Throughout the nineteenth century, the city of Glasgow exhibited many of the difficulties in a rapidly urbanising and industrialising environment. Its high mortality rate and its poor levels of public health increased pressures on burying ground provision, further exacerbated by local patterns of wealth distribution and of migration, the structure of local government, and the characteristics of funeral arrangements in Presbyterian Scotland. These were the major factors behind the conditions in Glaswegian burying grounds which social reformer found unacceptable. This paper seeks to present varieties and conditions of burying ground provision; to analyse successive attempts at burial reform; to analyse the degree of success and failure with which reformers met; to compare them with developments south of the border; and to illustrate the Scottish way of death in nineteenth century Glasgow. The paper is a product of the Leverhulme Trust funded research project at Durham University on the history of cremation in modern Scotland. It draws on materials in the Mitchell Library Glasgow, the archives of the Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society, the Cremation Society archives at Durham University and the London School of Economics.
Peter Jupp 2009
University of Durham, UK
Burying grounds in mid-nineteenth century Glasgow: the cause of reform
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