Friday, 13 April 2012

Burial in Wool

We are the poorer this week for the loss of a friend who Richard has known for more years than me. We give thanks for his life and all the good and charitable work he did. We shall miss you Robert! So we shall be going to his funeral next week. Just this week while doing a bit of background on an unrelated topic I came across a burial certificate which you can see here. It was not to say that the deceased was buried - but was buried in wool. It is hard to believe that the decline of the woollen industry in the UK started in 1678, but as times were hard, it became law that everyone had to be buried in wool. Inspectors were sent out to ensure the deceased was properly clothed in their woollen shroud. Fines were heavy for transgressors, though many preferred the centuries-old custom of being buried in linen. The Act was not successful, but it was not repealed until 1812, by which time it was virtually forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to read about your friend but intrigued about the use of woolen shrouds. I always understood the link to the insistence on the use of wool was connected to the rise in demand for paper and the need for linen for this
    Maybe this is also a red herring?
    As to modern shrouds have you seen these? they are so beautiful and such a delight to see at a sad time.