, Farm Lab

NB: The first Whitehead arrives in Seaham but this waif and stray has no connection with me. My Whiteheads would not arrive until about 1907, drawn from Newcastle by the lure of the new Dawdon Colliery.

(South) Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Stephenson, 55, Widow
Joseph S, 30, Pedlar
Ann S, 15
Mary S, 12
=============================
John Brown, 55, Keelman

(South) Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Chilton, 45, Master Shoe Maker
Isabella C, 30
John C, 10
Thomas C, 8
Isabella C, 2
=============================
William Fenton, 30, Shoe Maker, N
Sarah Lister, 20, Dressmaker
George Stranghair [Straughair], 30, Master Shoe Maker
Jane S, 32
=============================
John Williamson, 5
Edward Briggs, 39, Seaman, N
John Trobe [Probe], 16, App
William Pearson, 15, App
John Stranghair [Straughair], 18, App

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Michael Copeland, 35, Seaman
Johannah C, 35
James C, 15
Martha C, 15
Mary C, 10
Elizabeth C, 3
Susanna, C, 2

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Spoors, 23
Jane S, 23
Ward S, 2
Mary S, 2 months

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Grieves, 40, Trimmer
Elizabeth G, 35
Dorothy G, 10
Robert G, 8
John G, 5
George G, 3
Mary G, 10 months

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Davison, 68

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Thompson, 25, Brakesman, N(S)
Hannah T, 25
Elizabeth T, 11 months

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Matthews, 36, Lab, N
Ann M, 36
Jane M, 8
Mary M, 6
Margaret M, 4

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Laverick, 35, Blacksmith
Mary L, 30
Thomas L, 2
William L, 1
=============================
Thomas Laverick, 69, Seaman
Mary Arrowsmith, 64

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Hall, 35, Roper
Mary H, 35
Mary H, 8
Ann H, 4

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Jackson, 40, Lab
Arabella J, 46
Mary J, 14
George J, 11
Jane J, 8
Thomas J, 6

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Hay, 20, Seaman’s wife

(South) Railway St – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Henderson Mudd, 38, Lab, N
Dorothy M, 29
=============================
Ann Gill, 12, N

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Lister, 60, Paper Maker
Ann L, 55
=============================
Thomas Brady, 20, Lab, N(I )
James Hamill, 15, Lab, N(I )
Barney Hamill, 20, Lab, N(I )
Stephen Fitzpatrick, 50, Lab, N(I )
Thomas Shovalar, 25, Lab, N(I )
Michael Matthews, 30, Lab, N(I )
James Morfey [Murphy], 20, Lab, N(I )
Tarrens Tramar, 25, Lab, N(I )

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Matthew Howey, 40, Trimmer
Mary H, 37
Ann H, 15
Margaret H, 13
Mary H, 9
Sarah H, 7

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Blench, 30, Roper
Elizabeth B, 30
David B, 7
Henry B, 4
=============================
Stephen Fitzpatrick, 50, Lab, N(I )

(South) Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Taylor, 36, Lab
Mary T, 45, N
George Anick, 18, Lab, N

(South) Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Littlefair, 30, Lab
Elizabeth L, 30
Dorothy L, 7
Mary L, 5
George L, 3
Thomas L, 1

(South) Railway St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Mackey, 35, Seaman
Sarah M, 35
William M, 15
Mary M, 14
Sarah M, 14
Richard M, 7
Daniel M, 6
Charles M, 2
John M, 1 month

(South) Railway Street (Mason’s Arms) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Parkin Thornton, 35, Mason
Jane T, 35
Mary T, 11
Parkin T, 9
Catherine T, 7
Jane T, 5
Isabella T, 4
Robert T, 2
John T, 3 months
=============================
William Walker, 67, Seaman, N
John Thornton, 40, Seaman

NB: Parkin Thornton was probably also the owner of Thornton’s Buildings

Dawdon Hall – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Earnshaw, 40, Trimmer
Elizabeth E, 35
John E, 15
Thomas E, 10
George E, 8
Jane E, 5
Elizabeth E, 3
Robert E, 1
=============================
Robert Crosby, 30, Cartman

NB: Dawdon (or Dalden) Hall, which stood next to Dalden Towers, was described as ‘decrepit’ some 60 years before this census. Sir Ralph Milbanke, lord of the manor, rejected it and preferred to live in ‘The Cottage’ when he came to live in Seaham in c.1778. ‘The Cottage’ was demolished in 1792 to make way for Seaham Hall. As you can see four families were living in Dawdon Hall in 1841. It had three families in 1851 but was abandoned as a habitation by the time of the 1861 census.

Dawdon Hall – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Watson, 27, Lab
Hannah W, 25, N
Mary W, 2
Dinah W, 6 months
=============================
Robert Cowley, 29, Lab

Dawdon Hall – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Janet Huitson, 40, Farm Lab
Mary H, 30
James H, 5
Ellen H, 10 months
=============================
Elizabeth Snowden, 70
John Cully, 15, Manual Lab

Dawdon Hall – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Stephenson, 23, Dressmaker, N
Ann S, 20, Dressmaker, N

Frances St – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census.
John Short, 45, Merchant Sailor, N
Jane S, 45, N(S)
Sarah S, 12, N
John S, 10, N
Jane S, 6
=============================
Adam (surname unknown), 20, Lab, N

NB: Frances Street, named after the Marchioness, had only one house at this point. History has come full circle for today there is only one house left – the Volunteers Arms.

Dean House Farm – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Oliver, 50, Lab
Jane O, 50
George O, 24, Lab
Mary O, 18
Thomas O, 12
Richard O, 5

NB: Dean (or Dene) House Farm stood on the site of the modern Telephone Exchange and above what became Seaham Co-op. It definitely predated the rest of the town of Seaham Harbour. When the Rainton and Seaham Railway was constucted the farm was cut off from its fields and with the dene to the rear there was no exit. A bridge (which still exists)was thrown across the Rainton & Seaham Railway to give access to the fields to the south. Eventually the Marlborough area was developed as was the area between the farm and Henry Street and Dene House Farm became an agricultural oasis in the middle of the heavily industrialised town. It was demolished in the 1950s.

Dean House Farm – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Hope, 30, Lab, N
Mary H, 36
William H, 9

Dean House Farm – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Maugham, 28, Lab
Catherine M, 28
Thomas M, 7
William M, 5
Eleanor M, 1

New Lodge – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Reed, 50, Lab, N
Elizabeth R, 45, N
Rebecca R, 14, N
Jane R, 6, N
=============================
June Robinson, 16, N

NB: I have not yet identified where this structure was. It may have been called South Lodge in the 1851 census but then it disappears.

Garden House – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ralph Fair, 25, Gardener
Jane F, 25
Jane F, 3
Ralph F, 2
Dorothy F, 1
=============================
Jane Kinross, 15, Dom Serv

NB: Garden House later became a pub, ‘Adam & Eve’s Gardens’. In the 1960s Mr. C. A. Smith wrote a number of articles about Seaham in the Sunderland Echo and in one of them he mentions an interesting story about the Fair family: Ralph Fair’s elder brother emigrated to the United States and did extremely well for himself in business. He eventually became a Senator and his daughter married into the fabulously wealthy Vanderbilt family. Ralph’s descendants in Seaham today (and there must be many) are therefore all related to that illustrious American family whose most famous modern member is Gloria.

Tempest Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Usher, 49, Lieut, RN, N(I )
Ann U, 39, N(I )
Elizabeth U, 19, N(I )
Emma U, 17, N(I )
Dorothy U, 15, N(I )
Mary U, 13, N(I )
Julia U, 8, N(I )
Kathleen U, 3, N(I )
William U, 2, N(I )
=============================
Frances Gibson, 20, Dom Serv

NB: Only one house as yet in Tempest Place.

Baths – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Fairless, 50, Lab
Elizabeth F, 43
Hall Davison, 35, Mariner
William Davison, 15

NB: William Fairless fought alongside Lord Londonderry against Napoleon and became Seaham’s first lighthouse keeper.

Mill (?) House – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Hall, 64, Lab
Mary H, 57
William Brown, 24, Mason
Mary Brown, 19
John Thompson, 27, Lab

NB: The Mill House is mentioned later in the census. Quite where this Mill House was is not apparent from maps of the period. Logically it should be near to the Baths and North Terrace. Seaham did have a steam mill for corn and a saw mill but these were a quarter of a mile to the south. As you can see it was big enough to house four families.

Mill House – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Fairless, 20, Ingineer [engineer]
James Nelless, 20, Joiner, N

Mill House – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Jameson, 45, Ingineer [engineer]
Elizabeth J, 43
Thomas J, 15, Blacksmith’s App
Mary J, 13
Elenor J, 10
Frances J, 4

Mill House – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Johnson, 20, Currier, N

(Number 1 ? ) North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Rutherford, 25, Druggist
Robert R, 20, Draper
Percival Laidlaw (?), 20, Lab
George Robson, 15, App, N
George S. Adamson, 15, App
Ann Lawson, 55, House Keeper
Hannah Hunter, 18, Dom Serv, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Edward Lazonby, 35, Shoe Maker
Isabella Liddle, 40, House Keeper, N
Ann Lazonby, 14
Elizabeth L, 10
Robert L, 5
=============================
William Curry, 40, Shoe Maker

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Johnson, 60, Shopkeeper
Mary Johnson, 58
Elenor Gradon, 17, Dom Serv

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Henry Herbis (?), 45, Mariner, N
Elizabeth H, 44, N
=============================
Ann Martin, 15, Dom Serv

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Newton, 41, Draper, N
Bentham Hall, 35, Lab, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Watson, 25, Tailor & Draper, N
Jane W, 25, N
William W, 5, N
John W, 3
Robert W, 2
Jane W, 1
=============================
Ebenezer Kell, 60, Carpenter, N
Elizabeth K, 55, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Roddam, 35, Joiner, N
Elenor R, 38, N
Mary Pearson, 16
Elenor Pearson, 14

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Vipon [Vipond], 40, Carpenter
Mary V, 35

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Mason, 35, Carpenter
Sarah M, 25
Lidia(?) M, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Whitfield, 63, Joiner
Jane W, 51
William W, 21, Joiner
Emily W, 15

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Ashforth, 43, Potter, N
Elizabeth A, 45
Elizabeth A, 11
Jane A, 10
Isabella A, 7
Thomas A, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Hall, 74, Lawyer, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Fernie, 20, Tailor & Draper
Jane F, 20
William Thompson, 15, App
John Mannal \(?) [Mennell or Manuel], 10, App, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Fowler, 35, Mariner, N
Ann F, 33
William F, 8
Ann F, 6
George F, 4
Robert F, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Robson, 25, Draper
Anthony Robson, 20, Lab
Mary R, 25, House Keeper
William Stratford [Stafford], 11, App

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Dorothy Bond, 50
Mary Shirkit [Sharkey], 24
Elizabeth Jones, 23
Hannah Bond, 9

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census (King’s Arms)
John French, 40, Butcher
Mary F, 45
John F, 15, App
Ann F, 11
Mary F, 5
Elizabeth F, 3

NB: John French was another publican/butcher according to Pigots Directory of 1834.

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Hannah Bellarby, 25
Robert Goodwill, 15

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Christopher Skinner, 30, Clericus[clerk], N
Emma S, 30, N
Charles S, 1, N
William S, 3 months
=============================
Ann Marwood, 18, Dom Serv

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Coxon, 30
Jane C, 30
Samuel C, 8
Ann C, 5
John C, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Henry Smith, 29, Druggist & Chemist
Harriet S, 25
John Wilkinson, 4
Frederick Prosser (?), 12, App

NB: Henry Wall Smith would later build Seaham’s first Gasworks.

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Dent, 50, Lab
Elizabeth D, 43
Jane D, 5

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Lee, 50, Agent to the Marquess of Londonderry, N
Ann L, 20
Elizabeth L, 17
Elizabeth Jansson (?), 15, Dom Serv

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Maddy, 49, Shopkeeper, N
Elizabth M, 19, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Rockliffe, 28, N
Jane R, 21, N
Joseph Maddy, 11
James Rockliffe, 1
=============================
William Brown, 20, Mariner, N
Female (name not known), 26, Lodger
Male (name not known), 45, Mariner, N(S)
Male (name not known), 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census (Lord Seaham Inn) (18)
Thomas Prosser, 54, Builder, N
Mary P, 56, N
James P, 20, Joiner, N
John Savage, 20, R. Police (?), N
=============================
George Hire, 29, N(S)
Ann H, 23, N

NB: According to Pigots Trade Directory (1834) Thomas Prosser was a surveyor, builder and publican. The Lord Seaham is now called the Harbour View Hotel and next door to the south is a passageway through to what was Back North Terrace. This became known as Prosser’s Opening or Prosser’s Entry (see picture above) and will be mentioned again in later censuses. Originally the passageway was a tunnel with several families recorded as having lived above it.

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census (Lord Seaham Inn ?)
Jane Hall, 22
Mary Tasker, 27
Mary Tasker, 3
Elizabeth T, 6 months

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census (Lord Seaham Inn)
David Fernie, 50, Innkeeper
Margaret F, 52
Solomon F, 19
Margaret F, 13
=============================
Frances Tomplinson, 20, N
Mary Ridley, 15, N
Samuel Goodwin, 40, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Watt, 23, Carpenter
Mary W, 20

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Andrew Wilkie, 25, Mariner, N(S)
Phyllis W, 22
Thomas W, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Smith, 30, Mariner, N
Thomas Brown, 55, Pilot
Isabella B, 55
Margaret B, 15
Robinson B, 10
Jane B, 5

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Gray, 37
Jane Gray, 17
Mary Gray, 4

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jacob Sanderson, 58, Mariner
Ann S, 59
=============================
Elizabeth Baxter, 25
William Nicholson, 25

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Webb, 60, Post Office
Richard W, 25, Agent
Ann W, 25, Schoolmistress

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabella Goss, 21
Jane G, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Hobkirk, 45, Mariner
Jane H, 46
Robert H, 23, Lab
Thomas H, 18, Lab
Sarah H, 15
William H, 12
Jane H, 8

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Peregrine Henzel, 44,
Clerk, N
Jane H, 39, N
Jane H, 16, N
Ann H, 15, N
Mary H, 9, N
=============================
Margaret Bowmaker, 43, Visitor, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Harrison, 46, Pilot
Ann H, 52
Mary H, 17
John H, 13

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth French, 23
Catherine Harrison, 10

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Reaveley, 41, Harbour Master
Ann R, 36
Thomas R, 12
Ann R, 10
Ralph R, 8
Henry R, 6
Alice R, 2
Edmund R, 1 month
=============================
Jane Walker, 20, Dom Serv

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Robson, 55, Lab
Dorothy R, 51

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Scott, 30, Pilot
Elenor S, 31
Michael S, 10
Thomas S, 7
John S, 5
William S, 3
Elenor S, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Peter Bailey, 41, Lab, N
Charlotte B, 38

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabel Still, 37, N(S)
Robert S, 12, N(S)
Barbarah S, 7, N(S)
James S, 7, (N)
Mary S, 6, N(S)

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Short, 41, Carrier, N
Margaret S, 38
John S, 15
Elizabeth S, 11
Margaret S, 9
Catherine S, 6
Hannah S, 3
=============================
Jane Finlaw, 70, Lodger, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Edward Watson, 57, Lab, N
Charles Watson, 27, Hairdresser, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Edward Glasper [Clasper], 60, Lawyer, N
Isabella G, 60, N
Edward G, 30, Lawyer, N
Mary G, 30
Thomas G, 2

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Atkinson, 25, Shoemaker
John Sewel, 20, Shoe Maker, N

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Fowler, 30
Mary F, 8, N
George F, 6, N
Henry F, 4, N
John F, 1

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Horn, 25, Joiner
Frances Horn, 18

North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Margaret Nichols, 38

Back or Behind North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Charles Clarke, 37, Shoe Maker, N
Jane Clarke, 40, N
James McAll, 26, Lab, N(I )
Thomas Kirk, 20, Lab (I )
Thomas Gilmore, 20, Lab, N(I )
John McCerny, 21, Lab, N(I )

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Davison, 31, Mariner, N(F)
Margaret D, 30
Charles D, 9
=============================
Robert Hobkirk, 24, Mariner, N
Margaret Elemer, 18, Lodger

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Smith, 34,
Mariner, N
Ann S, 39

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Costello, 30, Lab, N
Mary Ann C, 30, N
Ann C, 11, N
James C, 9
Thomas C, 7
Michael C, 4
George C, 1
=============================
James Scott, 13, Lodger

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Eleanor Healer, 25, N
George H, 4
Dorothy H, 4

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Herron, 59

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Gilmore, 37, Mariner
Jane G, 36
Holms G, 9
Mary Ann G, 9
Sarah G, 1
Elizabeth G, 2 months

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Daniel Paul, 26, Butcher, N
Mary P, 25, N
Mary P, 9 months
=============================
Charlotte Gradon [Graydon], 24, Dom Serv

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Nicholson, 25, Roper, N
Grace N, 25, N(S)
Elizabeth N, 9, N(S)
Mary N, 6 months

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Clarke, 30, Brewer
Sarah C, 30, N
Mary C, 7
Frances C, 3
Sarah C, 1
=============================
Hannah Storey, 25,
Lodger, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Healer, 53, N
Dorothy H, 54, N
William H, 24
George H, 19
Dorothy H, 13

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Watson, 50, Innkeeper
Ruth W, 36
Susannah W, 17
Mary W, 8
Ruth W, 4
Elizabeth W, 1
=============================
Thomas Hope, 25, Lab

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Watson, 77, Widow
Mary Minto, 13

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Angles, 64, Lab
Mary A, 68, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Adamson, 38
Matthew A, 3

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Ferry, 48, Lab
Elizabeth F, 40
George F, 14
John F, 6
Jane F, 4
Mary Ann F, 6 months
===============
Jane Adamson, 77
George A, 16, Lab

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Thompson, 30, Tailor, N(S)
Elizabeth T, 24, N
Robert T, 8 months
Ann Thompson, 56, N(S)

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Almond, 23, Mariner
Sarah A, 21
Elizabeth A, 5 months

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Thurbuck, 54, Pilot
Mary T, 55
Sarah T, 19
John T, 14
George T, 11

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Francis Calvert, 48, Master Mariner, N
Mary Coulson, 25, Schoolmistress, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Lorance (sic) Harkess, 30, Mariner, N
Ann H, 25, N
Elizabeth Whitmarsh, 64, Lodger, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Pickerine [Pickering], 50, Lab
Elizabeth P, 50
John P, 15, Lab
Elizabeth P, 15

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Walton, 45, Lab
Emma W, 43
Peter W, 20, Lab
John W, 16, Lab
Mary W, 7
=============================
Henry Laws, 20, Mariner, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Beswick, 35, Brewer
Alice B, 30

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Lee, 47, Lab
Ann Lee, 41, N
Ann L, 14
Jane L, 13
=============================
Edward Hunter, 20, Lab, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Watson, 38, Mariner
Mary W, 33
John W, 14
Michael W, 10
Richard W, 7
William W, 7
Mary W, 1

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Percival Spoors, 50, Trimmer
Jane S, 50
Ann S, 20
Percival S, 16, Painter
Mary S, 11
=============================
Thomas Jordan, 92, Lodger

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Scott, 35, N
Sarah Scott, 35, N
Mary S, 7
=============================
William Close, 65, Lab

John St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Haswell, 35, Butcher
Elizabeth H, 35
Thomas H, 9

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Alexander Kinross, 40, Bookbinder, N
Isabella K, 40
Page K, 14
Elen K, 12
Isabella K, 10
Thomas K, 7
Robert K, 4
John K, 1

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Deacon, 45, Lab, N
Ann D, 44, N
Henry D, 20, Carpenter, N
Robert D, 14, Lab, N
Ellen D, 12, N
Ann D, 10, N

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Jarret, 30, Blacksmith, N
Margaret J, 30
Thomas J, 6
Sarah J, 4
Margaret J, 2

John St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabella Ridley, 45, N
John R, 25, Carpenter, N
Deborah R, 15, N
Thomas R, 14, N
George R, 12
=============================
Matthew Christie, 10, Lodger

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Peter Thompson, 40, Lab, N
Jane T, 45, N
Mary T, 12, N
Peter T, 10, N
Alice T, 7

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Watson, 36, Mariner
Dorothy W, 33
John W, 13, Roper
William W, 11
Ann W, 9
Dorothy W, 7
Isabella W, 3

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Scott, 33, Couper [cooper]
Jane S, 30
John Scott, 77, Lodger

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Pearson, 25, Mariner
Mary P, 25
Elizabeth P, 6
Thompson P, 4
Elenor P, 2
=============================
Elizabeth Christie, 70

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Marshall, 29, Pilot
Elizabeth M, 30
Margaret M, 4
John M, 1

