Jeffcock, Parkin (DNB00)

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JEFFCOCK, PARKIN (1829–1866), mining engineer, son of John Jeffcock of Cowley, Derbyshire, by his wife Catherine (née Parkin), was born at Cowley Manor 27 Oct. 1829. Although at first intended for Oxford and the church, he was articled in 1850, after some training at the College of Civil Engineers, Putney, to George Hunter, a colliery viewer and engineer of Durham. Making rapid progress in his profession, he in 1857 became partner of J. T. Woodhouse, a mining engineer and agent of Derby, and took up his residence in 1860 at Duffield, near that town. He greatly distinguished himself in 1861 by the bravery he displayed in attempting to rescue the men and boys confined in a coal-pit at Clay Cross during an inundation. In 1863, and again in 1864, he examined and reported on the Moselle coalfield, near Saarbrück. On 12 Dec. 1866 he learned, while at his house at Duffield, that the Oaks Pit, near Barnsley, was on fire; he went thither at once, and with three others descended to make a complete exploration of the mine. One of the party returned to the surface to send down volunteers, but Jeffcock remained below directing such life-saving operations as could be carried on during the night of 12 Dec. Before further help arrived on the morning of the 13th a second explosion had killed Jeffcock and, with a single exception, the whole band of volunteers, thirty in number. The mine was sealed down, and Jeffcock's body was not recovered until 5 Oct. 1867, when it was buried in Ecclesfield churchyard. A church, named St. Saviour's, built as a memorial of Jeffcock at Mortomley, near Sheffield, was completed in 1872 at a cost of 3,000l.

[Parkin Jeffcock: a Memoir by his brother, the Rev. John T. Jeffcock, 1867, 8vo, with portrait; Guardian, 2 Jan. 1867; Hunter's Hallamshire, xliii. 444; notices in Derby Mercury, 19 and 26 Dec. 1866; information kindly supplied by the Rev. J. T. Jeffcock.]

T. S.