Timeline

Plans for establishing a Public Burial Ground to be called Manchester General Cemetery first appear in newspaper.

The Manchester Guardian reported that shares in the new Manchester General Cemetery were being quickly taken up and that advertisements were soon to be placed for a suitable plot of land;

 

Provisional General Meeting of present shareholders;

Plans were announced for the establishment of a public burial ground to be known as Manchester General Cemetery, in response to the planned removal of burial grounds away from large and densely populated areas due to health considerations and the need for Manchester to have a public burial ground to match the importance and wealth of the City;

Advertising for owners of land in Manchester to send in offers of Sale, stating quantity, price and other particulars of land;

Meeting of the subscribers Committee voted in 12 of its subscribers to inspect land, quantity and price proposed for the cemetery. Chairman leaves the chair, new chairman William Deakin; 

A meeting of Proprietors of the Cemetery to ratify and confirm with committee and proprietor of land to purchase said land.  17 Gentlemen are appointed for committee management for 12 months and five form a quorum.  Mr W C Chew is appointed Solicitor, William Chantler appointed President James Frost vice president

The Committee of Manchester General Cemetery announced the issue of shares was to take place on May 2nd and 3rd 1836 upon production of the original receipt for the deposit money.  Any shares not collected and paid for by 4.00 p.m. on 3rd May 1836 would be deemed to be forfeited

The Incorporation of the Trustees of Manchester General Cemetery who identified and purchased a site of 12 acres of irregular form to the north of Manchester city Centre, adjacent to Hendham Hall from Mr Jonathan Andrew Esq.,

Committee Advertise for Stone Masons & builders to enter into contracts for erection of Chapel, Registrars House and Entrances, Lodge & entrance on Smedley Road

Advertisement for land to be let to build a road from Rochdale Road to Smedley adjoining Manchester General Cemetery

An open design competition was won by Doncaster architect,  William Lambie Moffat(t), for the design of entrance buildings comprising: a large carriage entrance, pedestrian entrances, a non-conformist mortuary chapel, a registrar's house and administration offices all to be constructed in a neo-classical style

The Trustees of Manchester General Cemetery advertised for a Clerk of Works to superintend the buildings and the laying out of the grounds

Advertisement for Registrar to perform burials services, keep burial records and entries, superintend the grounds and premises

General Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders

Notices appear in the Manchester Guardian giving the public notice that the Cemetery will open for internments on the 1st September 1837

First Burial Took place, that of a still born child

Formal opening of Manchester General Cemetery by Mrs Walker of Whitehouses, Collyhurst

The first burial, after official opening took place of nine year old Marion Segate Watt

Buildings for the Cemetery now completed

General advertisement placed by Registrar, Jonathan Wood, inviting applications for the purchase graves and vaults now the “splendid buildings and tastefully laid out grounds” were nearing completion

Committee announce that the Cemetery Buildings and grounds are now completed

Announcement of date of next Extraordinary Meeting for Proprietors;

Extraordinary Meeting for Proprietors to discussion of setting a part of the Cemetery aside for the exclusive use of the Jewish persuasion

Annual General Meeting of shareholders for purpose of electing committee, other officers and servants necessary for the coming year.  A report for the committee to be sanctioned and receiving for the year just ended.

The Trustees of Manchester General Cemetery advertised for a Sexton

Shareholders request an Extraordinary General Meeting for the consideration of a portion

Meeting of Shareholders resolved to portioned a section of land to be consecrated.  Clergy of Colligate Church and Bishop of Chester have expressed their approval

The Manchester General Cemetery Company donated £15.00 towards the cost of solving the problem of the stagnant pool of water located at the boundary of the Cemetery with the Queens Park.  Plans considered included either to convert the pool into an ornamental pond or remove it completely

Main sewer between the Park and Cemetery has now been completed

 

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for purpose of electing  committee, other officers and servants necessary for the coming year.  A report for the committee to be sanctioned and receiving for the year just ended.  A dividend of three shillings and sixpence on each share declared;

Advertisement placed in Manchester guardian for a £1 reward for the return of two lost scrips  of 5 shares each, in the Manchester General Cemetery in the name of Richard Hartley

Proprietors to receive a further dividend of 2 shillings and sixpence  per share.

