The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

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The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 am

From the GENDOCS website:

Victorian London Cemeteries


GOD'S ACRE

The public cemetery, as distinct from the churchyard, as a proper place for burial, originated in the Victorian period. Under common law, every parishioner and inhabitant of a parish had a right to be buried in his or her parish churchyard or burial ground. There were few exceptions to this right of Christian burial. An Act of 1823 put an end to the practice of burying suicides in some public highway with a stake driven through them and directed that they be buried in the usual churchyard, but between the hours of 9 p.m. and midnight, and without rites of the Church. However, the compulsory dissection of murderers' bodies was not abolished until 1832, and hanging in chains lingered on until 1834.

The comparatively small number of gravestones in a churchyard can belie the number of bodies buried there. The churchyard of St Martin-in-the-Fields was only 200 feet (60 metres) square yet, in the early 1840's, was estimated to contain the remains of between sixty and seventy thousand persons.

Burial Grounds (as distinct from parish churchyards) were started by non-conformists in the 17th century; many more were established in the 18th century. The first public cemetery in London was established in 1827 in Kensal Green, a 79-acre site, which had separate chapels for Anglicans and Dissenters. Other landscaped public cemeteries were soon opened at Norwood (1837), Highgate (1839), Nunhead (1840), Abney Park, Stoke Newington (1840), and Tower Hamlets (1841). Before the middle of the 19th century such cemeteries were generally run as commercial ventures, but after the passing of legislation in the 1850s enforcing the closure of urban churchyards, municipal cemeteries became the rule.

By 1850 most London churchyards were so overcrowded that they posed a severe health risk to those people working or living nearby. Thousands of bodies were buried in shallow pits beneath the floorboards of chapels and schools. Congregations and pupils had to beathe the foul-smelling air which resulted. A pressure group, the National Society for the Abolition of Burial in Towns, was established in 1845 and two years later the Cemeteries Clauses Act enacted general powers to establish commercial cemeteries. The Act failed in its purpose and was followed by the Burial Act of 1852, which remained the principal piece of legislation on the subject until largely repealed in 1972. The 1852 Act required the General Board of Health to establish cemeteries to deal with the problem and an immense number of parochial burial-grounds, some open to all, others set apart for the use of special denominations, were opened in various suburban districts all round London.

The idea of landscaped public cemeteries came from Italy, France and Sweden. The winding, tomb-lined avenues and well-contrived vistas of the landscaped cemetery at Pere-Lachaise in Paris was widely admired. J.C. Loundon, On the Laying Out, Planting, and Managing of Cemeteries (1843) was widely influential and also led to improvements in the design of churchyards, with the construction of lych-gates and new paths and the planting of of yews, cypresses, and junipers, alongside native species like lime and elm. Such ideas also influenced the layout of public crematoria after the practice of cremation was ruled legal in 1884. The public crematorium at Woking (Surrey), opened the following year, was one of the first.

The deceased of certain areas of London have tended to predominate in certain cemeteries:

those of North London in Highgate Cemetery
those of East London in Tower Hamlets, Victoria Park and Brookwood Cemeteries
those of South London in Norwood and Nunhead Cemeteries
those of West London in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Economic status could effect the location of burial. Brookwood Cemetery in Woking (Surrey), opened as a private cemetery by the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company in 1854, and others competed to undertake contracts tendered each year by several London boroughs for the burial of their poor. Brookwood probably buried half of East London and to facilitate this Waterloo Station had a special casket-loading platform, and trains containing funeral parties ran daily to a Gothic station built within the cemetery itself.




Last edited by eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:53 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 4:51 am

The Cemeteries

In 1832 Parliament passed a bill encouraging the establishment of private cemeteries outside London, and later passed a bill to close all inner London churchyards to new deposits. Over the next decade seven cemeteries were established:

Kensal Green Cemetery – 1832
West Norwood Cemetery – 1837
Highgate Cemetery – 1839
Abney Park Cemetery – 1840
Nunhead Cemetery – 1840
Brompton Cemetery – 1840
Tower Hamlets Cemetery – 1841


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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 4:54 am

First up, Highgate:


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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 4:56 am


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 4:58 am


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 4:59 am


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:00 am


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:02 am


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:10 am


Grave of Karl Marx, East cemetery, Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:12 am


Highgate grave.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:14 am


Tomb of Tom Sayers, Highgate cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Tue May 03, 2011 5:19 am

Thanks eddie, Highgate Cemetery is wonderful. In fact there are two Highgate Cemeteries on opposite sides of the road. The east cemetery is open to the public, but the more interesting west cemetery can only be accessed by guided tour. The photos that Eddie has posted are from the west cemetery. Karl Marx is in the east cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Tue May 03, 2011 5:24 am



Engraving - Highgate Cemetery 1843

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:23 pm


Circle of Lebanon. West cemetery, Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:27 pm


Entrance to the Egyptian Avenue. West cemetery, Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:32 pm


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:35 pm


Highgate.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:41 pm

Next....Brompton Cemetery:


Gate of Brompton cemetery on the old Brompton Road.


