- Thomas 1873
- John 1875
- Annie 1879
- Richard 1881
John F. Campbell died at the age of 33 on 18th October 1880 at 5.50pm. He lived in Sourley, just outside of Irvine, and worked as a brusher in the Fergushill pit. A surgeon, Mr Milroy, signed his death certificate, stating the cause of death was amputation of the foot and inflamation from pleurisy which he succumbed to after three days. John had been involved in an accident at the Fergushill pit owned by A Finnie & Son. He was employed as a brusher, which involved repairing mine passage roofs and sides in the pit, a dangerous occupation. On 14 October 1880, the pit roof fell in on him trapping his foot. He died 4 days after the accident.
After John's death in 1880, Marion married Gilbert Muir (1857-1894) They had a further two children:
- Helen Muir 1885
- Gilbert Muir 1887 - 1946
Gilbert, her second husband, was also a coal miner. He died on 18 February 1894, aged 35 years. He had been a patient in the Ayr Asylum for 15 months and eventually died of general paralysis of the insane which is a disorder affecting the brain, caused by late-stage syphilis. GPI was originally considered a psychiatric disorder when it was first scientifically identified around the nineteenth century, as the patient usually presented with psychotic symptoms of sudden and often dramatic onset.
Degenerative changes are associated primarily with the frontal and temporal lobar cortex. Like syphilis itself, general paralysis is also treated with penicillin but in 1894, this wasn't an option.
Following Gilbert's death in 1894, Marion married William Skelly (1858) but they didn't have any children.
Marion died on 19 August 1920, aged 68 years of cardiac disease. At that time she lived in Store Row, Bensley, the small mining area (see photographs above) that the Campbells had moved to from Fife so many years before. Another woman who lived a hard life. Her eldest son, Thomas, also a miner, signed the death certificate. He lived at Back Row, Bensley, just like other Campbell miners before him.
William Skelly survived his wife and died in January 1933 of high blood pressure and cardiac failure. He was 74 years old and still living in Bensley. His step-son Richard Campbell signed his death certificate. Richard, like the others in his family, was a miner and lived at 28 Red Row, Plan, another nearby mining community on the Eglington Estate.
John Campbell a child from the first marriage, married a woman called Margaret (1875) from Auchinleck, and they had three children:
- John 1896
- Jane 1898
- Marion 1900
- Gilbert 1908-1974 (Kilmarnock)
- John 19 October 1913 - 1978 (Polesworth, England)
- Thomas 1914- 1973 (Kilmarnock)
- Maisie (Brixton, England)
Lyda died on 3 September 1923 from postpartum haemorrhage leading to heart failure.. In the 19th and first half of the 20th century, everybody knew about death in childbirth, particularly those women who were about to go through the process. Although death rates from many other conditions were high, they at least were among people who had been ill beforehand. Death in relation to childbirth was mostly in fit young women who had been quite well before becoming pregnant. They died, often leaving the baby, and other children in the family from previous births, with a widowed husband.
Whilst some of the excessive bleeding after delivery might be due to damage to the cervix or uterus, most follows the poor contraction of that organ. Sometimes this is associated with the non-delivery of the placenta, in whole or part. Management in the 19th century depended upon knowledge of the physiology of the third stage of labour, which was often misapplied. Sometimes placental delivery was hastened by uncontrolled traction on the cord or by violent pressure on the uterus (Credé manoeuvre).
Yet another traumatic event for Gilbert and his young family.
Following Lydia's death, Gilbert married Agnes Hewitt Balmer 20 Nov 1889 - 3 August 1977 (Kilmarnock) and they had four children:
- Lilias 1928 - 2000 (Cape Town, South Africa)
- Archibald 1931 - 1931 (Springside)
- Richard 1931-1996 (Irvine)
- Campbell 1932 - 2012 (Kilmarnock)
There isn't anything left of Benslie now. I took a drive around the area this summer and it is a beautiful place in the heart of the Ayrshire countryside. You would never guess that at one time it had been a thriving part of the Ayrshire mining industry. Modern bungalows now stand where the Benslie Rows once stood but if you look hard enough, there are a few well-hidden sign of long ago.