Legal notice issued stating the intention of the Manchester General Cemetery Company to set aside an area exclusively for Church of England burials and said land decided on and set aside.

Manchester General Cemetery and the Board of guardians enter into a contact for the internments of persons from several workhouses in their jurisdiction for 12 months.

Agreed prices:  Adults & others 4s. each / Children above 2 yrs & under 10yrs 3d. 6I. /2yrs & under 1s. 6I.

Extraordinary General Meeting for submitting an approval draft of a proposed bill of application made to parliament for power to set aside portion of Cemetery Ground for Church of England with a Chapel and to authorise committee necessary powers to do such.

Following the closure of the burial ground at Walker’s Croft, the Manchester Board of Guardians entered into an agreement with Manchester General Cemetery for the burial of paupers chargeable to the Manchester Union;

At a meeting of the Manchester Guardians, Mr G Newton, the Chairman and Mr Chew provided a plan of a proposed plot of land (one consecrated and the other unconsecrated to meet conscientious scruples of persons.) at a rate yet to be fixed for the interment of those who die under the controls of the Manchester Guardians. Board of Guardians took the plot of land and can terminate their occupancy of it at any time.

Mr Gibson & Mr Bright brought and presented the bill to parliament proposed by Manchester General Cemetery to secure consecration of a portion of land. Not all trustees are in agreement about having part of the Cemetery consecrated which held up decision as

Proposed Bill for Consecration of land in Manchester General Cemetery read and agreed to in the House of Commons three times and passed.

Passed bill goes before a committee of the Lords, but as one of a group it is low on the list and not likely to be proceeded with that day.

Bill for the consecration of the Cemetery was heard on its merits before a select committee of the House of Lords and passed without alteration, not withstanding a strenuous opposition from a few shareholders. It will be read in a few days for a third time and passed into law.

At the House of Lords Royal Assent was given by commission to the Private Bill of consecrating a portion of land in the Cemetery for use by the Church of England. Parliament requires that a Chapel be built within two years of consecrating.

Advertisement of Cemetery and current prices for graves & vaults etc.,

Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend James Prince Lee, visited the Cemetery for the purpose of inspecting the grounds, and consecrated 23,000 yards in the North West Section for the Church of England burials. The Bishop was accompanied by the Dean, his secretary John Burder Esq., members of the committee, the Chairman and Mr Bell the surveyor.

Burial of Kate Sweeting, aged 18 months, the first Church of England burial;

Notice in Manchester guardian of latest charges and costs for Non Conformist and Consecrated Graves, Vaults etc.,

John Bolton Rogerson, Registrar of Manchester General Cemetery published his “Poetical Works”;

It was reported that the 'poor' were buried in 'pits' about 11 feet deep in Manchester General Cemetery 

 

Advertisement from the Committee resolved to receive tenders for the purchase of the Cemetery Grass

Advertisement from the Committee wish to enter into a contact for the supply of Gravestone for twelve months - stones must be of polished, squared and good quality.

An Order from Council had been issued that only one body per grave can take place, the Board of Guardians were informed that the cost of 'pauper' burials would increase by three times the current cost varied from 4s.  6d. to 7s. for each internment.

484 pauper burials took place of persons from the Manchester Union Workhouse at a total cost to the Board of Guardians of £74 13s 6d.  Pauper burials were charged at 1 shilling less than burials of poor persons who were able to pay their own dues;

Demolition of catacombs (never used) in the western part of the cemetery and the pond drained and levelled to provide additional burial space;

Rev Charles A Marshall MA appointed by the Bishop of Manchester to the chaplaincy of Manchester General Cemetery;

Advertisement for a Sexton

Manchester General Cemetery notified that they would have to adhere to Burial Regulations that came into effect a couple of years previously in regards to public health:

Registrar, John Bolton Rogerson, published a further volume entitled “Flowers for All Seasons”

Advertisement for Cemetery and latest dues and all charges for burials, Graves & Vaults

Advertisement for Tenders for 12 months to supply Vault and Gravestones 6ft by 3ft, 3½ inches thick. Vault stones 7ft by 3 ft 3 ins: & 6ft 6ins. by 3ft 6 ins, 4ins. thick in the rough, laid down at Cemetery.

