HC Deb 10 February 1870 vol 199 cc161-2

Acts read; considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


, in moving that the Chairman be directed to move the House, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Burial Laws, said, the Bill was in its nature and in most of its clauses identical with that which had been introduced in the last Session by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield), giving leave for the performance of burials in church-yards, with or without religious services. A clause, however, had been added, providing that the cost of repairing and maintaining the churchyards should be charged upon the poor rates, as it was felt that if Dissenters were admitted to the right of burial in churchyards, they ought also to share the cost of maintaining them.


said, that he could not accept the suggestion of his hon. and learned Friend that the placing the churchyards on the poor rate was any benefit to the Church. On the contrary, he looked on the proposal with apprehension, as tending to weaken the freehold right which the Church had in its churchyards; unless they gave this up he would forego any help from rates. Besides the new rate was simply a return in one incident to the principle of a compulsory church rate, and he foresaw difficulties in the imposition of this church-yawl rate, now that church rates had just been got rid of. The grievance to be remedied really seemed a very small one, for it was simply the right to perform certain services in the churchyards, the Dissenters having already the right to bury in them, and already the right to perform what services they liked over the dead bodies, either at home or in their own places of worship. For the sake of attaining this one privilege more he doubted whether it was worth while to throw the existing machinery into confusion.


remarked, that some very painful and distressing scenes had been witnessed in different parts of the country, in consequence of the exist- ing state of the law with respect to burials in churchyards, and he conceived that it was therefore most desirable that some change, such as that proposed by the Bill of the hon. Gentleman, should be made.

Motion agreed to. Resolved, That the Chairman be directed to move the House, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Burial Laws. Resolution reported:—Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. OSBORNE MORGAN, Mr. HADFIELD, and Mr. M'ARTHUR. Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 8.]