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Scott, 50, N
Elizabeth S, 12

NB: John Street was named after John Tempest, great grandfather of Lady Frances Anne

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Stephenson, 27, Pilot
Mary S, 26
George S, 4
Alexander S, 2

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Howey or Howie, 68, Lab
Margaret H, 63
George H, 25
Margaret H, 20
Alice H, 19

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Mould, 35, Pilot
Catherine M, 30
William M, 8
Elenor M, 4
Iom (?) (female) M, 1
Robert M, 7

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Young, 51, Trimmer, N
Dina Y, 54, N
Mary Y, 20, N
Cornelius Y, 13, N
Susannah Y, 10, N
John Street
William Rutherford, 40, Farmer
Jane Walton, 12
Elizabeth Walton, 8
Jane Caygill (or Baygill), 25,
Dom Serv, N

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Dobson, 50, Pilot
Abigail D, 54
Elizabeth D, 20
Charlotte D, 17
Abigail D, 15
Margaret D, 10

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Sanderson, 53, Pilot, N
Mary S, 55, N
William S, 14, N (S or I)
Mary S, 15, N(S or I)
Ann S, 20, N

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Scott, 35, Pilot
Elizabeth S, 32
Ruth S, 10
Robert S, 9
Elizabeth S, 7
William S, 5
Mary S, 3
George S, 1

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Elenor (or Elemore), 24, Pilot
Margaret E, 20
Robert E, 1

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Brewse or Bruce, 29
Elizabeth B, 29
John B, 8
William B, 6

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Adamson, 46
Ann A, 40
Mary A, 16
George A, 14
John A, 10
Robert A, 8
William A, 6
Elizabeth A, 4
Hannah A, 2 months
=============================
John Wake, 30, Lab, Lodger, N

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John English, 50,
Gardener, N
Sarah E, 48, N

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Nicholson, 47, Mariner, N
Margaret N, 35
William N, 15
Joseph N, 11
Hannah N, 7, N
Mary N, 5, N
Timothy N, 2
Thomas N, 1 month

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Garrett, 50, N
Margaret G, 40, N
Margaret G, 10
Elenor G, 8
Ann G, 1

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Coles, 28
Ann Dobson, 66
Henry Coles, 8
Ann Coles, 5
George C, 3

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Gibson, 37

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Gibson, 21

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Anderson, 40, Trimmer
Mary A, 40
Ann A, 15
William A, 12
Thomas A, 10
John A, 8

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Akenhead, 35,
Lab, N
Jane A, 30, N
William A, 5, N
Adam A, 3 months
Mary A, 2
=============================
Stephen Ralph, 15,
Lodger, N

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Fox, 25, Prison Service (?), Born Ireland
Margaret F, 20, N(I )

John Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Akenhead, 37, Lab, N
Elenor A, 30, N
Sarah A, 5
William A, 3
Margaret A, 1

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Watson, 56, Straw Hat/Bonnet Maker, N
Mary Watson, 20, Straw Hat Maker, N

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Dobson, 30, Pilot
Mary D, 30
John D, 7
Mary D, 5
Henry D, 5
Thomas D, 5 months

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Nathan Close, 60, Pensioner (?)
Isabella C, 40

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Emmesson (sic) or Emmerson, 25, Mariner
Sarah E, 20
James E, 6 months

North Railway Street (Noah’s Ark) (1) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Dorothy Stokeld, 50
Ann S, 21
Mary S, 19
Jane S, 17
John S, 15
James S, 13
George S, 11
Thomas S, 4
=============================
James Patterson, 30, Master Mariner

NB: According to Pigots Trade Directory for 1834 Thomas Stokeld was the landlord of the Noah’s Ark. He had probably died since then and Dorothy was his widow.

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Johnston, 65, Shopkeeper, N
June J, 63, N(S)
John J, 25, Lab

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elen Neal (sic) or Neill, 55, N(S)
Ebenezer Niel (sic), 15, N
David Niel, 15, N
Robert McKenzie, 5, N
Elen Cameron, 4, N

North Railway Street (Forester’s Arms) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Gibson, 25, Innkeeper, N
Ann G, 25
Thomas G, 3
Joseph G, 1
=============================
Ann Foster, 16, Dom Serv

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary A. Humphrey, 20
Ann Carr, 15
Mary Humphry, 1

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Gallowley, 52, N
Jane G, 26, N
Robert G, 20,
Blacksmith, N
Thomas G, 8

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Reay, 62, Coast Guard, N
Sarah R, 59, N
Susannah R, 21, N
James R, 18, Carpenter, N
John Reay, 12, N
=============================
James Thompson, 43, Mariner, N

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Kidd, 41, Shoe Maker, N
Margaret K, 40, N
Thomas K, 8
Mary K, 14
Jane K, 10
Elizabeth K, 5
Margaret K, 3

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Lightly, 20, Blacksmith
Sarah L, 20
Jane L, 1
Alexander Beaton, 23, Shoe Maker, N(S)
Matthew Cairney, 35, Lab, N(I )
John Bailey, 24, Lab, N
Michael Brannan, 34, Lab, N(I )
Edward Hair, 30, Lab, N(I or S)

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Hannah Teasdale, 56
Martin T, 17, Lab, N
=============================
Michael McCormack, 28, Lab, N(I )
Thomas McGummy (?), 23, Lab, N(I )

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Royal, 40, Pilot
Sarah R, 47
William R, 19, Blacksmith’s App
John R, 15, App Joiner
Henry R, 13
Elizabeth Foster, 17, Dom Serv

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Lenard (sic) or Leonard, 25, Shopkeeper
Elizabeth L, 35
John L, 4
Thomas L, 2
Elizabeth L, 10 months
=============================
Robert Barker, 10
Thomas Paxton, 25, Lab
Elizabeth Paxton, 65, Widow

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Merrington, 43, Master Mariner
Sarah M, 44
Thomas M, 20, Lab
George M, 12
Elizabeth M, 9
Mary M, 6
Matthew M, 3 months
=============================
Mary Williamson, 45

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Alexander Graham, 27, Mariner, N(S)
Mary G, 28
Mary G, 17, N(S)
Margaret G, 22, N(S)
Isabella G, 2, N(S)

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Dixon, 25, Lab, N
Elizabeth D, 30
Ann Dawson, 12

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Troal, 42,
Trimmer, N
Ann T, 38
Mary T, 12
William T, 6
Dorothy T, 4

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Walker, 45, Trimmer
Barbray (sic) W, 46
Barbray, 24
Thomas W, 16, Lab
Michael W, 14
Ann W, 12
Hannah W, 10
Elizabeth W, 7
Dorothy W, 5

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Walker, 40, Trimmer, N
Ann W, 40, N
Stephen W, 19, Teacher, N
John Walker, 17, Lab, N
Joseph W, 14, N
=============================
Mary Chapman, 20, Dom Serv

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Alice Lowery or Lowrey, 37
James L, 21, Lab
William L, 10, App

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Oliver, 21, Lab
Jane O, 19

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Ridley, 38, Lab
Elizabeth R, 36
Mary R, 11
Elizabeth R, 9
Hannah R, 4
John R, 1
=============================
Thomas Welsh, 40, Lab, N(I )

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Hood, 26, Trimmer
Elizabeth H, 27
Margaret H, 3
Thomas H, 1

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Roland Richardson, 44, Trimmer
Sarah R, 43, N
Sarah R, 12
Peter R, 2

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Charles Merchant, 38, Mariner, N
Alice M, 40, N
James Sanders or Saunders, 15, Carp’s App, N

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Reed or Reid, 53, Trimmer, N
Hannah R, 51, N
Isaac R, 22, Lab, N
Thomas R, 19, Lab, N
James R, 16, Mariner, N
Robert R, 14, N
George R, 10
Richard R, 10, N
Henry R, 6

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Herron, 34, Lab
Isabella H, 34
George H, 9

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomesina Lee, 25
James L, 3
George L, 5 months

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Dennis McFratten (?), 65, Lab, N(I )
Jannet McF, 59, N(I )
Grace McF, 25, N(I )
John McF, 23, Lab, N(I )
James McF, 21, Lab, N(I )
Catherine McF, 19, N(I )

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Scott, 33, Joiner
Ann S, 38
Mary S, 11
Robert S, 8
William S, 6
Fenwick S, 4
Elizabeth S, 1

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
David Ridley, 60
Mary R, 55
Thomas R, 16, Blacksmith’s App
North Railway. St. (Lynn Arms ?)
George Bamborah (sic) or Bambrough, 43, Trimmer
Ann B, 43
Isabella B, 14
Ann B, 10
Mary B, 12
George B, 6
Anthony B, 9 months

NB: According to Pigots Trade Directory (1834) George Bambrough was also a publican

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Dennis, 30, Shoe Maker, N
Jane D, 30, N
William D, 12, N
Jane D, 8, N
Ann D, 4, N
James D, 3, N
Thomas D, 8 months

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Bell, 60, Lab, N
Jane B, 49
Jane B, 6
William B, 4
=============================
Elizabeth Turnbull, 20, N
James Courier, 45, N(I )
John Black, 40, N(I )
Peter McLachan, 40, N(I )
Patrick Wind, 30, N(I )
Edward Wilkinson, 35, N(I )

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Cowell, 36, Trimmer, N
Elizabeth C, 41, N
Margaret C, 20, Dressmaker, N
Isabell C, 13, N
George C, 10, N
Elizabeth C, 8

North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Susannah Jeffery, 43
Elizabeth J, 17
Ann Ayre, 26

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Bamborah (sic) or Bambrough, 26, Lab
Elizabeth B, 26
Sarah B, 8
Mary B, 5

NB: Henry (1821-84) Stewart was the eldest son of the 3rd. Marquess and Frances Anne. On his father’s death in 1854 he became Earl Vane. On the death of his mother Frances Anne in 1865 he inherited most of her possessions, including Seaham Harbour and the Durham collieries. On the death of his half-brother Frederick in 1872 he became the 5th. Marquess of Londonderry. He was the owner of Seaham Colliery at the time of the disasters of 1871 and 1880.

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Carter, 70, Lab
Jane C, 24, Dressmaker

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Hall, 25
Elizabeth H, 26
Sarah H, 3
William H, 4 months

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Hobson, 45, Lab
Mary H, 35
Michael H, 14

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Charlton, 27, N(S)
Jane Charlton, 2

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Moor, 75, Widow, N

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Henderson, 40
Jane H, 13
Mary H, 9
Margaret H, 4
Isabella H, 2

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Maudlin, 73
Sarah M, 48
Elizabeth M, 13

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Margaret Crown, 43, N

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Lamb, 40, Master Mariner, N
Virginea (sic) L, 34, N(F)
Virginea L, 2 months

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Storey, 30
William S, 12
Ann S, 10
Elizabeth S, 8
Thomas S, 4
Mary S, 2

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Davison (or Davidson), 24, Lab
Mary D, 21
Robert D, 3
Jane D, 1

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Andrew Ayre, 55
Hannah A, 53
John A, 16

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Frederick Quilter (?), 30, Mariner, N
Isabella Q, 25
Frederick Q, 2
Martha Q, 4 months

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Foggin, 25, Tailor, N
Isabella F, 25, N
William F, 2, N
Francis F, 3 months
=============================
Mary Foster (or Forster), 10,
Dom Serv, N
Edward Short, 15, Tailor, N

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Isabella Oakes, 50
Humphrey O, 14

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Webb, 33
Charlotte W, 9
Richard W, 7
Mary W, 6
Frances W, 1

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Hood, 70, Lab, N
Margaret McDonald, 46, Widow, N
Phillis H, 28, N
Joseph H, 32, Surgeon, N
=============================
Isabella Rutherford, 40, Lodger, N(S)
Margaret Pattison (Patterson), 5

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Todd, 45, Mason
Ruth T, 48
Ruth Park, 16, Dom Serv

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Harrison, 40, Mason
Dorothy H, 35
Thomas H, 19
Robert H, 12
Ester H, 6
Christianna H, 3

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Hood, 32, Trimmer
Jane H, 33
William H, 9
Jane H, 6
Margaret H, 2

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Bell, 30
Ann B, 30, N
Thomas B, 6
Robert B, 4
John B, 2
Ann B, 2 months

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Richardson, 38, Trimmer
Sarah R, 35
Mary R, 10
Thomas R, 8
Margaret R, 4
Sarah R, 1

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Bamborah (sic) or Bambrough, 26, Lab
Hannah B, 23
John B, 2

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Walker, 45, Trimmer
Ann W, 40
Ann W, 16
Elizabeth W, 15
Mary W, 13
Hannah W, 11
Michael W, 9
Joan W, 6
Eliza W, 4
Thomas W, 2
Elenor W, 9 months

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Patrick (?) Brown, 48, Trimmer
Jane B, 14
Thomas B, 12
George B, 10

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Adam (?) Armstrong, 57, Lab
Ann A, 56
John A, 30
Ann A, 20
Isabella A, 18
George A, 16
Mary A, 14

Henry St. – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Agnes Glanville (?), 70, N
Susannah Drury (?), 50
George Drury, 20, Mariner

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Nicholson (?), 36, Shoe Maker(?)
Mary N, 25
Isabel N, 12, N
Thomas N, 9
Elenor N, 7


NB: It is not entirely clear where Dean Place was. There were 13 households in the street in this 1841 census, 20 in the 1851 census, none in 1861, 1 in 1871 and then it vanishes without trace. I have tried comparing residents in different censuses but without success. Guesses ?

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Jameson, 27, Lab
Margaret J, 21
Margaret J, 6
Mary J, 11 months

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Morrow (?), 40, N(I )
Jane (?) M, 30

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Dina Shore (?) or Shaw, 28

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Adam Smith, 44
Thomas S, 15, Roper
Robert S, 13
Elenor S, 13
Margaret S, 13
John S, 6
Elizabeth S, 4

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Laws (?), 30, Lab
Jane L, 30
Mary L, 9
Jane L, 6
Ann L, 3

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Bernard O’Gorman (?), 56, N(I )
Elizabeth O’G, 60
John O’G, 15, N(I )

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Andrew Conway (?), 31, N
Ann C, 45, N
Elizabeth C, 8

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John White, 38, N(I )
Michael W, 26, N(I )
James Mooney (?), 30, N(I )
William McKean (?), 21, N(I )

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Jane Cunningham, 43
Ann C, 17
Jane C, 11
Mary C, 9
Elizabeth C, 5

Dean Place (Wheatsheaf Inn ?) – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Barker (?), 30
Elizabeth B, 23, N
James B, 1

NB: According to Pigots Trade Directory for 1834 an Elizabeth Barker was the landlady of the Wheatsheaf Inn. Locate the Wheatsheaf Inn and we will find out where Dean Place was.

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Alexander White, 35, N(S)
Elizabeth W, 35, N
Alexander W, 14, N(S)
Wilhelmina W, 6, N(S)
Mary W, 4
Elizabeth W, 6 months

Dean Place – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Sarah Bowery, 25, Dressmaker
Ann B, 20

Back/Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Joseph Dixon, 24, Lab
Mary D, 22

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Armstrong, 30, Trimmer
Ann A, 28
Mary A, 8
Margaret A, 7
Isabella A, 5
Jane A, 3

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Henry Baker, 25
Jane B, 25
John B, 4
Mary B, 2

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Boggan, 60, Lab
Ann B, 25

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Weddle or Weddell, 43, Sawyer
Ann W, 46, N
William W, 19
John W, 15
Albert W, 12
Mary W, 10

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Crawford, 26, Mason, N
Elizabeth C, 30

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Coverdale (?), 60, Widow

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Ord, 25, Lab
Mary O, 20
John O, 4
Mary O, 2

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Harrison, 40, Mariner
Margaret H, 35

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
George Oiston (?) or Oyston, 15
Elizabeth Connor, 3, N

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Spoors, 40, Trimmer
Mary S, 35
Elenor S, 17
Ann S, 16
Thomas S, 14
Robert S, 12
Mary S, 10
William S, 4
Percival S, 2

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Binley, 35, Postman
Emmelia (sic) B, 30, N
John B, 10

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Margaret Twogood (sic) or Toogood, 20

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Troale, 38, N
Sarah T, 26
William T, 3
John T, 1
=============================
John Shoreland, 40, N(I )

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Todd, 48, Mariner, N
Elizabeth T, 41, N
John T, 12
Sarah T, 5

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Elizabeth Miller, 20, N
William Miller, 6 months

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Dennis, 56, Mason, N
Hannah D, 50, N
Alfred D, 23,
Shoe Maker, N
William D, 19, Mason
Frederick D, 13
Daniel (?) D, 10

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Richard Pendlington, 30, Trimmer, N
Jane P, 28
George P, 8
Mary P, 3
James P, 7 months

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Lows or Lowes, 35, Lab
Sarah L, 40, N
Ann L, 14
James L, 12
William L, 8
=============================
William Roddam, 30, Teacher, N

Behind North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ralph Davison (or Davidson), 70, Keelman
William Davison (or Davidson), 50, Mariner

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Allen Nash, 40, Coast Guard, N
Sarah N, 35, N
Ann N, 18, N
Mary N, 16, N
William N, 14, N
Susannah N, 12, N
Emmey N, 11, N
Thomas N, 9, N
Allen N, 2, N

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Thomas Brewel or Brewell, 21, Trimmer, N
Mary B, 20
Charles B, 7 months

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Francis Stott, 26, Lab, N
Margaret S, 30, N
Sarah S, 4, N

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Kelley or Kelly, 36
Jane K, 14
James K, 13
Peter K, 11
Luke K, 4
Mary K, 2
Ester K, 2 months

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Ann Watson, 73, Widow

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Hannah Tinley, 30

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Barron, 35, Trimmer
Margaret B, 40
William B, 10
Jane B, 7
John B, 4
Mary B, 1
=============================
Elizabeth Clarke, 27, Dom Serv, N

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Benson, 70, Lab
Elizabeth B, 70

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Reed or Reid, 34, Lab
Hannah R, 32
William R, 8
John R, 6
Elizabeth R, 4
Anthony R, 2
Thomas R, 4 months

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Nicholson, 60, Builder
Mary N, 55

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
William Hays or Hayes, 35, Trimmer, N
Mary H, 34, N
Elizabeth H, 9
John H, 7
Mary H, 3
Andrew H, 1

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Taylor Elemore, 40, Pilot,
Margaret E, 38
George E, 8
Taylor E, 5

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Margery Thompson, 40, N(S)
Jennet (sic) T, 14, N(S)
John T, 13, N(S)
Jean, 11, N(S)
Margery T, 5, N(S)

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mary Wild or Wilde, 53

Back North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census Lock-Up (‘The Kitty’)
Male Prisoner, name unknown, 25, N
Male Prisoner, name unknown, 25, N

Behind North Railway Street – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Samual (sic) Myres or Myers, 50, Constable
Jane M, 20
Mary M, 15
Elizabeth M, 10
Sarah M, 8
Joseph M, 10
John M, 5

Behind North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
John Henry, 29, Mariner
Jane H, 23
Margaret H, 14
Mary H, 4

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Hewison (?) or Huitson or Hewitson, 30, Tailor, N
Mary H, 27
Joseph H, 6
James H, 5
Peter H, 3
Jane H, 1
=============================
William Garbut, 24, Itinerant Tailor

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Susannah Boys (?) or Boyes, 30
Thomas B, 14
William B, 11
George B, 6
Susannah B, 2

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Mark Graden or Graydon, 50, Lab, N
Sarah G, 45
Robert G, 4

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
Robert Martin, 29, Mariner
Ann M, 25
Walter M, 2

Back North Terrace – Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) 1841 Census
James Prayer (?), 30, Mariner, N
Sarah P, 30, N

Seaham (Old Seaham and outlying farms) and Seaton-with-Slingley

HO 107 312/313, folios 1 to 7

Seaham Vicarage – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Oswald Joseph Cresswell, 35, Vicar, N
Margaret Smith, 50, Servant
Ann Nuton, 25, Servant
Edward Lambourne, Servant, N

Seaham Grange – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
John Smith, 40, Farmer
Margaret S, 25
Jane Ann S, 5
Margaret S, 3
John S, 1
Jane Miller, 9
Jane King, 17, Servant, N
Thomas Milburn, 20, Servant, N
John Laten, 17, Servant
Robert Hutchinson, 16, Servant

Cherry Knowle – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
James Shotton, 62, Farmer
Catherine S, 58
William Turnbull, 23, Servant
Robert Milburn, 17, Servant
William Walker, 14, Servant
Jane Robson, 18, Servant
John M. Shotton, 12

Seaham – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Edward Dobson, 32, (profession unclear), N
Ann D, 29
Hannah D, 2
Isabella D, 6 months

Seaham Mill House – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
George Aird, 50, Farmer
Elizabeth A, 45
George A, 8
John James A, 4
George Watson, 15, Servant
Peter Watson, 14, Servant
Jane Lonsdale, 20, Servant

NB: Mill House was a farm house which stood very near to what today is the top of the Avenue at Deneside. It and the neighbouring farm Carr House were demolished to make way for the new Carr House (Deneside) estate in the late 1920s/ early 30s.

