My current work in progress, The Shackletons of Whitehaven, has a scene where a mother and daughter – Dolly and Becky – discuss the cost of burial in Whitehaven. The customary fee for a four foot grave was a shilling (1/-) because the gravediggers only had to go down four feet. After that it was an extra sixpence (6d) a foot until they reached nine feet. On top of that was the minister’s fee of three shillings and sixpence. So the cheapest burial was 4/6 and the most expensive 7/-. To put this in context a joiner working at a shipbuilders was earning about one shilling and sixpence (1/6) a week.
So how do I know this? From “The State of the Burial Grounds” section of this report.
How did I come across this? From Michael Moon, Lowther St, Whitehaven. For more years than I can remember I’ve been buying books from The Moons on Lowther St. Antiquarian bookseller and publisher.