Author Topic: Suicide burial  (Read 10974 times)

Offline Isles

  • Deceased † Rest In Peace
  • RootsChat Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 711
    • View Profile
Suicide burial
« on: Saturday 25 September 10 11:53 BST (UK) »
Am I correct in thinking that at one time, anyone who committed suicide was not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground ?  The event in question took place about 1943 in Scotland with reference to the local public cemetery.  Does this still apply ?

Isles.
____________________________

           1927 - 2010
____________________________

Burness; Dickson; Moncur; Bowman

Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline stanmapstone

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 25,798
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 25 September 10 13:59 BST (UK) »
In England an 1823 statute legalized the burial of suicides in consecrated ground, but religious services were not permitted.  The Internments (felo de se) Act, 1882.  removed every penalty on the burial of suicides except that internment could not be solemnised by a burial service, but the body could now be committed to the earth at any time, and with such rites or prayers as those in charge of the funeral  thought fit or were able to procure.

Stan
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Online Falkyrn

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,367
  • Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 25 September 10 14:07 BST (UK) »
Am I correct in thinking that at one time, anyone who committed suicide was not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground ?  The event in question took place about 1943 in Scotland with reference to the local public cemetery.  Does this still apply ?

Isles.

Given the date and the use of a Public Cemetery as opposed to a churchyard a lot would depend upon who arranged the funeral and the support or otherwise of the local clergy.

If the minister/priest was supporting the family and they arranged the funeral it is likely that the service would have gone ahead as normal. If the clergy was not supporting the family the burial would still have taken place within the plot chosen by the family the only difference being the lack of clergy.

However if there were no family to arrange the burial and the local authorities took on the responsibility the burial would have been within the area known as "common ground" within the cemetery.

Offline Isles

  • Deceased † Rest In Peace
  • RootsChat Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 711
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 25 September 10 15:29 BST (UK) »
Thank you both, Stan and Falkyrn, for your swift replies.  I have emailed the local registrar requesting that he/she consult the records to see if there was a burial in the local cemetery in the 1940's of someone who committed suicide by drowning.  Apparently the person in question refused to serve in the armed forces believing it wrong to  being involved in the death of his fellow men. There appears to be some doubt as to his place of burial.
____________________________

           1927 - 2010
____________________________

Burness; Dickson; Moncur; Bowman

Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk


Offline derby girl

  • RootsChat Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 25 September 10 23:23 BST (UK) »
Often a particular area of the cemetery would be reserved for such burials, also unbaptised children and so on.  Not very nice!
Regards
Derby Girl
Winson, Derbys; Stanley, Sts; Franklin, Beds; Barker Sts etc. ; Farnham, Dorset; Harrison, Dbys, Leics.

Offline newburychap

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,963
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 25 September 10 23:31 BST (UK) »
Most cemeterys (as opposed to churchyards) will have a large area that is not consecrated - principally for  non-conformists, but a suicide could easily be buried there.
Latest project - www.westberkshirewarmemorials.org.uk
Currently researching:<br /> Newbury pubs  & inns - the buildings, breweries and publican families.
Member of Newbury District Field Club - www.ndfc.org.uk

Offline Fogmoose

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
  • For many hours and days that pass ever soon...
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 10 April 18 16:56 BST (UK) »
In England an 1823 statute legalized the burial of suicides in consecrated ground, but religious services were not permitted.  The Internments (felo de se) Act, 1882.  removed every penalty on the burial of suicides except that internment could not be solemnised by a burial service, but the body could now be committed to the earth at any time, and with such rites or prayers as those in charge of the funeral  thought fit or were able to procure.

Stan

What of Scottish law? Would it be the same as English in this area? I have an ancestor who suicides  in 1827 in Scotland, wondering about his burial as well.     
Jaffray, Morrison - Monquhitter
Bird or Burd, Ironside - Methlick
Young - Aberdeen, Banffshire
Reid, Milne - Kincardineshire
Sanderson, Marshall, Marr - Foveran
Black, Ross - Rathven
Searle or Seale, Steel(e), Forbes, Adams- Aberdeen
Hutche(s)on, Keith, Greig, Fowlie - Cuminestown, New Deer, Monquhitter, Methlick

Online Falkyrn

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,367
  • Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 10 April 18 20:18 BST (UK) »
What of Scottish law? Would it be the same as English in this area? I have an ancestor who suicides  in 1827 in Scotland, wondering about his burial as well.     

Technically in Scotland people were forbidden to bury the dead in Churchyards following an edict from  John Knox  sometime around 1560 - (although no alternatives appear to have been proposed - given that the earliest recorded Municipal Cemetery was the Necropolis in Glasgow in 1833.)
This restriction was never rescinded but appears to have been largely ignored although every so often there were prosecutions for the "unlawful" burial of infants

Various Orders from the Church and Acts of Parliament stopped any Religious involvement in Funerals and even when the Church did relax its stance it was mainly to administer to the living rather than the deceased - the situation was also complicated by the constant splintering of the Church and the formation of new congregations. Each congregation controlled its own churchyard

Another, perhaps less palatable thought is that suicides and those dying in the Poorhouse were sometimes given over for medical anatomy classes.

Offline Gillg

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,534
    • View Profile
Re: Suicide burial
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 11 April 18 11:26 BST (UK) »
Most cemeterys (as opposed to churchyards) will have a large area that is not consecrated - principally for  non-conformists, but a suicide could easily be buried there.

That's new to me - all my English and Scottish non-conformist ancestors from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are buried in our local cemetery (Lancashire), but not in any particular enclave, in fact there are others around them that are not from non-conformist families.  Why this discrimination against non-conformists, who are after all Christians and surely merit being buried in consecrated ground?
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs., Scotland.