No Corpse, No Monument: Coffins for Vault Burial 1750-1900
An event forming part of the Church Monuments Society’s series of online lectures for the Season of All Hallows, 2022. Everybody welcome!
Most monuments commemorate an individual whose remains lie nearby. There were many recommendations as to how corpses destined for intramural burial should be cased, which gave rise to some interesting innovations on the part of the joiner and cabinet-maker whom, when liasing with a plumber and an upholsterer, were able to provide items suitable for any drawing room, let alone the tomb. This paper, relying heavily on extant examples of the funeral furnishing trade of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, amply portrays why some of the coffins provided cost almost as much as the monuments themselves.
Dr Julian Litten FSA was on the curatorial staff of the Victoria and Albert Museum between 1966 and 1999, and Visiting Lecturer in Built Heritage Conservation at Canterbury Christ Church University College, Kent between 1999 and 2004. Described as “England’s foremost funerary historian”, he published The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral since 1450 in 1991: it has been reprinted on four occasions in revised editions. In 1994 he produced the introductory essay to The Funeral Effigies of Westminster Abbey (2nd, revised, ed. 2003), the introductory essay to Grave Concerns: Death and Burial in England 1700-1850 in 1998 and an essay in Arthur, The Forgotten Prince in 2009.
This online talk is FREE to all and will take place on Zoom. Places must be booked via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/no-corpse-no-monument-coffins-for-vault-burial-1750-1900-registration-269660691387?aff=ebdsoporgprofile. This is one of a series of online talks delivered by the Church Monuments Society for Autumn 2022.
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Image Credit: Dr Julian Litten