|The Burials Question at Rushden
On Thursday evening, the 25th inst., a vestry meeting was held in the Vestry Hall, the Rev. Canon Barker presiding. The meeting was quite a representative one, and largely attended, there being nearly 100 ratepayers present. The meeting was called to take into consideration the necessity of providing a new burial ground for the parish, the churchyard being full.
The Rector read a letter he had received from the Local Government Board saying that no grave could be dug or vault opened that could not be dug or opened without the removal of bones, or offensive matter.
Mr. Wilkins said he believed the turning up of bones in digging graves was a chronic disease.
The Chairman thought many of the bones so dug up had not been buried with the corpse, but were bones which had been amputated at different times. He suggested that they should pass a resolution to the following effect, "That in the opinion of this meeting the Churchyard is not in a condition to meet the requirements of the parish, and that the Rector be requested to communicate with the proper authority with a view to its being permanently closed."
In reply to Mr. Wilkins, the Chairman said they should have the Churchyard inspected and properly closed, but he did not think they should enforce its being closed until another burial place had been provided.
Mr. Butcher (churchwarden) thought the sanitary law would compel them to close the present burial ground.
The Chairman, in reply to Mr. Wilkins, said he had no objection to the resolution he had suggested being amended, and, on the motion of Mr. Wilkins, the following resolution was unanimously adopted, "That, in the opinion of this meeting, steps should be immediately taken for providing a burial ground to meet the requirements of the parish."
The Rector said there were three courses open to the parish for providing the necessary accommodation. Firstly, by enlarging the present Churchyard; secondly, by purchasing a new piece of ground for a cemetery; and, thirdly, they might form a burial or cemetery company, as was done at Northampton. He did not think it would be advisable to discuss the different plans that evening, and he would recommend that a committee be appointed to consider the subject, and report to another vestry meeting.
This was agreed to, and the following were appointed to act on the committee: The Rev. Canon Barker, the Rev. G. Pung, Messrs. R. C. Butcher, W. Wilkins, H. Packwood, G. H. Skinner, S. Mason, and S. Knight, jun.
The Chairman said the meeting might now express its opinion as to the best of the three courses he had named.
Mr. C. Bayes: Are they at liberty to take any of the courses named?
Mr. Denton suggested that they should spend as little money as possible.
Mr. Wilkins asked if the assent of the Government would be necessary for enlarging the Churchyard.
Mr. Denton thought it would, and the consent of the nearest owners of property as well.
Mr. Wilkins said he was not in favour of enlarging the Churchyard. (Applause)
The Chairman said, so far as he could gather, the opinion of the meeting was in favour of a cemetery, under a Burial Board.
Mr. H. Packwood thought before the meeting separated they should take some steps to see if they could not light the streets of the village.
The Chairman said that was a question on which he felt very strongly. He asked for a show of hands of those in favour of a meeting to consider the lighting question, when all hands appeared to be held up.
The Rector said he would call a meeting within a week.