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Beckett Street Cemetery, view of a 'Guinea Grave'

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Beckett Street Cemetery, view of a
Description:
Undated. Image shows an example of one of the 'guinea' graves, also known as subscription graves, located in Beckett Street Cemetery. This type of burial was introduced in 1857 and continued until 1940. It enabled impoverished people to provide a decent burial for their loved one in a communal plot with a shared headstone. The cost of one guinea (one pound and one shilling) included a commemorative inscription of up to 36 letters. Some of the guinea graves are inscribed with as many as 46 names but this particular example of 1904 marks the interrment of 14 people aged between just 3 months and 59 years. The image was sent in by a Mr. Bradley whose relative is commemorated here. Frederick Othick Johnson would have been his Great Great Uncle but sadly died at the age of only 17 months.

User Comments:

Name:
frances wicks/kirlew.

Comment:
Most of the headstones can no longer be read unfortunately as they are so old. My sister and i took a walk through this cemetery and it is very dangerous actually with holes everywhere - you do have to be very careful. It is indeed a sad sight - so many forgotten dead. It seems people only visit when they find out they have a long lost relative buried there. Shame on leeds for allowing this cemetery to get in such a state.

Date:
29-Nov-2012

Email:
fwicks1@btinternet.com

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Name:
ALUN PUGH

Comment:
The cemetery is now very different I am Chairman of the Friends group contact me if you need advice

Date:
28-May-2013

Email:
a.apugh@ntlworld.com

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
Anne.

Comment:
Alun Pugh.I am looking for plots for Jesse Booker.d1897.Mary Ann Booker d 1881-1886.George Arthur Booker d1897. Jesse Booker Jnr d1957.Emma Booker d1919.If any of these people are here I will comeand have a look and pay my respects as I dont drive I am relying on the internet to give me my points in the right direction.They may be in a guinea grave which will make it very difficult to check and I may need to find plot numbers to see for sure. Thank you very much. Respectfully Anne

Date:
28-Jun-2016

Email:
Not displayed

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
Heather Fisher

Comment:
Some years back, my Italian granddaughter and I went for a walk around the cemetery partly looking for possible relatives graves (who had lived in the area), and also as her great grandfather had worked there temporarily as a grave digger back in the winter of 1953 (rather than be unemployed). Anyhow I came across the guinea graves (although I was unaware what they were at the time of my visit). I just presumed they were the result of plague victims for various families affected. But then I remembered my mum telling me that the plague victims are indeed buried in this cemetery, but are in a part of the cemetery set apart from all the other graves. In fact the Yorkshire Evening post wrote some article about the graveyard years ago, and mentioned this unmarked land and thought it was as such ground with no burials. Which prompted my mum to contact the YEP and inform them regards who was buried in these grassy areas (they were plague pits), and the procedure was to just spread quick lime on the surface once a year. Basically as she put it the area should be left well alone. My mum had this knowledge regards the quick lime due to my dad having completed this task whilst working there as a grave digger way back the 50's. Regards the guinea graves, because I realised my mistake and wanted an explanation, why so many names were on these stones of obviously unrelated individuals, I did some research and came across the site that is dedicated to this cemetery (all the history is there, for all to read) and it is fascinating. The Friends of Beckett Street cemetery HAVE done a wonderful job regards the ongoing maintenance, of this once great cemetery and the history behind it, including some of the famous occupants (soldiers from the Charge of the Light Brigade) to name just one historical event. I recommend visiting the site of the Friends you will not be disappointed. Another site that has archived many cemeteries for Leeds & Yorkshire, is the YorkshireIndexers, hopefully between these sites, and due to the dedicated research of many individuals. I feel sure given time, you will find your long lost relatives.

Date:
12-Dec-2016

Email:
bruyere2@ntlworld.com

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