Midlothian’s 100 Objects - Newton church miners’ board

A miners' board from Newton Parish Church. Photo: Midlothian Council Local Studies Centre/Scran
A miners' board from Newton Parish Church. Photo: Midlothian Council Local Studies Centre/Scran

Until the 18th century colliers were denied access to Newton Church.

In 1725 they petitioned the Kirk Session and in 1732 were granted access.

To celebrate this success a board was made, although probably after 1747.

It bears the names of the petitioning colliers and a painted coat-of-arms depicting tools of the colliers’ trade such as a spade and pick.

The text on the board reads ‘Chap: VI. Vers 28: Can one go upon hot coalls and his feet not be burnt - Romans Him if He Thirst give him drink for in so doing Thou shall Reap’.

It was common for trade incorporations to have a loft in their local church that would be used by their members.

Unlike those in the trade incorporations, the 18th century collier was primarily a slave and treated as such, being shunned by the general run of society.

Thus there were great problems for colliers in attaining access to church.

We would love to feature some of your Midlothian object. Email details of your favourite local object and photos to midlothianadvertiser@jnlothian.co.uk

Photo: Midlothian Council Local Studies/Scran

We’d love to feature your favourite Midlothian object.

You can email a photo and details to midlothianadvertiser@jnlothian.co.uk