OXFORDSHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > OXFORDSHIRE > 2002-09 > 1030992418
From: "Toni Skidmore" <>
Subject: Re: [OXF] 'in woollen only'
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2002 14:02:24 -0500
> 'in woollen only' This means that he was wrapped in a woollen shroud,
> complying with the law designed to protect the flagging woollen
> industry, and not silk, cotton, fustian, or whatever else.
> >Surely landowners, with tenants/labourers of their own, could have come
> >with the wood and labour to produce a coffin for the head yeoman when he
> Could, but it was not the sutom.
> Wooden coffins were not common for actual burial in c1700 anyway - a
> coffin or bier owned by the parish perhaps to carry the body to the
> churchyard, but the burial was in a shroud only. Simple common sense,
> which would appeal to rural people - more rapid recycling/
> In Scotland, they not only hired a bier by a pall or mortcloth to
> cover the body in its shroud.
> Only the gentry who tended to be buried on shelves in vaults used
> coffins, wooden or lead, because they were not being returned to earth.
> Customs changed by c 1800, certainly by Victorian times
Thank you, Eve. You very neatly answered all the questions still left in my
mind with regard to this topic, particularly why they chose a woollen
wrapping over other types of cloth.