Seaham – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
George Atkinson (?), 35, Farmer, N
Henry Hudson, 25, Servant
William Robson, 25, Servant, N
Elenor Hudson, 30,
Servant, N
Jane Pattison (Patterson), 35, Servant

East Cherry Knowle – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Thomas Wallace, 28, Farmer
Isabella W, 28
Elizabeth W, 1
Mary Jane W, 1 month
Jacob Bradwell, 30, Servant
Mary Ann Moody (?), 15, Servant

Field House – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Edward Pattison (Patterson), 27, Farmer
Margaret P, 27, N(S)
Edward P, 11 months
Nick Smith, 72, Lodger
George Robson, 16, Servant
Mary Ann Brown, 17, Servant

Seaham Grange – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Thomas Rogers, 45, Farmer
Rachel R, 40
Margaret R. 15
Richard R, 5
William R, 3
John R, 1

Windy Hill – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Peter Smith, 45, Waggonway-wright
Isabella S, 45, N
Thomas S, 15
Susannah S, 13
Peter S, 11
James S, 9
John S, 5

Seaham Hall – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
George James, 50, Gardener, N
Mary J, 70

Seaham Cottage – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Thomas Davison (or Davidson), 28, Waggonway-wright
Elizabeth D, 27
John D, 4
Thomas D, 2

Seaham Brick Yard – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Robert Haswell Hunter, 45, Lab
Hannah H, 43
Hannah H, 17
Alexander Ford H, 13
John H, 8
Margaret H, 6

Carr House – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Edward Wilkinson, 50, Husbandman, N
Margaret W, 45, N
John W, 20, Husbandman
Elizabeth W, 14
Edward W, 12
Eleanor W, 8
Margaret W, 6
Mary Ann W, 4
John Moralee, 25, Farmer, N

NB: Carr House Farm was later run by the McNee family, founders of the Princess Dairy. One of their scions, the late Tom, wrote two books about Seaham in cooperation with David Angus.

Seaham – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
William Summerbell, 35, Husbandman
Mary S, 35
Margaret S, 11
John S, 10
Thomas S, 8
Andrew S, 6
William S, 4

Londonderry Engine Cottage 1 – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
William Gardner or Gardiner, 50, Engineman
Elizabeth G, 45, N
Andrew Maddison, 40, Lodgekeeper (?)

NB: The two Londonderry Engine Cottages mentioned here and in the next column were the first habitations in what would soon become Seaton/Seaham Colliery Pit Village. The Engine hauled the coal wagons up the last hill (the Londonderry Plane) on their way to Seaham Harbour from Rainton Colliery and other mines inland. The two cottages stood just behind what is now known as ‘Walter Willson’s’ shop. From there the last leg to the harbour was downhill all the way and a gravity incline was used.
This incline survived (working) until 1988 and is now being turned into a walkway.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it could be connected all the way back to the site of the old Londonderry pits at Rainton, Pittington, Framwellgate, Old Durham and elsewhere ?
An (almost) continuous walkway from the statue of the 6th. Marquess on North Terrace to the statue of his grandfather the 3rd. Marquess in the Market Square of our beautiful Cathedral city and county town. Surprisingly much of the trackbed in central Durham still survives and it is only the section between Seaham Colliery and the Copt Hill that would be the problem. At Copt Hill the Rainton & Seaham wagonway passed under the Hetton Colliery Railway and thus there already exists a walkway connecting down to Hetton, the Raintons and Pittington from there. Of all Seaham’s historic monuments it is the trackbed of the Rainton & Seaham which should be restored and preserved for future generations. The Rainton & Seaham railway brought life to our town in its infancy. If there had been no Rainton & Seaham there would have been no Seaham Harbour and history would have been very different.

Seaham Park Houses – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
William Ford, 35, Blacksmith
Elizabeth F, 35
John Ferguson, 15, Blacksmith’s App
Mary Irvin, 11

Seaham Hall – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Thomas Laycock, 35, Gardener
Isabella L, 40, Housekeeper, N
Margaret Hale, 30,
Lodger, N
John Hale, 10
Hannah Hale, 8


NB:
The Londonderry family were never resident at the Hall when the census was taken. They probably spent census nights at Wynyard or one of their other palatial mansions. The family occasionally organised shoots in the grounds of Seaham Hall in the early years but otherwise they never bothered much with the place. Wynyard was only 20 miles away and much more comfortable than what Frances Ann called her ‘little pigeon ducket’. Later however, after the death of her husband, she lived at Seaham Hall for much of the year.

Seaham Lodge – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
George Humble, 60, Lab
Jane H, 66
Joseph Coulthard, 4, Lodger

Seaham Park Houses – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
George Metcalfe, 35, Waggonman
Mary M, 35
Susannah Boyce, 7
John Boyce, 5
Ann Metcalf, 2 months

Seaham Park Houses – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
William Grieves or Greaves, 24, Coal Wagonman, N
Mary G, 26

Seaham Park Houses – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
James Linklater, 68, Independent, N(S)
Jane L, 60

Seaham Park Houses – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Richard Paxton, 35, Fitter (?)
Ann P, 35
Richard P, 3
Charlotte Longstaff, 20, Lodger
George Pattison (Patterson), 65, Lodger
George Monk——–?—-, 20, Lodger
George Blacket, 20, Lodger

Seaham Park Houses – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
William Nicholson, 43, Coal Waggonman
Ann N, 36
John N, 13
William N, 10
Mary Ann N, 3

Londonderry Engine Cottage 2 – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
William Littlefair, 30, Waggonman
Margery L, 30
Emmerson L, 7
Mary L, 4
William L, 2

Seaham – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Charles Browel or Browell, 50, Husbandman, N
Elizabeth B, 45
Ann B, 20
Elizabeth B, 10, N
Gilbert B, 5, N
Hannah B, 5
William B, 1

Seaham – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Peter Charlton, 20, Husbandman
Ann C, 20

Seaham – (Old) Seaham 1841 Census
Joseph Watson, 38, Gardener
Mary W, 40
Thomas W, 10
Mary Ann W, 7
Jeremiah W, 5
Jane W, 4

Seaton-with-Slingley
(No further details or addresses given)

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
John Lamb, 35, Farmer
Mary L, 35
John L, 5
Anna L, 9
Elizabeth L, 2
Mary L, 1
=============================
Sarah Garrick, 15,
Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
George Smith, 42, Agricultural Labourer
Mary S, 36
George S, 10
Frances S, 8
Mary S, 5
Thomas S, 2

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
William Lindsley, 42, Farmer
Mary L, 46
Jane L, 16
Deborah L, 14
Mary L, 11
Christopher L, 8
=============================
Christopher L, 57, Lab

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Andrew Lee, 89, Independent means
Elizabeth Shotton, 18
Andrew Shotton, 14
Joseph Briggs, 21, Lab
Elizabeth Smith, 12,
Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Bryan Hodgson, 29, Shoe Maker
Elizabeth H, 28
Ralph H, 8
Bryan H, 6
Mary H, 4
Charles H, 2
Richard H, 6 months
=============================
Elizabeth Paxton, 13, Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
William Proctor, 56, Independent means
Elizabeth P, 58

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Thomas Harrison, 40, Agricultural Labourer
Elizabeth H, 38
Ann H, 13
Robert H, 11
Elizabeth H, 8
Jane H, 6
Thomas H, 3
Isabella H, 1
=============================
John Robson, 78, Lab

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Robert Hodgson, 35, Farmer
Jane H, 30
Ralph H, 3
Robert H, 2
Jane H, 3 months
=============================
Henry Brunton, 30, Lab
Mary Atkinson, 15, Dom Serv
Jane Sutherland, 10, Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
George Richardson, 40, Lab
Thomas R, 13
Mary R, 9
John R, 7
=============================
Phoebe Colling, 32, Dom Serv
Cuthbert Colling, 1

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Edward Robson, 46, Farmer
Mary R, 33
=============================
Deborah Hodgson, 17, Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
William Southwaite, 39, Lab
Elizabeth S, 12
Anna S, 8
Elizabeth S, 66, Widow

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Mary Smith, 70, Widow
Thomas Smith, 35, Farmer
Mary S, 40
Francis S, 11
=============================
Thomas Wandless, 75, Lodger
James Brown, 50, Clerk, N
Marianne B, 45
Marianne B, 14
Agnes B, 13
Elizabeth B, 10
Jane B, 8
John B, 6
=============================
Elizabeth Donaldson, 22, Governess, N(S)
Margaret Brown, 25, Dom Serv
Richard Watson, 19, Servant
Thomas Stephenson,35, Manufacturer, N
William Harrison, 50, Farmer
Mary H, 50
Edward H, 9
Robert H, 7
=============================
John Barker, 27, Lab
Hannah B, 22
William B, 1 month
Thomas Brough, 55, Farmer
Elizabeth B, 48
John B, 20, Miller
Thomas B, 17, Farmer
=============================
Edward Robson, 17, Servant
William Brough, 82, Independent means
=============================
Elizabeth Willey, 20, Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Thomas Stratford, 45, Millwright
Ann S, 40
Mary S, 11
Margaret S, 8

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Robert Rowlands, 30, Lab
Judith R, 29
George R, 8
Mary R, 6
Isabella R, 2

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
George Pickering, 23, Lab
Frances P, 23
John P, 8 months

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Christopher Hedley, 25, Lab, N
Isabella H, 25
Robert H, 25
Mary H, 3
Harriet H, 2
=============================
Joseph Smith, 15, Engine-wright

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
George Willis, 32, Brakesman
Elizabeth W, 18
Elizabeth Richardson, 14, Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Ralph Wallas or Wallace, 30, Brakesman, N
Elizabeth W, 25, N
=============================
John Wilkinson, 30, Brakesman, N
John Lamb, 80, Farmer
Mary L, 70
=============================
Mary Wilson, 20, Dom Serv
John W, Serv
James W, 10
Margaret Watson, 15, Dom Serv

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
John Miller, 47, Farmer
Ann M, 50
Andrew M, 13
Edward Miller, 35, Lodger
Robert Morley, 23, Servant
William Brown, 15, Servant
Thomas Borrow, 11, Servant
Ann Lidster, 21, Dom Serv
John Pattison (Patterson), 38, Lab
Mary P, 38
Ann P, 11

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
John Richardson, 39, Lab
Harriet R, 48

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
James Thubron (?), 40, Farmer
Frances T, 40
James T, 18
Robert T, 16
Thomas T, 12
Shotton (?) T, 10
Henry T, 8
=============================
Ralph Hindsmith, 28, Lab
Mary H, 23
Isabella Burfield, 55, Widow
Henry B, 26, Shoe Maker
=============================
George Shaw, 35, Shoe Maker

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Christopher Etherington, 46, Agricultural Labourer
Ann E, 44
John E, 17
William E, 16
Isabella E, 12
Christopher E, 10
Ann E, 8
Elizabeth E, 4
James E, 2

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Robert Thompson, 43, Farmer
Mary T, 44
Richard T, 5
Robert T, 3
=============================
Richard Thompson, 47, Servant
Hodgson Atkinson, 30, Servant
Judith Harrison, 15, Servant

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Joshua Paxton, 30, Blacksmith
Mary P, 28
George Barker, 17, App

Seaton – Seaton-with-Slingley 1841 Census
Mary Hodgson, 80, Widow
Richard H, 30, Farmer
=============================
Mary Anderson, 17,
Dom Serv
Ralph Hodgson, 16, Servant
Sarah Smith, 20, Servant
William Palmer, 9

The Port of Seaham

HO 107 311/6 folios 3-6 & folio 9 – census of vessels in port

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Wansbeck’
James Fairbairn, 45, Master Mariner
Ann F, 40
John F, 10
Ann F, 8
James Arthur, 19, Apprentice, N(S)
Christopher Johnson, 18, Apprentice, N(S)
John Williamson, 15, Apprentice, N(S)
Bruce Huison, 16, Apprentice, N(S

NB: Tom MacNee refers to the “Wansbeck” in ‘Seaham -the first 100 years’ as being the first vessel to enter the new port of Seaham Harbour on May 10 1831 from Memel in the Baltic, with wood for building the staiths and two loading spouts. Clearly Seaham was her home port though this is not stated in the census.

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Leeds’
William Jackson, 28, Master
Elizabeth J, 30, N
William J, 3
Isaac J, 9 months
Phenas Kimble, 19, Apprentice, N
Robert Baker, 15, Apprentice, N
Henry Stewart, 18, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Emma’
Kirby Wilson, 25, Master, N
William Taylor, 25, Mate, N
William Blanchard, 25, Seaman, N
Samuel Laws, 22,
Seaman, N
William Lion, 18,
Apprentice, N
Daniel Bacon, 22, Apprentice, N
James Chapman, 18, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Adelaide’
John Pearson, 45, Mate, N(F)
Charles Tracey, 18, Seaman, N(F)
John Snowdon, 18, Apprentice, N
William Charlson, 17, Apprentice, N(S)
William Davison (or Davidson), 16, Apprentice, N(S)

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Elizabeth’
William Storey, 30, Mate, N(S)
Ralph Teasdale, 35, Seaman
Mary T, 30, N
William T, 2
George Plant, 18, Apprentice, N
Charles Catchpole, 18, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census -‘Forester’
Robert Christie, 45, Mate
Martha C, 40
Matthew C, 5
Lawrence Hutchinson, 19, Apprentice, N(S)
John Henry, 17, Apprentice, N(S)
William Coyle (or Cogle), 15, Apprentice, N(S)
James Cramins, 16, Apprentice

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Benjamin’
Robert Egget, 30, Mater, N
William Cookson, 45,
Mate, N
Thomas Thetford, 40, Seaman, N
Henry Seaman, 20, Seaman, N
Thomas Fisher, 23,
Seaman, N
William Carter, 14, Apprentice, N
John Rhodes, 15, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Blakeston’
Nicholas Copeland, 39, Mate
Thomas Howard, 55, Seaman
John Nicholson, 45, Seaman, N
John Douglas, 15, Apprentice, N
James Watts, 19, Apprentice, N
James Clarke , 20,
Apprentice, N
Frederick Birkenshaw, 14, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Anatolia’
John McAlley, 49, Master, N
Thomas Fairweather, 18, Apprentice, N
James Cook, 18,
Apprentice, N
William Bruce, 17, Apprentice, N(S)
James Sinclair, 15, Apprentice, N(S)

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Faulkner’
William Sawden, 19, Apprentice, N
Augustus Con, 19, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census -‘Squirrel’
Thomas Nesfield, 30, Master, N
Matthew Simpson, 24,
Mate, N
James Smith, 30,
Seaman, N
Frederick Doss, 30, Seaman, N
Thomas Grenan, 18, Apprentice, N
Henry Orfield, 17, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Queen Victoria’
John Grantham, 40,
Master, N
William Tate, 20, Mate, N
Isaac Wilson, 20,
Seaman, N
Philip Eyts, 17, Seaman, N
John Markley, 20, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Huzza’
John Wilson, 28, Master, N
Edward Andiss, 23, Mate, N
Robert Ashlling, 19, Apprentice, N
John Stalibrash, 17, Apprentice, N
Edward Lee, 15,
Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Fame’
William Hamilton, 20, Master, N
Edward Hamilton, 15,
Mate, N
James Chesterfield, 22, Seaman, N
Samuel Bowles, 20, Seaman, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census -‘Sisters’
Henry Chant, 17, Apprentice, N
James Dixon, 17, Apprent., N

Seaham Port 1841 Census -‘Dorothy’
John Gibson, 28, Carpenter,
Elizabeth G, 30, N
Robert Scott, 19,
Apprentice, N
William Hopkin, 18, Appr., N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Gosforth’
William Harvey, 40,
Master, N
Isabella H, 40, N
William H, 15, Apprentice, N
Ann H, 10, N
John H, 5, N
Charles Fox, 18, Apprent., N
John Robinson, 18, Apprentice, N(S)
Richard Beckett, 18, Apprentice, N
Edward Atkins, 17, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census -‘Highlander’
William Nattress, 25,
Master, N
Alexander Blackwood, 23, Mate, N
William Ross, 24, Seaman
Francis Follance, 30, Seaman
John Harris, 50, Seaman
John Martin, 21, Seaman, N
Isaac Camin, 17, Apprentice, N
James Dunoven, 15, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Jean & Mary’
Richard Hart, 35, Master, N
John Harrison, 35, Mate, N
Walter Banks, 45,
Seaman, N
James Sakery, 30,
Seaman, N
John Spearpoint, 20, Seaman, N
Henry Dunn, 15, Seaman, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Sarah’
Thomas Harrison, 20, Mate, N
Alexander Mitcheson, 45, Seaman
Thomas Thompson, 30, Seaman, N
William Broderick, 35, Seaman, N
James Johnson, 20, Seaman, N(S)
Henry Turner, 45,
Seaman, N
George Fletcher, 15, Apprentice, N
William Napps, 15, Apprentice, N
Frederick Long, 10, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Boldon’
James Hitchcock, 45, Master, N
William Watson, 20, Mate, N
Robert Groom, 20, Seaman, N
Thomas Lovell, 25, Seaman, N
Thomas Jackson, 20, Seaman, N
Francis Long, 20, Seaman, N
William Allen, 18, Apprentice, N
Henry Hitchcock, 15, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Lester’
William Stephenson, 45, Master
Catherine S, 30
Jeremiah Barram, 18, Apprentice, N
William Miller, 15, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Ryhope’
James Pattison (Patterson), 35, Master
James Wilson, 18, Apprentice
William Wobbs (?), 18, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Isabella’
John Gray, 55, Master, N
James Theaker, 20, Mate, N
William Colthorp, 20, Apprentice, N
Edward Watson, 18, Apprentice, N
Robert Pryman, 14, Apprentice, N
Henry Fawcet, 16, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Ligo’
Abraham Stephenson, 25, Master, N
Thomas Muggleton, 25, Mate, N
Mark Weeks, 18,
Apprentice, N
Benjamin Smith, 17, Apprentice, N
John Colthorp, 17, Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Friends’
David Minns, 15, Seaman, N
James Bulmer, 25,
Seaman, N
William Henderson, 10, Apprentice, N
Edward Fry, 15,
Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘William’
Matthew Cooper, 40,
Master, N
William Blakey, 45, Mate, N
William Rogers, 50, Seaman, N
George Waugh, 25, Seaman, N
James Coleman, 15, Apprentice, N
John Lovell, 15,
Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Thyatira’
Daniel Leader, 25, Mate, N
William Foster (or Forster), 30,
Seaman, N
Edward Hall, 25, Seaman, N
James Burton, 15, Apprentice, N
John Smith, 15,
Apprentice, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Hopewell Wells’
John Huitson or Hewitson, 43, Master Mariner, N
Henry Crafers, 23, Mate, N
Samuel Coe, 18, Mariner, N
John Hesleton, 17,
Mariner, N
William Huitson, 15,
Mariner, N
Mary Huitson, 38, Passenger, N
Mary Huitson, 12, Passenger, N
Matilda Hudson, 3 months, Passenger, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census -‘Econimus’
Thomas Hickson, 44, Master Mariner, N
John Watson, 53, Mate, N
Charles Cotton, 26,
Mariner, N
James Naylor, 19, Mariner, N
Henry York, 17, Mariner, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Isabella Lawrence’ (from Invernyl, Scotland ?)
James Cant, 27, Master Mariner, N(S)
Alexander Main, 30, Mate, N(S)
Charles Garrow, 21, Mariner, N(S)
John Patterson, 20, Mariner, N(S)
William McGreggor, 15, Mariner, N(S)
Alexander Cambel or Campbell, 13, Mariner, N(S)

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Heugh Johnson’ (London)
John Potts, 32, Master Mariner
John Gardner, 50, Mate
James Day, 42, Mariner, N
Robert Sacker, 18, Mariner, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Emerald’ (Sunderland)
William Blacker, 35, Master Mariner, N
Pearson Renold, 31, Mate, N
Robert Wilson, 57, Mariner
William Walker, 58, Mariner, N
James Reay, 46, Mariner, N
George Clarke , 16, Mariner, N

Seaham Port 1841 Census – ‘Flora’ (Margate)
James Brereton, 30, Master Mariner, N
William Purdy, 40, Mate, N
William Stephenson, 26, Mariner, N
Charles Tumling, 20, Mariner, N
James Rowe, 15, Mariner, N

Colliery Railways: Londonderry Seaham & Sunderland 1854/55- ?

Londonderry Seaham & Sunderland 1854/55- ?

