Elizabeth Brand, 1868

The Evening Courant Newspaper dated 9 April 1868 tells of the tragic death of Blantyre woman, Elizabeth Brand on 6th April that year who met with an accident at the Blantyre Dyeworks. This is a story from 155 years ago.

About 11 o’clock on Monday forenoon, Elizabeth Brand, aged 20, a dye worker of Blantyre (daughter of Thomas Brand ironworker of Motherwell) with an accident in Blantyre dye works which terminated fatally about an hour afterwards.

It seems that a “Hurley” loaded with wet yarn was about to be sent to a different part of the work, where the yarn goes through another process. The “Hurleys” are let down and drawn up a steep incline by a stationary engine but from some cause at present unexplained the Hurley in question got detached and dashed down the incline. The unfortunate young woman happened to be on the road and the Hurley when nearly opposite to her ran off the rails and jammed her against the wall.

Although there was no appearance of any broken bones, poor Elizabeth was severely bruised internally . In spite of efforts of Dr Downie of Blantyre and Doctors Goff and Stewart of Bothwell being immediately on the scene, she died shortly after.

The dye works are shown, a series of buildings situated on the riverbank between the first suspension bridge and the weir. Most of the large chimney stacks in Blantyre Works were congregated around the dye works buildings, rather than further up at the Madder and Powerloom factories.

With thanks to Alex Rochead for providing this interesting story and documents.

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