HC Deb 01 March 1887 vol 311 cc891-2
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the circumstances attending the death and funeral on Tuesday, 22nd February, at the Stratford Cemetery, of Simon Tweed, a boot finisher, of Whitechapel; whether it is the fact that Tweed died in hospital owing to the effects of "sweating," or overwork; whether deceased worked 18 hours per day throughout the year at 10s. per week; whether the following description of what occurred at the cemetery is correct:— The keeper of the cemetery offered a strong resistance to the entrance of the banner bearers, but supported by their friends, notwithstanding the presence of 100 policemen, these passed through the gates. A circle was then formed around the Tabernacle, and one of the family went inside to see the body. Shortly afterwards the police were called in to eject the mourner, who, it seems, protested against the manner in which the ceremony over the dead was being performed. The police, attacked vigorously by the crowd, barricaded the doors, and batoned the people. Free fighting ensued, and a number of people were trampled on in the struggle; and, whether, if the above report is true, it is his intention to make any inquiry into the conduct of the police on the occasion?

MR. LIONEL COHEN (Paddington, N.)

asked, Whether the Home Secretary was aware that the persons on this occasion broke into the ground, ejected the Rabbi, who was about to read the Burial Service, and declined to allow the prayers to be read over the deceased, notwithstanding the wish of the mourners?


I know nothing of the cause of Tweed's death, or the number of hours that he worked. The Chief Commissioner of Police informs me that the newspaper account of this funeral, quoted in the Question, is very much exaggerated. The funeral in the West Ham Jewish Cemetery was attended by a procession of Socialists, with banners; and two of them, who behaved in a disorderly manner while the Burial Service was being read by the Rabbi, had to be removed by the police; but with the exception of this incident there was no disorder. I have also information to the effect that certain persons in the procession declined the assistance of the Rabbi, took the coffin themselves to the grave, and buried it without assistance from him. I have no intention of making any further inquiry into the matter.