The Past

Seaton and Seaham collieries came on stream in 1852. The docks at Seaham Harbour were by now receiving coal from nearly 20 inland pits and were seriously overloaded. Something had to be done to ease the pressure. The solution was to create a railway to the much larger facilities at the port of Sunderland. On a bitterly cold day, February 8 1853, the first turf of the Londonderry Seaham and Sunderland Railway was dug by the 3rd. Marquess, now aged 75. He was fated not to see the completion of this project. On January 17 1854 Frances Anne celebrated her 54th. birthday at Wynyard, the last she would share with her husband. On the same day the Londonderry Seaham and Sunderland Railway was completed as far as Ryhope where it met up with the Durham (Shincliffe) and Sunderland Railway. This company would not share its rails or its station at Ryhope (West) with the newcomer which was obliged to lay its own tracks alongside the others on the remaining stretch from Ryhope to Sunderland. This explains why the trackbed today is so wide between Ryhope and Hendon. Passenger traffic finally began on the Londonderry Seaham and Sunderland on July 1 1855 with stations at Seaham, Seaham Colliery, Seaham Hall (for the private use of the Londonderrys and their guests) and Ryhope (East). The town was at last connected to the outside world by a passenger rail service. From 1854 to 1868 the LS&S had its own station in Sunderland. From 1868 until 1879 the terminus was at Hendon Burn until the new central station opened.

The new railway terminated at Seaham, there was no southward connection to Hartlepool and Teesside. For this it was necessary to travel on the LS&S north to Ryhope (East) and change there to a D&S (rope-hauled) southbound train to Haswell and change again there to a loco-hauled train of the HD&R. This situation of dozens of independent railway companies serving the northeast was about to come to an end. A giant appeared amongst them. The North Eastern Railway was formed in 1854 by the amalgamation of four large railway companies: the York and North Midland; the York, Newcastle & Berwick; the Leeds Northern; the Malton and Driffield. In the following decades the N.E.R. gobbled up many others including the Stockton & Darlington, the Durham and Sunderland, the Hartlepool Dock and Railway and, eventually, the Londonderry Seaham and Sunderland. From HQ in York the company at its peak controlled over 500 stations, with 1700 miles of track and the right to use another 300 miles belonging to other companies. The N.E.R. and Hartlepool Dock & Railway amalgamated in 1857. The D&S was gobbled up a little later. A single station was constructed at Haswell and through trains now ran from Sunderland to Hartlepool.

The 3rd. Marquess died in March 1854 and his widow took over the running of all the Londonderry businesses. On December 12 1859 she laid the foundation stone for the Seaham Harbour Blast Furnaces at a site near Dawdon Hill Farm. An extension to the LS&S, the Blastfurnace Branch, was constructed to connect with this new and high-risk venture and Frances Anne’s second son Adolphus was put in charge. This was possibly not the wisest of choices given that Adolphus was having serious mental problems at the time. Quarrels between Frances Anne and her chief agent John Ravenshaw over the entire scheme brought about his resignation and delayed completion of the project until 1862. The furnaces were supplied with coal from Seaham Colliery and iron ore from Cleveland which was brought by rail to Seaton Bank and then down the Rainton line and on to the Londonderry Seaham and Sunderland railway. The newly built extension to this line led straight into the furnaces. Lime was brought on another short railway branch from the quarry at Fox Cover. National overproduction and falling prices threatened the scheme by the time of Frances Anne’s death three years later and it did in fact fold by the end of 1865. In 1869 the site was leased out to a chemical company for the production of soda and magnesia and occasionally pig-iron when the market revived. Both Chemical Works and Blastfurnaces finally closed in 1885. The Blastfurnace Branch line was taken over to service Dawdon Colliery whch appeared near to the furnace site in 1899. The branch line to Fox Cover Quarry remained in use until about 1919.

In the mid-1890s new deep collieries were planned along the Durham coast – Blackhall, Horden, Easington and Dawdon. The 6th. Marquess contemplated extending the LS&S southward to Easington and perhaps beyond. However the N.E.R. was also on the scene and wanted to build its own railway to connect Seaham (and all the new pits in between) with Hartlepool. The N.E.R. already owned Hartlepool Dock. A clash was inevitable and for months legal action and counter-action ensued. Londonderry opposed a new N.E.R. line, the N.E.R. opposed the dock project and the proposed extension of the LS&S. Finally the two sides came to their senses and agreed to cooperate.

In 1898 the 6th. Marquess sponsored the Seaham Harbour Dock Act which established the Seaham Harbour Dock Company and gave it powers to construct new harbour works, including two outer protective piers and an enclosed dock equipped with new coal staiths. SHDC was unusual as one of the few private companies to be established by special Act of Parliament. The capital of the Company in 1898 was £450,000. Both the N.E.R. and Lord Londonderry were major shareholders in this new concern which took over the docks and the LS&S wagonways and stock of coal wagons. As part of the deal the rest of the LS&S, in almost its entirety, was sold to the N.E.R. for £400,000 and it was incorporated in their network. The Londonderry family also gained a seat on the board of the N.E.R. Two small exceptions were made to the sale of the LS&S lock, stock and barrel: Seaham Hall station remained the private property of the family and the Marquess retained the right ‘to stop other than express trains within reasonable limits’ (between 1900 and 1923 this privilege was used only four times, an indication of how little the family used Seaham Hall by then. In 1923 the 7th. Marquess, who had by then recently abandoned Seaham Hall, was persuaded by the new L.N.E.R. to surrender this right.); The Station Hotel in Seaham also remained the property of the Marquess. This public house had an entrance straight from the platform. Seaham Colliery station became the new main station for Seaham for through-trains but the old station remained as the terminus for the local service from Sunderland. It was closed on September 11 1939 as a a wartime measure and never reopened. It and the public house were demolished in the 1970s. The N.E.R. became the L.N.E.R. after the Great War and part of British Railways after the Second World War.

The Present

Seaham lost its own unique private railway in 1898. The trackbed of the LS&SR is now part of the coastal Sunderland-Seaham-Hartlepool-Teesside branch railway. Virtually the only visible reminders of the old private railway are to be seen just to the north of the former Ryhope junction with the inland Sunderland-Haswell-Hartlepool line. Back in the 1850s the original owners of the inland railway refused to share either their station at Ryhope or their existing tracks from there to Sunderland with the new LS&SR. This not only necessitated a second station at Ryhope (Ryhope East) but also a second bridge over the obstacle of the dene just to the north of Ryhope Junction and a second set of tracks alongside the other all the way from there in to Sunderland. Hence the trackbed between Ryhope and Sunderland being so wide for the next couple of miles. The second bridge thrown across the dene was made with metal and even to this day the legend ‘LS&SR’ can be seen stamped on it.

The Future

The future of trackbed of the former LS&SR seems to be reasonably secure. Without coal pits, Seaham is rapidly becoming a mere satellite of Sunderland, which is soon to be connected up to the Tyneside Metro system. It seems likely that Seaham too will be connected up one day.

— by Tony Whitehead

Colliery Railways: Rainton and Seaham Railway 1831-1988

Rainton and Seaham Railway 1831-1988

The Past

In 1813 Sir Henry Vane Tempest of Wynyard, MP for County Durham, died from an apopleptic fit at the age of 42 and left his considerable fortune and his mines at Penshaw and Rainton to his only legitimate child, 13 year old Frances Anne. At a stroke, as it were, she became the second largest exporter of coal from the River Wear with an income of £60,000 per year, a tidy sum now, a fortune then. ‘Rainton Colliery’ was a collective term for several old, shallow pits, some of which had been worked since at least 1650. The coal in the Rainton district is just below the surface and in all probability mining had gone on there for a millenium or two before that.

The entire ‘Rainton Royalty’ was owned by the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral and leased to Frances Anne. At the time that she inherited the Rainton complex incorporated six main pits and many small ones covering an area of some 9 square miles. The main pits were the Nicholson’s, Rainton Meadows, the Plain Pit, Woodside, Hunter’s House and Resolution. The smaller pits, some of which were worked directly by Frances Anne and the others leased out to independent operators, included the Quarry Pit, Annabella, the North Pit, The Knott, Old Engine and Pontop Pit. The Rainton and Penshaw collieries were complemented by workshops at Chilton Moor. The coal was pulled by horses from the Rainton pits on a wagonway (which had probably existed since the opening of Rainton Colliery) to the staiths at Penshaw (via Colliery Row, Junction Row and Shiney Row), from which point the Wear was navigable. There it was loaded on to small vessels and taken to Wearmouth where it was transferred to larger vessels for the onward sea voyage. Wages for this and the local port tax of six shillings a chaldron amounted to £10,000 per year. A port at nearby Seaham, linked to Rainton by a wagonway, would have enabled Frances Anne to save paying this and gain an edge on her competitors.

For the moment the heiress was a minor under the care of guardians and her business was run by agents appointed by the Court of Chancery. In 1819 Frances Anne, as old as the century, married a man old enough to be her father – 41 year old Lord Charles Stewart, a five foot nothing reactionary and minor hero of the Napoleonic Wars. ‘Fighting Charlie’, as the family called him, had never been to County Durham in his life and knew nothing about his new wife’s business, coal. On the credit side he stood to eventually inherit a marquessate, money and land from his father and childless elder half-brother Robert Stewart. That same half-brother, better known as Viscount Castlereagh, was Foreign Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons and Prime Minister in all but name and able to exert immense influence on behalf of his friends and relatives.

Sir Ralph Milbanke’s plan for a harbour at Seaham (‘Port Milbanke’) now came to Stewart’s knowledge and he determined to buy the estates of Seaham and Dalden when he heard that they were to be sold at a public auction. This took place on October 13 1821 and his bid of £63,000 was successful. He raised part of the money by charging it on his brother’s Irish property. Stewart simply wanted to avoid middlemen on the Wear and be independent of the port of Sunderland. As yet there was no thought that coal might lie under Seaham itself, but such ideas could not be far away. Chosen spot for the proposed harbour was the limestone promontory called Dalden (or Dawdon) Ness on his new estates. Frances Anne was rich but her money was controlled by trustees who had no confidence in the venture and for the next seven years Stewart failed to find financial backing despite obtaining the favourable views of leading engineers of the day such as Rennie, Telford and Logan.

Stewart was certainly not idle during this waiting period. A seventh large pit, Adventure, was sunk at Rainton from 1820 to 1822, and an eighth, the Alexandrina or Letch, in 1824. A completely new colliery complex was sunk at Pittington (consisting of the Londonderry, Adolphus and Buddle pits) from 1826 to 1828 on land leased from others. Stewart also leased land at Hetton in 1820 from the estate of the Earl of Strathmore. Here the future North Hetton Colliery (later called Moorsley) would appear in 1838. In 1825 Stewart combined this tract of land with an adjacent part of the Rainton Royalty, which he leased from the Dean and Chapter and where two more pits (Dun Well and Hazard) were planned, and sub-leased the lot to William Russell of Brancepeth. Included in the deal was the nearby North pit and permission to use the old wagonway to Penshaw and the staiths there. Stewart received rent and royalties and also had a share in the new North Hetton Coal Company that was established. When the Rainton to Seaham line was constructed in 1831 he made sure that the last four named pits were roped into his rail network.

When Castlereagh committed suicide in 1822 his half-brother Charles became the 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry. If he had been able to build his railway and harbour in the first years of the 1820s Charles Stewart would have gained an immense advantage over his competitors. The savings made on cutting out the Wear middlemen would have enabled him to deliver his coal to the export market at a price that ensured a fat profit. In 1820 another option had been available. His chief ‘viewer’ John Buddle recommended that a connection was built from the Rainton & Penshaw wagonway to link up with another wagonway from Newbottle Colliery to staiths near to Wearmouth. This colliery and wagonway were the property of the Nesham family who were keen to strike a deal. Doubts about the wagonway’s ability to handle all of the additional coal from Rainton and Penshaw collieries and the fact that he would be dependent on others discouraged Stewart from proceeding. In 1822 Lord Lambton snapped up both Nesham’s Wagonway and Newbottle Colliery. The wagonway was then extended southwestwards to join up with Lambton’s other collieries at Cocken, Littletown and Sherburn. This shrewd move gave Lambton the same advantage as the Hetton Company, independence from the Wear middlemen.

The opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825 enabled pits west and northwest of Darlington to send their coal cheaply to the new port at Middlesbrough. Next came the Clarence Railway which further connected Teeside (Port Clarence) to inland pits. Vast new docks were also planned for Sunderland. Finally the information that Colonel Thomas Braddyll planned to build a harbour at Hawthorn Hythe and a railway from there to his new colliery at South Hetton spurred the Marquess into action. It was no longer a question of gaining an advantage but of survival in a very competitive industry. Without the new harbour and railway it was only a matter of time before his collieries were gobbled up by others and incorporated into their railway systems. The problem in 1828 was that he still did not have the money for such an undertaking. Hearing that Londonderry was determined to proceed Braddyll abandoned his own impractical scheme and tried to buy a share in the project but the Marquess decided to go it alone. Braddyll was however persuaded to lend Londonderry £17,000 on condition that his future South Hetton coals would be shipped from the new port and facilities at Seaham Harbour.

Because of money problems the construction and running of the Rainton line was contracted out to Shakespear Reed of Thornhill who put up the cash and charged so much per chaldron carried. Their contractor was Benjamin Thompson and so inevitably the railway became known as Benny’s Bank. Shakespear Reed got 3/- per chaldron for the guaranteed 50,000 chaldrons to be shipped each year, with a reducing rate thereafter. The line cost them £20,000 to construct. In 1840 Londonderry was able to exercise his option to buy out Shakespear Reed for £22,721 16s 1d. The deal thus proved very profitable to both parties.

Breakdown of costs of the Rainton and Seaham Railway.

Seaham Self-Acting Plane £ 779 15 2
Londonderry Engine Plane £ 1770 15 7
Seaton Self-Acting Plane £ 759 0 7
Gregson’s Plane £ 991 12 1
Warden Law Engine Plane £ 1548 6 1
Copt Hill Engine Plane £ 2210 10 6
Rainton Engine Plane £ 2453 11 5
Sidings at Rainton Bridge £ 168 19 6
Sundries at Rainton Bridge £ 446 16 0
Coal Waggons £ 6336 0 0
Sub-Total £17,465 6 11
Engine Houses £ 2,534 13 1
Total £ 20,000 0 0.

On July 25 1831 the first coals ran down the new railway line from the Rainton pits to be loaded onto the new brig the ‘Lord Seaham’. The Rainton & Seaham railway was initially 5 miles long, from Seaham Harbour to Rainton Meadows pit but later additions created a network of over 18 miles of railway track. Fixed steam engines hauled the coal from the Rainton collieries to the top of the Copt Hill. At a point just opposite to the public house the new line passed under the Seaham to Houghton road in a short tunnel. The Hetton Colliery Railway at this point crossed the road by means of an overhead bridge. Thereafter the going to Seaham was comparatively easy and more fixed engines and an inclined plane took over to bring the load across the fields of Warden Law and Slingley, skirting to the south of Seaton village. From Seaton Bank Top another inclined plane and then a final fixed engine brought the coal to the top of the Mill Inn Bank, where one day Seaham Colliery would be sited. The last leg from there to the new harbour was downhill and also utilized a self-acting incline system. According to Tom McNee from 1831, on Saturdays only, a specially constructed coach brought people from the Raintons to Seaham Harbour to shop. The journey must have been a tortuous one, involving up to four changes of haulage machinery, but doubtless it beat walking.

In 1838 North Hetton Colliery (Moorsley) came on stream and began sending its output down the Rainton line. Lord Londonderry sank two more pits in the Pittington area on land owned by the Pemberton family – at Belmont in 1835 and Broomside (Lady Adelaide and Antrim pits) in about 1842. A ninth large Rainton pit followed in the late 1840s and was named after the new Lady Seaham, wife of the future 5th. Marquess. All of these pits and the works at Chilton Moor were linked up to the Rainton and Seaham railway which now had some 15 miles of track. In 1849 another colliery was sunk 3 miles to the west of Pittington on the old Tempest property at Old Durham, within sight of the Cathedral. This was called the Ernest pit. A spur line connected Old Durham colliery with the Durham and Sunderland Railway and coals passed along this line for a couple of miles before connecting with a branch of the Rainton & Seaham railway at Broomside Colliery.

In 1844 the Seaton Colliery or High Pit was sunk, not by Londonderry but by the North Hetton & Grange Coal Company, on a site chosen because of its proximity to the Rainton and Seaham line. The Marquess it seems was still nervous about the expense of sinking a new deep colliery and preferred others to risk their money in what might prove to be a fruitless undertaking. Before long he had his proof when the Hetton Company discovered rich but deep seams of coal. On April 13 1849 the sinking of Seaham Colliery or Low Pit was begun by Lord Londonderry. It was right next door to the High Pit and also right alongside the Rainton and Seaham line. It is not recorded what the North Hetton & Grange Coal Company made of this development. The first coal was drawn from Seaton on March 17 1852. Seaham started producing later but the exact date is not known. At 1800 feet the mines were among the deepest in the country and their workings soon extended under the North Sea. The Londonderry colliery portfolio was now the largest in Britain in the hands of a single individual and was producing over one million tons of coal per year from an area of some 12,000 acres between Seaham and Sunderland on the coast and extending as far inland as Durham.

Charles Stewart, 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry and Founder of Seaham Harbour, died in 1854. His widow, for 35 years in his shadows, now stepped into daylight and began running the businesses herself. She added Framwellgate Colliery to the family portfolio in 1859 and this too was linked up to the Rainton line which now, at its peak, had over 18 miles of track. At the end of 1864, a few weeks before her death, the Marchioness bought Seaton Colliery and merged it with Seaham.

Frances Anne’s heir Earl Vane (later the 5th. Marquess of Londonderry) was advised that the best days of the Rainton and Penshaw pits were over and to concentrate on the new winnings at Seaham and the proposed new colliery at Silksworth. The slow process of abandoning central Durham began with the transfer of the workshops from Chilton Moor to Seaham in January 1866. For another generation the Rainton complex remained productive but declining and the Rainton and Seaham railway kept operating, carrying millions of tons of coal to Seaham Harbour. Ominously the instruments of the Rainton Band were sold off to the 2nd. Durham Artillery Regiment in 1877. The end of the band presaged the final end of Rainton Colliery 19 years later. Before then the family divested themselves of many unwanted assets. Framwellgate and Penshaw collieries were sold off in 1879 and the Plain Pit at Rainton closed at about the same time. The severe depression of the early 1890s finished the rest of the inland pits off. Pittington/Broomside and Belmont Collieries (which had already been sold off) closed in 1890-91. Old Durham Colliery closed in 1892 after being worked for some 50 years. Adventure was shut down in 1893. The four remaining Rainton pits (Rainton Meadows, Nicholson’s, Alexandrina and Lady Seaham) were closed down in November 1896. Buyers were eventually found for Rainton Meadows and Adventure drift. Meadows had closed by 1923 but Adventure somehow survived the Great War, the General Strike, World War Two and nationalisation and finally closed only in 1978.

The rest of the ‘Rainton Royalty’ was taken over by Lambton Collieries Ltd. and worked from existing collieries at Cocken and Littletown. As the coal from Meadows and Adventure pits and from North Hetton/Hazard/Dunwell could be carried on N.E.R. lines the wagonway from the Raintons to Seaham Harbour was redundant after a working life of 65 years. The sections west of the Copt Hill were dismantled in December 1896. The run from the Copt Hill to Seaham Colliery remained open for a while longer to enable the Hetton Colliery Company to ship their coal at Seaham if their own line to the Wear was choked but this section too had gone by 1920.

The last remaining section of the Rainton & Seaham, from Seaham Colliery to Seaham Harbour, which was a self-acting inclined plane, remained open and working until after the Miner’s Strike of 1984-85. That strike was lost and the fate of the rump Durham coalfield was sealed by Conservative victories in the General Elections of 1987 and 1992. In 1987 British Coal ‘amalgamated’ Seaham Colliery with Vane Tempest. No more coal was produced at the old mine and it was relegated to the role of a third shaft for the newer colliery. Vane Tempest coal came to the surface at Seaham Colliery and was transported to the main railway line or the docks from there. The connection from Seaham Colliery to the docks was finally severed in 1988 following an accident with a runaway locomotive. Thus was closed the last section of the Rainton and Seaham line completed 157 years earlier which had brought life to the infant town. ‘Benny’s Bank’ was probably the last working self-acting gravity line in Great Britain – a direct link back to the Industrial Revolution and the Founders of Seaham Harbour.

