Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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1882 Cemetery Fees

ISLE OF WIGHT OBSERVER Saturday February 18th 1882 

               We are pleased to notice that the question of cemetery fees to which we adverted last week is engaging the attention of the Town Council. There were several points which need careful consideration with a view of saving the pockets of the ratepayers. It will be remembered  that the powers of the old Burial Board extended all the way through the parish, as far as Merston, we believe. The Cemetery was open to all living  in the parish of Ryde, without extra fee. When, however the town was constituted a borough, the burden of keeping up the cemetery fell upon the burgesses, while at the same time, persons in the extra-municipal part of the parish were overlooked, and it was found they could demand burial for their dead in the Ryde Cemetery without extra fees. Through some mistake, too, the Corporation seem not to have been formally constituted a Burial Board, but to have acted without authority till a few years back, when an Order in Council constituted them the Burial Board for the borough. Making the town a borough seem to have caused a general paralysis of action as far as the cemetery was concerned. The fees chargeable in the first instance for interment were too low, and the result is that now the old cemetery is almost filled, the town is still burdened with debt in respect to the cemetery.  A loan contracted for cemetery improvements, amounting to £2,800, is only reduced to £1,500, and there is also another small loan unpaid. The Board were powerless to alter the fees, because, as we have stated,  their rights rested on such a very slender foundation.

              There is now, however, an opportunity of putting all this straight as far as regards the new cemetery, which should be immediately embraced, and a scale of fees for burgesses and outsiders arranged, which should be sufficient to prevent  the borough being saddled with any similar debt in the future.   We feel that no apology is necessary for laying the following sections of the Act before our readers:

              1. Her Majesty may, by order in council, invest town councils with the power of providing burial grounds.____

In case it appear to Her Majesty in council, upon the petition of the town council of any borough, stating that an order in council has been made for closing all or any of the burial grounds of one or more  parishes being wholly or partly within such borough, that there is difficulty or inconvenience in providing, under the powers of the said Act of the last session of parliament, requisite places of burial for the inhabitants of such parish or parishes, it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, with the advice of her privy council, to order that powers shall be vested in the council of such borough for providing such places of burial under the provisions of this Act:  provided always, that notice of such petition and of the time when it shall please Her Majesty to order that the same be taken into consideration by the privy council shall be published in the London Gazette, and in one of the newspapers usually circulating in such borough, one month at least before such petition is to be considered.

              11. Upon making such an order borough council to have all the powers vested in burial boards under 16 and 17 Vict c. 134.___Upon the making of any such order of Her Majesty in council as aforesaid in relation to any borough if the town council of the same shall decide upon providing one or more burial grounds, the said town council shall be burial board for that purpose, and the provisions of the Act of the fifteenth and sixteenth years of Her Majesty, chapter eighty-five, in the said Act of the last session mentioned or referred to, and thereby extended and made applicable as therein mentioned, except the provisions relating to the constitution, incorporation, meetings, entries of proceedings, and accounts of  burial boards, shall, subject to the provisions herein contained, extend and be applicable to such borough and the council thereof, and to any burial ground and any places for the reception of the bodies of the dead previously to interment which may be provided by such council under this Act in like manner as the same are applicable to any parish and the burial board thereof, and to any burial ground and any such places as aforesaid provided by such burial board save that no approval, sanction, or authorisation of the vestry of any parish be requisite.

              111.Expenses to be paid out of the borough fund or borough rates,___Provided always, that all expenses of carrying this Act into execution in any borough shall, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained, be chargeable upon and paid out of the borough fund and borough rates of such borough, or partly out of such fund and partly out of such rates, in like manner as if the provisions of an Act of the session holden in the fifth and sixth years of King William the Fourth, chapter seventy-six; and any money to be borrowed under the authority of this Act by the council of such borough, and the interest, thereon, shall be charged by such council on the monies out of which such expenses are by this Act directed to be paid, and the said provisions hereby extended and made applicable to the said council shall be construed accordingly; and any surplus of money raised for defraying such expenses as aforesaid, and of the income of any burial ground provided by the council of any borough, which if the same were provided by a burial board for any parish would be applicable in aid of the rate for the relief of the poor of such parish, shall be applicable in the aid of the borough fund or borough rates of such borough, or in case a separate rate has been levied in parts only of such borough, for the purposes of this Act, as hereinafter provided, then such surplus shall be applied rateably towards payment or satisfaction of so much of any borough rate as may be leviable in such parts of such borough: provided always, that such surplus shall be ascertained upon the auditing of the accounts of the treasurer of such borough in the month of September of any year.

              V11. Burial ground to be deemed to be for the parishes in the borough.____ The burial ground or burial grounds provided for any borough under this Act shall be deemed to be provide for such parish or parishes wholly or in part situate in such borough as the town council shall determine.

              V111.Council may fix a higher rate of payment for interment, &c., in respect of outlying part of any parish partly situate in the borough.___It shall be lawful for the council of any borough, if they see fit , in fixing and settling, revising and altering the fees, payments, and sums mentioned in section thirty-four of the said Act of the fifteenth And sixteenth years of Her Majesty, from time to time to fix all or any of such fees , payments, and sums in respect of interments of the remains of  persons  being inhabitants of that part of any parish partly within and partly without the limits of such borough which is without such limits, in respect of other rights to be exercised with reference to the interment if the remains of such persons at a higher amount than the ordinary charge for the time being fixed by such council in respect of the like matters; provided always, that such higher amount shall be fixed with the approval of one of Her Majesty’s principal secretaries of state.

              At the last meeting of the Council , Alderman COLENUTT said he hoped that no more interments would be allowed to take place till the Council had decide as to their fees and charges. There were several questions involved in this new cemetery  which did not apply to the old one, and it was a question whether, amongst other arrangements,  the Council should not appoint a chaplain, and the whole of the fees pass into the hands of the Burial Board, and the chaplain be paid a salary for the performance of his duties.  He did not see why the Burial Board should not make the greatest possible profit for the ratepayers.

Researched by Ann Barrett