1878 Bible presentation to William Simpkin


Ashley Saunders sent me this plate inscription which was on the inside of a bible and lo and behold, it turns out to be one of the bibles presented to the rescuers who bravely went down the mine during the 1877 Blantyre Pit Disaster.

This particular bible was presented to William Simpkin by the National Bible Society of Scotland. The label suggests the bible was presented in 1878 and that 235 people perished.

Ashley told me that the family were miners and William Simpkins Snr had a son William Simpkins Jnr.

Strangely, I’m unable to find any William Simpkin  in Scottish Census and Valuation Rolls, though I’m assured the surname of ‘Simpkin’ is correct. However, when I broaden the search, in 1885, I found a William Simpkins in St Cuthbert’s Parish (Edinburgh). Given Ashley lives outwith Scotland, I’m presuming here that William Simpkin eventually moved from Scotland.

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