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Showing posts from July, 2013

Victorian and Edwardian Mourning Etiquette

This week, I look at the social and cultural influences on the design of Victorian and Edwardian cemeteries, monuments and headstones Currently, there are around a thousand Victorian-built cemeteries on the Deceased Online database . I have included a number of images from them in this blog. Many more can be found on the website . Mourning practices and artefacts, such as rings and lockets of the deceased's hair, were in common use when Victoria acceded the throne in 1837. But the elaborate funerary rituals we associate with the Victorian era only became widespread from 1861, after the sudden death of Prince Albert. The widowed Queen Victoria began a period of mourning that would last forty years until her own death in 1901. Jet mourning jewellery from the Victorian period By the 1890s, described by Julian Litten as 'the golden age of the funeral', Britons of all backgrounds were were copying the royal manner of bereavement. They wore black dresses, crape, gloves,

1893 Featherstone Massacre

This week I look in detail at some of the entries in the Wakefield Collection Since the launch of the burial registers for the cemeteries of Wakefield Metropolitan District, I have been looking further  into some of those recorded on the Deceased Online database . I was interested to find entries for two young men named James, who were buried on 12 September 1893. Today they are both remembered in Featherstone, Wakefield District and the wider mining community as victims of an unjust attack on a pit protest. The events surrounding their death are now referred to simply as the 'Featherstone Massacre'. In 1893 Featherstone was a small West Yorkshire pit town with two coal mines, Featherstone Main and Ackton Hall. The owner of Ackton Hall was the Bradford textile magnate and inventor, Samuel Cunliffe Lister, First Baron Masham (1815-1906). Like other mine owners in the summer of 1893, Lord Masham tried to protect his interests against a fall in the price of coal by redu

Wakefield Cemeteries and Crematoria

Around 75% of burial and cremation records for Wakefield Metropolitan District are now on Deceased Online Last week, I looked into the history of the metropolitan district of Wakefield. In this post, I look more closely at its cemeteries and the coverage of their records in the Deceased Online database . Wakefield district contains nineteen cemeteries and two crematoria. Of these 261,000 burial and 134,000 cremation records, a total of approximately 395,000, are being uploaded to the database. Many of the records go back to the mid and late 19th century when the cemeteries opened (see the list below), and range across a wide geographical area. Currently, approximately 230,000 of the total are available. Please note the details in our database coverage section of the website to see which records with dates can be searched now. Below is a screenshot of a Google Map showing the locations of Wakefield Council's cemeteries and crematoria and their proximity to notable cities i

Wakefield Council

Records for at least twenty cemeteries and two crematoria in West Yorkshire can now be searched on Deceased Online As reported on our Facebook and Twitter pages earlier this week, we have uploaded nearly 230,000 burial and cremation records for Wakefield Metropolitan District Council to the database . This includes the industrial towns of Castleford, Featherstone, Knottingley, Pontefract and the city of Wakefield. The records date from 1857 for the most historic cemetery, Castleford Old Cemetery. Most of the collection dates from the Victorian period, although the twentieth century Pontefract and Wakefield crematoria are also included. The full list of cemeteries will be explored in future posts. Once the county headquarters of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Wakefield covers 338 square kilometres and has a current population of 325, 600. This encompasses urban and rural areas including Horbury, Ossett, Wrenthorpe, Stanley, Altofts, Normanton, Castleford,