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THE CARDIFF OLD CEMETERY. THE discussion in the Cardiff Town Council, on Monday, on the unsanitary and discreditable con- dition of the Old Cemetery, is, in one respect, most instructive, and in many respects very suggestive. The discussion arose upon reading the report of the Medical Oflicer of Health, which stated that the cemetery was in a most dilapidated and unsatisfac- tory condition that many of the tomb-stones had fallen down, and that graves were sunken in, as apparently to permit exhalations from the interior. The portion of the Cemetery belonging to St Mary's parish has been long filled, and in the por- tion belonging to the parish of St John there are only a few intermediate spaces available for burial and Dr PAINE states in his report that in using these the space in frequent instances is so nar- row as to expose the decaying coffins in the adjoin- ing graves." As the Cemetery, is now in the centre of a dense population, and on sanitary grounds,, not to mention grounds of decency, is utterly unfit tojbe used as a place of interment, Dr PAINE sug- gested that a report be presented to the HOME SECRETARY, so as to obtain an order for closing it Mid this suggestion, we submit, should be at once adopted by the Council. Thero was but one opinion expressed by the members of the Council ai to the disgraceful con- dition of the Cemetery, and the culpable neglect of those who are morally bound to keep it in repair. The proper means to be adopted to abate the nuisance gave rise to some divergence of opinion. Mr YACHKLL proposed that the necessary steps be forthwith taken to close this cemetery against future interments, and this view was warmly sup- ported by the Ex-Mayor, Mr Alderman JONES. Mr SAN IIlms, however, succeeded in carrying an amendment that the Inspector of Nuisances be instructed to call upon the vestries of St Mary and St John to.abate the nuisance. In proposing this amendment we cannot think that Mr SANDERS manifested his usual sagacity, or his usual acquaintance with facts and law. Wo arc unable to discover, either in the Sanitary A cts or in the Burial Board Acts, any power vested in an official of a Sanitary Authority to compel the abatement of such a nuisance in a parochial grave-yard and we believe that Mr SANDERS will search for such vested power in vain. But by the 16 and 17 VICT, c. 134, Town Councils may petition HER MAJESTY to command, by an Order in Council, the discontinuance of burials in any cemetery or burial ground within any city or town, and this is the method suggested by Dr. PAINg, and strongly supported by the Ex-Mayor— which the Cardiff Town Council ought to have adopted. They will find, if they have not dis- covered it already, that their Inspector of Nuisances is utterly powerless in the matter. This, however, may be considered apart from the question who are morally bound to abate this nuisance, and who ought to keep the Old Cemetery in repair. By the ecclesiastical and common law, and, until the "Compulsory Church Rate Abolition Act," of 18GS, by the Statute law as well, the parishioners were bound to keep the parochial burial ground in good and sufficient repair," and che duty was imposed upon the churchwardens m the reprcscKtativcs of the parish, to defray the neces- sary repairs onJ; of a rate to be levied upon the parishioners. Bui Mr OLA I>STOKJ. S Act of 1808 takes aAvay tho legal to make a church -rate, le iving, however, all the luaciituery tor making the ratj intact. The parishioners of any parish may still, if they ploa.se, make a voluntary rate to fe, pair the chureli or the churchyard. But if they refuse thero is no le^al power to compel them, j They arc still, however, under ecclesiastical juris diction, and may be solemnly excommunicated for their contumacy or without, boll, book, and candle. But ecclesiastical thunders have lost all their terror now over the mlud of this Protestant nation—unless it be in the case of some sickly R: tgli¡.;t, who is unhappily afflicted with chronic spiritual dyspepsia—and parishioners care not a straw for the excommunication of a Bishop or of an Ecclesiastical Court. Still, the churchwardens are not relieved from the duty of keeping the church- yard and the parochial burial ground—Avhetlier in use or shut np-in plover repair but the dihicult question, iJ, where they obtain the necessary funds. PuinnAux, in his Guide'' — the edition of 1875, p. 8;says that eU'ectiug the necessary repairs, "is still the duty of the parishioners, and also of the churchwardens, if they can procure the requisite fun-'te far tho purpose, by a rate or otherwise, notwithstanding the passing of the Compulsory Church Rate Abolition Act, 12,G8." But suppose the parishioners will not sub- scribe, and the churchwardens cannot obtain, < £ the requisite funds," what then The only remedy against the parishioners is) as we have said, ex- communication but we very much question whether the churchwardens, in addition to excom- munication—which perhaps will not terrify them— are not exposed to certain mundane pains and penalties. GLEN—no mean authority on this CjnesÜoll- ill his Buriil Board Acts, edition 1871, p. 144, says that the law is the same Avith respect to used or closed parochial yards. "Where it is an ancient churchyard of a parish that has been closed, the churchwardens will be the proper authority to keep the closed churchyard in decent order, and the Avails and fences of it in repair. On the other hand, a closed burial ground will be kept in order, and the Avails and fences in repair by the burial board, if there be one." It is an iu- teresting, and perhaps a puzzling, question to de- cide, whether the Old Cemetery is a parochial graveyard or a burial ground, in the sense under- stood by GLKNt but, whichever it be, that portion of it still in use must be kept in repair by the churchwardens, and not by the Town Council, act- ing as a Burial Board. Alderman TAYLOR, in his speech on Monday, contended that if the church- Avardens had no funds to keep the cemetery in re- pair, they might have made a call upon the over- seers of the parishes, and in that way the expense would have borne by the ratepayers." Undoubtedly the churchwardens might have called upon the 1 overseers, just as OWEN GLENOAVR could call spirits from the vasty deep but suppose the overseers, like the spirits, did not come when they were called ? Can Dr TAYLOR inform us how the church- wardens could compel them ? The report of the meeting says that Alderman TAA-LOR then quoted from the law on the