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Re: Lest we forget
Boiling a body and removing the bones for burial was usually reserved for
Kings or important nobles. Edward Longshanks, in his will he demanded that
his body be boiled and his bones carried in from of the English Army until
Scotland was subjected. I am unaware that it is a usual custom.
Sir William was probably buried whole in Spain. His grave is long lost, I
Spanish Graveyards are rented. The bodies are allowed to remain as long as
the rent is paid. The remains are disinterred and cremated and scattered
Before embalming and other sanitary measures, graveyards were often littered
with bones and bits of charnel. Shallow graves allowed maggots and
scavengers to dig up and scatter the remains. The living used churchyards
as social centres where they conducted markets, played games, and, in
Scotland, prepared for war by practising archery or other weapons drills.
The English Parliament suspected that funeral and burial customs played a
role in spreading the Black Death. In 1665, it legislated against
unnecessary visits by friends and children, large funerals, and, most
importantly, graves less than six feet deep.
England's 1832 Anatomy Act, which provided the anatomists with legal
cadavers, largely stopped grave-robbing.
Today Graves are about four foot deep.
Ref: The Hour of Our Death by Philippe Aries, Knopf, 1981.
Western Attitudes toward Death from the Middle Ages to the Present by
Philippe Aries, John Hopkins University Press, 1974.
Archer St. Clair Harvey: Early Christian & Byzantine Art.
The School of Scottish Studies, The University of Edinburgh
the PEARL Project Team Phone: +44 131 650 4167 Fax: +44 131 650 4163
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