Closure of Burial Grounds in Oxford, 1855/6

From Jackson's Oxford Journal, 12 May 1855



The following important order has been received in Oxford:—

“At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 1st day of May, 1855, present, the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

“Whereas the Right Honourable Sir George Grey, Bart., one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, after giving to the Incumbents and the Churchwardens of the parishes hereinafter mentioned ten days' previous notice of his intention to make such representation, has, under the provisions of an Act, passed in the session of Parliament, held in the sixteenth and seventeenth years of Her Majesty's reign, intituled ‘An Act to amend the laws concerning the burial of the dead in England beyond the limits of the metropolis, and to amend the Act concerning the burial of the dead in the metropolis,' made a representation stating that, for the protection of the pubic health, no new burial-ground should be opened in the City of Oxford, without the previous approval of one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and that burials should be discontinued therein, with the following modifications; viz.—

“That, except in existing vaults and walled graves in the open air, in which each coffin shall be embedded and separately entombed with masonry in an air-tight manner, interments should be forthwith discontinued in the churches and churchyards of St. Giles, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Peter [le Bailey], St. Michael, Holywell [i.e. St Cross churchyard], St. Peter-in-the-East, St. Mary the Virgin, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin's, All Saints, St. Aldate's[,] St Ebbe's, and the old churchyard of St. Clement, in the Roman Catholic Chapel and Burial-ground in the parish of St. Clement, beneath the George-street Independent Chapel in the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, in the Workhouse and Infirmary Burial-ground in the parish of St. Giles, and in the Burial-ground of Oxford Castle or the County Jail (extra-parochial) (except of persons sentenced to be buried in the Jail by a Court of Justice); and also that at the Wesleyan Chapel and Burial-ground in the Parish of St. Michael, and at the New-road (Baptist) Chapel and Burial-ground in the Parish of St. Peter le Bailey, interments should be discontinued on and after the first January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.

“That, except so far as may be compatible with the observance of the regulations for new burial-grounds, interments be forthwith discontinued in the cemeteries of St. Sepulchre, in the parish of St. Giles; of Holy Cross, in the parish of Holywell; and of St. Osenry [sic] in the parish of St. Thomas; and in the Churchyard of Summertown.

“Now, therefore, Her Majesty in Council is pleased hereby to give notice of such representation, and to order that the same be taken into consideration by a Committee of the Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, on the fourteenth day of June next.

“And her Majesty is further pleased to direct that this Order be forthwith published in the London Gazette; and that copies thereof be affixed on the doors of the churches or chapels of, or on some conspicuous places within, the parishes affected by such representation, one month before the said fourteenth day of June.




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