subject, which stipulated that the costs should be paid by the overseers out of the poor-rate of the parish in which the burial ground was situated." The reporter docs not refer to the Act quoted by Dr TAYLOR, but from some of the phrases used, we judge the Alderman Avas quoting the 18th and 19th VICT, cap. 128, sec. 18. But this Act was passed in 1855, and thirteen years afterwards another Act was passed abolishing all compulsory payments for the repairs of churches or churchyards. Overseers had better be cautious now in paying any money out of the poor-rates for the repair of parochial burial grounds, Avhetlier in use or closed. The MAA'OR — Alderman BLLIOTT— thought that it would not be a hardship upon any one in the parish to pay the expenses of re- pairing it, for the Cemetery had never cost them anything; neither the bnd-whieh was given by the late Lord la re;—nor the wall and draining." We dissent uf r- rlv Trom the MATCH'S dictum in this matter, and think that the majority of the parishioners in rhe two parishes have to thank the lite Loid BUTW for nothing. Is the Mayor thoroughly informed on the history of this Old Cemetery, and the conditions on which it was given 1 If not, perhaps a few facts, culled from the annals of thirty years ago, may not prove un- instructi ve. In the year 1840, the Marquis of BUTE gave the field now called the Old Cemetery to the Episco- palians of the two parishes of St. Mary and St. John, as a joint burial ground. It was said to be given to the parishioners of the two parishes— but this was a legal and convenient fiction—for it was given to Church of England worshippers only. The whole of the ground—half to belong to St. Mary, and half to St. John—was to be consecrated after the rites of the Church of England. The Vicars of these two parishes were to receive fees for all burials and tombs and monuments, and only the Burial service of the Church of England was to be read in the new burial place, and only clergy- men of the Established Church could there offici- I ate. And this gift to a sect was by a strange misuse of terms called a gift to the two parishes. In December, 184G, a meeting of the parishioners of the two parishes was called for the purpose of making a rate for enclosing and fencing the new burial ground. The Vicar of St. Mary—Canon MORGAN picsided oyer the meeting, and a rate of of Is. in the £ was proposed. Mr JOHN BATCHE- LOR thereupon proposed an amendment, that the meeting should be postponed for two months, to afford sufficient time to communicate with Lord BUTE, so that he might be asked on what terms he would grant an additional piece of land adjoining, for the burial of Dissenters as well as of Churchmen. This tolerant and equitable amendment to the Vicar of St. Mary distinctly refuse to put to the meeting. Mr BATCIIELOR protested warmly against this clerical and sectarian injustice, and the out- rage upon the acknowledged rights of the parish- ioners, and the result was that the rate to enclose and fence the ground, and to erect suitable build- ings, was rejected by a large majority. The Marquis of BUTE, however, instead of accepting the spirit of the amendment proposed by Mr BATCHELOR, sent a communication on the 20tli of March, 1847, to the two clergymen of St. Mary and St. John, and to the four Churchwardens- through Mr PRIEST RiCHARM-that his Lordshio, in addition to giving the land absolutely, would now, as the parishioners had refused to.make a, rate, drain, enclose, and erect suitable buildings, a his own sole expense. There was no concession, however, to Dissenters. His Lordship practically refused to grant or to sell an additional piece of land for Dissenting burials. Had this been done the rate for fencing and protecting the burial ground would have been granted with- out a dissentient voice. But the Dissenters of Cardiff at that period very properly refused to tax themselves to fence in a burial ground in which i Churchmen should have special privileges, and Church clergymen exclusive user and hearing. From that time till now this Old Cemetery has been the exclusive property of the Church of England. The services of that Church can only be read in the Cemetery, and clergymen of that Church only can read them. The Vicars of St. Mary and St. John have received all the burial fees, and all fees for headstones and monu- ments, and it is a monstrous and an intolerable wrong to demand of the ratepayers of the two pjirishes that they should repair the disgraceful and indecent neglect of those who for so many years have received the income derived from this Old Cemetery. We do not for an instant mean to affirm that the present Vicars of the two parishes —both of whom have recently come into their livings-are in any way responsible for this shame- ful condition of the parochial burial place or that they should put it in repair. But we do mean to affirm that the adherents of the Church of England —for the credit and reputation of that Church- should at once remove the scandal and indecency by putting the cemetery into creditable repair, and not expect. the ratepayers—the bulk of whom are Dissenters — to repair it for them. Alderman TAYLOR said that to put the Cemetery into a state of sanitary and decent repair would require about £200 but in response to his applications he could not obtain more than JE30. This is most discredit- able to those who have possessed this cemetery for 30 years, and Avhose ministers have for all those years received the perquisites and fees, and Mr DUNCAN'S statement at tho meeting on Monday will commend itself to the approval of Doll thought- ful and impartial persons. He said that the Old Cemetery "belunged equally to the parishes of St. Mary ahd St, John, and whatever disgrace attached to any body belonged to the Church people of these two paris:8S. They were the per- sons who received oil the fees, and yet.. they had so neglecicd their duty as to allow tho cciuoteiy to become abomination to the town. Ho. t,hought the Corporation ought not to be put to any ex- pense in connection with the Cemetery." These are pregnant words, which we trust the Church people will to lie art, and by a speedy and sufficient subscription list wipe away the stigma which. now attaches to thoni for having left a paro- chial cemetery to sink into such a discreditable and disgraceful condition.

-----------JlUIUAL FOR DISSENTERS.

-------..----------THE ANCHOR…

----__--MR R. T. CRAWSHAY'S…

I FROi OUR LONDON CORRESPONDjENT…

DEATH OFIiï RICHARD FOTHERGILL,1…

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