The Present

This last section from the Seaham Colliery to Seaham Harbour, so recently abandoned, will one day make a very pleasant walkway if Easington or Durham County Councils can be persuaded to take an interest in the matter. For the rest of the line, the section from Seaham Colliery to the site of the Rainton collieries, abandoned between 1896 and 1920, it is of course far too late for such notions. Much of the land it occupied was taken back by neighbouring farmers or has been obliterated by new housing or roads or open-cast mining. When the line was constructed, 1828-31, a nucleus of small coals (the most-readily available material) was used to construct the embankments. People from the village of Seaham Colliery were able to extract over 1,000 tons of this during the General Strike of 1926, a posthumous gift from that long dead tyrant the 3rd. Marquess. Thus there is no trace of the line between Seaham Colliery and Warden Law apart from a continuous trail of pieces of coal on the ground.

At Warden Law however an 800 yard stretch was over level ground and somehow escaped destruction at the time and encroachment by farmers later. It is still possible to walk along the old track here and this section is clearly visible from the air nearly a hundred years after it’s closure, delineated by two rows of trees. Further west the old line is still visible in a wood to your left just before the golf club on the Seaham to Houghton road. Between the Copt Hill and Rainton Bridge the line has been built over for housing or taken back for agricultural use. At Rainton Bridge the railway was sliced by the new Durham to Sunderland A690 road sometime in the 1960s. Beyond the A690 the original line again is clearly visible, with 30 foot embankments covered in coal fragments, for about half a mile. For the next mile the Rainton and Seaham is obliterated by the open-cast mine (situated on the very site of some of the original Vane Tempest pits) before emerging near to West Rainton. The last mile of track from here to the terminus at the site of the old Adventure colliery is clearly visible and delineated. The branch lines to Pittington, Chilton Moor and Framwellgate are still visible but are overgrown or built on in parts. The branch from Rainton bridge to North Hetton Colliery (via Dunwell and Hazard) has been converted into a beautiful country lane.

In it’s heyday the Rainton and Seaham line was used by over a dozen pits owned by the Londonderrys and others, an umbilical cord linking central Durham with the coast. The Raintons and Pittington today are dotted with old pit workings, shafts and spoil heaps and criss-crossed by the trackbeds of old railways and wagonways which bear silent witness to the industrial prosperity of other days. The coal at Rainton was not exhausted in 1896 – it had simply become uneconomic to produce. Today the northern part of the old Rainton Colliery (roughly a triangle whose corners are the old Plain Pit, Rainton Meadows and the Nicholson’s Pit) is a huge open-cast mine which can be seen to your left as you drive from Durham to Sunderland on the A690. In the middle of the nineteenth century Rainton and Pittington were important railway hubs almost completely surrounded by Londonderry pits. Today they are tranquil villages far from any busy railway line and the nearest colliery is a hundred miles away in Yorkshire.

The Future

There probably isn’t one but it is conceivable that the section from Seaham Colliery to Warden Law could be reclaimed and turned into a walkway. Unfortunately the A19 is a major obstacle in the way of this plan but it is surely not so busy that a Pelicon crossing could not be installed for occasional ramblers. Thereafter a small amount of land would have to be compulsorily purchased back from farmers. The Rainton and Seaham was the vital link between the inland railway pits and the new port and town of Seaham Harbour. Without the railway line there would never have been a Seaham Harbour. It is that important.

— by Tony Whitehead

Seaham Harbour Boat Accident of 1873

Seaham Harbour Boating Accident, June 23rd 1873

Sunderland Times – June 23rd 1873
transcribed by George Turns

Dreadful Boat Accident at Seaham
Five Men Drowned

Much excitement was caused on Tuesday night at Seaham Harbour in consequence of a report being freely circulated that a coble had capsized with eight men a little to the north of the North Pier. Thousands of people hastened to the Docks and Pier End, and the intelligence proved to be too well founded. It appears that seven Bottlemakers named John Jefferson, Ralph Hush, James Coyle, Robert Miller, Joseph Hall, Benjamin Turns and Andrew Davison wished to go to sea on a pleasure excursion, and in order to effect this they engaged a coble, and placed themselves under the charge of Morley Scott junior, an assistant pilot. The boat was in good condition, in fact almost new. The men took their departure through the north and south piers laughing and jesting with each other, and as they proceeded on their way the sea was perfectly calm, nor was the slightest breeze felt.

When they were about three hundred yards from the North Pier the boat was seen gradually to sink, and the men were thrown into the water. Three cobles were immediately dispatched from the rocks, and hastened to the rescue of the drowning men. They first picked up Scott and Turns, who were floating upon two oars. Both men were with all speed brought on shore, and appeared to suffer little from the effects of their immersion. Hush was afterwards brought in, and was almost at his last gasp. He was taken to the Infirmary, where he shortly afterwards expired, although all possible attention was paid to him. Jefferson was afterwards brought ashore, and was at first thought to be dead, but on landing him on the sands it was seen that their was a little life, but that it was fast ebbing, and in a short time he too was dead. The bodies of the other three men up to eleven o clock last night had not been recovered. The deceased men all leave widows and families. They were employed at the Seaham Bottleworks under Mr.J.Candlish M.P., and were very deservedly respected.

The assistant pilot’s statement is as follows:- After they had been a short time at sea, there being no breeze, he gave charge of the sail to Coyle until he sewed a button upon his trousers which had caused his brace to become detached. At the time a squall filled the sail, but he thought that was not of any particular importance. On again looking, after finding the boat to one side, he found the sail in the water. He hastily rushed to the rescue, but the other men, being inexperienced, all went to the contrary side of the boat, and in a moment she was capsized and it’s occupants floating about. He was drifted a short way from the boat, and on looking round he found the sail was visible, and swam to it. He had been there only a few seconds when he discovered Turns floating upon two oars. He swam to him, and whilst doing so Coyle caught hold of his shoulders, and he had some difficulty extricating himself from his grasp. Had he not done so, it would have resulted in his death. Turns gave him a place on the oars, where they rested until they were rescued.

The boat was raised without much difficulty, being in only two fathoms of water. A light vessel was anchored within 200 yards of the scene of the accident but, for some unexplained reason, the crew rendered no assistance.

The following are the names of those drowned:-

Robert Miller, aged 32 years, leaves a widow and five children
John Jefferson, aged 32 years, leaves a widow and four children
Joseph Hall, aged 28 years, leaves a widow and four children
James Coyle, aged 33 years, leaves a widow and six children
Ralph Hush, aged 38 years, leaves a widow and seven children

The following are the names of those rescued:-

Benjamin Turns, aged 38 years, married with five children
Andrew Davison, aged 35 years, married with five children
Morley Scott junior, aged 25 years and single

Mr.Crofton Maynard Esq. held an inquest at Seaham on Thursday, on the bodies of the drowned men. Morley Scott, pilot’s assistant, gave evidence that on Tuesday night he was solicited by these men to give them sail in his coble. They rowed out of the Harbour, and when outside a proposition was made to hoist the sail, which was done. In pulling up the sail he broke one of his braces, and he asked one of the men, named Coyle, who was conversant with cobles, to take charge of the sail while he mended it. Coyle did so, but before he got the needle out of his pocket a “Luff” came and filled the sail. He made an effort to ease the sheet, but before he could do so the boat filled with water and went down. The coble came back again, when one of the men, Miller, and he, clutched at the sail, but finding that would not keep both of them floating, he swam to the westward, and meeting Coyle, the latter grabbed him, but he pushed him away, and kept afloat until the boat came from the Harbour by which he was rescued. None of the men were drunk. There was no quarrelling or misunderstanding in the boat.

Benjamin Turns, who was one of the men rescued, gave corroborative evidence, and declared emphatically none of the men were drunk. Police Officer, George Stephenson said he was standing on the pier when the coble passed. He could see all the men quite distinctly, and in his opinion the coble was not overladen, nor were any of the men intoxicated. Dr.Gibbon was called from the Infirmary, where Hush had been taken. He thought the latter had been dead when taken from the coble. The deceased ought not to have been taken from the beach to the Infirmary, but means used to restore animation either in the coble or immediately on landing. Dr.Marshall Hall’s method of resuscitation was tried, and about three quarters of an hour spent in attempting to restore life. The doctor, whilst giving evidence, took occasion to remark upon the want of some place where apparently drowned bodies could be conveniently removed, somewhere near the beach or docks. The jury concurred, and the coroner said he would undertake to write to Mr Eminson on the subject. A verdict of “Accidental Death” caused by the upsetting of a coble was returned.

None of the other bodies have been recovered, although during Wednesday night and last night cobles manned by the fellow workmen of the deceased were out dragging for them. Several of the fellow workmen of the drowned men have contributed large sums of money for the benefit of the widows and orphans left, and much active sympathy with the sufferers, by this unfortunate affair, has been exacted among the general inhabitants of the town.

* The bodies of the other three men were found about three weeks later. Hall and Coyle were buried on July 17th 1873 and Miller was buried on July 23rd 1873.

Burials from St.John’s Church [Seaham Harbour]

28th June 1873 Ralph Hush, aged 38 years
28th June 1873 John Jefferson, aged 32 years
17th July 1873 Joseph Hall, aged 28 years
17th July 1873 James Coyle, aged 33 years
23rd July 1873 Robert Miller, aged 32 years

Family details of the eight men involved – [Adapted from the 1871 Census]

Note: These are not actual census returns, they are inferred family details as of 23rd June 1873

Ropery Walk, Seaham Harbour
Benjamin Turns, 38, Bottlemaker, born South Shields [Survived]
Louisa Turns, 28, born South Shields
Benjamin Turns, 10, born Seaham Harbour
Jane Turns, 8, born Sunderland
Mary Ann Turns, 6, born South Shields
Ralph Turns, 4, born Newcastle
David Dick Brown Turns, 9 months, born Sunderland

26, South Terrace, Seaham Harbour
Morley Scott [Snr], 51, Pilot, born Sunderland
Jane Scott, 51, born Southwick
Morley Scott [Jnr], Pilot’s Assistant, born Seaham Harbour [Survived]
George Scott, 23, born Seaham Harbour
John Scott, 20, born Seaham Harbour
Isabella Scott, 14, born Seaham Harbour

Bottlehouse Cottages, Seaham Harbour
Andrew Davison, 35, Bottlemaker, born South Shields [Survived]
Jane Davison, 31, born Cassop, County Durham
Robert Davison, 13, born Sunderland
Sarah Davison, 11, born Seaham Harbour
Elizabeth Davison, 7, born Seaham Harbour
Mary Davison, 4, born Seaham Harbour
Jane Davison, 7 months, born Seaham Harbour

17 Adolphus Street, Seaham Harbour
Ralph Hush, 38, Bottlemaker, born South Shields [Drowned]
Margaret Hush, 34, born South Shields
Alice Hush, 11, born Sunderland
Elizabeth Hush, 9, born Seaham Harbour
Henry Hush, 7, born Sunderland
Ralph Hush, 5, born Sunderland
Margaret Hush, 2, born Seaham Harbour
Frances Hush, infant, born Seaham Harbour
+ 1 other child [name unknown]

Bottlehouse Cottages, Seaham Harbour
John Jefferson, 33, Bottlemaker, born Newcastle [Drowned]
Elizabeth Jefferson, 29, born Sunderland
Richard Jefferson, 11, born Seaham Harbour
Mary Jefferson, 9, born Seaham Harbour
Thomas Jefferson, 4, born Seaham Harbour
Louisa Jefferson, 2, born Seaham Harbour

Bottlehouse Cottages, Seaham Harbour
Joseph Hall, 26, Bottlemaker, born Sunderland [Drowned]
Jane Hall, 26, born Sunderland
Margaret Ellen Hall, 8, born Sunderland
John Joseph Hall, 5, born Sunderland
George Hall, infant, born Seaham Harbour
+ 1 other child [name unknown]

Back North Railway Street, Seaham Harbour
Robert Miller, 32, Bottlemaker, born Scotland [Drowned]
Barbara Miller, 32, born Sunderland
Margaret Miller, 10, born Seaham Harbour
Luke Miller, 8, born Seaham Harbour
Harriet Miller, 6, born Seaham Harbour
Grace Miller, 4, born Seaham Harbour
Robert Miller, 3, born Seaham Harbour

John Street, Seaham Harbour
James Coyle, 33, Bottlemaker, born Seaham Harbour [Drowned]
Mary Coyle, 35, born South Shields
Mary Ann Coyle, 13, born Seaham Harbour
Dennis Coyle, 11, born Seaham Harbour
Isabella Coyle, 7, born Southwick
Elizabeth Coyle, 5, born Hartlepool
Edward Coyle, 3, born Stockton
John James Coyle, 9 months, born Seaham Harbour

— by Tony Whitehead

Seaham Area Residents in the 1830s

Early residents of the Seaham area, from the following sources:

  • Greater Seaham Electoral Register 1833
  • Pigot’s Trade Directory 1834

Greater Seaham Electoral Register 1833

Electoral Register 1833 Dalton-le-Dale:
2599, J.H. Brown, D-l-D
2600, William Hall, D-l-D
2601, John Lamb, Seaton Moor
2602, Thomas Minns, D-l-D
2603, George Oats or Oates, D-l-D
2604, Edward Pattison or Patterson, D-l-D
2605, Andrew Watt, Dalton Moor
2606, Thomas Wilkinson, D-l-D

Electoral Register 1833 Dawdon (including modern-day Seaham Harbour):

2607, John Adamson, North Terrace
2608, Matthew Adamson, North Terrace
2611, John Bell, Railway Street
2615, Joseph Bowman, Railway Street
2616, John Bogan, Railway Street
2618, Percival Butiment, North Terrace
2621, Robert Field, Railway Street
2622, John Graham, Cross Street (later called Church Street)
2623, Thomas Graham, Cross Street (later called Church Street)
2625, Peter Hinde, Railway Street
2626, John Hutchinson, Railway Street
2627, Thomas Littlefair, Henry Street

Electoral Register 1833

2631, Bernard O‘Bryan, Henry Street
2632, Matthew Patton, (South) Crescent
2633, Thomas Prosser, North Terrace
2634, Samuel Pygass, (South) Crescent
2635, George Reed, Railway Street
2637, Robert Rutherford, North Terrace
2638, Benjamin Milburn Stafford, Cold Hesledon
2639, Robert Scott, North Terrace
2640, Thomas Stokeld, Railway Street
2648, Parkin Thornton, Railway Street
2653, Edward Weatherley, Cold Hesledon
2654, George White, Railway Street
2655, John Winter, Railway Street

Electoral Register 1833 Seaton and Slingley:

4017, William Brough, Seaton
4018, John Brough, Bishopwearmouth
4019, George Bryden, High Sharpley
4020, Ralph Carr, Bishopwearmouth
4022, John Hutchinson, Seaham
4023, Robert Hodgson, Seaton
4024, John Robson, Sharpley Hall
4025, James Shotton, Seaton
4026, George Smith,Seaton
4027, Thomas Smith, Seaton
4029, James Thubron, Seaton Moor
4030, Robert Thompson, Slingley Hill

Electoral Register 1833 Seaham (Old Seaham and outlying farms):

4031, George Aird, Seaham
4032, Reverend Oswald Joseph Cresswell, Seaham
4033, William Hutton, Seaham Grange
4034, Edward Joseph Hutton
4035, Christopher Jobson, Seaham Mill
4036, John Johnson, Seaham Mill
4037, Thomas Richardson, Carr House Farm
4038, Thomas Smith, Seaham Field House
4039, Nicholas Smith, Seaham Field House
4040, Robinson Avery Wilson, Seaham Mill

Pigot’s Trade Directory 1834

NB: With few exceptions Pigot’s Trade Directory of 1834 described the addresses of its entries as ‘Seaham Harbour‘. It is not very helpful but at least it gives a few of the street names from the early days of the town’s history. Seaham Harbour was just over 5 years old at this point.

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Post Office
John Hall, Post Master

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Nobility, Gentry & Clergy
Mrs. Anderson, Hawthorn Cottage (later called Hawthorn Towers)
Reverend James Humphrey Brown, Dalton-le-Dale (St. Andrew’s)
Reverend Oswald Joseph Cresswell, Seaham (St. Mary the Virgin)
The (3rd.) Marquess of Londonderry, Seaham Hall

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Academies
William Roddam or Rodham, SH
Charles Rooke, SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Blacksmiths
William Edwards (also shipsmith and anchorsmith), SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Boot and Shoe Makers
John Brothwick or Bothwick, SH
George Davison, SH
Thomas Kidd, SH
Edward Lazonby, SH
William Pattison, SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Brewers
Samuel Pygass (retail), SH
John Williamson (ale and porter), SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Butchers
John French, SH
Mowbray and Rudd (shipping), SH
John Read (Reid/Reed), SH
Timothy Steabler, SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Chemists and Druggists
J. & R. Renny, SH
Henry Smith, SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Coal Fitters
Christopher Davison (for South Hetton Colliery, owned by Braddyll), SH
William Spence (also lime fitter and pilot master and general agent to the Marquess of Londonderry), SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Grocers and Drapers
John Bell, SH
William Stafford Benson, SH
Robert Field, SH
Michael Reed, SH
Robert Rutherford, SH
Wilkie and Brown, SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Inns and Public Houses
George Reed, Golden Lion, SH
King’s Arms (North Terrace), John French, SH
Londonderry Arms, Matthew Patton, SH
Lord Seaham Inn, Thomas Prosser, SH
Lynn Arms, George Bambrough, SH
Mason’s Arms, Parkin Thornton, SH
Noah’s Ark, Thomas Stokeld, SH
Wheatsheaf, Elizabeth Barker, SH
Windmill, Thomas Chilton, Seaham.
NB: This pub may later have been called the Braddyll Arms which was also owned by Tommy Chilton. However Pigot’s describes the address as ‘Seaham‘ rather than Seaham Harbour so I am inclined to believe that the Windmill was the original name of the Mill Inn at New Seaham. Tommy Chilton is known to have run that pub also in the years before and after the foundation of Seaham Harbour. His nickname was ‘Nicky Nack‘ which eventually transmitted itself to the new collieries begun nearby by the Marquess of Londonderry and others in the 1840s. This is lent support by his inclusion in the list of millers below. Tommy Chilton’s gravestone is at St. Mary the Virgin.

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Ironmongers
William Edwards, SH

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Dealers in Marine Stores
John King (also an earthenware dealer), Seaham Harbour
John Winter (also glass and earthenware dealer), Seaham Harbour

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Millers
William Bruff (Brough), Mill End
Thomas Chilton, Seaham

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Milliners & Dressmakers
Ann Proud (also straw hat maker), Seaham Harbour
Ellen Sheridan, Seaham
Jane & Mary Ann Whitfield (also straw hat makers), Seaham Harbour

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Provision Dealers
Robert Field (also bread and biscuit baker), Seaham Harbour
John Hutchinson (also earthenware dealer), Seaham Harbour
Robert Rutherford (also ship chandler), Seaham Harbour

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Shipsmiths
William Edwards (also anchorsmith), Seaham Harbour
Thomas Todd (also whitesmith), Seaham

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Surgeons
Wild Renney, Seaham Harbour
Henry Smith (also a chemist), Seaham Harbour

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Tailors
David Fernie (also slopseller), Seaham Harbour
Wilkie & Brown, Seaham Harbour

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Watch & Clock Makers
Gallon & Carter, Seaham Harbour

PIGOT‘S TRADE DIRECTORY 1834, Miscellaneous
John Nelson Beaumont, Principal coast officr and receiver of coal duties, Seaham Harbour
Margaret Bonner, Shopkeeper, Seaham Harbour
Nathaniel Close, Hair cutter, Seaham Harbour
Joseph Davison, Cooper, Seaham Harbour
John Fothergill, Saddler, Seaham Harbour
George Harbutt, Pocket book maker and letter carrier, Seaham Harbour
William Henzell, Shipwright, Seaham Harbour
Thomas Prosser, Surveyor and builder, Seaham Harbour
George Ridley, Retailer of beer, Seaham Harbour
Parkin Thompson (Thornton ?), Bricklayer, Seaham Harbour
James Wilson, Brazier & Tinman, Seaham Harbour
Sarah Wilson, Retailer of beer, Seaham Harbour
George Reid (Reed) – gig from the Golden Lion to Sunderland via Ryhope, Seaham Harbour
Andrew Carr – carrier from the Noah’s Ark to Sunderland, Seaham Harbour
George Pearson – carrier from his house to Sunderland, daily except Sunday, Seaham Harbour
Thomas Pattison or Patterson – carrier from his house to Sunderland, daily except Sunday, Seaham Harbour
James Dobson – carrier from the Noah’s Ark to Sunderland, Thursdays only, Seaham Harbour

— by Tony Whitehead

Dawdon (Seaham Harbour)

Dawdon (Seaham Harbour)

St John's, Dawdon, Seaham Harbour

St John’s, Dawdon, Seaham Harbour

The new town and port of Seaham Harbour was founded in 1828. The community did not have its own Anglican church until the construction of St. John’s in 1840. From 1828 to 1840, the parish church was Dalton-le-Dale. Early Seaham Harbour records are contained in the parish registers for St. Andrew’s at Dalton-le-Dale.