Tenders requested by Manchester General Cemetery for the supply of polished gravestones and vault stones;

Laying of new corner stone of the new chapel, known as St James' Chapel, on consecrated ground by the Lord Bishop of Manchester. Rev. Charles Marshall, M.A. rector of Cemetery offered up a special prayer. The Chapel of a neut structure of Pierpoint & stone dressings, 43ft by 25ft. Accommodating 112 persons, a tower & spire abt 60ft high at the south west angle and costing nearly £700. The Committee commissioned Mr William Newby, Architect to design Chapel. Cemetery Committee Chairman Mr William Crippen presents the Lord Bishop a handsome silver trowel with appropriate inscription.

Advertisement for Sexton appears in Manchester Guardian

Inquiry held into the removal of pauper burials from a grave and their re-interment into a drain following an anonymous allegation contained in a letter to the Manchester Guardian;

James Fielding was appointed Registrar of Manchester General Cemetery, a position he held for 31 years;

Construction of six workmen's cottages on land adjoining Boardman Street;

The Committee are prepared to accept tenders for the painting, staining, colouring etc., of the Cemetery Chapel.   Mr Newby, Architect will show specifications and give particulars for work to be done.

St. James's Chapel for the Church of England services is opened.

The Bishop of Manchester appointed Rev John Leighton Figgins to the chaplaincy  of Manchester General Cemetery following the resignation of Rev Charles Marshall;

Concern was expressed by the residents of Manchester about the possible lack of burial space in the City due to the closure of various burial grounds.  Manchester General Cemetery Registrar, James Fielding, sought to allay these concerns by stating there was sufficient burial space within Manchester General Cemetery for the annual interment of 13,665 bodies over the next 14 years or in aggregate over that time for the interment of 191,310 persons;

Burials to be discontinued under the New burials and public health act come into force. 

Board of Guardians agree to increases in costs of internments for paupers at the Cemetery due to the Council order restrictions. Minutes of meeting in the newspaper show the 3 prices increases from Cemetery Committee, and the new list of costs:

single internments for paupers and one in a grave only:-

Still born children ....3s.    Under 5yrs of age ....10s.     Under 10yrs of age ....15s.     Adults....£1.

Manchester Guardians decide at the weekly meeting to stop all burials for paupers at Manchester General Cemetery to cease due to cost being excessive, and burials can be performed elsewhere for less

Advertisement for City of Manchester Funeral Furnishing Company state they are agents for Harpurhey Cemetery "Funerals of every class furnished with first rate equipment." Orders received for Vaults, Family Graves, or single interments. 

Meeting with Board of Guardians the Cemetery Committee enquired as to why they allowed no burials in the Cemetery when the costs were now lower than elsewhere?

A silver tea and coffee service was presented to Mr W Crippin, Chairman of the Harpurhey Cemetery Company by the shareholders in recognition of his punctuality, business talents and impartiality over the last 13 years;

Monument to the Taylor Children placed on grave.

Advert for 'The Strangeways Tragedy' a view of the Monument to the Memory of the Taylor Children

The burial of Hannah Beswick, the Manchester Mummy, 110 years after her death;

Allegations made by a Mr J Shawcross through the letters page of the Manchester Guardian that gravestones were being removed from graves and re-positioned elsewhere in the Cemetery; Registrar James Fielding assured that these stones were pauper stones and placed between two burial plots.

Negotiations opened with Manchester Corporation regarding the sale of the cemetery however they declined to bid;

Bishop of Manchester licensed Rev. David Ellison to chaplain to the consecrated portion at Cemetery in place of Rev. John Taylor deceased.

Demolition of workmen's cottages built in 1855;

Reverend Thomas Grant was appointed Registrar of Manchester General Cemetery, a position he held until his death in 1909;

Manchester Society of Architects students competition award Mr R. G. Beard of 3 guineas for measured drawings of the Manchester General Cemetery Buildings.

Concerns rose as No Chaplain has been appointed since Rev. David Ellison vacated the position of Chaplain to the Cemetery. Registrar is officiating both Church & Dissenter grounds and friends of deceased request their own clergy man may inter. 

