Robert Isherwood (1845–1905) was a miner’s agent, local councillor and the first treasurer of the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners’ FederationTrade union founded in the aftermath of a bitter and violent seven-week strike in 1881. .
Isherwood was the son of a handloom weaver in Tyldesley, Lancashire. He started pit work at the age of nine. In 1867 Isherwood acted as the local secretary in an industrial dispute and 19-week strike that ended with victory for the miners. With savings from his earnings, he set up in business as a building contractor and grocer but did not sever his links with the miners.
Isherwood was appointed secretary of the Leigh and District Miners’ Association in 1875. After the death of William Pickard he became vice-president of the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners’ Permanent Relief SocietyForm of friendly society started in 1872 to provide financial assistance to miners who were unable to work after being injured in industrial accidents in collieries on the Lancashire Coalfield. . He was treasurer of the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners’ Federation from its formation in 1881 until his death in 1905.
Realising that local miners had no place to meet, he was instrumental in building the Tyldesley Miners’ Hall which cost £2,500 in 1893. A Liberal in politics, he was a member of the Tyldesley Local Board, a councillor for Tyldesley Urban DistrictTyldesley cum Shakerley Urban District and its successor, Tyldesley Urban District. was from 1894 to 1974 a local government district in Lancashire, England. In 1974 the urban district was abolished and its former area was transfered to the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan in Greater Manchester. and its chairman in 1897–1898.
Isherwood died in January, 1905. On the day of his funeral, the street between his home and Tyldesley Top Chapel was lined with mourners. Deputations and officials from local collieries and branches affiliated to the LCMF attended at the cemetery. Isherwood was well-respected in mining communities and the union movement. A twelve-foot (4 m) high monument made of Aberdeen granite weighing eight tons and costing £150 was erected to Isherwood’s memory in Tyldesley cemetery. The monument was unveilled by Enoch Edwards M. P., President of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain, in recognition of Isherwood’s services to the miners of the district.