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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.
[20th August 1853]
WHEREAS an Act was passed in the last Session of Parliament to amend the Laws concerning the Burial of the "Dead in the Metropolis," and it is expedient to make better Provision for and in relation to Burials beyond the Limits of the said Act: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows :
In case it appear to Her Majesty in Council, upon the Representation of One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, that for the Protection of the Public Health the opening of any new Burial Ground in any City or Town, Or within any other Limits, save with the previous Approval of One of such Secretaries of State, should be prohibited, or that Burials in any City or Town, or within any other Limits, or in any Burial Grounds or Places of Burial, should be wholly discontinued, or should be discontinued subject to any Exception or Qualification, it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by and with the Advice of Her Privy Council, to order that no new Burial Ground shall be opened in such City or Town, or within such Limits, without such previous Approval, or (as the Case may require) that after a Time mentioned in the Order Burials in such City or Town, or within such Limits, or in such Burial Grounds or Places of Burial, shall be discontinued wholly, or subject to any Exceptions or Qualifications mentioned in such Order, and so from Time to Time as Circumstances may require ; provided always, that Notice of such Representation, and of the Time When it shall please Her Majesty to order the same to be taken into consideration by the Privy Council, shall be published in the London Gazette, and shall be affixed on the Doors of the Churches or Chapels of, or on some other conspicuous Places within, the Parishes affected by such Representation, One Month before such Representation is so considered: Provided also, that no such Representation shall be made in relation to the Burial Ground of any Parish until Ten Days previous Notice of the Intention to make such Representation shall have been given to the Incumbent and the Vestry Clerk or Churchwardens of such Parish.
No such Order in Council as aforesaid shall be deemed to extend to any Burial Ground of the People called Quakers, or of the Persons of the Jewish Persuasion, used solely for the Burial of the Bodies of such People and Persons respectively, unless the same be expressly mentioned in such Order; and nothing in this Act shall prevent the Burial in any such Burial Ground in which for the Time being Interment is not required to be discontinued of the Bodies of such People and Persons respectively; and no such Order in Council as aforesaid shall be deemed to extend to any non-parochial Burial Ground being the Property of any private Person, unless the same be expressly mentioned in such Order.
It shall not be lawful, after the Time mentioned in any such Order in Council for the Discontinuance of Burials, to bury the Dead in any Church, Chapel, Churchyard, or Burial Place, or elsewhere, within the Parts to which such Order extends, or in the Burial Grounds or Places of Burial (as the Case may be) in which Burials have by any such Order been ordered to be discontinued, except as in this Act or in such Order excepted; and every Person who shall, after such Time as aforesaid, bury any Body, or in anywise act or assist in the Burial of any Body, contrary to this Enactment, shall be guilty of a Misdemeanor.
Provided always, That notwithstanding any such Order in Council, where by virtue of any Faculty legally granted, or by Usage or otherwise, there is at the Time of the passing of this Act any Plight of Interment in or under any Church or Chapel affected by such Order, or in any Vault of any such Church or Chapel, or of any Churchyard or Burial Ground affected by such Order, and where any exclusive Right of Interment in any such Burial Ground has been purchased or acquired before the passing of this Act, it shall be lawful for One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State from Time to Time, on Application being made to him, and on being satisfied that the Exercise of such Right will not be injurious to Health, to grant Licence for the Exercise of such Right during such Time and subject to such Conditions and Restrictions as such Secretary of State may think fit, but such Licence shall not prejudice or in anywise affect the Authority of the Ordinary, or of any other Person who, if this Act had not been passed, might have prohibited or controlled Interment under such Right, nor dispense with any Consent which would have been required, nor otherwise give to such Right any greater Force or Effect than the same would have had if this Act had not been passed.
The Provisions of this Act shall not extend to authorize the Discontinuance of Burials, or to prevent the Burial of the Body of any Person, in any Cemetery established under the Authority of any Act of Parliament, or in any Burial Ground or Cemetery to be hereafter provided with the Approval of One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, as herein mentioned.
