Posts Tagged ‘funeral’

Funeral Expenses

February 4, 2016

It is always a little hard to talk of or write about death. But it remains the one certainty of life – that it will end with death. True, Benjamin Franklin added taxes as a certainty as well and we suppose that for humans in most parts of the world some kind of taxation is inevitable but really death remains the one absolute certainty.

Funerals are expensive. In October 2015 the BBC reported that the cost of a funeral had risen to £3700. If we compare that with the cost of a Market Lavington funeral in 1964, it does seem that costs have outstripped the value of money. Here is a bill for a funeral back in January 1964.

Funeral bill for Emily Letitae Pomeroy 1963/64

Funeral bill for Emily Letitae Pomeroy 1963/64

The funeral needs were provided by Gye’s the builders and carpenters who had been trading under the name of Tom Gye’s mother Mrs L E Gye. The job was done for £46 – 12 – 0. That recent figure of 3700 would pay for about 72 funerals at this 1964 price.

We have no further information about the deceased here – Emily Letitae Pomeroy.

Paying for a funeral

June 19, 2013

One hundred or more years ago, funerals were locally arranged for local people. Mr Walton, from his department store premises on White Street, High Street and Church Street in Market Lavington was one person who would undertake the task of giving the dead a good burial.

A bill for one of his funerals has recently come to light. What we have is a somewhat elderly black and white photocopy, but it shows the information well enough.

Bill for the funeral of Mrs Ashley of Market Lavington in 1904.

Bill for the funeral of Mrs Ashley of Market Lavington in 1904.

The bill was addressed to the executors of the late Mrs Ashley and the date was March 1st 1904. This, we assume, was Elizabeth Ashley who was buried at St Mary’s, Market Lavington on 24th February 1904, aged 80.

Elizabeth had been born in Market Lavington but for at least thirty years, she and her husband Joseph were Londoners.  They returned to Wiltshire in older age and then we find Elizabeth back home in Market Lavington as a widow.

The grand total price of the funeral, at £2 – 16 – 0 (£2.80) sounds laughable in today’s terms. An awful lot of it seems to be for gloves for various officials. Almost a quarter of the bill is for gloves!

Even a cheap funeral these days comes in at around £1500. That comes out at roughly the same proportion of income as the 1904 figure.