Letter from S. Reynolds Hole [Samuel Reynolds Hole, Dean Hole] to William Robinson

Scope and Content

Written from Caunton Manor, [Newark, Nottinghamshire]. Manuscript

Mr Fisher’s book seems to be good food for infants who are ‘first beginning to take notice’ of roses; as to Robinson’s own beautiful book [‘God’s Acre Beautiful’], he wishes that clever writing and admirable illustrations had been devoted to the enlargement and endorsement of places of burial rather than to arguments for cremation which will never be accepted by Christians; no doctrine is affected by the manner or time in which the mortal body decays; the Bishop of Manchester maintains that the idea of cremation is revolting; the process was described to him recently, with a shudder, by someone who had seen it; ‘Mr Brooke Lambert may like to have his relations sent to him by parcel delivery, and may carry his uncle about in a casket, but depend upon it, God’s Acre will never be clayed into God’s Ash Heap’; bodies should be buried with just the shroud and if precautions are taken there is no risk of air or water pollution; cremation was defensible in Greece and Rome but is not in Christendom; Robinson has shot an arrow against a rock but one who has made so many good hits can afford an occasional miss

Dated 6 Jul, no year [1880; another letter to Robinson from Reynolds Hole on the same subject is dated 10 Jul 1880; ‘God’s Acre Beautiful’ was first published in 1880]