Author Topic: Odd questions, but important to me  (Read 452 times)

Offline RColeman

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Odd questions, but important to me
« on: Sunday 17 August 14 11:15 BST (UK) »
Can anyone tell if me a person who committed suicide by hanging would have been allowed to be buried in a Church of England cemetery in the 1950s?

Would all their possessions have become property of the Crown afterwards?

How were suicides usually treated in 1950s England? I understand that (attempted) suicide was considered to be a crime in England until 1961.

Odd questions, I know, but important to me for personal reasons.

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Odd questions, but important to me
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 17 August 14 11:53 BST (UK) »
Welcome to RootsChat.
Historically the goods of people found guilty of the 'crime' of suicide were forfeit to the crown, often leaving the survivors in poverty, however if the person committed suicide while the balance of the mind was disturbed (non compos mentis)the survivors were not subject to this draconian penalty.
This forfeiture of property for the felony of suicide was seldom applied for many years before its repeal, but it was the letter of the law up to 1870.
An 1823 statute legalized the burial of suicides in consecrated ground, but religious services were not permitted until 1882. In the year 1823 it was enacted that the body of a suicide should be buried privately between the hours of nine and twelve at night, with no religious ceremony. In 1882 this law was altered by the Internments (felo de se) Act, 1882. where every penalty was removed except that internment could not be solemnised by a burial service, and the body may now be committed to the earth at any time, and with such rites or prayers as those in charge of the funeral think fit or may be able to procure.

Church of England Funeral Services for Suicide
Those who have taken their own life may be buried in consecrated ground.
There is a special form of service for those who die knowingly by their own action, and this may be used after consultation with the Area Bishop.
Those who were not responsible for their own action may receive a Christian funeral service. This applies to cremations and burials.

Since 1961 suicide itself is not a crime but there is a special statutory crime of aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring suicide.
Stan
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Odd questions, but important to me
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 17 August 14 12:04 BST (UK) »
Forfeiture Act 1870
From and after the passing of this Act no confession, verdict, inquest, conviction, or judgment of or for any treason or felony or felo de se shall cause any attainder or corruption of blood, or any forfeiture or escheat, provided that nothing in this Act shall affect the law of forfeiture consequent upon outlawry.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/33-34/23/contents/enacted

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