Sunday, 31 July 2011

"2,000-year-old body found in Watton"

Watton Town sign

Swaffham and Watton Times 21st July 2011

"Human remains thought to be nearly 2,000 years old have been unearthed at a building site in Norfolk.The man’s body, found crouched in a burial pit, could date back to Roman times and is the latest in a string of fascinating discoveries to be made at the former RAF Watton base.  Experts working at the site have previously uncovered six Bronze Age axes while a Bronze Age round barrow with a cremation urn and five other cremation burials were found at the end of 2010".

Burial sites - work in progress

Burial sites - work in progress

· Amies. John. Died 1847. (Link)   Saint Botolph-Trunch, Norfolk
· Barnes. Robert. Priest Died July 1918 [Link]. Saint Mary – Burgh Next Aylsham. [Link]
· Barnes. Thomas. Priest Died 1917. [Link]. Saint Mary – Burgh Next Aylsham. [Link]
· Bateman, William. (Bishop of Norwich) 1298-1355 (Link) – Buried at Avignon
· Bennett. John.   1840-1864. Link) Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham
· Bennett. Robert 1811-1879. (Link) Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham-Norfolk
· Bennett. Sarah 1812-1892 (Link) Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham
· Bobbins. HRJ.  (5773070) - Died 2nd July 1940. [Link] Saint Mary - Heacham (Link)
· Boleyn. Sir William. 1451- 1505 Great Grandfather to Queen Elizabeth. (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Boulter. Charles.  Died 1816. Saint Mary – Burgh Next Aylsham. [Link]
· Bugden. John.  Died 16th October 1838. [Link]. All Saints – Skeyton [Link]
· Butters. William Chilvers. Died 2 October 1894. (Link). Buried Saint Nicholas – Ashill
· Calthorpe. Dame Elizabeth. Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Corbet. Richard. (Bishop of Norwich) 1582-1635  (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Courtney. Richard. – (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1415 (Link) – Buried Westminster Abbey
· Crofts. John. Dean of Norwich.(Link)  Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Daines. George. 1840 – 1929. (Link) Buried Saint Andrew – Holme Hale
· Dawes. Henry. 1788 -1873. (Link)  Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham
· De Gray. Johannes. . (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1214 (Link)
· De Hart, Walter. (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1472 (Link)
· De Walton. Simeon. . (Bishop of Norwich)  Died 1266 (Link) – Buried Norwich Cathedral (Lady Chapel
· Dunham. Ann. Died 1848.  (Link) Saint Andrew-East Lexham-Norfolk
· Dunham. William. Died 1850. (Link) Saint Andrew-East Lexham-Norfolk
· Erpingham. Sir Thomas. 1355-1428 (Link)  Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Fortescue. William Henry. 1st Earl of Clermont. Died 30 September 1806. [Link]. Buried Saint Andrew – Little Cressingham
· Freake. Edmund. (Bishop of Norwich) 1516-1591 (Link) – Buried at Worcester cathedral
· Gardiner. Georger. 1535-1589 (Link). Dean of Norwich. Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Haggard . William Meybohm Rider.1817 – 1893. (Link)    Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham
· Haggard. Ella (nee Doveton) 1819 - 9th December 1889. (Link). Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham
· Hall. Joseph. (Bishop of Norwich) 1574-1656  (Link) Buried Heigham Church.
· Hassal. Dr. John. Buried Creak Church
· Herbert. William. (Bishop of Norwich) (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Hobart. James (of Holt)  Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Hobart. Sir James.  (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Hudson. Edward. Died November 25 1907. (Link)  Buried Saint Andrew-Holme Hale
· Jerningham. Hon. Frances Stafford. Died Genoa 1838. Buried Our Lady and Saint Walstan. (Link) Costessey, Norwich
· Jerningham. Hon. Georgiana Stafford. Died 1848. Leamington Spa. Buried Our Lady and Saint Walstan. (Link) Costessey, Norwich
· Jerningham. Hon. Isabella Stafford.  Buried Our Lady and Saint Walstan. (Link) Costessey, Norwich
