Rector and Parishioners
The Chairman read a letter dated from Folkestone, from the Rev. F. B. Newman, rector of Burton Latimer, in regard to the providing of a new burial ground in that parish. The writer stated that he had received a notice from the Home Secretary for the closing of the churchyard at Burton Latimer on the 1st September, and he was daily expecting the final order.
A piece of ground suitable for the purpose of a new burial ground had been offered in the parish. The parish had had the matter under consideration for some weeks but had not as yet arrived at any definite decision respecting the site, or as to whether they intended to carry it out under a Burial Board or otherwise. Under these circumstances, and knowing that the time had advanced, it was his duty as rector and principal landowner to request that the Sanitary Authoriity would undertake the provision of a new cemetery. This communication would have been sent earlier were he not under the impression that a public meeting of the ratepayers must be held previously, but he had since been informed that that was not necessary, and that it was competent for him to invoke their authority. He had no hesitation in bringing the matter before them. As to the Question of site he suggested that before a Government Inspector were brought down their officer should at once visit it. Mr Osborne explained that the first parochial meeting to consider the question was held on the 19th October, of which due notice seven days was given. The rector presided. It was thought desirable to appoint a committee to take into consideration the best means of providing a burial ground for the village, the committee to report to an adjourned meeting, which was held that day three weeks.
At the adjourned meeting the committee was increased by two, and as the necessary information had not been obtained a further postponement for a week was agreed to. The committee went to Ketton to view the cemetery there, and at the second adjourned meeting, when Mr Harris presided, they reported. They asked Mr. Johnson, surveyor, what the estimated cost would be, having first, as stated by Mr Newman, selected a piece of ground. Taking into consideration what the Sanitary requirements were, and that they were compelled to have eight-feet walls around the space, it would be an expensive affair; whereas the committee considered that the fences were nearly sufficient, and that what would be required was a wall dividing it from Mrs. Harpur's. And further, that the whole cost would be from £200 to £250. If done under the Sanitary Authority it would cost from £500 to £600. Therefore the committee recommended that instead of applying to the Sanitary Authority a Burial Board should be formed, and at the last meeting it was decided upon. A Burial Board, consisting of nine persons, was formed, and the resolutions appointing it were forwarded to the Secretary of State for his approval. He was requested on behalf of the ratepayers of Burton Latimer to ask this authority not to take any action in the matter. The Chairman: Have you a copy of the minutes of this meeting? Mr Osborne: I have not, sir. The Rev. B. E. W. Bennet: When was your last meeting? Mr Osborne: Last Thursday.
The Chairman here read the following letter:
Folkestone, Nov. 27. 1880 Proposed New Cemetery. Sir, Will you allow me to supplement my letter to you by stating that a parish meeting was held on Thursday last, at which resulutions were passed in favour of a Burial Board, and the members of it appointed? As, however, no formal notice was given of the object of this meeting, I presume its proceedings are of no legal value. I believe I am correct in adding that the only other large landowner in the parish agrees with me in the propriety of invoking the power of the Rural Sanitary Authority. I remain, sir, yours faithfully, Fredk. B. Newman, rector. To the chairman of the Rural Sanitary Authority.
Mr Osborne said that several days' notice was given of the first meeting, and this was an adjourned meeting. The Chairman: I suppose it was quite a representative meeting? Mr Osborne: Yes; and they were nearly unanimous. Only one or two diessentients. The Rev. J. F. Mercer: Was Mr Newman at the meeting? Mr Osborne: Oh, no; he is away from home. The Rev. J. F. Mercer: I can't understand why Mr Newman should wish to override the wishes of his parish in this matter. The Chairman: I think as far as this Board is concerned we have quite enough work to do. The Chairman: I gather from Mr Newman's letter that the parish wish to take the matter out of our hands. Mr Shipton: Mr. Newman's letter does not apply because the meeting was legal. The Chairman: If the parish wants to have a burial board I do not see why they should not have it. Mr. C. Bayes (to Mr. Osborne): Did your first notice state that your object was to form a burial board? Mr Osborne: The notice stated that it was to “take into consideration the best means of providing a new burial ground for the parish.” The Clerk: That would be quite sufficient. Mr Battle: Even if the notice was not legal we need not rush into the matter. If that meeting was not legal another can easily be made so. The Hon. and Rev. C. J. Vernon: Was there legal notice of the adjourned meeting? Mr Osborne: Yes, sir. The Clerk: We should have a copy of the minutes, because that copy ought to go to the Secretary of State. Mr Osborne: They are gone. The Clerk: Why not leave it to him?. If there is anything illegal we shall soon hear of it. Mr Richards: I propose that we do not interfere with it. We have plenty of work to do without interfering with the parish. The Rev. B. E. W. Bennett: I think we must not put it in that way. It must not go out to the world that we are afraid of a little work. Mr Shipton: The only thing before us, I think, is that Mr. Newman's letter wants a reply.
Mr Richards's proposition was put to the meeting and carried nem.dis.; and it was understood that the Clerk should write the Rev. F. B. Newman acquainting him of the decision to come to.
NOTE: The burial ground referred to above is now closed. It is sited to the left of Church Lane opposite the burial ground extending from the church.