Author Topic: The Mortcloth  (Read 632 times)

Offline Skoosh

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The Mortcloth
« on: Monday 13 April 20 11:32 BST (UK) »
 Scottish researchers will be familiar with the list of sums raised for the kirk by the hire of the parish mortcloths. I aye wondered so, here in Sir James Guthrie's painting "A Highland Funeral!" a mortcloth can be seen on top of the coffin. Zoom in!

https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+280/1/16/368

Skoosh.

Offline Viktoria

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #1 on: Monday 13 April 20 13:29 BST (UK) »
Would that be called a Pall in England Skoosh?
It seems folded back in the painting, not fully covering it.
Would it be purple,black .?
Hard to tell as the texture of the canvas can be seen when you zoom in.

I suppose it was a mark of respect and dignity to have such a thing at a funeral.
Viktoria.

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Offline Skoosh

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #2 on: Monday 13 April 20 13:34 BST (UK) »
Raised funds for the poor etc' Viktoria. Probably coffins were of variable quality so the cloth gave uniformity & respectability to the proceedings. No doubt the moths have finished them all off long since.

Keep spread oot!  ;D
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Offline Forfarian

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #3 on: Monday 13 April 20 13:42 BST (UK) »
Would that be called a Pall in England Skoosh?
Yes.

Quote
Would it be purple,black .?
I imagine it could be any dark and sober colour.

Quote
I suppose it was a mark of respect and dignity to have such a thing at a funeral.
It was certainly customary to use one.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline Skoosh

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #4 on: Monday 13 April 20 14:51 BST (UK) »

Offline Forfarian

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #5 on: Monday 13 April 20 16:02 BST (UK) »
Interesting stuff. I presume the 192 and 19s in 1670 was pounds Scots not pounds sterling. According to the Bank of England's inflation calculator that would be the equivalent of 43,297 today!

Even at 12 pounds Scots to 1 sterling, it would be the equivalent of 3,608 today, which still seems very expensive.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline TunjiLees

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #6 on: Monday 13 April 20 16:04 BST (UK) »
I think a mortcloth was used for every burial, whether rich or poor. My 5x great-grandfather's burial for example was recorded in Arngask;
- 30 Nov 1804 Interred Andrew Simson. For the old mortcloth 18s[hillings]

Note that it mentions the "old" mortcloth. Most other Arngask burials paid 1 pound 16 shillings for use of the mortcloth, which I suppose would have been a newer and fancier cloth. It seems that even in death people weren't treated equally!

Mortcloth records are very useful because even for parishes with no surviving parish death records you can often find mortcloth payments within the kirk session accounts.
For example, I found records of my 7x great-grandparents' burials within the Forgandenny Kirk Session records CH2/161/3 at the National Records;
- 10 Oct 1759 By the Cloth on Robert Arnot in Ardargie 1/10s
- 1 Dec 1759 By the Cloth on Janet Simpson in Ardargie 1/10s

Unfortunately the Kirk Session records are not available online.
LEES - Interested in all Northern Irish families, particularly those from Cos. Tyrone, Londonderry & Antrim.

See the project website @ ulsterlees.azurewebsites.net

Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #7 on: Monday 13 April 20 16:17 BST (UK) »
Is there ever a day one comes on here when one doesn't learn something new (or old)?
TY
Threlfall (Southport), Isherwood (lancs & Canada), Newbould + Topliss(Derby), Keating & Cummins (Ireland + lancs), Fisher, Strong& Casson (all Cumberland) & Downie & Bowie, Linlithgow area Scotland . Also interested in Leigh& Burrows,(Lancashire) Griffiths (Shropshire & lancs), Leaver (Lancs/Yorks) & Anderson(Cumberland and very elusive)

Offline Foreversearchingforanswer

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Re: The Mortcloth
« Reply #8 on: Monday 13 April 20 17:00 BST (UK) »
The document below comes from Traquair from 1727.  The price for a childs mortcloth was less than that for an adult (I assume the childs one was smaller, although you can see two "sons" in the document, one with a full price, one reduced). Adults had a choice of two, one obviously nicer and more expensive.

I am unaware if eveyone had a coffin though.