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lege, however, to which no lover of taste can possibly object. The spire is one hundred and twenty feet from the floor of the chapel to its extreme point or finial, as it is termed. The view from the roof of the chapel, at the base of the spire, of the surrounding country, is exceedingly fine ; the vale of Highgate being completely comprised in the view, and on the summit is plainly seen the Highgate Cemetery, backed by the beautiful village church.
The annexed view will give a general idea of the composition we have attempted to describe; but loose sketches of this kind are incompetent to represent architectural works of any extent, which much depend upon justness of proportion and accuracy of detail, and to neither of which can such sketches attain. It may be sufficient to add, that the Directors of this company did not think it expedient, as trustees and stewards, as it were, for a large proprietary, to incur the expense of executing the design as above detailed, and it was therefore referred to the architect to reduce, rather than to alter (or to deform as he would probably think) a design to which no possible objection could be made but on the score of expense, and which was the admiration of all who examined it.
A comparison which every visitor can easily make for himself between the drawing presented with this volume, and the attractive building which now rears its graceful form above that “ long row of reverend elms” consecrated by Watts to his friendship with Gunston, will
shew for the most part in what the external alterations consist.
In the INTERIOR some economical deviations from the original design have also been introduced, by which we have lost, “ inter alia," as lawyers say, the long line of vaulted ceiling, with the groined ribs and bosses that enriched it. This chapel will, however, be found to be one of the most interesting, as it will be judged by all to be the most characteristic and appropriate, of the class of structures adapted solely to burial purposes_and embosomed amongst the ancient and stately trees, the whole forms a pictureof nature and art combined not easily to be surpassed.
In concluding this detailed account, (intended more for the general than the technical reader) I should do injustice to him, and deal hardly with myself, if I omitted to state that the whole of the architectural arrangements, including the ground work and drainage, and the disposition of the grounds, both useful and ornamental, with the exception of course of the planting, have been effected under the professional management of William Hosking, Esq., F.S.A., architect and civil engineer, and the present Professor of Architecture and Civil Engineering at King's College, London.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COMPANY, AND THE
SOLEMN DEDICATION OF THE CEMETERY.
The capital stock of the company consists of £35.500, divided into 3,500 shares of £10 each, and does not, I believe, exceed one half of that employed in forming and establishing any one of the metropolitan cemeteries—yet none can boast of more substantial and durable material in construction of a more picturesque effect, as far as the internal beauties of the place are concerned-or of equal advantages with reference to kind of soil and an adjacent population.
In proportion to the general outlay of the company, the original cost of the land is the heaviest item ; but the price paid for this singularly beautiful estate was by no means an immoderate one, when all the circumstances are taken into consideration. They who are acquainted with the large sums which may be easily realized by the sale of land near the metropolis (and especially if such land is equally adapted to agricultural and to building purposes) will be aware, that thirty acres of the best pasture and wood land, well supplied with water, never untenanted, and at the same time capable of being at once converted to building uses, would command an almost extravagant price, in comparison with land of similar general advantages, but further removed from the suburbs. If, in addition to its local advantages, the soil should be known to contain any large quantity of brick earth, there would even be an eager competition to obtain it.
These are precisely, and without exaggeration, the peculiar advantages of Abney Park. The estate was copyhold until purchased by the company ; but as it would not have been expepedient under any circumstances to convert property subject to the almost feudal exactions of copyhold tenure into a place of interment, the Directors would have abandoned the idea of Abney Park as a site for the cemetery, had they not been able at a fair equivalent to enfranchise the estate. It is therefore wholly freehold, and has been, by the strict formalities of the law, conveyed to trustees for the purposes of the cemetery.
Every corpse is deposited in freehold ground, and the proprietors of graves will havea distinct legal right to a perpetual interest in the fee.
Mr. Walker, in his excellent work from which we have freely quoted, gives his opinion against the propriety of leaving cemeteries to the management of associations of private individuals, and seems rather to favour the principle of placing them under the controul of the executive. I sincerely trust, however, that it will be long before this expedient is resorted to.
The only feasible mode of accomplishing it would be through the instrumentality of a board of commissioners, a species of ruling authority so utterly repugnant to the essence of the British constitution and yet it is to be regretted, so increasingly adopted as an easy mode of relieving other departments of the state from their proper though perhaps laborious duties.
The author would not be understood as confounding commissions of inquiry, with commissions to legislate; the former are valuable and indeed indispensable assistants to proper and sound legislation : but the moment the legislature abandons its own proper functions, and inconsiderately empowers irresponsible individuals to make laws and pronounce decisions, and from whose dicta there shall be no appeal—from that moment, the liberty of the British subject is endangered if not placed in absolute abeyance. The imperium in imperio once considered a curse to a nation, is now, apparently looked upon as a blessing.
There would be moreover many difficulties in the way of satisfactory legislative enactment. The state of religious parties would present a considerable impediment; for it must be obvious to all observers of the times, that the intolerant practice of refusing the rites of Christian burial to unbaptized persons, or to those who merely dissent from the doctrines and practice of the establishment, would never be submitted to as a matter of enactment. It may
for bigotry unchecked, or for ignorance unreproved, by the Episcopacy," to perpetuate abuses, especially while our ecclesiastical courts remain in their present disgraceful state ; but it would be a matter of some difficulty to procure toleration for these abuses, or to create others by special
* The author justifies this assertion by the fact that in the two cases hereafter alluded to, as occurring in the Dioceses of Lincoln and Exeter, in which so much party spirit was shewn, and especially in the Lincoln case, where the refractory Clerk took upon himself to apply to Dissenting Ministers the epithet, “ Ministers of Hell, the respective bishops appeared unable to use that timely interference which might have been the means of checking, if not of subduing these unseemly disputes.