Зображення сторінки

received in gross, in the course of the seven years during which it has been in operation, the large sum of £2,000.

The largest proportion of burials which the Westminster Cemetery can be expected to receive, will be of the class of common interments, or private graves.

The charge for a common interment is one pound five shillings for an adult, and for a child sixteen shillings and eight pence, and for interment in a private grave, already purchased, two pounds two shillings for an adult, and one pound ten shillings for a child ; so that, in the case of common interments, two-fifth parts, and more than one-half part respectively, and in the case of private graves, nearly onefourth part, and one-third part respectively, of the amounts received by the Company in return for the great outlay in purchasing the ground - obtaining an Act of Parliament and episcopal consecration-the enormous expense of converting the ground, erecting chapels, building walls, and catacombs, and maintaining the current expenses of the institution—are carried, by the force of an episcopal requisition, into the pockets of those who have, in my humble judgment, no other title to them.


The beautiful cemeteries which have been formed in the vicinity of some of our large towns and cities must not, in this brief account, be passed unnoticed.

First, in priority of date, I believe, and also in degree of success, stands the “ Necropolis” Cemetery at Liverpool.

This successful project was started in the year 1825; and, within its first year, two hundred and four interments were received. During the same period the Kensal Green Cemetery received only twenty interments, inclusive of vaults and catacombs. The Liverpool Necropolis has gone on gradually and increasingly, and the general average for the last few years has been 1,800 interments. Upwards of 18,000 bodies have been deposited in this interesting cemetery since its formation, fifteen years ago. The amount of annual profits has of course varied with the fluctuation of receipts, and these would be governed by the number of interments made, or of vaults or graves sold. The returns to the shareholders have, however, never been less, I believe, than 5 per cent.-have occasionally reached 20 per cent.--and generally averaged 12 per cent interest upon the capital expended. The capital is 7,0001. divided into 700 shares of 101. each. The shares have repeatedly been sold at 1001. per cent. premium.

This flourishing cemetery has never been consecrated, and pays no fees to parochial clergy ; hence its success. Within its wellordered precincts the dead, of all religious persuasions, calmly repose ; and may they so continue to do, until the general call of the last Trumpet ” shall be sounded!

The site is well chosen, being conveniently situated in an adjacent suburb of the town of Liverpool, on the summit of Low Hill; the soil is rocky and dry, and the chief disadvantage is the limited extent of the ground. In a very few years the company must purchase additional land, as the present quantity will become completely occupied.

The Rev. Mr. Bruce is the general chaplain.* One chapel only, but of good dimensions, has been erected ; and within its walls the burial office of the Church of England, as well as that of Dissenters and other communions, is performed. Clergymen of the Church of England, not fettered by the iron bonds of bigotry, officiate at the funerals of members of their own congregations, and a Romish priest may occasionally be seen with his missal performing “ the office for the dead.”

There is also a cemetery in Liverpool, which is wholly consecrated, so that no clergy except those of the established church may officiate within it.

* To this gentlemen the proprietors of Cemeteries in general are much indebted, for his zealous and intelligent exertions in opposing the illegal assessment of the proceeds of cemeteries to the poor-rates.

This cemetery is well worthy of a visit from the traveller. It occupies the site of an ancient stone quarry, near Duke Street. Earth has been brought in for the purpose of forming beds for the shrubs and flowers which are planted in profusion.

The catacombs are excavated in the solid rock, round the sides of the basin which forms the outline of the cemetery. The effect of this arrangement is more pleasing than that of any other cemetery catacombs which I have seen, and the visitor is forcibly reminded of the tomb of Joseph of Arimetha, “ which was hewn out of a rock; or of that still older sepulchre found in the “ Cave of Hebron."

If, however, cemeteries are to be defended principally on the ground of the undeniable necessity which exists for no longer inhuming the dead in the midst of the living, to contaminate the atmosphere they breathe, and thus injuring the public health, then the situation of the Quarry Cemetery of Liverpool is to be reprehended ; and if multitudes of bodies should be here deposited, the low sunk basin which holds them, by confining the atmosphere, and preventing its free circulation through and over the graves, will form, as it were, a plague-spot, almost in the midst of the dense population of that mighty town.

The success of this cemetery offers a sad contrast with that we have just described ; it has been opened about ten years-has been, as before stated, consecrated by the bishop of the diocese, and pays enormous fees to the Liver

pool clergy. I have not seen a copy of the Act of Parliament under which it is constituted ; but I am credibly informed that, in consequence of the clerical fees absorbing a large portion of the profits upon the interments, no return has ever been made to the shareholders ; and, that there is no appearance of pecuniary advantage for the future.

In this cemetery the lamented Mr. Huskis. son lies interred, and a handsome marble cenotaph has been erected to his memory.

There is sufficient reason for concluding that the want of success, in point of remuneration to shareholders, is wholly and solely attributable to the incumbrances consequent upon consecration. The number of interments amounts to about two-thirds of those received by its unconsecrated and unfettered competitor, and yet the charges do not greatly exceed those of the latter.


The London man of business or of pleasure, who takes his occasional excursion to Gravesend, will probably have visited the small cemetery which has been recently erected in that parish.

This cemetery is in the see of Rochester; and, although small in extent, is well adapted for its object. It is situated within a mile of the populous town from which it takes its name,

« НазадПродовжити »