· Karolyi. Count Adam 1917 – 1939 (Link) 1st Burial at Chale, Isle of Wight. Then Hungry.
· Kent. Armine.  Died 21st August 1818 [Link]. Saint Mary – Burgh Next Aylsham. [Link]
· Kiddell. Elizabeth. 1812 - October 27th 1856. (Link) Buried Saint Andrew – Holme Hale
· Kirbell. Ann.  Died  September 1779. (Link).  Buried All Saints – Necton
· Le Spencer. Henry. (Bishop of Norwich) 1341–1406 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
·  Markham. Thomas. Died 1686 (Link) All Saints-Litcham, Norfolk
· Mason. Dorothy. 1559 – 1645. [Link]. Saint Mary - Heacham (Link)
· Masters, Dr. Chancellor of Norwich Buried Norwich Cathedral
· McDonough. Albert. [Link]. Died 1871. Saint Mary - Heacham (Link)
· Meadows. Lydia. Died 11th March 1845. Buried All Saints – Necton
· Meadows. Rich. Died .January 10th 1767  (Link)  Buried All Saints – Necton
· Miller. Donna Florinda. 1860-1864 (Link). Buried All Saints – Necton
· Montagu.  Richard. . (Bishop of Norwich) 1577 -1641 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Moore. Minnie-Rose. Died January 10th 1895. [Link]. Buried Saint Andrew – Little Cressingham
· Neal. James. 1822 – 1906.[Link]. All Saints – Skeyton [Link]
· Nicks. Richard (Bishop of Norwich) 1447-1535. (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Overall. John . (Bishop of Norwich) 1559–1619 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Pankhurst. John. (Bishop of Norwich. 1511-1574. (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Parmeter. John William..Died 25th July 1799 [Link]. Saint Mary – Burgh Next Aylsham. [Link]
· Penrose. Alexander Doyle Peckover.1896 – 1950 (Link) Buried Saint Andrew-West Bradenham
· Percy. Thomas. . (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1369  (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Porter. Edmund. Prebend. Buried Norwich Cathedral. 1595-1670 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Raylie. Anne. died 1627. [Link]. Buried Saint Nicholas – King’s Lynn [Link]
· Salmon. John. . (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1325 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Salter.Walter – Died 1776. (Link) Buried Saint Mary-Haddiscoe
· Scambler. Edmund. (Bishop of Norwich) 1520-1594. (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Sceberras-Testaferrata. Rinaldo. Died 21st December 1845. [Link] Buried Ferozeshah, India [Link]
· Secker. James.  d. June 3 1911. Buried Saint Andrew- Holme Hale
· Sexton. Ann Elizabeth – Skeyton. [Link].  All Saints – Skeyton [Link]
· Skerning. Roger. . (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1278  (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Somerville. Mary Stuart Maitland Makgill 1829-1895. (Link). Buried Chale Isle of Wight
· Southwell. Sir Francis
· Spencer. Captain Robert Cavendish. Died on 4 November, 1830. Buried Saint Michael’s bastion-Valetta.
· Spencer. Miles. LLD. Buried Norwich Cathedral (Link) Between pillars of the South aisle
· Stracey. Charlotte 1816 - 1884. [Link]. Buried All Saints - Rackheath
· Stracey. Edward, Paulet. (Link) Died  1949 All Saints-Rackheath
· Suthfield. Walter. . (Bishop of Norwich) (Link) – Buried in the Lady Chapel.
· Thirlby. William (Bishop of Norwich) 1500–1570 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
·  Tottington.  Alexander. (Bishop of Norwich) Died 1413.  (Link) – Buried Norwich Cathedral (Lady Chapel)
· Trollop. Brightmer . Born .1811 Died August 20th 1881. (Link).  Buried All Saints – Necton
· Turbus. William. (Bishop of Norwich) 1146 - 1174 (Link) Buried Norwich Cathedral
· Turner. Ann. Died 29th September 1734. (Link)  Buried Saint Mary - Little  Walsingham
· Uvedale. Sir Edmund.  Died 1606. (Link). Buried  Wimborne Minster
· Whitby. James.  Died . 6th September 1825. (Link)  Buried Saint Andrew – Holme Hale
· Williamson. Florence and Robert. [Link]. Saint Mary - Heacham (Link)
· Winter. Mary. Died August 1921. [Link].  Saint Mary – Burgh Next Aylsham. [Link]
· Wright. Kate Emma Died 1931. [Link]. Saint Mary - Heacham (Link)
· Wych. Richard.  (Bishop of Chichester and Saint) 1197 -1253. (Link) Buried Chichester  Cathedral

