The origins of the Chamber Colliery Company can be traced back to c.1750, when James Lees first sank pit shafts in the Oldham Coalfield, but its history is complex. By 1848 it was trading under the firms of William Jones & Company and Joseph Jones Jr & Company. On the 1 June 1848 these partnerships were dissolved when Joseph Jones Jr, John Worthington, Nathan Worthington, John Duncuft Worthington and George Henry Worthington stepped down leaving William Jones, John Lees, James Lees, Joseph Lees, William Booth and Joseph Marsland as partners. The Chamber Colliery Company then continued under the style of William Jones & Company.
On the 19 January 1857 the partnership of William Jones & Company was dissolved following the death of William Jones in the last quarter of 1856. Joseph Marsland and a John Joseph Jones stepped down at this time but it seems that William Booth had stepped down beforehand. This left John Lees, James Lees and Joseph Lees as the sole partners and the Chamber Colliery Company then continued under the style of John Lees & Brothers.
In 1877 the Chamber Colliery Company was incorporated as a limited company under the style of the Chamber Colliery Company Limited (Company No. 11821) and its Registered Office was in Hollinwood. This company was dissolved in 1951.
By 1880 the Chamber Colliery Company was working the following collieries in the Oldham Coalfield:
|Honeywell Lane||Oldham||Active in 1880|
|New Earth||Lees||Active in 1880|
The Lees family also had other local mining interests including the following:
|Fairbottom Colliery||Near Park Bridge||17th century-c.1888|
|Dock Pit||Near Park Bridge||17th century-c.1870|
|Rocher Colliery Co Ltd||Near Park Bridge||18th century-1891
Incorporated in 1873, Company No. 7050
|Bardsley Colliery Company||Bardsley||Diamond and Victoria Pits.
After 1866 worked by John Lees & Brothers.
Date of closure unclear
|Werneth Colliery Company||Hollinwood||John Lees & Brothers worked several
coal mines. Dates of closure unclear