Available Parish Registers at Durham Record Office

St. Andrew’s, Dalton-le-Dale, Baptisms 1653-1917
St. Andrew’s, Dalton-le-Dale, Marriages 1653-1971
St. Andrew’s, Dalton-le-Dale, Burials 1653-1893
St. John’s, Seaham Harbour, Baptisms 1845-1972
St. John’s, Seaham Harbour, Marriages 1847-1978
St. John’s, Seaham Harbour, Burials 1841-1936
St. Mary Magdalene RC, Seaham Harbour, Baptisms 1857-1915
St. Mary Magdalene RC, Seaham Harbour, Marriages 1871-1919
St. Mary Magdalene RC, Seaham Harbour, Burials -1984
St. Hild & St. Helen, Dawdon, Baptisms 1912-71
St. Hild & St. Helen, Dawdon, Marriages 1912-74
Dawdon Mission Church, Baptisms 1911-12
United Methodist, Seaham Harbour Church St., Marriages 1950-1968
United Methodist, Seaham Harbour Church St., Baptisms 1864-1968
Methodist, Seaham Harbour Parkside, Baptisms 1960-66
Methodist, Seaham Harbour Stewart Street, Baptisms 1957-60
Methodist, Seaham Harbour Tempest Road, Marriages 1912-60
Primitive Methodist, Seaham Harbour, Baptisms 1888-1948
Wesleyan Methodist, Seaham Harbour, Baptisms 1876-1942

Population changes in the 19th. Century were:

1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901
22 27 35 1022 2017 3538 6137 7132 7714 9044 10163

All of the 1841-1901 census returns for Dawdon (Seaham Harbour) are transcribed and available on this site.

History of Seaham Harbour

1. The Londonderrys Arrive:

On April 3 1819 a marriage took place in London which was to have a profound effect on the ancient Saxon settlement of Seaham. An Ulsterman, Lord Charles Stewart, a widower of 41 with a 14 year old son, took as his second wife Lady Frances Anne Vane Tempest, a 19 year old coal heiress whose pits were in the Penshaw and Rainton districts of her native County Durham. The bride was given away by the Duke of Wellington, a Napoleonic War comrade of the bridegroom. She was the second largest coal exporter on the River Wear behind Lord Lambton and had an annual income of £60,000, a collosal sum in those days. Lord Stewart himself was far from penniless and though he currently ranked only as a humble baron he expected one day to inherit a much higher title, a marquessate, from first his father and then his childless half-brother Viscount Castlereagh, the Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons and Prime Minister in all but name, the man actually in charge of the British Empire. On his marriage Lord Stewart adopted the surname Vane and henceforth would sign himself as Vane Londonderry.

Before the marriage Lord Charles Stewart had never visited County Durham and knew nothing whatsoever about his young bride’s business, coal. It was explained to him that the produce from her Rainton and Penshaw collieries had to be taken on a primitive horse-drawn wagonway to Frances Anne’s own staiths on the Wear not far from Penshaw. There it was loaded on to very small vessels called keels and taken downriver to be reloaded on to much larger, ocean-going vessels, for onward shipment to London and the Low Countries. Wages to the keelmen and other incidentals were costing his new wife some £10,000 a year but there seemed no way round this overhead. A few miles to the east of Rainton Colliery lay a possible solution to the problem – Dalden Ness, near Seaham.

Electioneering over two decades and the building of Seaham Hall had virtually bankrupted Sir Ralph Milbanke, owner of the sister manors of Seaham and Dalden. The final straw came when he had to raise an additional £20,000 as a dowry for his only child Anne Isabella on her marriage to the poet Lord Byron at Seaham in January 1815. It was intended that the Byrons should take over Seaham Hall and live happily ever after while Sir Ralph and his wife moved to his ancestral home at Halnaby in North Yorkshire. The inheritance, via his wife, of her brother’s Wentworth money and property in April 1815 saved Sir Ralph Milbanke’s financial bacon and the ending of his daughter’s marriage the following year rendered the Seaham and Dalden estates as surplus to requirements. What was to be done about them ? The exposed Durham coalfield at Rainton was only four miles away and Sir Ralph conceived the absurd idea of constructing a port at Seaham out of the living rock of Dalden Ness to export coal from inland pits such as Rainton and the projected Hetton Colliery. In 1820 he even went so far as to commission a well-known engineer, William Chapman, to draw up a plan for ‘Port Milbanke’, but the amount of money involved in such a high-risk project discouraged him. He could not have guessed that vast mineral wealth lay far beneath his own estates and that very soon the technology to extract it would be available. He was too impatient even to wait for the results of the experimental digging into the East Durham limestone escarpment going on at that very moment at Hetton and decided to sell Seaham and Dalden to the highest bidder and retire to the Wentworth headquarters in Leicestershire.

His plan for a harbour at Seaham and a railway inland now came to Lord Stewart’s knowledge and he determined to buy the estates when he heard that they were to be sold at a public auction. This took place on October 13 1821 and his bid of £63,000 was successful. He raised part of the money by charging it on his half-brother’s Irish property. The Milbankes then left Seaham for their other estates in Yorkshire and Leicestershire and made way for the new lords of the manors of Seaham and Dalden. Lord Stewart’s father, Robert Stewart, 1st. Marquess of Londonderry, died in 1821 and was succeeded in his titles and possessions by his childless eldest son Castlereagh who became the 2nd. Marquess of Londonderry. A year later his mind became unhinged and he cut his own throat at his house at Cray in Kent. His titles and possessions passed to his half-brother Charles who thus became the 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry, the title history remembers him by.

2.The Concealed Durham Coalfield

The eastern half of the Durham coalfield, upon which Seaham and all of Easington District is situated, is concealed by many hundreds of feet of Permian magnesian limestone. The powerful steam engines required to drain deep mines did not exist until the 1820s. As the third decade of the nineteenth century dawned technological advances had been made which at last made it possible to investigate just what lay under the rolling limestone hills of East Durham. At Rainton, four miles west of Seaham, coal is just below the ground. A few hundred yards away at Hetton, at the start of the limestone escarpment, the coal is several hundred feet below the surface.
It was there on December 19 1820 that the new machinery was put to the test. Deep mining was an entirely new, dangerous and expensive business, far beyond the financial means of most coal owners, and necessitated the creation of a large company for the purpose. Whilst digging proceeded the famous engineer and pioneer of steam engines, George Stephenson began construction of a railway from the pithead at Hetton to Sunderland in March 1821. The new line, the first in the world to be designed to use locomotives, was some 8 miles in length and ran to the Hetton Company’s own staiths on the river Wear, where coal could be loaded directly on to large vessels, thus missing out a number of middlemen at Penshaw and on the river. The excellent publicity received launched the Stephensons on to even greater things, as the world knows. More importantly for the history of County Durham, coal was found at the Hetton Lyons Blossom Pit sinking, at 650 and 900 feet, in seams six and a half feet thick! By 1832 Hetton Lyons and its two sister pits Eppleton and Elemore were annually producing 318,000 tons of coal worth £174,000, and the combine was the largest mine in England. Hetton Colliery and its railway proved that 650 feet of limestone, water and quicksand and a large hill (Warden Law) blocking the way to Sunderland were not insurmountable obstacles to the exploitation of the rich reserves of coal and that achievement did not go unnoticed. Before long others, such as Lord Londonderry, Lord Lambton (1st. Earl of Durham) and Colonel Thomas Braddyll of Haswell, would enter the arena and the tapping of the deeply concealed Durham coalfield began in earnest.

In 1801 the total population of all County Durham was a mere 150,000. Half of these people lived in the ancient towns of Gateshead, Stockton, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Durham and Darlington and the rest of the county, not just the highground, was as empty as some parts of western Ireland are today. In 1820 Seaham, Silksworth, Ryhope, Murton, Hetton, South Hetton, Haswell and Shotton were tiny communities in an East Durham landscape which had been agricultural and unchanging for countless centuries. Over the course of the next century however the population of County Durham increased by more than twelve-fold to 1.88 million in 1901 as the coalfield expanded both eastward to exploit the concealed seams and southward towards Yorkshire. Most of the newcomers arrived from the other counties of the Great Northern Coalfield (Cumberland and Northumberland) but some came from established mining areas far afield. Murton and Seaham collieries for instance received a large number of Cornish lead and tin miners when they opened in the 1840s and 50s. Another wave came in the 1860s. The effects of the potato famine on the Irish, with starvation and typhoid from 1846-51, brought many of them too. Seaham Harbour certainly took its share of these as is evidenced by the Irish Back Street but strangely few of them reached Seaham/Seaton Colliery, even at this lowest of low-points in Irish affairs. Seaham Colliery and Seaham Harbour also absorbed at least two waves of unemployed agricultural labourers from Norfolk and Suffolk in the 1860s and 70s.

3. Seaham Harbour & the Rainton Railway

The favourable views of William Chapman regarding the new harbour at Seaham and a railway connection to the Rainton pits were reinforced by the opinions of other leading engineers of the day – Rennie, Telford and Logan, whom Stewart consulted before finally deciding to proceed. Lack of cash caused the postponement of the project several times. Though he was still short of money Lord Londonderry decided in 1828 that a start must be made to the new harbour and railway. The Rainton & Seaham railway was initially only 5 miles long, from Seaham Harbour to the main Londonderry pit at Rainton Meadows, but later additions created a network of over 16 miles of railway track. Fixed steam engines and early locomotives hauled the coal from the numerous Rainton pits to the top of the Copt Hill. At a site just opposite to the public house the new line passed under the Seaham to Houghton road in a short tunnel. The Hetton Colliery Railway at this very same point traversed the road by means of a level crossing. Thereafter the going to Seaham was comparatively easy and more fixed engines took over to haul the loads across the fields of Warden Law and Slingley, skirting to the south of Seaton village. From Seaton Bank Top a gravity incline and then a final fixed engine (the Londonderry Engine) brought the coal to the top of the Mill Inn Bank, where one day Seaham Colliery would be sited.

Two habitations, the Londonderry Engine Cottages, were erected to accomodate the men who operated the engine and their families. These were the first dwellings of what became Seaham Colliery Pit Village. They stood just behind what became Walter Willson’s store. The last leg of the Rainton & Seaham railway, from there to the new harbour, was downhill and utilized a self-acting incline system. The 1830’s saw further exploitation of the concealed coalfield. South Hetton, Haswell, Thornley, Kelloe, Wearmouth (Pemberton Main), Wingate and Murton collieries were sunk. The known coalfield advanced to the edge of Londonderry’s land at Seaham and Dalton. The next decade saw Castle Eden, Shotton, South Wingate, Trimdon, Trimdon Grange and Seaton/Seaham collieries appear.


4. The Great Strike of 1844

In April 1844 all of the Durham and Northumberland collieries came out on strike, including Londonderry’s. The miners’ demands included a half-yearly contract and at least 4 days work or wages every week. There were as yet no producing pits in Seaham, just the digging by the North Hetton Colliery Company going on at the projected Seaton Colliery, but in the infamous ‘Seaham Letter’ Lord Londonderry warned all traders there not to give credit to the Rainton and Penshaw strikers, or else they would become ‘marked’ men and would henceforth be denied any business. If the tradesmen in Seaham Harbour persisted he threatened to remove all of his own custom to Newcastle. He even suggested that he was prepared to ruin ‘his’ town if he did not get his own way. He evicted those ringleaders at Rainton and Penshaw who were his tenants. He also imported a number of workers from his estates in the north of Ireland to act as strike-breakers, and more evictions followed to make way for them. The other owners also despatched agents all over the kingdom to recruit replacements for the strikers and they too carried out mass evictions. Large numbers of blacklegs and their families were brought from Wales on the promise of excellent wages and free housing. They were not told that they were intended as strike-breakers. When they arrived in the northeast of England they discovered their true function but had no money to return home. They had no choice but to work to raise funds. Thanks to their efforts after four months the strike was broken.

Once again the ‘Masters’ were triumphant and could take their pick of those returning to work. The lot of the blacklegs now became a hard one. The special wages they had received during the strike came to an abrupt end and they were afforded no special protection from the former strikers. At Seaton Delavel in Northumberland the Welsh blacklegs were repeatedly thrashed by the native people and eventually all but one was driven back to the Land of Song. He remained in the village for 20 years, an outcast denied communication with anyone, before at last even he got the message and departed. The union was now extremely weak and many collieries gave it up altogether. It was effectively finished by 1852 and dead and buried by the following year. Unionism would not recover its strength for another generation. Thirty five years would pass before the next major confrontation and in that time Seaham Colliery appeared and became one of the most important mining villages in the county and thus at the forefront of the battle for miner’s rights. One good thing was achieved in this interlude. The Mines’ Regulation Bill passed into law in the Parliamentary session of 1850, despite the fierce and completely unprincipled opposition of the 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry, making the appointment of inspectors of mines necessary.

5. Seaham before the Londonderrys

In her later years Lady Frances Anne would boast to her visitors at Seaham Hall that before the Londonderrys arrived there had been not a habitation or even a path in what became the boom town of Seaham Harbour. This was not strictly true. East Durham had been agricultural for countless centuries and the few residents had to live somewhere near to the fields they tended. In 1828 at least two farmsteads existed in the future Seaham Harbour, Dene House Farm (now demolished) and Dawdon Hill Farm which still survives. The latter thus has an outstanding claim to being the oldest continuously inhabited structure in ‘Seaham Harbour’ though it may have rivals in terms of ‘Greater Seaham’ for some of the other outlying farms are clearly far older than Seaham Hall (1792). Apart from these two fixed habitations there is evidence of transients living on the beaches and sometimes occupying the numerous caves along the rugged coastline. The Portsmouth Telegraph of October 14 1799 reported thus:

Woman from the Seashore

‘On Thursday se(ven)’nnight a woman was brought to the Lunatic Hospital near
Newcastle who has lived upwards of three years among the rocks on the sea-shore near Seaham. From whence, or in what manner she first came there is unknown, but she speaks in the Scottish dialect and talks of Loch Stewart and AberGordon in a rambling manner. She is about thirty-five years of age, inoffensive and cheerful, and during her residence among the rocks was fantastically dressed in the rags which chance or the wrecks threw in her way; she always kept a good fire of wood or coal, which the sea threw up, and it is supposed lived upon shellfish & c. What is remarkable, a beard has grown upon the lower part of her chin, nearly an inch long, and bushy like the whiskers of a man.’

The parish of Dalton-le-Dale contained just 211 inabitants in 1821. 35 of these lived in the ‘township’ of Dawdon, where the future Seaham Harbour would be located.

6. Events 1828-41

By 1831, three years after the foundation of the town and port of Seaham Harbour, Dalton parish contained 1,305 people, 1,022 of them in Dawdon. The population of Seaham (Old Seaham and Seaton-with-Slingley) in 1831 was 264, barely up from 1821. The first list of Greater Seaham residents that I have been able to find is contained in Pigot’s Trade Directory for County Durham for 1834, six years into Seaham Harbour’s history. This mentions only the names of tradesmen wealthy enough to pay to have their names included and even then simply descibes their addresses as ‘Seaham Harbour’ but it gives us some clues as to which buildings and structures were erected first. Pigot’s Directory mentions several public houses (The Golden Lion, King’s Arms, Londonderry Arms, Lord Seaham Inn, Lynn Arms, Noah’s Ark, The Wellington, the Wheatsheaf and the Windmill, which later may have become the Braddyll Arms) and so we know that at least part of North and South Railway Streets, South Crescent, North Terrace and Adolphus Place were constructed by 1834. Not until seven years later was a full list made of all the residents, the census of June 1841, the first to include personal details in the returns.

In June 1841 after thirteen years of existence and a decade fully operational the new port was already functioning to capacity and would be greatly expanded over the next decade. According to the census Seaham Harbour already had a Harbour Master, Coast Guards, Customs Officers, Pilots, Seamen, Ropemakers, Ship Builders, Ship Chandlers, Sailmakers, Bellmen and Keelmen. The census also mentioned all of those trades necessary for the construction of a new town – Joiners, Carpenters, Builders, Labourers, Blacksmiths, Stonemasons and Painters. Pit Sinkers, Coal Trimmers and Brakesmen were also mentioned. Trimmers worked at the docks but the nearest pit being sunk was Murton (which finally came on stream in 1843). Seaton-Seaham Colliery was still in the future and the nearest producing pits were South Hetton, Haswell and Eppleton. The Pit Sinkers must have commuted to work, possibly by getting rides on the wagons on the Braddyll Railway. There were also Engineers, Enginemen, Enginewrights, Wagonmen and Wagonwrights resident in Seaham Harbour to operate the two vital mineral lines.

Also mentioned in the 1841 census were cotton weavers, tinners and brazers, dressmakers, tailors, drapers, shoemakers, potters, hairdressers, paper makers, straw hat makers and bookbinders. Seaham Harbour in 1841 also had clerks, agents, lawyers and schoolteachers. These middle classes were employers of housekeepers, a governess in one case, servants and gardeners. Supplying entertainment to the community we find brewers, coopers (barrel makers) and publicans. Only a few of the pubs were named in the census – many smaller establishments (‘beer shops’, often simply somebody’s front room) were not. Provisions were supplied by butchers, grocers, breadbakers, shopkeepers, pedlars and druggists. Producing the food for the growing town were the farmers, agricultural/farm labourers, husbandmen, millers and millwrights in the surrounding fields. Transport in this, the twilight of the Age of the Horse, was provided by carriers, cartwrights, waggon drivers and coach drivers. Seaham Harbour also had a postman (The Penny Post was introduced the year before the census).

It is said that the first two things that any new settlement needs are a cemetery and a prison. The new church of St. John’s (completed 1840) provided the former and the ‘Kitty’ in Back North Railway Street supplied the latter. Two unknown males were resident in the lock-up on the night of the census. Keeping law and order were two policemen and a prison officer. Reinforcements could be sent for from Sunderland or Durham and there was a large garrison of troops permanently based in Sunderland to deal with any situation in the coalfield. Like all ports Seaham Harbour would have been a den of vice, drinking, gambling and prostitution. The pimps and ladies of the night would have disguised their presence in the census by declaring to the enumerator that their profession was something very different, a dressmaker perhaps, or a labourer. Until the coming of gas lighting in the next decade Seaham Harbour may well have been a very dark, threatening and frightening place when the sun went down. Some people would say it still is.

The 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry originally envisaged a magnificent town designed by the famous Newcastle architect Dobson to back the port of Seaham, but shortage of cash prevented this and in fact compelled him to lease land to anyone. Only on the North Terrace and at Bath Terrace were better quality houses built. Much of the rest was ramshackle and degenerated into slums well before the end of the century. What emerged by the time of the 1841 census was a grid-pattern development on both sides (but primarily the north) of the unfenced Rainton and Seaham Railway. We know that the Londonderry Arms was the first building to begin construction and that the Golden Lion was probably the first to be completed.

South of the Rainton line there was very little development of housing by 1841. South Crescent, South Railway Street, Back South Railway Street and Pilot Terrace were complete and a recent start had been made on Adolphus Street, Frances Street, South Crescent and Church Street. Beyond those embryonic avenues the fields began which led to Dawdon Field House farm. Before very long though those same fields would be earmarked for further industrial development. A pottery already existed but this would vanish before the enumerator visited again. Examples of its produce can be seen at Sunderland Library.

North of the mineral railway line was the real town – a hollow rectangle whose sides were North Terrace, (what would become) Tempest Road, Henry Street and North Railway Street. Inside the ‘Rectangle’ was still virtually empty but a start had been made on John Street. Outside the rectangle was still countryside broken up by the occasional new structures like the Baths, the Garden House (later called Adam & Eve’s Gardens), Wood Cottages on Terrace Green and New Lodge and by that solitary old building, Dene House Farm. Already the farmer was hemmed in by the Rainton line and a bridge had to be thrown across the waggonway to allow him access to his fields to the south. The day would come when he would have to wend his way through acres of humanity to reach his diminishing workplace. In the census of 1841 the population of Dalton-le-Dale parish was 2,709 (which included Dalton village, East Murton, Cold Hesledon and the new Seaham Harbour, regarded as part of Dawdon township).

7. Events 1841-65

On August 23 1843 the township of Dawdon was severed from the parish of Dalton-le-Dale, and made into a separate chapelry, and in 1845 was created into a separate incumbency, whose patronage was vested in the 3rd. Marquess of Londonderry. That old tyrant appointed a like-minded Scot, the Reverend Angus Bethune of South Shields, as the first Vicar. He became personal chaplain to Lady Frances Anne and baptised three generations of the Londonderry family (in London not Seaham). Bethune, who lived into his nineties and who has a street at Deneside named after him, also became the town’s chief magistrate. He could always be relied upon by the Londonderrys to rule in their favour and he played an important and sinister role in the suppression of the disorder which followed the Seaham Colliery Disaster of September 1880. He is buried at St. Mary the Virgin.