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thetford - Epitaph

© Godric Godricson

My grandfather was buried here,
My cousin Jane, and two uncles dear;
My father perished with a mortification in his thighs,
My sister dropped down dead in the Minories.
But the reason why I am here, according to my thinking,
Is owing to my good living and hard drinking,
Therefore good Christians, if you’d wish to live long,
Beware of drinking brandy, gin, or anything strong.
Title: Gleanings in Graveyards a collection of Curious Epitaphs Author: Horatio Edward Norfolk

Monday, 25 July 2011

Hethersett - Saint Remigius

Saint Remigius ("Saint Rémy") is an unusual saint for the UK. He is likely to be a 5th Century French saint and with the traditional antipathy between England and France over the years it is something of a surprise to find such a saint at the heart of a Norfolk commuter village close to Norwich.  The people at Wikipedia have a potted biography  of Remigius on this link which illuminates the reasons why a dedication to this saint is unusual in Norfolk, specifically, and in the UK generally. Remigius is a rather grand saint in a county and country where we have less spectacular saints. There is some debate asking if the four Churches in Norfolk  (out of a total of six in the UK as a whole) are dedicated to Remegius of Rheims or whether or not they may relate to Remigius of Fécamp.  The identity of 'Remigius' is somewhat academic in nature and either would mean that the Church is at least a thousand years old (and perhaps older) which is pretty much the usual age for a parish Church in England  even if the Church was ‘restored within an inch of its life’ in the Victorian period.

Despite the French connections offered to the 21st Century by either Remigius; England has a continuing love of the older, Saxon, saints and even the newly built Roman Catholic Churches in the 19th Century were sometimes dedicated to Saint Wulstan  or similar in an attempt to link the newly legalised Catholic Church with an antiquarian sense of Englishness. Compared to Saxon saints; Saint Remigius is instinctively ‘un-English’ in nature and the name speaks of a purposeful dedication by a Frenchman/Norman who wished to plant a hint of Gallicism in the heart of this garden county.

I passed this Church for many years and it was only in 2008 that I stopped and had a walk around the cemetery to see what was there. My childhood 'cemetery addiction' has  stayed with me although I now indulge this addiction with care and prudence;  only stopping when I think there is something to see. This assiduous selection is fine but it does apparently mean that I miss out on some of the more spectacular monuments. When I was younger, I would run around like a Labrador with a scent in its nose. Now, I have a cooler head.

Hethersett - Saint Remigius
© Godric Godricson

Despite my reservation, Saint Remigius did surprise me and I attach a picture of a monument that sits in a far corner of the green and pleasant space. One web site that I normally admire referred to this monument as being “pompous” although I think of the monument as being totally marvellous in inspiration and delivery.  However, rather than the monument in isolation I like a number of factors that are perhaps not obvious. I like the siting of this fabulous monument on the edge of the cemetery and away from others. We have the notion of inclusion of the monument in the cemetery. There is a wholeness of the monument with the community and at the same time the finery of the sculpture sets  the monument apart from all the others. A statement is being made and a statement that is for all to see.

The monument sits in a space that still has a rural aspect and this is a very English thing to achieve. English people all know what it is to have just the right spot. We, instinctively, have that special place where we are not too crowded and not too far away from the centre. Not too snooty and not too close to the common crowd. Neither do we wish to be haughty or a tyrant or a fawning sycophant. Englishness calls for a sort of inherent balance being sought and this monument is a way of demonstrating just that inherent knowledge of place and situation. The monument is in sight of the countryside and the rural idyll that is Norfolk and yet it is set within the consecrated ground of the Church. This monument is clearly placed and constructed by English people with an English sensibility. I understand  the English and their ways. So, whilst the monument is included in the cemetery it is also ‘exclusive’ in nature. This is a strange blend of ‘inclusive’ and ‘exclusive’ in the same monument and something that speaks of the people and the land unified in the cemetery.

