HC Deb 07 July 1887 vol 317 cc78-9
MR. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire, E.)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he is aware that at the close of last month the Rev. Canon Waite, D.D., Vicar of Norham-on-Tweed, while assenting to the burial in a family vault in the churchyard of the parish of Mr. Andrew Mitchell, of Berwick-on-Tweed, a non-parishioner, declined to allow the Rev. W. A. Walters, a Nonconformist minister, to perform the Burial Service authorized by "The Burials Act, 1880," at the burial, on the ground that that Act does not extend to the burial of non-parishioners; and, whether there is any provision in that Act making it applicable to the case of non parishioners where the incumbent assents to their burial in the parish churchyard; and, if not, whether any steps could be taken to remove a prevailing misconception on the part of the clergy generally?


I am not aware of the facts connected with the burial of Mr. Andrew Mitchell. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman wishes, I will inquire into them. As to the question of law, the Burials Act of 1880 gives no right to non-parishioners to be buried in the parish churchyard. If the incumbent assents to the burial of a non-parishioner it appears to me to be left undecided by the Act whether he could lawfully annex any condition to his assent, such as that suggested by the Question.