scribbles tagged ‘burial’

indignation 1832 Sheffield style

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

A 1832 letter to a Royal commission investigating the Church of England’s revenues:

Sir,

It is a matter of the deepest regret and surprise that no steps are taking by the Dissenters in England, at this critical juncture, to assert their principles and claim their just rights, when it is generally understood that his Majesty’s ministers, or at least the majority of them, will concede nothing to us which they can possibly avoid; and that they intend to bring forward, next session, their plan of church reform, the tendency of which will be decidedly unfavourable to our interests, and will consolidate the political power and influence of one dominant sect.…

If, then, we owed Earl Grey and his colleagues any debt of gratitude, for doing us an act of justice before they took office, in getting the Test Laws repealed, we have now paid it; and it is time to look to our own interests, in which are involved the best interests of the country.

We are required to submit to the domination of a corrupt state church; to be governed by bishops; to see £3,5000,000 at the least (but more likely £5,00,000) annually expended in the maintenance of a clergy, of whom a vast majority do not preach the gospel; to see the cure of souls bought and sold in open market; to have the Universities closed against us, and all the iniquities of those degraded places continued; to be taxed, tithed, and rated to the support of a system which we abjure; to be compelled to submit to objectionable rites and ceremonies at marriage, baptism, and burial; – in one word, to be left out of the social compact, and degraded.…

We have hitherto demanded too little; and, consequently, we have been refused everything worth caring about. The bill for relieving places of worship from the poor rates, which was the fruit of the labours of the last session of Parliament, is no boon to us. It applies to churches in the establishment more than to ourselves, and I doubt much whether it will save the Dissenters £50 a year. I fear we have even misled the Government itself by asking for trifles, when we ought to have been contending for great principles. What signifies a small church-rate, when we should be contending against a corrupt state church? What is the trifling amount of procreates levied upon a very few of our chapels, in comparison of millions of pounds annually expended on a secular and dominant clergy? – and all this is done in a country burdened with a debt which grinds all! The real points at issue between the Government and us are very few, and may soon be stated. They are chiefly as follow, viz: –

1st. A total disconnection between church and state, leaving the details consequent thereupon to be dealt with by Parliament.

2nd.The repeal of the Act of Charles II., which enables bishops to sit in the House of Lords.

3rd. The repeal of all laws, which grant compulsory powers to raise money for the support of any church whatever.

4th. The reformation of the Universities, the repeal of all religious tests, and a grant of equal rights in them.

5th. A reformation of the laws relating to marriage and registration with equal rights in places of public burial.

No Government whatever could long resist any of these just and reasonable requirements, if perseveringly demanded; and it is well known that several members of the present administration would gladly and promptly grant all of them.… Our political power is far more justly estimated by our opponents than by ourselves, and few of the members of Parliament would venture to be indifferent or opposed to our wishes. Lord Durham knows us well, and his advice is particularly applicable to us: ‘The power rests with yourselves, now, to instruct your representatives as to the measures which you, the respectability and intelligence of the country, have set your hearts on, and they will inevitably be carried.’

I am, Sir,
Your very obedient servant,
George Hadfield

indignation 1832 Sheffield style
3 votes rating 4.7

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the unburied are dangerous or injurious to the public health

Sunday, June 9th, 2013 | tags: , , , , ,  |

route to CCI 19097Gray graves some falling overThe ‘City Road’ cemetery in Sheffield is well maintained, the grass is cut, fallen stones are repositioned, and mature trees shade the pedestrian walkways through it’s extensive hillside grounds. It has separate Church of England, Nonconformist and Roman Catholic burial grounds. Originally known as the Sheffield Township Burial Ground or Intake Cemetery (City Road was formerly called Intake Road), it was renamed the City Road cemetery when it was taken over by Sheffield City Council in 1900.

It was built because of:

1) the rapidly increasing population in Sheffield.

“1736 Sheffield and its surrounding hamlets held about 7000 people, in 1801 there were around 60,000 inhabitants, and by 1901, the population had grown to 451,195” (Wikipedia)

“By 1841 there would be 110,000 people within its [Sheffield town] boundaries, and hardly any sanitation…   …disease was common and people did not live long. At this time the citizens of Sheffield died at an average age of just 27…   …The huge number of deaths at this time” (Sheffield General cemetery website)

2) the rapidly dying population in Sheffield due to a cholera epidemic that started in the town during 1832:

“meant that the churchyards in Sheffield were becoming full to overflowing. The dead were often kept under the floor of the church, and sometimes in these places you could really smell death…   …it was not unknown to see bits of corpses sticking out from the overfilled graves” (Sheffield General cemetery website)

3) and the introduction of ‘Burial Act’s which still apply today. These Acts required that dead people are buried, even the poor who can’t afford to pay for burial, because of the health risk associated with their lying unburied.  The local parish is required to fund the burial of the poor:

“persons as may have the care of any vaults or places of burial, for preventing them from becoming or continuing dangerous or injurious to the public health; . . . and such . . . persons shall do or cause to be done all acts ordered as aforesaid, and the expenses incurred in and about the doing thereof shall be paid out of the poor rates of the parish”

City Road cemetery is the largest cemetery in Sheffield:

“opened in 1881…  …It covers 100 acres, and is the largest owned by Sheffield City Council…   …By September 2005 almost 163,000 people had been buried within the cemetery occupying over 20,000 graves; some having as many as 8 or 9 bodies in them”

Entrance viewed From the CrematoriumSoon after the cemetery opened Sheffield was granted a charter to become a city in 1893. This garden cemetery was  commissioned and funded by the “Sheffield Township Burial Board”.   Their visits to Birmingham’s Whitton cemetery and Liverpool’s Anfield Cemetery probably influenced their  decisions about the lay-out and running of the cemetery. In 1878 the land for the cemetery was purchased from the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk for £13,625. A requirement of the purchase was that a proportion of the ground would be allocated for Roman Catholic burial. This requirement suggests to me that Catholics in England still suffered from discrimination. That is, the Duke of Norfolk didn’t expect a burial ground to automatically include Catholics, he felt the need to specify that the should be included to avoid them being excluded.

Hillside graves of many shapes and sizesLocal architects Messrs M E Hadfield and Son designed it to include Church of England and Nonconformist chapels. A catholic chapel was added in 1889. As-if the designers planned without including a Catholic area and had to retrospectively add it because of the purchase agreement.

the unburied are dangerous or injurious to the public health
2 votes rating 4

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more boxes

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

mausoleumsRecently we’ve considered telephone boxes and police boxes.

These boxes are for another form of communication. Can you see the resemblance?

These boxes house the remains of deceased family members, momentos of the lives of those people. People visit them to talk to their spirits, and their gods

more boxes
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