Saint Remigius, as a cemetery, is geographically large and this single monument is the most spectacular monument in this large space. However, when I walked around  the cemetery, I was conscious that the antiquity of the dedication to either Saint Remigius  ensured that I was walking in a holy place, sanctified by use and by the faith of the departed in their ultimate Resurrection.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Wymondham - 1833

Ancient Faith
© Godric Godricson
"Two leaden cases were dug up from a piece of ground at the east end of Wymondham church.  One measured 6 ft 2 in. in length, and contained the mummified remains of an adult female; the other, 16¼ inches in length, a foetus of about the fourth month.  The examination of the remains was conducted in the church on December 27th, by Mr. John Dalrymple, of Norwich, in the presence of sixty scientific and medical men.  “As the mummies were taken from the site of the original choir, the female was most probably nearly allied to the founder of the abbey, William De Abbay or Daubeny, who died in the year 1156.”

Title: Norfolk Annals  A Chronological Record of Remarkable Events in the Nineteeth Century, Vol. 1     Author: Charles Mackie

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Saint Botolph - Banningham

This is the ancient parish of Saint Botolph at Banningham in the morning sun. The Churchyard is beautiful and reflects the traditional values of the village and the values of the people of Norfolk. The living and the dead are integrated in the Churchyard at the heart of the village. The sound of a helicopter can be heard on this brief video which is a shame and I hope that you enjoy despite that interruption.

© Godric Godricson

Friday, 15 July 2011

Saint Agatha's catacombs - Malta

God's Acre Blogspot
Saint Agatha's Catacombs
© Godric Godricson

The catacombs of Saint Agatha in Malta take us back to the early years of Christianity and to the earlier years of burials in the Mediterranean. The tombs are clammy because of the humidity and the atmosphere is a surreal mix of the guided tour and a visit to the underworld. The catacombs and caves have been much improved in recent years as they become a tourist venue on the island. However, that means more people!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

"Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate"

From the Isle of Wight
© Godric Godricson

Spirituality in the 21st Century context is less about ‘spirituality’ or being ‘spirit filled’  and is increasingly more about ‘feeling good’ in an instantaneous sort of way. Spirituality is currently about turning a fractured world into a ‘fluffy’ world is often inspired by Disney cartoons and “Hallmark Moments”. Contemporary spirituality is often without a real understanding of life and even death. I am not in any way advocating a return to medieval pessimism or a ‘momenti mori’ manner of thinking; instead, I am reflecting upon a Western spirituality that is socially progressive, hopeful for the future and realistically focused on our own mortality. Traditional certainties have to be available to people as a rock on which to build their lives. Most of all,  I believe that we must give hope to a fractured and confused Western world that continues to be battered by financial insecurity.

In my assessment of the problem, I see many  confused people in England who believe that spirituality is quickly attainable; available on a shelf and is something that has little personal cost. This is what may be seen as the ‘self-help’ sort of spirituality that one finds in Ottaker’s (other bookshops are also available). The ‘quick fix’ spiritual journey on offer may be Buddhist or ‘new-age’ in nature or from other traditions and may adopt values that are very far from traditional. However this sort of ‘spirituality’ rarely has reference to a Christian conception of God. I want to say at this point that I have no hang-ups about other world religions or Christian denominations and I believe that they all have their way of leading people from the darkness and into the light.

© Godric Godricson
To be explicit, I am not making an exclusive case for positive spiritual experiences within the context of Christianity in isolation. I freely acknowledge that there is always a place to explore experience and wisdom from all traditions. I also know of people who are not at all consciously religious who exude a sense of spiritual serenity and  they manifest a certainty about the future which is comforting and also calming but this is to confuse matters further. I have a colleague in secular employment who denies any faith in religion who has the effect of immediately dropping my blood pressure when she speaks.  I suspect that she  is a natural healer if she only understood that role within herself. However, healing, feeling good and self-help are not the same as spirituality.

