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British Industrial History

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Richard George Coke

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Richard George Coke (1813-1889)

1847 Engineer of Langton, near Alfreton

1889 Obituary [1]

RICHARD GEORGE COKE, the fifth son of Mr. D’Ewes Coke, was born on the 12th of January, 1813.

He was educated at a private school at Gresley, and subsequently at Shrewsbury.

He was trained in his profession by his uncle, John Coke, at Debdale Hall, who was then working the Pinxton Collieries.

At the age of twenty-one he went out to Australia, then little else but a convict settlement, with trees growing where are now the finest streets of Sydney. He remained in the colonies some ten years, but came home on occasional visits. In Australia, Mr. Coke held positions under Government, but on returning to England on a visit about 1840, his father induced him to remain in England and take the management of the Pinxton collieries.

Mr. R. G. Coke took up his residence at Langton Hall, Alfreton, and some time afterwards was entrusted by the Duke of Rutland with the management of his royalties and other colliery interests, and he was subsequently in charge of the Wingerworth collieries, removing his residence in consequence to Ankerbold. At a subsequent period Mr. Coke acted for the Duke of Devonshire in regard to his property in coal, and when Mr. Martyn Seymour was dangerously ill, Mr. Coke took temporary charge of the Staveley collieries.

In 1862, Mr. Coke Game to reside at Tapton Grove, and opened offices in Chesterfield, in partnership with pMr. M. H. Mills. Mr. Coke rendered signal service at Clay Cross on the occasion of the disastrous inundation in 1860, when twenty-four lives were lost, and he showed great bravery in the rescue of the miners imprisoned in the Ingmanwell pit, Chesterfield, in 1863, leaping into the water up to his neck.

At other periods of his career, Mr. Coke had control of Messrs. Seeley’s pits, also of Shirland colliery, and he acted as consulting engineer on many occasions ; he was likewise in great request as an arbitrator from his well-known character for scrupulous uprightness and fair dealing.

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