York Friends’ Burial Ground at the Retreat

Scope and Content

With the closing of all central burial grounds in York by Order in Council, 1854, the existing Friends’ burial ground in Bishophill, York, had to be closed.
It was decided to open a new burial ground at the south west corner of the Retreat grounds, which would be a joint burial ground for the Friends of the York Preparative Meeting and for the Retreat. This burial ground would also replace a previous burial ground at the Retreat which had been used purely for Retreat burials and which had been situated more centrally within the Retreat grounds (its position is noted on the plan of the Retreat grounds made in 1849, see RET 2/1/16/3).
The new burial ground at the Retreat was managed by the Burial Ground Committee of the York Preparative Meeting, which was a joint committee of representatives from York Preparative Meeting and from the Retreat Committee. A letter of 1933, in the files of correspondence and papers relating to the burial ground, clarified the legal position of the burial ground at that date: the land on which the burial ground is sited belonged to the Trustees of the Retreat, but the burial ground was not Retreat property. The agreement was that the York Monthly Meeting had the right of using the ground for burial purposes. No rent was paid to the Retreat by the Monthly Meeting as the Preparative Meeting originally spent a large sum in laying out the ground. But since 1921 (when new Regulations were prepared, see RET 8/10/4/5), the Preparative Meeting had made grants to the Retreat towards the cost of keeping the ground in order.
In 1942 the burial ground was extended.

Alternative Form Available

Much of the Retreat Archive has been digitised with funding from the Wellcome Collection. Copies of digitised records can be viewed online where available by following links provided within the catalogue.

Related Material

See RET 8/10/3/7 for document relating to the previous Friends' burial ground at Bishophill.
See photographs of burial ground at RET 1/8/2/8/12.

Additional Information