In some ways; people now ignore Western spirituality and a recognition of mortality and immediately look to the Far East for a spiritual dimension in their lives. We find exotic images  in John Lewis as an example of hopes and expectations for the future. 100 years ago people in England may have ‘crossed the Tiber’ when they considered spirituality and their own mortality or even made the journey towards Orthodoxy when they considered a spiritual direction. The direction now is clearly much further East than Istanbul. It may be that if Western people visited local cemeteries a little more then we would have a more focused and centered sense of ourselves and our mortality. In a collective recognition of a finite lifespan we may come to a sort of serenity rather than internal panic when faced by a fractured world.

© Godric Godricson
Yet, traditional Christian spirituality and a recognition of mortality is alive if not completely well.  Whilst not encapsulating the whole Christian message Catholic spirituality is set within a strong context replete with history, prayer, hymns, meditations, art and sculpture. Similarly, the Church of England has a tradition that often utilises ‘smells and bells’, as part of a rich, diverse and musical  liturgy. We also have a British Orthodox Church linked to the Copts of Alexandria. All of this rich and diverse heritage is already in the UK and evidences a truly and home grown traditional spirituality.

However, for many people, the Church has no contemporary relevance and I perceive the major denominations as failing in leadership and a failure to take socially progressive measures in good time. The ancient role of the Church has been eroded by time and  denominations have failed to make themselves relevant in the 21st Century. Denominations have many of the traditional tools to educate, entertain and inspire hope in society and yet they haven’t used those tools. The Churches remain locked and the cemeteries are no longer places of burial, spiritual refection and meditation.

© Godric Godricson
I continue to reflect on the Churches collective failure to inspire, educate and give hope to the whole people. Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox have jointly failed to use the traditional resources open to them to create hope in the future and in this omission they have opened up routes towards communal doubt and fear. This doubt and fear in the future is reflected in the tendency of the British people to give themselves up to cremation and to a cosmopolitan spiritual supermarket. Where we once gave our mortal remains to the Church to lie in the Earth in the hope of eternity; we now give our bodies to the insatiable crematorium and in this process we collectively pollute the air.

It is 'hope' that has suffered most in the past two or three years as a result of the economic crisis and a failure of leadership. Perhaps hope is something that has to be re-introduced into the spirituality of England in the coming years. Perhaps a realistic, traditional sense of hope in the future tempered by the reality of mortality is the starting point for a resurgence of a happy and cohesive people.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

HYDRIOTAPHIA (Ch 1) - Sir Thomas Browne (1658)

Sir Thomas Browne
IN the deep discovery of the subterranean world a shallow part would satisfy some inquirers; who, if two or three yards were open about the surface, would not care to rake the bowels of Potosi, and regions toward the centre. Nature hath furnished one part of the earth, and man another. The treasures of time lie high, in urns, coins, and monuments, scarce below the roots of some vegetables. Time hath endless rarities, and shows of all varieties; which reveals old things in heaven, makes new discoveries in earth, and even earth itself a discovery. That great antiquity America lay buried for thousands of years, and a large part of the earth is still in the urn unto us.

Though if Adam were made out of an extract of the earth, all parts might challenge a restitution, yet few have returned their bones far lower than they might receive them; not affecting the graves of giants, under hilly and heavy coverings, but content with less than their own depth, have wished their bones might lie soft, and the earth be light upon them. Even such as hope to rise again, would not be content with central interment, or so desperately to place their relicks as to lie beyond discovery; and in no way to be seen again; which happy contrivance hath made communication with our forefathers, and left unto our view some parts, which they never beheld themselves.

Though earth hath engrossed the name, yet water hath proved the smartest grave; which in forty days swallowed almost mankind, and the living creation; fishes not wholly escaping, except the salt ocean were handsomely contempered by a mixture of the fresh element.

Many have taken voluminous pains to determine the state of the soul upon disunion; but men have been most phantastical in the singular contrivances of their corporal dissolution: whilst the soberest nations have rested in two ways, of simple inhumation and burning.

