Skip to main content

Devon Collection: Exeter City's Higher Cemetery now on Deceased Online

 The addition of Exeter City Council's Higher Cemetery, first opened in 1866, is now available to view on www.deceasedonline.com. The records comprise computerised burial records, section maps showing the approximate location of graves in the cemeteries, and details of other grave occupants.

Higher Cemetery 
Above: Higher Cemetery

Higher Cemetery provides the last resting place for a great many victims of the Theatre Royal Fire of 1887. 186 people died on the night of the 5th of September 1887 when a naked flame ignited drapery and, due to the poorly designed exits, they were unable to escape the fire. Most of them are buried in Higher Cemetery under a memorial cross designed by Harry Hems. Henry Setter of the West of England Fire and Life Insurance Company attended the fire and was on duty for a continuous 16 hours. Setter survived that night but sadly suffered a seizure later that month and died a few days later. His coffin was carried by his fellow fireman and he was buried in Higher Cemetery.

Higher Cemetery 
Above: Higher Cemetery

Robert Pople, Landlord of the New London Inn responded quickly to the outbreak of the fire at the Theatre Royal, supplying ladders and helping people to escape the flames. Pople gave refuge to the survivors in his hotel, and opened the stables to allow for laying out the deceased. Under the management of Pople the New London Inn became the place to stay in Exeter, and was frequented by many celebrities and royalty of the time. Pople became involved in politics 1869, was appointed Sherrif of the City in 1891, Alderman in 1894, and eventually served as Mayor for three years. He died in 1909.

Higher Cemetery 
Above: Higher Cemetery

One of the early suffragists, Lady Deborah Bowring (née Castle), is buried in Higher Cemetery with her husband Sir John Bowring. Deborah Bowring became Vice-President of the Bristol and West of England Society for Women’s Suffrage in 1871 and campaigned tirelessly for women's rights until her death in 1902. She had also been the Honorary Secretary of the Exeter Ladies branch of the RSPCA. Sir John Bowring was a political economist, poet, and hymn writer twenty years Deborah's senior. He was the MP for Bolton for three years before becoming the fourth governor of Hong Kong in 1854. He received many honours, including the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, before he died in 1872.

We're working hard on records from authorities in the East Midlands, London, the West Midlands, and the South East of England. Our recent Twitter poll showed that most of you are looking forward to seeing our new London records.


We would love to hear about the ancestors you find in our new collection. We'd also like to hear your thoughts on the new collections. Do let us know about them in the Comments Box below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nottingham Collection

This week, Deceased Online expands its Nottingham Collection with the addition of records from the early Victorian cemetery, Nottingham General. Enter Nottingham's General Cemetery from Canning Terrace and be prepared to step back in time to the late 19th century. Like many of the Victorian cemeteries in the Deceased Online collections, Nottingham General was designed to take the burden from parish churches whose graveyards had become overcrowded. Also, like many other Victorian cemeteries, this was administered by a newly-formed body, the Nottingham General Cemetery Company (1836). The Grade II listed gatehouse, the chapel and the adjacent almshouses were built between 1836 and 1838 by S. S. Rawlinson.

Burial registers were kept from the opening date of cemetery in 1838. Concerns were raised in the 1920s that this municipal cemetery was now overcrowded and from 1929 the cemetery was closed to new burials other than those who owned burial rights.


The Deceased Online collection i…

Highgate Cemetery Visiting News

Unique opportunity for visitors to one of london's magnificent seven Cemeteries inside The west cemetery If you have ancestors buried in Highgate Cemetery's West Cemetery, you may have found it difficult to visit their graves. In recent years, visitors have been allowed into this part of the cemetery by guided tour only. This summer, as an experiment, Highgate Cemetery is offering visitors the opportunity to experience Highgate Cemetery West on their own, without a guide.  Numbers are limited to preserve the tranquillity. This will be possible on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets go on sale 5 weeks beforehand, so it is worth checking back later if the date you want is not yet listed. Tickets will not be sold at the Cemetery. If you turn up without a ticket, you will be refused entry. And tickets cannot be changed or refunded. The cemetery is divided by a main road between the East and West Cemeteries. The East Cemetery has different visiting arrangements and can usually be accessed…

Agecroft Cemetery, Salford

This week, I focus on one of the cemeteries featured in our new collection from the historic industrial city of Salford (now in Greater Manchester)
Agecroft Cemetery and Crematorium is situated in the Pendlebury area of Salford. Opened in 1903 in response to overcrowding at nearby Weaste Cemetery, Agecroft covers 45 acres.

The cemetery originally had three chapels, Church of England, Roman Catholic, and nonconformist. The Catholic chapel was pulled down, and in 1957, the former nonconformist chapel building was converted into a crematorium.

On the left is a photograph of the disused Victorian mortuary chapel clocktower. This has been listed by the Victorian Society.
I will be exploring Salford in the Second World War in detail next week. However, visitors to Agecroft should look out for the stone memorial to the seven-man crew of Lancaster bomber PB304. The aeroplane crashed in Regatta Street, Agecroft on 30 July 1944.

The first five sites uploaded in the collection are: Agecroft Cemetery (…