In the 1851 census therefore the figures for Seaham Harbour were separated from Dalton-le-Dale. By then the population of the infant town had reached 4,042 (including the absent mariners), double the size of a decade earlier. Dalton-le-Dale’s population actually fell slightly in that period. Seaton-with-Slingley increased by 25 people. The population of ‘Seaham’ itself (formerly just Old Seaham and outlying farms) radically increased for it encompassed the new Seaham and Seaton collieries. At the time of the 1851 census neither pit was yet producing and the population of Seaton/Seaham collieries was still quite small. By 1865 nearly 1000 colliers would live and work there. The sinking of Seaton Colliery (the High Pit, owned by the North Hetton & Grange Colliery Company) began in 1844 but coal was not drawn until 1852. Seaham Colliery (the Low Pit, owned by Lord Londonderry) began sinking in 1849 and production started after Seaton but the precise date is unknown. Seaham Harbour accomodated the overspill from the new concerns.

In 1843 Lord Londonderry’s eldest daughter Fanny was married to the Marquess of Blandford, eldest son and heir of the Duke of Marlborough. The union was celebrated in Seaham Harbour by the naming of the new Blandford Place and later of Marlborough Street. The south docks at Seaham Harbour were finally completed in 1845. Between them Lord (the driving force) and Lady (the money) Londonderry had created a port and town where none had existed twenty years before. In the decade 1841-51 most of the existing streets expanded in size to absorb the waves of immigrants coming from all directions. New streets were built – Bath Terrace, Blandford Place and Adelaide Row.

Within the ‘Rectangle’ of North Terrace – (what would become) Tempest Road – Henry Street – North Railway Street there was further development. John Street trebled in size and William Street appeared. North of the Rainton railway was still the most important residential and business sector of the growing town. A Gasworks was constructed in the dene and the town was at last illuminated at night. South of the Rainton line there had been few changes. Blandford Place and Adelaide Row were erected, South Terrace expanded from 1 to 9 households and Church Street, destined for greater things, now had 45 families but the development was mostly on the north side of the street and even that had a large gap in the middle of it. It was still possible to see Kin(g)ley Hill from Back South Railway Street. Frances Street went up from 1 to 12 households but Adolphus Street barely grew at all.

In about 1855 Greater Seaham was surveyed in preparation for the first national Ordnance Survey. The resultant map was printed in 1857. The original can be examined at the Durham Record Office at County Hall. Surveyed at the time it was, half-way between the censuses of 1851 and 1861, the map gives us priceless clues about the development of our town of Seaham Harbour. Several places are shown (e.g. some of the streets inside of the ‘Rectangle’ which were not mentioned in the 1851 census and we can thus deduce that they were built between 1851 and 1855. Likewise several places (e.g. Seaham Cottages, Marlborough Street) are mentioned in the 1861 census but are not on the map – therefore we know that they were built between 1855 and 1861. We have one other priceless clue about these early days in the history of our town in the form of the remarkable and exquisite wooden model of Seaham Harbour made in c. 1861 which hangs at the back of Seaham Library and was apparently made by an employee of Lady Frances Anne, a Mr. Cummins, for show at the Paris Exhibition. It is not known whether or not it reached the show. For years it gathered dust in the attic of the Londonderry Offices and was discovered only in the 1960s when the Londonderry family finally abandoned the building to the Police. It was restored and now hangs proudly in the intellectual centre of the town.

The decade 1851-61 saw another great expansion of the population of Greater Seaham, from five to nine thousand people. The main reason for this next phase of development was the stimulus of the new Seaton and Seaham Collieries but additional demand for housing was created by the new Londonderry Wagonworks and two new bottleworks. The immigrants came from all directions but especially from the Emerald Isle.

Seaton Colliery began production in 1852. Seaham Colliery began producing later but the exact date is not known. By the end of the decade nearly a thousand colliers and their families were employed at the two pits. Seaham/Seaton Colliery pit village was erected to accomodate them but the building could not keep pace with demand. Seaham Harbour, Seaton and Dalton-le-Dale tried to absorb the overflow but those tiny communities could not cope with the influx of newcomers. Four rows of houses were built at Dawdon which were initially called Seaham New Cottages but which eventually became known as Swinebank Cottages. It is not known if these 83 dwellings were owned by Seaton Colliery or Seaham Colliery or both. In the census of 1861 several more new structures were described as ‘New Cottages’ – these would eventually become Ropery Walk, Candlish Street, Gallery Row and Fenwick’s Row. The future Ropery Walk was inhabited by the workers of the Londonderry Wagonworks. The future Candlish Street, Gallery Row and Fenwick’s Row were occupied by the employees of the two bottleworks which opened in Seaham in about 1853. Before the decade was out Fenwick’s was bought out by Candlish and the two bottleworks became one. Fenwick himself was remembered in the name of the street.

Despite the erection of ‘New Cottages’ the demand for more and more housing was far from exhausted. Several new streets or habitations were constucted in Seaham Harbour – Sebastopol Terrace (for the well-heeled), Green Street, Back Adelaide Row, Back Church Street. Inside the ‘Rectangle’ the available space was filled up – North John Street, Back John Street, Back William Street, Back Henry Street and Back Tempest Place all appeared. The gap between the ‘Rectangle’ and Dene House Farm also began to fill up – Vane Terrace was built. A start was also made in filling the space between Blandford Place and the new railway station – work began on Marlborough Street. It contained 45 families in the 1861 census but would soon have far more.

The Dowager Marchioness built her imposing Londonderry Offices in 1857 next to Terrace Green. This impressive structure still stands and is currently Seaham’s Police Station. Its predecessor as Police HQ was erected on the corner of Tempest Road and Vane Terrace at about the same time as the Londonderry Offices. It served the town and the force for over a century. In the same era Rock House was built just across the road. The decade 1851-61 also saw the appearance of several ramshackle structures which would soon degenerate into slums and which contributed greatly to the very high death-rate in Seaham Harbour – the worst in the county by 1900. Amongst these were Pattison’s, Hunter’s, Nicholson’s and Todd’s Buildings.

By 1850 the docks at Seaham Harbour were seriously overloaded by coal from a dozen inland pits and something had to be done to ease the pressure before Seaton and Seaham came on stream. The solution was to create a railway from Seaham Harbour to the much larger port facilities at Sunderland. On a bitterly cold day, February 8 1853, the 3rd. Marquess, now aged 75, dug the first turf of the Londonderry Seaham and Sunderland Railway. He was fated not to see the completion of this project. Passenger traffic began on the line on July 1 1855 with stations at Seaham Harbour, Seaham Colliery, Seaham Hall (for the private use of the Londonderrys and their guests), Ryhope East and Hendon Burn. The new line was connected to the Rainton and Braddyll railways. Seaham Harbour Station was a short walk from the edge of town at Blandford Place. By 1861 the space in between was developed as the ‘Marlborough’ area and the edge of town advanced to the new railway line.

Already in poor health the 3rd. Marquess caught influenza at the end of February 1854 and this developed into pneumonia. He died at his London mansion, Holdernesse House, on March 6. He was succeeded in all of the titles he had inherited from his father and brother by his eldest son (from his first marriage) Frederick Stewart who thus became the 4th. Marquess of Londonderry. All of the titles the 3rd. Marquess had gained since 1821 however passed to his eldest son from his second marriage, Henry Stewart (Lord Seaham), who thus became Earl Vane. Henry simultaneously became heir to his half-brother Frederick who was childless and looked like remaining so and also to his mother Frances Anne. On her husband’s death she regained all of her possessions including the Durham pits, Wynyard and Seaham Hall. For 35 years the Marchioness had deferred to her husband and contented herself with the roles of mother, wife and society hostess but now she grasped the opportunity to come out of his shadow. From then on Seaham Hall was her headquarters and the collieries and the harbour her business. She developed the habit of spending the summer and early autumn at Garron Tower in Ulster, Christmas at Wynyard and the rest of the year at Seaham Hall, with the exception of a short visit to London for ‘the season’. In December 1859 she laid the foundation for another new enterprise, the Seaham Harbour Blast Furnace, in Dawdon Field Dene, next door to the ancient farmhouse.

The last major famine in peacetime in Western Europe occurred in Ireland at the end of the 1840s. Blight destroyed the staple crop of potatoes in several successive years and the population, never prosperous, was reduced to starvation. Millions emigrated to Australia and North America to escape the horror that engulfed those left behind. Many could afford only to reach England and Scotland and those two countries found themselves overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of illiterate, penniless and starving Irish who turned up in every town and village looking for work. Far from being sympathetic the British public were openly hostile to the newcomers who were prepared to work for far smaller wages than the average Briton and were thus perceived as a threat. Seaham took more than its fair share of the Irish and you will find hundreds of them in the census of 1861, especially in the ‘Irish Back Street ‘ (Back South Railway Street). Many Seaham people (the author included) descend from this Catholic Irish influx in the 1850s – it is the explanation for the high proportion of Catholics in the town compared to the rest of England.

Immigration to our ‘boom’ town was not limited to the Irish in the decade 1851-61. The first of several waves of refugees from the dying lead and tin mining industries of Devon and Cornwall began arriving in the 1850s. A street was named after them at Seaham Colliery and an entire district of Murton but you will also find lots of Cornishmen and Devonians in Seaham Harbour in the 1861 census. A swarm of unemployed agricultural labourers also came from Norfolk – lured north by the prospect of higher wages and more consistent work by the agents of Lord Londonderry and others.

In 1859 the Government, alarmed by the apparent belligerency of France under Napoleon III, formed the Volunteer movement and invited towns and cities, especially those on the south and east coasts, to look to their own defence. The Marchioness responded by creating the Seaham Volunteer Artillery Brigade in 1860. In 1862 she built Seaham’s first Drill Hall on Castlereagh Bridge. Seaham Harbour and Seaham Colliery men flocked to the colours. Drill Halls were also constructed by Frances Anne or her heir at Silksworth, Rainton, Durham and Seaham Colliery. Eventually 12 batteries (over 1,000 men) were created, out of a total County strength of 16 batteries. An indication of how seriously the Londonderry family took their private army can be found throughout the 1861 and later censuses – the number of professional soldiers they were prepared to employ and house in order to keep ‘their’ Volunteers in tip-top condition. All Londonderry agents were expected, indeed required, to train as officers. The 6th. Marquess, grandson of Frances Anne, built a huge new Drill Hall in 1888 and donated the Drill Field, now the site of Princess Road school playing field. He used to delight in leading the annual inspection and parade from the Drill Hall to the Drill Field in full ceremonial dress. One of the Volunteer uniforms is retained at Durham Records Office at County Hall. In 1908 the Volunteers were absorbed into the Territorial Army. There is a still a pub in Seaham called The Volunteers, last remnant of Frances Street.

In 1863 a Local Board of Health was created to conduct Greater Seaham’s affairs. It was led from 1873-94 by J. B. Eminson, chief financial agent for the Londonderrys in Seaham from 1869-96. The Board became Seaham Harbour Urban District Council by the Local Government Act of 1894. Eminson also led the new body from 1895-96. During his 27 years service he filled the leading position in the town. He was also Chairman of Seaham Magistrates and a member of the Easington Guardians (Work House). Despite the semblance of a kind of democracy after 1863 Seaham was still a family fiefdom.

When an Act of Parliament prohibited the working of coal-mines without two outlets from each seam Lady Frances Anne decided that the simplest way to comply with this legislation in the case of Seaham Colliery was to buy Seaton Colliery from the North Hetton and Grange Colliery Company and amalgamate it with Seaham. This was done in November 1864, and was virtually the last business deal she completed. The health of the Dowager Marchioness declined rapidly after 1862. The news of the death of her second and favourite son Adolphus in June 1864 broke her heart. Within weeks she suffered a major heart attack at Garron Tower in Ulster and returned to Seaham in September seriously ill. By Christmas she seemed to have recovered but this was to prove an illusion. In the New Year she had a relapse and died at the Hall on January 20 1865, three days after her 65th. birthday. She was buried with her husband and her Vane ancestors at Long Newton in the south of County Durham. Her remains were escorted there from Seaham, the town she had founded, by the Volunteers she had created. Her possessions, apart from Garron Tower in Ulster, passed to her eldest son Henry, Earl Vane. The Founders of Seaham Harbour and Seaham Colliery had certainly been characters. Their immediate and much less colourful descendants took little interest in their homes and businesses in the Northeast of England. Their visits were rare and usually confined to shooting parties at Wynyard, their mansion near Stockton. By and large they were content to leave everything in the hands of agents, hard men who were paid by results. Nineteen years would pass before the next generation of the Londonderry family were again regular visitors to the town their ancestors had created. For months and years at a time Seaham Hall remained empty, maintained by a skeleton staff. With the death of Frederick Stewart, 4th. Marquess of Londonderry, in a nursing home at Hastings on November 25 1872, the connection between the marquessate and Seaham was restored. His titles and possessions passed to his half-brother Henry, Earl Vane, who became the 5th Marquess of Londonderry at the age of 51.

8. Events 1865-81

Seaham’s most famous resident, Lady Frances Anne, died on January 20 1865. She missed the arrival of Seaham’s most infamous resident by only a matter of days. Five days before her death, on January 15, a 38 year old stoker called William Mowbray died of typhus and diarrhoea at his humble home in Henry Street East at Hendon in Sunderland, leaving a widow and two small daughters. The widow, Mary Ann Mowbray, soon received £35 from the British Prudential Assurance Company and promptly moved to Bolton’s Buildings (19 North Terrace) on Seaham’s seafront. Her room may have been on the ground floor looking out to sea though the current owner says that it was in a cottage at the back of the house. Before long Mary Ann began an affair with a married man, Joseph Nattress, but her two little girls were in the way of a serious relationship. When the younger girl died of ‘typhus’ in April 1865 Mary Ann farmed out the remaining child to her mother who lived at Seaham Colliery. Unfortunately Nattress’s wife then found out and insisted that her husband move away from Seaham. Mary Ann had to accept the fait accomplis and she moved back to Sunderland before the summer was out. Her stay in our town was brief (a maximum of six months in a 40 year life) and the bulk of her career was spent elsewhere in the Northeast. She is known in history as Mary Ann Cotton (her fourth, bigamous, husband was Frederick Cotton) who is suspected of being Great Britain’s most prolific murderer. Most authorities credit her with 14 or 15 victims but she may have been responsible for as many as 21, a figure which includes her own mother. Mary Ann returned to Seaham (Colliery) very briefly in March 1867 to nurse her mother who was already dying of hepatitis. She may have speeded her unfortunate parent on the way but this is unlikely for it would not have benefited her in any way – quite the reverse in fact for her mother’s demise meant that Mary Ann had to take back her remaining daughter.

By the time of the 1871 census the population of Dawdon township (which included Seaham Harbour) had reached 7,132. The population of Seaham (which included Old Seaham, outlying farms and the new Seaton/Seaham colliery village) was 2,802. Dalton-le-Dale still had only 128 residents. Seaton-with-Slingley had just 228.

There was little further development in Seaham Harbour in the decade 1861-71. A start was made on Emily Street, Caroline Street and Cornelia Terrace. The ‘Marlborough’ area was now beginning to take shape. In the ‘Rectangle’ space was somehow found for Little John Street. Sea View Villas and the North Battery appeared on the seafront. The Blastfurnaces closed in 1865 but were soon replaced by the Chemical Works. Watson Town was erected for the employees of the new concern. The Vicar of St. John’s got a magnificent new house and the Roman Catholic priest got a parsonage next to the Police Station and the new RC church and school.

The decade from 1871 to 1881 was one of almost continuous disaster for the ordinary people of Greater Seaham. It seems that no sooner was one tragedy over than another began. The Seaham Colliery explosion of Wednesday October 25 1871 occurred at 11.30 pm, otherwise the death-toll of 26 would have been much higher – by now the pit was employing 1100 men and boys. The shock was felt at Seaham Harbour. John Clark, aged 9, sitting on the surface in a cabin near the pit shaft, was blown 10 yards by the explosion. The force of the blast was such that many ponies were killed in their underground stables 1.5 miles away from the epicentre. Two men named Hutchinson, father and son, working as ‘marrows’ (marras), fired the shot which triggered the blast. The father, Thomas senior, survived the explosion but was badly injured. For days he hovered between life and death (in his house) and medical opinion concluded that he could not survive. But survive he did – for he was destined to be killed in the 1880 explosion. Thomas Hutchinson junior left a pregnant widow and two children.

Manager Dakers and Head Viewer Vincent Corbett went down the pit to assess the situation and made a decision which to some seemed harsh and to others seemed like murder. The ‘stoppings’ were rushed up to starve the fire of oxygen and save the mine irrespective of the men thereby entombed. The explosion occurred on Wednesday – by Sunday the furnace was re-lighted at the shaft bottom for ventilation. The men were somehow persuaded to return to work while the bodies of their colleagues lay entombed for several weeks in nearby workings. Religious decency then laid much greater emphasis on proper burial of a body in consecrated ground. Four of the bodies were brought out immediately after the explosion but the remaining 22 were not recovered until December 20. The appeal fund produced just over £2,000. The inquest was held at the New Seaham Inn (now called the Kestrel). Verdict – Accidental death. Just as the village began to recover from the tragedy it was struck another mortal blow with an outbreak of smallpox.

A terrible storm occurred on December 17 1872. Newspapers of the time reported that six Seaham-based ships were lost with all hands but unfortunately they gave no names. It may be that dozens of Seaham men went to a watery grave but there is no record of who they were. The sea had not finished yet. On Tuesday June 26 1873 a dreadful boat accident took the lives of five men within hailing distance of the end of the pier…….

Having finished work and wishing for an adventure on that long summer evening of long ago seven bottlemakers (John Jefferson, Ralph Hush, James Coyle, Robert Miller, Joseph Hall, Benjamin Turns and Andrew Davison) engaged a coble and placed themselves under the charge of Morley Scott junior, an experienced junior pilot. The boat was brand new, the skipper an accomplished seaman, the seven passengers were mature and sober men and the weather was very calm so there should have been little possibility of a mishap. Morley Scott rowed the coble out of the harbour and then raised the mast to catch what little breeze there was.

When they were about three hundred yards out from the (old) north pier an event occurred which was to precipitate a tragedy – Morley Scott’s brace button snapped and he was in danger of his trousers falling down ! Being equipped with a needle and thread and a reserve button he handed charge of the sail to James Coyle, who he believed was an experienced sailor, whilst he effected an instant repair. A slight wind then hit the sail, Coyle lost his grip and the sail fell into the water. The situation was still not a dangerous one and Morley Scott, seeing the slight problem, forgot his trousers and moved towards the side of the boat to pull the mast back upright again. Unfortunately the other men in the boat, being inexperienced, all moved instinctively to help him, the boat overbalanced and tipped over throwing all eight into the water. Benjamin Turns, Andrew Davison and Morley Scott survived and were able to walk home unassisted. The other five drowned. Today there may be thousands of descendants of the eight men in Seaham and elsewhere, most of them probably oblivious of the events of that tragic day long ago.

There were ugly scenes and near-tragedies at both Seaham Harbour and Seaham Colliery when the Parliamentary Election came round in February 1874 – directed against Tories in general who were rightly blamed for the fact that none of the Seaham miners and other workers had the vote. The Riot Act was read at Seaham Harbour and extra police were brought in and some soldiers from the barracks at Sunderland. The crowd was dispersed at Seaham Harbour but a section of it then headed for the Mill Inn for unknown reasons. The pub was attacked and the landlord, John Barret Wells, was put under siege for over two hours. He fired several shots from his revolver but in the end was only saved from a beating or worse by the arrival of more police. Quite why he was picked on is far from clear at this distance in time. It may be that Wells had made the same mistake as those traders in Seaham Harbour who had their places of business wrecked – he might have placed a Vote Conservative poster in his pub window. Nationally the Conservatives had a comfortable victory in the election but in County Durham they lost to Liberals in all 13 seats. Because of the unrest in Seaham and elsewhere the Conservatives demanded and received a second election in the Northern Division of County Durham of which Seaham was a part. This duly took place and the Tories recaptured one of the two seats for the division.

