Peter, this is an extract from a centenary booklet of my infants school, and refers to the compensation paid out after an explosion in the first pit at my home village in 1867 when 178 men and boys lost their lives, quote, :-
"A total of 67 widows claimed compensation and it is worth noting the scale:-
Widows (as long as they remain respectable and clean living) 5 shillings.
Boys up to the age of 12 & girls up to the age of 13 - 1 shilling and 6 pence per week.
Dependants (parents) 5 shillings a week.
Orphans - 2 shillings and 6 pence a week.
Those partially blind - 1 shilling extra.
On remarriage a widow received £20.00.
There is on record, the fact that one widow had to forfeit the 5 shillings because when was caught in bed with a man." Unquote.
The money was paid out of disaster fund which the mine owner had contributed to, Queen Victoria sent £500 and the total raised at the time came to £18,782.00.
I believe in those days, their accommodation could also be taken from them as they were all owned by the owner of the coal mine and he wanted them for the miners who were working in his pit.