© Godric Godricson
That carnal interment or burying was of the elder date, the old examples of Abraham and the patriarchs are sufficient to illustrate; and were without com- petition, if it could be made out that Adam was buried near Damascus, or Mount Calvary, according to some tradition. God himself, that buried but one, was pleased to make choice of this way, collectible from Scripture expression, and the hot contest between Satan and the archangel about discovering the body of Moses. But the practice of burning was also of great antiquity, and of no slender extent. For (not to derive the same from Hercules) noble descriptions there are hereof in the Grecian funerals of Homer, in the formal obsequies of Patroclus and Achilles; and somewhat elder in the Theban war, and solemn combustion of Meneceus, and Archemorus, contemporary unto Jair the eighth judge of Israel. Confirmable also among the Trojans, from the funeral pyre of Hector, burnt before the gates of Troy: and the burning of Penthesilea the Amazonian queen: and long continuance of that practice, in the inward countries of Asia; while as low as the reign of Julian, we find that the king of Chionia burnt the body of his son, and interred the ashes in a silver urn.

The same practice extended also far west; and besides Herulians, Getes, and Thracians, was in use with most of the Celtae, Sarmatians, Germans, Gauls, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians; not to omit some use thereof among Carthaginians and Americans. Of greater antiquity among the Romans than most opinion, or Pliny seems to allow: for (besides the old table laws of burning or burying within the city, of making the funeral fire with planed wood, or quenching the fire with wine), Manlius the consul burnt the body of his son: Numa, by special clause of his will, was not burnt but buried; and Remus was solemnly burned, according to the description of Ovid.

Cornelius Sylla was not the first whose body was burned in Rome, but the first of the Cornelian family; which being indifferently, not frequently used before; from that time spread, and became the prevalent practice. Not totally pursued in the highest run of cremation; for when even crows were funerally burnt, Poppaea the wife of Nero found a peculiar grave interment. Now as all customs were founded upon some bottom of reason, so there wanted not grounds for this; according to several apprehensions of the most rational dissolution. Some being of the opinion of Thales, that water was the original of all things, thought it most equal to submit unto the principle of putrefaction, and conclude in a moist relentment. Others conceived it most natural to end in fire, as due unto the master principle in the composition, according to the doctrine of Heraclitus; and therefore heaped up large piles, more actively to waft them toward that element, whereby they also declined a visible degeneration into worms, and left a lasting parcel of their composition.

© Godric Godricson
Some apprehended a purifying virtue in fire, refining the grosser commixture, and firing out the aethereal particles so deeply immersed in it. And such as by tradition or rational conjecture held any hint of the final pyre of all things; or that this element at last must be too hard for all the rest; might conceive most naturally of the fiery dissolution. Others pretending no natural grounds, politickly declined the malice of enemies upon their buried bodies. Which consideration led Sylla unto this practice; who having thus served the body of Marius, could not but fear a retaliation upon his own; entertained after in the civil wars, and revengeful contentions of Rome.

But as many nations embraced, and many left it in- different, so others too much affected, or strictly declined this practice. The Indian Brachmans seemed too great friends unto fire, who burnt themselves alive and thought it the noblest way to end their days in fire; according to the expression of the Indian, burning himself at Athens, in his last words upon the pyre unto the amazed spectators, "thus I make myself im- mortal."

But the Chaldeans, the great idolaters of fire, abhorred the burning of their carcases, as a pollution of that deity. The Persian magi declined it upon the like scruples, and being only solicitous about their bones, exposed their flesh to the prey of birds and dogs. And the Persees now in India, which expose their bodies unto vultures, and endure not so much as or biers of wood, the proper fuel of fire, are led on with such niceties. But whether the ancient Germans, who burned their dead, held any such fear to pollute their deity of Herthus, or the earth, we have no authentic conjecture.

