Saturday, 11 May 2013

No objection to burying persons in fancy dresses

A comic response to George Frederick Carden's attempt to raise money for a large suburban cemetery, which would ultimately be realised in 1832 with the creation of Kensal Green. The piece mocks the idea that burial grounds might be made more pleasant, and compares the scheme with a pleasure garden, replete with hotel and bar.


IT is with great sorrow we find the following notice in all the papers; but we feel it right immediately to submit it, lest the Society to which we belong should incur the imputation of borrowing their plan from another Company.—

"Capital, 300,000l.  Shares, 50l. each.
"The immediate object of this institution is to render less frequent inhumations within this metropolis, computed at 30,000 annually. The first spot is intended to be laid out as nearly similar to the celebrated Cemetery of "Pere la Chaise," near Paris, as situation, &c. will admit; this measure is equally applicable to persons of every persuasion. The very crowded state of most Burial Grounds in London, is self-evident. No fee is payable on the removal of a corpse, but every non-parishioner has to pay either half as much more, or as much again for extra-parochial Burial. This must be submitted to, or the whole parish is taxed upon the purchase of a new ground.
"A detailed Prospectus, shewing how the interests of all parties are intended to be respected, may be had at my Office, where also, and at the Bankers, Messrs. Sir W. Stirling, Bart. Stirling and Hodsoll, 345, Strand, applications for shares may be addressed. By order of the Board,
"35, Abchurch-lane, Lombard-street. JAS. CARDEN. jun."

Our readers having perused this serious appeal to the public, might, as we have before observed, be induced to consider any other Institution of a similar nature an imitation of the Association to which it refers. We beg to state, that. the following prospectus is considerably older, and that the Company which it announces was established on the first of March, whereas it is notorious, that the General Burial Grounds Association was not concluded upon until the first of April. Our readers shall judge for themselves

The immediate object of this Institution is to rob death of its terrors, and, by following the example of our Parisian friends, blend the graceful with the grave, and mingle the picturesque with the pathetic:—in short, the Directors feel confident, that when their scheme is fully developed, the whole system of inhumation will be changed, and the feelings and associations connected with interments, in general, assume so novel a character, that it will be rather pleasant than otherwise to follow our friends and relations to the grave.
    It is proposed to purchase an extensive domain in the neighbourhood of Primrose hill and Caen Wood, where the diversified undulations of ground, and the soothing conmixture of trees and water afford the most flattering promise of success iu the undertaking. No difficulty is anticipated in the purchase of the property, since the will of the late noble owner distinctly points out that it shall remain "grass land" to all eternity, and "since all flesh is grash" no reasonable objection can be raised to its appropriation as a public cemetery.
    The public cemetery, like the DAILY ADVERTISTER,  will be open to all parties—dead or alive—of all religions, or indeed, of none—and it does not need the practical knowledge attainable by a visit to the French metropolis, to convince the world that by laying out the ground in a park-like manner. with umbratreous walks, alcove bowers, and fish-ponds, a link will be created between the past and present generation, and the horrid idea of having deposited a parent, a husband, or a sister, in a cold damp grave, or a gloomy vault, refined into the agreeable recollection that they repose in a picturesque garden or a shady grove, at an easy distance from the most fashionable part of the town.
    The directors intend opening a convenient hotel and tavern on the spot, at which persons visiting the cemetery, either as mourners or in search of quiet retreats for themselves, may procure every sort of refreshment —a table d'hote will be constantly prepared at five shillings a-head, for cold meat and Vin de Grave will be furnished : and on Tuesdays, Thursdays. and Saturdays, during the summer, after burying hours, COLINET's band will be regularly engaged for quadrilles, and the grounds illuminated with variegated lamps.
    A committee of taste will be appointed to regulate the designs of tombs and the directors think it may save trouble to state in the outset, that no allusions to death, nor any representations of skulls. cross-bones, skeletons, or other disagreeable objects, will be permitted. The Royal Society of Literature will he solicited to revise the inscriptions, epitaphs, and elegies, and twelve ladies belonging to the different corps de ballet of the King's Theatre, and the Theatres Royal Covent Garden and Drury Lane, are engaged to enliven the ground as mourners at newly-erected tombs.
    These young ladies may he engaged by the day of hour, at a moderate price. and find their own garlands. MR. SAMUEL. ROGERS is appointed Master of the Ceremonies, and will appear dressed in the uniform of the establishment.
    The Directors have appointed MR. BOTIBOL, Of Soho-square. their artificial florist, who will provide all sorts of flowers for strewing graves, but ladies and gentlemen are requested not to leave the decorations on the tombs at night, but to return them to the directress at the bar of the tavern : and it may be necessary to add that no lady will he allowed to appear at the dances with the same ornaments which have been previously used in the grounds funereally.
    LORD GRAVES has been solicited to accept the offer of President, and SIR ISAAC COFFIN that of Vice President. The College of Surgeons will be constant visitors of the Institution, and under such patronage ultimate success appears to be a dead certainty. Ladies and Gentlemen wishing to be buried in romantic situations, are requested to make early application to MR. EBERS, of Bond street, where the grave-book, with a plan of the cemetery, may be seen.
    Persons subscribing for family mausoleums are entitled to free admission to all the balls of the season. Gloves, hatbands, white-pocket-handkerchiefs, cephalic snuff, and fragrant essence of onions, for producing tears, to be had of the waiters.
    N.B. No objection to burying persons in fancy dresses.

John Bull, 9 May 1825

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