The sad story of the "unburied child"

Discussion in 'Newspapers & Other Publications' started by Huncamunca, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    I came across this once notorious story in the newspapers when looking for something completely different.

    In December 1839, Jane, the wife of John Rumble (or Rumbel or Rumbold, depending on which source you look at) of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, died giving birth to a daughter. She was buried on 14 December 1839, aged 34.

    The baby, also named Jane, died just two months later, on 14 February 1840. On 17 February 1840 she was taken to be buried in the churchyard at Bassingbourn to join her mother and other siblings there. But the vicar refused to bury the child, who had been baptised a few days before her death by an Independent minister.

    It would take nearly five years, and in the end a case in the Court of Queen's Bench, to compel the vicar to bury the child. Little Jane was finally laid to rest in January 1845. By this time the 'unburied child' had become famous, and 'hundreds of spectators' turned out to watch her burial, if newspapers are to be believed.

    I'm not the first person to rediscover the story. In 1880 an account of it appeared in the Friends' Intelligencer, and that account was recently reprinted in the Royston & District FHS journal:

    http://www.
    peterjacksonroyston.co.uk/RoystonFHS/JournalPages/2010Journal/unburiedchild.html
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    That whole episode must have been awful for the babe's family as they would not have been able to lay the wee mite to rest.

    I have also read an account in the Cambridge Independent Press of 17th September 1842 that said that the father had to pay for 2 coffins and 2 graves.
     
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  3. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    I have a question re-the child's remains, but possibly no-one has the answer.
    Also briefly had anger on reading about this, but I don't do anger anymore as it destroys.
     
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  4. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    That is so sad.
     
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  5. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Oh dear how awful.
     
  6. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    The Vicar obviously lost sight of compassion, he certainly didn't have a Careers Adviser when he was at school/college, I think he would have been more suited to be a Prison Warden, they were of a harsh disposition in those days.
     
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  7. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the vicar was a little over-zealous and thought he was God. :(
     
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  8. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Seemed to be a lot of them sharing that thought Sue. Possessiveness is still a big problem in many areas with many people.
     
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  9. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    The kiddie had been baptised by an Independent minister, so the vicar clearly took the stance "not one of mine". How sickening.
     
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  10. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Poor little Jane. :(
     
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  11. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    Poor little mite:(
     
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