Rev. Fergus Hill, appointed chaplain of the Cemetery

Manchester Corporation invited tenders for the erection of a public urinal;

Advertisement placed for the position of Resident Registrar placed.  Preferred applicants would be over the aged of 45, married and a clergyman or minister.  The salary offered was £100.00 per annum with house, coal and gas;

Advertisement for Grave digger, fully qualified wanted for the Cemetery, permanent position for steady reliable man

Manchester Corporation takes over the running of Manchester General Cemetery;

Manchester Corporation acquired the Manchester General Cemetery Ltd., under the open spaces act 1906.  Minister of housing and local government have been asked to take steps to make an order to prevent further burials except for the site of the former Church of England Chapel.

Demolition of all buildings in Manchester General Cemetery.

Herbert Morton completes the latest batch of 1,150 gravestone transcriptions from the Church Public section of the Cemetery.  Retired historian, Mr Morton, works of behalf of Manchester Corporation writing out by hand the inscriptions at a rate of 30-60 per day.  It is unknown how many he transcribed in total, surviving lists total 9575 persons. 

Tenders invited by Manchester City Council for the repairs and partial rebuilding of the brick boundary wall at Manchester General Cemetery;

Ownership and management of Manchester General Cemetery passed to Manchester City Council

Manchester Corporation Parks Department proposed a four year plan to transform Manchester General Cemetery into a lawn style burial ground with the 10 acre site eventually becoming an extension of Queens Park - thankfully this plan did not come to fruition;

Demolition of all buildings on the site of Manchester General Cemetery plus fencing of the western end of cemetery (pauper's section?);

TV Soap Coronation Street filmed the burial of TV Character Martha Longhurst in the Manchester General Cemetery, a special grave was dug for the filming.

Inaugural groundwork day of the Manchester General Cemetery Transcription Project

175th Anniversary of the Opening of Manchester General Cemetery

180th Anniversary of the Opening of Manchester General Cemetery

150th Anniversary of the Death of Sgt Charles BRETT, first Policeman in Manchester to be killed on Duty

Commemorating the 1914-1918 Centenary, Manchester General Cemetery Transcription Project marked the event by placing a list of WW1 Servicemen who are named on a Family Gravestone or a CWGC Gravestone on the main gates on Rochdale Road with a Remembrance Poppy Reef.

Oct 1833

Nov 1833

Nov 1833

Dec 14th 1833

Sep 18th 2018

March 1836

Apr 1836

Apr 1836

May 1836

May 1836

June 1836

1836-1837

March 15th 1837

May 1837

May 26th 1837

July 29th 1837

Sep 1st 1837

Sep 7th 1837

Aug 31st 1837

July 1837

Nov 17th 1838

May 1839

Aug 1844

Sep 1844

1844

Apr 5th 1845

Jun 1845

Jan 1846

Mar 1846

Apr 1846

Nov 1846

Apr 1847

Oct 1847

Nov 1847

Dec 15th 1847

Dec 1847

Jan 15th 1848

Feb 1848

May 1st - 9th 1848

May 31st 1848

Jun 1848

Jun 9th 1848

Jul 1848

Nov 14th 1848

Dec 2nd 1848

Jan 1849

Dec 1850

Mar 1850

Feb 1851

Jun 1851

Aug 1852

1853 - 1854

1854

Feb 1854

Mar 1854

June 1854

June 1854

Feb 1855

Apr 1855

May 14th 1855

June 9th 1855

June 1855

June 1855

1855

1855

Sep 1855

Jan 3rd 1856

March 1856

Sep 5th 1856

Sep 1856

Sep 20th 1856

Nov 1857

Sep 30th 1858

May 1862

July 1st 1862

Aug 1862

July 1868

July 1868

1872

March 12th 1878

1881

Sep 5th 1887

Jan 1910

1885

Jan 1887

Sep 1888

Dec 1891

Apr 1917

Jun 25th 1937

Feb 24th 1956

1956 - 1958

1958

June 1958

1961

1959

1961 - 1964

1964

Oct 17th 2010

Sep 1st 2017

Sep 12th 2012

Nov 11th 2018

Dec 23rd 1855

©MGCTP2010-2020