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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:47 pm


Main avenue of Brompton cemetery, view towards the chapel.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:50 pm


Entrance to the catacombs of Brompton cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:53 pm


Doors to the catacombs of Brompton cemetery, with snake motif.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 5:56 pm


Lion on the grave of "Gentleman" John Jackson, Brompton cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Tue May 03, 2011 6:02 pm

Famous occupants of Brompton cemetery include:

Tomasz Arciszewski - Polish socialist politician
James Atkinson - surgeon, artist and Persian scholar
William Edward Ayrton - British physicist
Samuel Baker - explorer
Sir Squire Bancroft - actor and theatre impresario
Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh - Russian Orthodox émigré metropolitan archbishop and author*
Joseph Bonomi the Younger - sculptor, artist, Egyptologist and museum curator
George Borrow - author, traveller and linguist
Fanny Brawne - John Keats' muse. She is buried under her married name, Frances Lindon.
Sir James Browne - engineer
Francis Trevelyan Buckland - zoologist
Henry James Byron - actor and dramatist
William Martin Cafe - Indian Mutiny hero and VC recipient
Marchesa Luisa Casati - infamous Italian quaintrelle, muse, eccentric and patron of the arts
John Graham Chambers - founder of the Amateur Athletic Association
Henry Cole - founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music, the 1851 Great Exhibition and inventor of the Christmas card
Robert Coombes - champion professional sculler
Joseph Thomas Clover - pioneer of anaesthesia
Thomas Crofton Croker - Irish antiquary, devoted to the collection of Irish poetry and folkore
William Crookes - chemist and physicist
Samuel Cunard - founder of the Cunard Line
Thomas Cundy III - British Architect, creator of England's main public buildings, also recorded as Thomas de Candie III.
Terence Feely - playwright and author
Charles Fremantle - founded the Swan River Colony (Western Australia)
John William Godward - painter
George Godwin - architect, journalist, and editor of The Builder magazine
George Goldie - "founded" Nigeria
Brian Glover - television and film actor
Thomas Hancock - VC recipient (unmarked grave)
Thomas Helmore - choirmaster and author of books on plainsong
John Jackson - boxer
Geraldine Jewsbury - writer
Mary Anne Keeley - actress
Robert Keeley - actor and comedian
William Claude Kirby - first chairman of Chelsea Football Club
Constant Lambert - composer and conductor
Kit Lambert - music producer and original manager of The Who
Percy E. Lambert - racing car driver
Nat Langham - middleweight bare-knuckle fighter
Bernard Levin - journalist, author and broadcaster
Archibald Low - Inventor and author of science books
Henry Augustus Mears - founder of Chelsea Football Club
Lionel Monckton – composer of Edwardian Musical Comedies
Henrietta Moraes - writer, artist's model and muse to Francis Bacon
Roderick Murchison - geologist, originator of the Silurian system
Adelaide Neilson - English actress
William Gustavus Nicholson, 1st Baron Nicholson - First Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan - Anglo-Irish writer
Sir William Palliser - Inventor and builder of Barons Court
Emmeline Pankhurst - Britain's leading suffragette
Sir John Lysaght Pennefather - British general
Percy Sinclair Pilcher - inventor and pioneering aviator
Valentine Cameron Prinsep - Pre-Raphaelite painter
Fanny Ronalds - American socialite and singer
Blanche Roosevelt - American opera singer and author
Tim Rose - American singer-songwriter
William Howard Russell - journalist and war correspondent
William Siborne - Army officer and military historian, maker of the Siborne model
Samuel Smiles - biographer and inventor of "self-help"
Albert Richard Smith - writer
John Snow - anaesthetist and epidemiologist, who demonstrated the link between cholera and infected water
Fred Sullivan, Thomas Sullivan and Mary Clementina Sullivan - the brother, father and mother of Arthur Sullivan, composer of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. It was originally planned that Arthur would also be buried there until Queen Victoria insisted on his interment in St Paul's Cathedral.
Richard Tauber - operatic tenor
William Terriss - actor
Ernest Thesiger - character actor in such films as The Old Dark House and Bride of Frankenstein
Frederic Thesiger, 1st Baron Chelmsford - jurist and statesman
Frederic Augustus Thesiger, 2nd Baron Chelmsford - Commander-in-Chief in the Zulu War
Brandon Thomas - author of Charley's Aunt
Charles Blacker Vignoles - railway engineer, and inventor of the Vignoles rail
Richard Wadeson - VC recipient
Edward Wadsworth - artist
Thomas Attwood Walmisley - composer and organist.
Sir Robert Warburton - Anglo-Indian soldier and administrator
Reginald Alexander John Warneford - VC recipient
Sir Philip Watts - British naval architect, designer of the Elswick cruiser and the HMS Dreadnought.
Sir Andrew Scott Waugh - British army officer and surveyor, who named the highest mountain in the world after Sir George Everest
Benjamin Nottingham Webster - actor, theatre manager and playwright.
Sir Thomas Spencer Wells - surgeon to Queen Victoria, medical professor and president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Sir William Fenwick Williams - general, pasha and governor
John Wisden - cricketer and founder of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Bennet Woodcroft - textile manufacturer, industrial archaeologist, pioneer of marine propulsion, prime mover in patent reform and the first clerk to the commissioners of patents
Thomas Wright - antiquarian and writer
Johannes Zukertort - chess master
Henry McGee - actor

The American Sioux Indian chief, Long Wolf, a veteran of the Sioux wars was buried here on June 13, 1892 having died age 59 of bronchial pneumonia while taking part in the European tour of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He shared the grave with a 17 month old Indian girl named Star Ghost Dog believed to have fallen from her mother's arms while on horseback. 105 years later a British woman named Elizabeth Knight traced his family and campaigned with them to have his remains returned to the land of his birth. In 1997, Chief Long Wolf was finally moved to a new plot in the Wolf Creek Community Cemetery (ancestral burial ground of the Oglala Sioux tribe) at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. His great grandson John Black Feather said "Back then, they had burials at sea, they did ask his wife if she wanted to take him home and she figured that as soon as they hit the water they would throw him overboard, so that's why they left him here."[

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Wed May 04, 2011 7:38 pm


Defaced monument to sculling pioneer Robert Coombes (minus its oars), Brompton cemetery.

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Re: The "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries of Victorian London

Post  eddie on Wed May 04, 2011 7:44 pm


Memorial to the Chelsea Persioners (WWI army veterans), Brompton cemetery.

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