January 10th The Wheal Owles Disaster

Cornish tinning has occurred for thousands of years but it has only been since the 15th century that shafts have been driven.  

Wheal Owles was an amalgamation of numerous abandoned mines, tunnels, and by 1893 there were at least 100 miners working completely underground.

On this day in 1893, when approximately forty men and boys were underground, an explosive charge broke the seabed killing all nineteen men and one boy working on that level.

Wheal Owles was majority owned by the Boyns family who had supplied pursers, managers, supplies and financial services and who had, a generation earlier, been involved in a financial scandal in St. Just and Penzance where their bank, in partnership with the Bolithos, was headquartered.

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