Burial Practices

R. A. Houston

in Punishing the Dead?

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199586424
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191595356 | DOI:
Burial Practices

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Some suicides were denied normal Christian burial. In separate sections dealing with England and Scotland this chapter explains the laws on burial and the reasons why some suicides were given profane burial. In England this could mean interment at a crossroads with a stake through the heart without any religious rites, though this was a local practice not a national one, and only selectively enforced against those poorly integrated into communities. The simplicity of Calvinist burial rituals means that the treatment of suicides in Scotland was less remarkable, except for their being excluded from the community of Christians. Scots did not stake the bodies of suicides.

Keywords: England; Scotland; burial; funerals; law; religion; calvinism; community; society

Chapter.  18866 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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