In the baking hot August of 1880 the Seaham Volunteer Artillery Brigade distinguished itself in the big gun shooting of the National Artillery Competition at Shoeburyness, picking up a beautiful trophy and over £200 in prize money, a very handsome sum in those days. The team members were welcomed back to Seaham as heroes and their crackshot Corporal Hindson was carried shoulder-high through the town. The next big event in the town’s social calendar was Seaham’s Annual Flower Show, to be held in the grounds of Seaham Hall from Thursday September 9 to Sunday the 11th. The 5th. Marquess himself, a rather shy and unassuming man, was to make one of his rare visits in order to present the prizes. Indeed he was to honour the town his parents had founded with his presence for an entire week. As it turned out he was to stay for a good deal longer than he anticipated. Many of the miners at Seaham Colliery had entries in the show and some of these men swapped shifts with those disinterested in horticultural affairs in order that they might attend. It was to prove a fateful decision for those who should have been working on the Tuesday/Wednesday night and for those who ended up working when ordinarily they would have been at home sound asleep.

At Seaham Colliery there were three shifts per day for hewers (everyone else worked much longer hours) of 7 hours each, covering the period from 4 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. The shifts were: 1) Fore Shift, from 4 a.m. to 11.30 am; 2) Back Shift, 10a.m. to 5.30 p.m.; 3) Night Shift, 4p.m. to 11.30 p.m. Each shift involved some 500 men and boys and at the overlap of the shifts there could be over 1,000 men in the pit. From 10p.m. to 6.a.m., when the colliery was comparatively quiet, was the maintenance shift, which employed far fewer workers. Fortuitously the 1880 explosion took place at 2.20 a.m. during one such maintenance shift, 100 minutes before the start of the Fore shift, which is why only 231 men and boys were below ground. The tragedy, the second worst in the long mining history of County Durham and the third worst in the history of the Great Northern Coalfield, could have been much much worse, dwarfing the great disasters at Hartley and West Stanley.

On the fateful evening of Tuesday September 7 1880 Joseph Birkbeck (or Birbeck), choirmaster and organist at Christ Church, slept through his ‘knocker’ at his home at 19 Post Office Street and thereby missed his shift and of course forfeited his pay. The decision, conscious or otherwise, was to save his life and enable him to live until his nineties. His father and namesake (17 Mount Pleasant) was not so fortunate. Corporal Hindson (22 John Street, Seaham Harbour), the crackshot, had a premonition of his own death. Three times he started out for work on that dreadful night and twice he returned home. The third time he did not return. One man’s good luck story stands head and shoulders above the rest. John Hutchinson (15 Post Office Street) went to work even though he was poorly because he knew the financial result of any failure to attend. His condition deteriorated however and he felt obliged to return home before the end of his shift. He abandoned his place of work in the Maudlin seam minutes before the explosion, leaving his marrow Pat Carroll (Cooke Street) alone, but had to sit down for a rest on his way back to the pit shaft. He actually fell asleep and was roughly awoken by the prodding of a stick by the overman Walter Murray, on the look out for shirkers probably, who told him to go home if he was unwell. At the shaft bottom Hutchinson talked for a while with Laverick the onsetter whilst waiting for the cage to descend. He had barely stepped from the cage at the surface when the pit blew. The ground shook, waking up people in the neighbourhood. The sound of the explosion was heard on ships in Seaham Harbour and as far away as Murton Colliery and the outskirts of Sunderland. Some men saw a great cloud of dust blown skywards out of the shafts. The Marquess heard the noise at Seaham Hall and was among the first on the scene.

The explosion of Wednesday September 8 1880 took place at 2.20 a.m. in the Hutton and Maudlin seams, the middle of the three levels at the pit. The highest level was the Main Coal Seam, the lowest was the Harvey. Both shafts were blocked with debris and it was twelve hours before a descent could be made. Even then the rescuers had to use the emergency kibble (an iron bucket) for the cages were of course out of action. The cage remained out of action at the Low Pit for nine days. In the pit the engine house and stables had caught fire and many of the ponies were found to have suffocated. The hooves of some of them (complete with shoes) were preserved as souvenirs, polished, inscribed and adapted to various uses, such as stands for ink-wells, snuff-boxes and pin-cushions. Fifty four ponies and a cat survived. Further on the rescuers found debris and mutilated human corpses. Body after body was then located in the dark tunnels. Nineteen survivors from the Main Coal seam were brought up the Low Pit shaft which was not blocked at the level of that seam. The main rescue work was done from the High Pit shaft where it was also possible to use a kibble. 48 more survivors were brought out this way. Of the 231 workers only 68 had thus been rescued by midnight of the first day, leaving 164 unaccounted for. None of these survived. 169 men had been working in the affected seam – only 5 of these survived and were rescued.

The roads into Seaham were completely blocked by people in the next few days. Most of these were simply morbid sight-seers who obstructed the way for the rescue teams despatched from other collieries near and far. Special trains from Sunderland to Seaham for the Flower Show (now cancelled) were instead packed with these ‘spectators’. The families of those dead or missing were unable to get anywhere near the colliery. The crowd round the pit reached an estimated 14,000 on the Wednesday night (the day of the explosion). By Sunday there were an estimated 40,000 people in the vicinity to see the first mass funerals. After that the interest wore off and the mob gradually drifted away to other entertainment. The bereaved were left alone waiting for news, any news, of their loved ones. For a fuller report on the Seaham Colliery Disaster and its aftermath see the chapter/essay on Seaham Colliery (New Seaham).

In February 1881 a special ‘court’ was held at Seaham Harbour Police Station to deal with charges in connection with the strike and disturbances at Seaham Colliery. The Reverend Angus Bethune was the presiding magistrate. The other magistrates were Colonel Allison and Captain Ord. Colonel White, Chief Constable of the County, also occupied a seat on the bench. Bethune made all the decisions, primed no doubt by his ‘associates’. I leave it to my readers to decide whether or not this was a kangaroo court. Watching the entire proceedings (and taking copious notes for future reference no doubt) were the new manager of Seaham Colliery, Barret, and his boss the Head Viewer of all the Londonderry coal concerns Vincent Corbett. Over 50 men were summonsed. Five men were charged with assaulting an alleged blackleg William Scott of 41 California Street. For this offence one Simeon Vickers (8 Cornish Street, Seaham Colliery) got two months hard labour, the others (Thomas Morgan, William Aspden, Robert Dunn and Thomas Lannigan) got 1 month hard labour. Vickers was further convicted of an additional three assaults on the alleged blacklegs William Shipley, William Harrald (sic) and an individual called Roxby. He got another three months hard labour for these incidents. Jonathan Wylde was given 14 days hard labour for assault. A great mob of supporters outside the closed court were held back by police. The constabulary were also needed in force to enable the convicted to be escorted to Durham Gaol the following day.

Of the 164 men and boys killed in the 1880 disaster 32 were not resident at Seaham Colliery Pit Village. 28 of these lived at Seaham Harbour. Two (the brothers John and David Knox) lived at Seaton Village. One (John Watson) lived at Murton. One (Robert Wharton) lived at Sunderland. The badly-faded gravestones of at least two of the victims of the Seaham Colliery disaster can be found leaning against the walls of the disused St. John’s graveyard in Seaham Harbour. The heroic George Dixon’s stone leans against the west wall and Walter Murray’s leans against the south wall. Rest in Peace. Surely there is space inside St. Johns to give sanctuary to these two reminders of a grim but glorious past before time, the elements and vandals completely destroy them ?

The population of Greater Seaham (including Seaham Colliery Pit Village) in 1871 was 10,370. It rose slightly to 11,017 by 1881. Consequently there was very little new development in Seaham Harbour in that decade. Only one new street (Sophia) was constructed. Summerson’s Buildings appeared though it may have been there earlier under a different name. Author Tony Whitehead’s maternal grandmother Elizabeth Robinson (nee Kelly) was born there in 1897. Cornelia Street and Emily Street were finished off and only the tiny George Street and York Place were yet to appear to complete the ‘Marlborough’ area.

9. Events 1881-1998

The 5th Marquess of Londonderry died in 1884 and was succeeded in his possessions and titles by his eldest son Charles who thus became the 6th. Marquess of Londonderry and 3rd. Viscount Seaham. On July 27 1886 he became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (Viceroy) for an agreed three year term of office and he and his family moved into residences at Dublin Castle and Phoenix Park. He was the first member of an Irish family to hold the position. In truth he was chosen because he was the only candidate who could afford the office, which carried a small wage and a large expenditure for hospitality. In 1888 he was awarded the Garter for his services in that troubled island. His term ended on August 30 1889. A new row, Viceroy Street, was constructed at Seaham Colliery to honour the office. A Viceroy Street was also erected in Seaham Harbour and appeared in the 1891 census.

The population of Greater Seaham (including Seaham Colliery Pit Village) expanded from 11,017 in 1881 to 14,204 in 1891. There was no obvious reason for this large increase. The surges in the past had been caused by the opening and expansion of Seaham Harbour and the coming on stream of Seaton/Seaham collieries but no such major event took place anywhere in Greater Seaham in the decade 1881-91. There was therefore much further housing development in Seaham Harbour during that period – George Street, Adolphus Street West, Maria Street, Lord Street, Viceroy Street and Herbert Terrace – all of them bearing Londonderry names – appeared to fill in the few remaining gaps in the town. The decade also saw the erection of Cliff House, the new Drill Hall, York Place and Castlereagh Road. Only Frederick Street and the area between Ropery Walk and Candlish Terrace were still to be built to complete old Seaham Harbour. They would be developed in the following years.

The four remaining Rainton pits (Rainton Meadows, Nicholson’s, Alexandrina and Lady Seaham) were closed down in November 1896. With the loss of much of his income from central Durham in 1896 the 6th. Marquess decided to construct a second pit at Seaham as a replacement. In August 1899 the first sods were cut by Theresa, Marchioness of Londonderry, and her elder son Viscount Castlereagh, who gave their names to the two shafts. The first coal was drawn in 1907. By 1911 the population of Seaham was 20,000 – an increase of 33% over the previous ten years. By 1920 the new colliery, Dawdon, employed 3,300 workers and produced over 1 million tons per year. It became the premier colliery in Greater Seaham, relegating the old ‘Nack’ to a poor second place.

The 6th.Marquess of Londonderry died in 1915 and was succeeded by his only surviving son Charles, the 7th.Marquess.His inheritance however was decimated by the newly-introduced death duties and so the new lord of the manors of Dalden and Seaham was immmediately in financial difficulty.The family would never truly recover from this blow and have been in economic decline ever since.

The year 1918 saw both the end of the Great War and the fourth and most dramatic of the Reform Acts. For the first time all men over 21 and all women over 30 were enfranchised.Younger women did not get the vote until 1928. Constituency boundaries were also changed and a new seat called ‘Seaham’ came into existence, but the town itself was only a small part of a largely rural constituency which bordered with the seats of Houghton-le-Spring, Durham and Sedgefield. At the General Election in December 1918 the Liberal Hayward defeated the Labour candidate Lawson by 13,574 to 8,988. The election nationally was a resounding success for the Coalition Government. 339 Coalition Unionists and 136 Coalition Liberals were returned. Labour went up from 39 to 59 seats.The (Non-Coalition) Liberals got 26.In 1919 Labour gained control of Durham County Council for the first time, under the chairmanship of Peter Lee.

Though he was back in the driving seat at Dawdon and Seaham collieries once more the 7th.Marquess actually had more pressing problems elsewhere for there was still the small matter of his own solvency. Because of the death duties payable on the estate of his late father he was now suffering acute financial problems which needed urgent remedies. From 1917-30 he sold off scores of minor properties in Seaham, the rest of the county and elsewhere. In 1920 he sold Silksworth Colliery to Sir James Joicey. It was decided that a new, third, pit should be sunk at Seaham and that the contents of Seaham Hall should be disposed of preparatory to its sale.The auction took place in May 1922 and the Hall then remained empty, but there were no takers to buy it. In 1923 Londonderry offered it to Durham County Council for use as a hospital. It was officially opened in February 1928 as a tuberculosis sanatorium.

In 1925 the 7th.Marquess gave 18.5 acres of land to create Dawdon Welfare Grounds.In 1934 he gave Dawdon Dene Park to Seaham Urban District Council. In the late twenties he sold off farmland to the Council for the proposed Carr House Estate. The Londonderrys still owned the collieries and most of the land and buildings in the town but otherwise their connection with Seaham had come to an end after a century and four generations. The family still visited Seaham on important occasions but they had become remote figures by the 1930s. They were still at the pinnacle of society however despite their economic difficulties.

Ironically in view of what was to come James Ramsay MacDonald was proposed as leader of the Labour party in 1922 by one Emmanuel Shinwell and was duly elected.The new leader attended the Miner’s Gala in 1923 at a time when industrial relations were on a downward slope.On November 19 1923 the first sod was cut at the new colliery which was called Vane Tempest after Frances Anne and her ancestors. In that same month there was another General Election which produced a combined Labour (191) & Liberal (159) majority of 92 over the Conservatives who got 258, down 87. On 22 January 1924 James Ramsay MacDonald became the first Labour Prime Minister of a Lib-Labourer government. Sidney Webb, Labour MP for Seaham, became President of the Board of Trade. The administration did not last long and Labour could achieve little without a solid working majority. On October 8 1924 the Conservatives joined with the Liberals to defeat Labour by 364 to 198. In the General Election at the end of the month the Conservatives gained a majority over the other two parties of 215.They secured 419 seats, up 161. Labour got 151, down 40. The Liberal strategy backfired horribly – with just 40 seats (lost 119), they were virtually wiped out and would never again even hope to be the sole party in power.

In January 1929 James Ramsay MacDonald was adopted as prospective Labour candidate for Seaham where Sidney Webb had decided to retire. MacDonald gave up Aberavon where there were excessive demands on his time and pocket for Seaham where he would not be expected to visit more than once a year and where the costs were met by local people. Two months later, on May 30 1929, there was a General Election in which Labour won 288 seats to the Tories 260. The Liberals again held the balance with 59. James Ramsay MacDonald returned as Prime Minister of another Lib-Lab government. He had a majority of 28,794 at Seaham where the Liberal and Communist candidates lost their deposits.

The enormous economic crisis in 1931 split the Labour party and led to the formation of a ‘National’ Government on August 31. MacDonald, on the verge of a nervous breakdown and deserted by most of his party, made an offer to the King to form an ad hoc government to put through the financial legislation necessary and then dissolve for a General Election. The offer was endorsed by Baldwin and by Samuel for the Liberals. MacDonald remained as Prime Minister even though he could count on only a handful of his party’s 287 M.Ps. On his insistence Labour had 4 of the 10 Cabinet seats. The Conservatives also had 4 and the Liberals 2. Baldwin, as Lord President of the Council, was one of the four Tories.

Shortly after MacDonald was expelled from the Labour Party. The Seaham Labour Party asked him to resign his seat but he refused and instead put himself forward as a ‘National’ Labour candidate. The General Election was duly called for October 27 1931. Each party issued its own manifesto with a general pronouncement from the Prime Minister in his name alone. A Conservative landslide saw them win 473 seats. Together with their ‘National’ Labour (13) and ‘National’ Liberal (35) allies they had 521 seats in the new Commons. The Liberals got 33. Official Labour got just 52 and all except one of their front-bench lost their seats. The party would be impotent for the next 14 years. Ramsay MacDonald retained Seaham with a majority of nearly 6,000 over Official Labour, thanks mainly to the non-mining vote in rural parts of the constituency. Had the vote been restricted to the town of Seaham and other mining villages he would certainly have suffered the indignity of being the only Prime Minister in history to lose his own seat. The official Labour candidate was the local party secretary, A.Coxon, a Shotton schoolmaster. MacDonald got 28,978 to Coxon’s 23,027. A new National Government was formed a week later. MacDonald remained as PM but he was now merely a puppet. Baldwin continued as Lord President and moved into 11 Downing Street from where he could keep an eye on ‘his’ PM.

Seaham Colliery was again mothballed from August 1932 to April 1934 because of it’s heavy losses. All of the hewers and some of the officials working in Dawdon’s Maudlin Seam were dismissed. A total of 2600 men were paid off by Londonderry Collieries. The whole of Dawdon colliery was closed for 4 weeks early in 1933 by a fire. In May 1935, sensing the worst and with an election apparently imminent, Ramsay MacDonald retired as PM just before the Whitsun recess and swapped jobs with Baldwin. The General Election finally took place on November 14 1935. The Conservatives won 432, a majority of 247. Labour increased from 52 to 154. The Liberals fell from 33 to 20. Both of the MacDonalds, father and son, lost their seats to Official Labour. This time the Seaham Labour Party put in a real political heavyweight, a street-fighting Jewish socialist, to oust the icon of the ‘National’ Government. Ramsay Macdonald lost in Seaham to Emmanuel Shinwell by 38,380 to 17,882.

The Slum Clearance Act was passed in 1930 and Seaham Council was quick to take advantage. The Carr House Estate (later renamed Deneside) had begun even before, in 1928, and was finally completed in 1937. People from Seaham Harbour were moved up to it and away from their old appalling conditions. The old tight-knit community at Seaham Colliery was also broken up and moved almost en masse to the new estate at Parkside. Knowing that Westlea and Eastlea estates were planned a few of the inhabitants stayed put and waited for their new houses. 404 houses for 2,017 people were completed at Parkside by September 1940, but there were no shops and no public house. Those billeted at Ash Crescent complained bitterly about the continuous noise from the South Hetton mineral line but eventually they became used to it and no more was heard about the matter.

The old streets at Seaham Colliery and Seaham Harbour were not immediately demolished but were kept for those made homeless by German air raids. The Seaham created by the Founders was beginning to disappear and this process was accelerated by the coming of war with Germany. As an industrial town and significant railway hub Seaham was an important target during the war.On the night of February 15-16 1941 four died at Seaham Harbour and Seaham Colliery. Eight months later on October 25 1941 the Seaton Colliery Inn sustained a direct hit and the landlady and a friend were killed. One day a new public house, aptly named the Phoenix, would appear on the site. In 1947 construction of the Eastlea and Westlea estates began. To make way for them the old streets of the Seaham Colliery area were demolished over the next 15 years.

On January 1 1945 a new union, the NUM, was created from the MFGB. A General Election was held in July 1945.Labour achieved a landslide with 393 seats to the 213 of the Conservatives and their allies, the Liberals 12 and Independents 22. For the first time a Labour government had an overall majority and could put into effect some of its ideals. Emmanuel Shinwell, MP for Seaham, became Minister of Fuel and Power to carry out the pre-war dream of nationalisation. On July 12 1946, the eve of the first postwar Gala, the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act received the Royal Assent. The official handover took place on ‘Vesting’ Day, Wednesday January 1 1947. Notice boards were set up outside every pit which read: ‘This colliery is now managed by the National Coal Board on behalf of the people’. Lord Londonderry was apparently very generously compensated for the loss of his three Seaham collieries but the precise amount he received seems to be a secret.

At it’s peak in 1913 the Durham coalfield produced 41.5 million tons with 165,246 employees at 304 pits. By 1934 the output had fallen to 30.6 million tons produced by 107,873 employees at 228 pits. By the time of nationalisation in 1947 the number of pits had dropped to 127. The three Seaham collieries, with their access to the unlimited reserves under the North Sea, seemed to be safe for another century and there were no alarm bells ringing yet on the Durham coast. Between 1951 and 1964 the Conservatives closed 44 pits in the county. From 1964 to 1970 Labour shut down another 51. By 1970 a mere 34,484 employees worked at just 34 pits. The closures were now coming ominously close to Seaham and the writing was on the wall. By 1983 7.2 million tons were being produced by 15,289 employees at 13 collieries.

The Miner’s Strike of 1984-85 – the last, longest and most bitter of them all, was calculated to stop the closure of the remainder, in Durham and elsewhere. Once again, as usual, the miners lost and the fate of the rump Durham coalfield was finally sealed by Conservative victories in the General Elections of 1987 and 1992. In 1987 British Coal ‘amalgamated’ Seaham Colliery with Vane Tempest. No more coal was produced at the old mine and it was relegated to the role of a third shaft for the newer colliery. Vane Tempest coal came to the surface at Seaham Colliery and was transported to the main railway line or the docks from there. The rail connection from Seaham Colliery to Seaham Harbour was severed a year later in 1988 following an accident with a runaway locomotive. Thus was closed the last section of the Rainton and Seaham line laid between 1828 and 1831 which had brought life to the infant town. ‘Benny’s Bank’ had been a direct link back to the Industrial Revolution and the Founders.

In 1991 both Dawdon and Murton collieries were closed and the sites levelled. In October 1992 British Coal, as part of a national strategy, announced the closure of the four remaining pits in the old County of Durham, including the Seaham-Vane Tempest combine. Seaham and Vane Tempest collieries were bulldozed in 1994. Now a great open site has replaced each of the three Seaham pits. Mining in the town has come to an end after a century and a half.

Since the war a ring of satellite council and private estates has sprung up to completely surround the original town of Seaham Harbour. Westlea, Eastlea, Woodlands, Northlea etc. Parkside received an extension and some shops at last. None of these new areas have any connection with the Londonderry family and none have street names with a Londonderry connection.

— by Tony Whitehead