OBITUARY. THOMAS JOSEPH, 1819-1890
Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers
G. Hurst in their very sad bereavement. The death of a man who combined social qualities of no common order with all the qualities essential to the good management of large collieries is, in the opinion of this meeting, not only a terrible blow to those most closely related to him, but a loss to the coal trade of this district. This meeting would willingly testify that it has long been the boast of the Seaton Delaval workmen that while the management of their collieries was, as regards
... veness, efficiency and economy, quite a model even among Northumberland collieries, thcre was not displayed anywhere in the coal trade a greater solicitude on the part of the management for the safety and health of the workmen. Some of the credit due to this state of affairs undoubtedly belongs to the staff of officials who ably supported Mr. Hurst in the management, and who were to a great extent men after his own heart. But in the treatment of his workmen Mr. Hurst was, in the opinion of this meeting, unrivalled by any one occupying a similar position. He gave to his employees that security of employment which enables workmen to perform their work with the greatest efficiency, and which makes it possible for them to cultivate their intellectual and moral faculties. At the same time he carried into practice in the most thoroughgoing manner, the doctrine of the equality of men. He never failed at any time or in any place to recognise his own workmen, and to address to them a kindly word. Though not able at all times to comply with the request of his workmen for higher wages or the redress of grievances, he never failed to meet the workmen's representatives and to discuss with them in the most courteous and thorough manner such matters. He was, in the opinion of this meeting, a grcat force in favour of industrial conciliation in this county."