Headstone of James Ratford. (Killed in a Duel) St. Andrews Churchyard Sawtry. Click 'Text Show' Button.. St Andrews Churchyard Sawtry
James Ratford was a Leicester man, who died in a duel on the 25th June 1756 aged 37 years, believed to be killed by his friend. He was buried on the 26th June 1756. An Affidavit was received on the 29th June as to him buried in wool, (Wool Tax). Inscription Near to this stone, who e’re thou art draw near in pity drop one pious friendly tear, far from his native home he lost his life by one who seemed his friend ill timed strife. The best a husband to his children dear courteous to all and to his friend sincere remorseless fate, well may the wretch feel woe while he in endless bliss and pleasure flow. The Wool Tax During the 14th and 15th centuries the protection of this national product was of great importance, and an act was passed in the reign of King Charles II for the express purpose of increasing the consumption of English wool. Subsequent to the BURIAL IN WOOL ACTS 1667 and 1678 all bodies were to be buried in wool only, unless they have died from the Plague and an affidavit sworn accordingly. The penalty for not doing so was £5. These were repealed in 1814. It was decreed that: "No corps should be buried in anything other than what is made of sheep's wool only; or put into any coffin lined or faced with any material but sheep's wool, on pain of forfeiture of £5."
Date of coverage25/06/1756
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