« PreviousContinue »
INTERMENTS ACT, 1850,
WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM GLEN, Esq.
PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS OF THE BOOKS AND FORMS
OF THE GENERAL BOARD OF HEALTH.
The Metropolitan Interments Act, 1850, as affecting a concentrated population of upwards of two millions
persons, is, in a social point of view, one of the most important statutes which has for many years received the sanction of the legislature. The injurious effects, moral and physical, produced by the practice of interring the bodies of the dead in burial grounds surrounded by the habitations of the living, as well as in churches and chapels, and the scenes of revolting desecration and profanation of the graves and remains of the dead which were frequently witnessed in the crowded burial grounds of London, have from time to time been forcibly brought under the notice of the public during the last ten or twelve years. Public attention was first called to the subject, by Mr. George Alfred Walker, a Surgeon residing in Drury Lane, who in 1839 published his well-known work, "Gatherings from Graveyards.” Mr. Edwin Chadwick, C.B. afterwards, by direction of Sir James Graham, Bart., at that time Secretary of State for the Home Department, drew up a valuable report, in which he detailed at great length the results of an extensive inquiry which he made into the practice of interment in towns, and the conclusions which he came to in regard to it. That report was presented in 1843, but,