§ MR. BURT (Morpeth)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to complaints of disgraceful proceedings in Kippax Churchyard; whether it is true, as stated by respectable witnesses, that in connection with a recent interment the sexton, in digging a grave, exposed several coffins, dug through some of them, and exhumed the contents; and, whether he will institute an inquiry into the truth of the allegations, and if they are proved he will take steps to prevent the repetition of such a scene?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir; my attention has been called to such complaints. I have obtained statements from the Vicar of the parish, the churchwardens, and the sexton, which do not bear out the allegations which have been made as to the disturbance of coffins and the exhumation of their contents. The sexton admits that he removed a stillborn child's coffin, which fell into pieces when he touched it. He also found other coffins in the sides of the grave; but he did not disturb them. I have written to the Bishop of the diocese, who informs me that he is now making inquiry into the alleged scandals, and that he will communicate with me further on the matter.