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John Clarke

Historian of Brookwood Cemetery


Here are listed some useful references on the early history of cremation. Most of the links will take you to the full-text version of the original.

An Act for the regulation of the burning of Human Remains, and to enable Burial Authorities to establish Crematoria. London, 1902

Anon. [“A member of the Royal College of Surgeons”] Burning the Dead, or, Urn Sepulture Religiously, Socially, and Generally Considered: With Suggestions for a Revival of the Practice, as a Sanitary Measure; by a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. London: George Philip and Son, 1857.

Cobb, Augustus G. Earth Burial and Cremation. London, New York: G. P. Putnam, 1892.

Cobb, John Storer. A Quartercentury of cremation in North America:

Being a Report of Progress in the United States and Canada for the Last Quarter of the Nineteenth Century; to which have been added, as an afterthought, a few words about the advance in Europe during the same period. Boston: Knight & Millet, 1901.

(Includes a valuable bibliography of early works and tables showing the numbers of cremations.)

“Cremation” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th ed. (1910-11).

Cremation Society of England. Cremation. [Reprinted from the British medical Journal, February 8th 1908] London: British Medical Association, 1908.

Cremation Society of England. Cremation in Great Britain. First edition. London: Cremation Society of England, 1909.

Dowd, Quincey L. Funeral Management and Costs: A World-survey of Burial and Cremation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1921.

Eassie, William. Cremation of the Dead: Its History and Bearings Upon Public Health. London: Smith Elder & Co., 1875.

Erichsen, Hugo. The Cremation of the Dead Considered from an Aesthetic, Sanitary, Religious, Historical, Medico-legal, and Economical Standpoint; with an introductory note by T. Spencer Wells. Detroit: D. O. Haynes & Company, 1887.

Haden, Francis Seymour. Cremation: an Incentive to Crime: a Plea for Legislation. 2nd ed. London: Edward Stanford, 1893.

Haden, Francis Seymour. The Disposal of the Dead: a Plea for Legislation and a Protest Against Cremation. 2nd ed. London: Bemrose & Sons, 1888.

Haden, Francis Seymour. Earth to Earth: an Answer to a Pamphlet on Cremation. London: Macmillan & Co., 1875.

Haweis, Rev. H. R. Ashes to Ashes: A Cremation Prelude. London: Daldy, Isbister, & Co., 1875.

Noble, George A. Cremation: its history and modern practice. [A lecture delivered … at the Polytechnic Institute, London, 1914] [Uxbridge]: [Hillingdon Press], 1914.

Pierce, C. N. Sanitary Disposal of the Dead: a Lecture delivered at St George's Hall, Sunday, October 11, 1891. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Cremation Society, 1891.  

Richardson, Aubrey. The Law of Cremation: An Outline of the Law Relating to Cremation, Ancient and Modern: Together with the Rules and Regulations of Various Cremation Societies at Home and Abroad. London: Reeves & Turner, 1893.

Richmond, Charles Ernest. Cremation: a lecture delivered before the Warrington Literary and Philosophical Society, on March 20th, 1893. Manchester: T. Sowler & Co., 1893.

Robinson, William. God’s Acre Beautiful or, The Cemeteries of the Future.

London: Garden Office, 1880.

Robinson, William. God’s Acre Beautiful or, The Cemeteries of the Future.

3rd ed. London: John Murray, 1883.

Simpson, J. Harvey. Cremation in Manchester and Elsewhere. 2nd ed. Manchester: James Collins & Kingston, 1902.

Thompson, Sir Henry. Modern Cremation: Cremation, its History and Practice to the Present Date. 3rd ed. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1899.

Thompson, Sir Henry; Wells, Spencer; Stephen, James Fitzjames. Cremation: The Treatment of the Body After Death. 3rd ed. London: Smith Elder & Co., 1884.

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