Where by any such Order in Council as aforesaid it is ordered that no new Burial Ground shall be opened in any City or Town, or within any Limits therein mentioned, without the previous Approval of One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, no new Burial Ground or Cemetery (parochial or non-parochial) shall be provided and used in such City or Town, or within such Limits, without such previous Approval.
All the Provisions contained in the said Act of the last Session of Parliament, Chapter Eighty-five " to amend the Laws concerning " the Burial of the Dead in the Metropolis," from Section Ten to Section Forty-two (both inclusive) of the said Act, and also in Sections Forty-four, Fifty, Fifty-one, and Fifty-two of the said Act, shall extend and be applicable to and in respect of any Parish not in the Metropolis, and for the Purpose of providing a Burial Ground for any such Parish, or otherwise providing for the Interment of the Bodies of Persons who would have had Right of Interment in the Burial Ground of any such Parish, and generally in relation to every such Burial Ground to be so provided, and the Fees and Payments to be received in respect of Interment or other Rights therein and otherwise, as if such Sections were re-enacted in this Act, and the Words " in the Metropolis," wherever they occur in such Sections, or any of them, were omitted 5 and Section Forty-nine of the said Act shall extend to all Cemeteries already established and hereafter to be established under the Authority of Parliament, in like Manner as to those mentioned in Schedule (B.) to that Act, and as respects the Cemeteries to which such Section is hereby extended, the same shall also apply in respect of Burials at the Expense of any Hospital or Infirmary in like Manner as to Burials at the Expense of a Union or Parish: Provided always, that in all Cases in which any Burial Board shall provide a new Burial Ground under the said Act of the last Session of Parliament or under this Act, that new Burial Ground shall be divided into consecrated and unconsecrated Parts in such Proportions, and the unconsecrated Part thereof shall be allotted in such Manner and in such Portions as may be sanctioned by One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State; and when any Burial Board shall by virtue of Section Thirty of the said Act build on any Burial Ground provided by such Board a Chapel for the Performance of the Burial Service according to the Rites of the United Church of England and Ireland, they shall also build, on the Portion of such Ground set apart for Burials otherwise than according to the Rites of the said Church, such Chapel Accommodation for the Performance of Burial Service by Persons not-being Members of the said Church as may be approved of by One of Her Majesty's Secretaries of State.
All Burials within any Burial Ground provided under the said Act of the last Session of Parliament or, this Act shall be registered in a Register Book to be provided by the Burial Board providing such Ground (or where the same is provided by the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London then by such Commissioners), and kept for that Purpose according to the Laws in force by which Registers are required to be kept by the Rectors, Vicars, or Curates of Parishes or Ecclesiastical Districts in England; and such Register Book shall be so kept by some Officer appointed by the said Board or Commissioners to that Duty; and in such Register Books shall be distinguished in what Parts of the Burial Ground, and where the whole, of such Burial Ground is not consecrated for Interments according to the Rites of the United Church of England and Ireland, whether in the Portion so consecrated or in the Portion not so consecrated the several Bodies (the Burials of which are entered in such Register Books) are buried; and in case such Burial Ground has been provided for more than One Parish, such Register shall be kept or indexed so as to facilitate Searches for Entries in such Books in respect of Bodies from the several Parishes; and such Register Books or Copies or Extracts therefrom shall be received in all Courts as Evidence of the Burials entered therein, and Copies or Transcripts of such Register Books, verified and signed by such Officer as aforesaid, shall be from Time to Time sent to the Registrar of the Diocese to be kept with the Copies of the other Register Books of the Parishes within such Diocese; and the said Register Books, so far as respects Searches to be made therein and Copies and Extracts to be taken therefrom, shall be subject to the same Regulations as are provided by an Act passed in the Seventh Year of King William the Fourth, intituled An Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, so far as such Regulations relate to Register Books of Burials kept by any Rector, Vicar, or Curate.
Nothing in this Act, except the Provisions in Sections Seven and Eight, shall extend, to any Parish in "the Metropolis," as defined by the said Act of the last Session, or otherwise affect the Provisions of that Act.
This Act shall not extend to Scotland or Ireland.
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