§ MR. COBB (Warwick, S. E., Rugby)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Rev. Samuel Rogers, the Vicar of Long Compton, in Warwickshire, on 25th January, 1887, refused, shortly before the hour appointed for the funeral, to bury the body of Richard Bateman, a churchman and parishioner, unless extra fees, amounting in the whole to £1 0s. 6d. were previously paid to him; whether, in consequence of the Vicar's conduct, the body was, upon the following day, taken in a farmer's dogcart to Todenham, in Gloucestershire, and there interred by the Vicar of that parish without charging any fee; whether, recently, the same Rev. Samuel Rogers demanded and received from three poor orphan lads 15s. for fees for the burial of their mother; and, whether, under the Burials Acts, the Vicar was justified in demanding such fees before the funeral, or more than the ordinary burial fees; and, if not, whether any communication will be made to the Vicar by the Home Office?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. STUART-WOETLEY) (Sheffield, Hallam)
The Secretary of State has received a letter from the Vicar, who distinctly assures him that he did not refuse to bury the person named; but the wife on being told by the clerk that the usual fees must be paid at the church, of her own accord had the body removed to another church for burial. In the case of the three orphans referred to, no demand whatever was made for fees; but the eldest of them came to the vicarage and paid 15s., of which half was returned to him by the Vicar, who also helped the family in other ways. The Vicar seems to have done nothing that constitutes an infringement of the Burials Acts, nor is it clear that he demanded more than the fees warranted by custom in his parish.