The Egyptians were afraid of fire, not as a deity, but a devouring element, mercilessly consuming their bodies, and leaving too little of them; and therefore by precious embalmments, depositure in dry earths, or handsome inclosure in glasses, contrived the notablest ways of integral conservation. And from such Egyptian scruples, imbibed by Pythagoras, it may be conjectured that Numa and the Pythagorical sect first waived the fiery solution.
The Scythians, who swore by wind and sword, that is, by life and death, were so far from burning their bodies, that they declined all interment, and made their graves in the air: and the Ichthyophagi, or fish-eating nations about Egypt, affected the sea for their grave; thereby declining visible corruption, and restoring the debt of their bodies. Whereas the old heroes, in Homer, dreaded nothing more than water or drowning; probably upon the old opinion of the fiery substance of the soul, only extinguishable by that element; and therefore the poet emphatically implieth the total destruction in this kind of death, which happened to Ajax Oileus.

© Godric Godricson
The old Balearians had a peculiar mode, for they used great urns and much wood, but no fire in their burials, while they bruised the flesh and bones of the dead, crowded them into urns, and laid heaps of wood upon them. And the Chinese without cremation or urnal interment of their bodies, make use of trees and much burning, while they plant a pine-tree by their grave, and burn great numbers of printed draughts of slaves and horses over it, civilly content with their companies in, which barbarous nations exact unto reality.

Christians abhorred this way of obsequies, and though they sticked not to give their bodies to be burnt in their lives, detested that mode after death: affecting rather a depositure than absumption, and properly submitting unto the sentence of God, to return not unto ashes but unto dust again, and conformable unto the practice of the patriarchs, the interment of our Saviour, of Peter, Paul, and the ancient martyrs. And so far at last declining promiscuous interment with Pagans, that some have suffered ecclesiastical censures, for making no scruple thereof. The Mussulman believers will never admit this fiery resolution. For they hold a present trial from their black and white angels in the grave; which they must have made so hollow, that they may rise upon their knees.

The Jewish nation, though they entertained the old way of inhumation, yet sometimes admit this practice. For the men of Jabesh burnt the body of Saul; and by no prohibited practice, to avoid contagion or pollution, in time of pestilence, burnt the bodies of their friends. And when they burnt not their dead bodies, yet sometimes used great burnings near and about them, deducible from the expressions concerning Jehoram, Zedechias, and the sumptuous pyre of Asa. And were so little averse from Pagan burning, that the Jews lamenting the death of Caesar their friend, and revenger on Pompey, frequented the place where his body was burnt for many nights together. And as they raised noble monuments and mausoleums for their own nation, so they were not scrupulous in erecting some for others, according to the practice of Daniel, who left that lasting sepulchral pile in Ecbatana, for the Median and Persian kings.

© Godric Godricson
But even in times of subjection and hottest use, they conformed not unto the Roman practice of burning; whereby the prophecy was secured concerning the body of Christ, that it should not see corruption, or a bone should not be broken; which we believe was also providentially prevented, from the soldier's spear and nails that passed by the little bones both in his hands and feet; not of ordinary contrivance, that it should not corrupt on the cross, according to the laws of Roman crucifixion, or an hair of his head perish, though observable in Jewish customs, to cut the hair of male factors.

Nor in their long cohabitation with Egyptians, crept into a custom of their exact embalming, wherein deeply slashing the muscles, and taking out the brains and entrails, they had broken the subject of so entire a resurrection, nor fully answered the types of Enoch, Elijah, or Jonah, which yet to prevent or restore, was of equal facility unto that rising power able to break the fasciations and bands of death, to get clear out of the cerecloth, and an hundred pounds of ointment, and out of the sepulchre before the stone was rolled from it.

© Godric Godricson
But though they embraced not this practice of burning, yet entertained they many ceremonies agreeable unto Greek and Roman obsequies. And he that ob- serveth their funeral feasts, their lamentations at the grave, their music, and weeping mourners; how they closed the eyes of their friends, how they washed, anointed, and kissed the dead; may easily conclude these were not mere Pagan civilities. But whether that mournful burthen, and treble calling out after Absalom, had any reference unto the last conclamation, and triple valediction, used by other nations, we hold but a wavering conjecture.

Civilians make sepulture but of the law of nations, others do naturally found it and discover it also in animals. They that are so thick skinned as still to credit the story of the Phoenix, may say something for animal burning. More serious conjectures find some examples of sepulture in elephants, cranes, the sepul- chral cells of pismires, and practice of bees, which civil society carrieth out their dead, and hath exequies, if not interments.