chapter  4
28 Pages

THE GEOGRAPHY OF BURIAL

The place of burial was dominated by two factors: which church (or, exceptionally, other place); and then where in the holy ground. Within these two basic decisions lay a host of other considerations: the wishes of the dead person; the views of surviving relatives; social expectations; the desires of friends or enemies, and the decrees of the authorities, whether secular or religious. For most people the only option was to be buried in the parish cemetery or church, but there were still many choices as to exactly where to be buried. The choices, and conflicts, were most readily apparent in the more wealthy and privileged burials, not only because better documentation survives, but also because the churches had the most to gain or lose by these burials, whether in terms of patronage, prestige or money.