Intramural Interments (burials within the church) had been popular in the late middle ages, due to increased income for highly sought graves near to the chancel. By the nineteenth century there was a struggle between Anglican interests agitation from dissenters, and public hygiene concerns (after Cholera epidemics),
The burial acts from 1852, among other things prohibited the general practice of intramural interments. However it appears some took place in Primitive Methodist chapels.
1 John Dean was interred in Englesea Brook in 1841 after a dispute with the local vicar. The grave remains clearly marked.
2 Rev George Booth died at Winster in 1854. The chapel is now closed but there was a memorial tablet in the chapel which read ‘In memory of Rev. George Booth whose mortal remains are deposited near this tablet.’ Some of the floor boards were taken up prior to sale, but no positive evidence of a grave was discovered.
3 Rev John Garner, described as senior Primitive Methodist minister, president of Conference six times, died in Epworth in 1856, and the 1856 PM Magazine stated ‘His mortal remains were interred on the Primitive Methodist trust premises , Epworth.’ The 1821 chapel, now replaced by a later schoolroom, had no graveyard and whilst today there is no evidence of his grave, the inference was that it was intramural.
Information on other instances would be gratefully received.