Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
659
CEMETERY


with quicklime; the composition is warmed for use. A similar cement is a mixture of dried fresh curd with 1/10th of its weight of quicklime and a little camphor; it is made into a paste with water when employed. A cement for Derbyshire spar and china, &c., is composed of 7 parts of rosin and 1 of wax, with a little plaster of Paris; a small quantity only should be applied to the surfaces to be united, for, as a general rule, the thinner the stratum of a cement, the more powerful its action. Quicklime mixed with white of egg, hardened Canada balsam, and thick copal or mastic varnish are also useful for cementing broken china, which should be warmed before their application. For small articles, shellac dissolved in spirits of wine is a very convenient cement. Cements such as marine glue are solutions of shellac, india-rubber or asphaltum in benzene or naphtha. For use with wood which is exposed to moisture, as in the case of wooden cisterns, a mixture may be made of 4 parts of linseed oil boiled with litharge, and 8 parts of melted glue; other strong cements for the same purpose are prepared by softening gelatine in cold water and dissolving it by heat in linseed oil, or by mixing glue with one-fourth of its weight of turpentine, or with a little bichromate of potash. Mahogany cement, for filling up cracks in wood, consists of 4 parts of beeswax, 1 of Indian red and yellow-ochre to give colour. Cutler’s cement, used for fixing knife-blades in their hafts, is made of equal parts of brick-dust and melted rosin, or of 4 parts of rosin with 1 each of beeswax and brick-dust. For covering bottle-corks a mixture of pitch, brick-dust and rosin is employed. A cheap cement, sometimes employed to fix iron rails in stone-work, is melted brimstone, or brimstone and brick-dust. For pipe-joints, a mixture of iron turnings, sulphur and sal ammoniac, moistened with water, is employed. Japanese cement, for uniting surfaces of paper, is made by mixing rice-flour with water and boiling it. Jewellers’ or Armenian cement consists of isinglass with mastic and gum ammoniac dissolved in spirit. Gold and silver chasers keep their work firm by means of a cement of pitch and rosin, a little tallow, and brick-dust to thicken. Temporary cement for lathe-work, such as the polishing and grinding of jewelry and optical glasses, is compounded thus:—rosin, 4 oz.; whitening previously made red-hot, 4 oz.; wax, 1/4 oz.

CEMETERY (Gr. κοιμητήριον, from κοιμᾶν, to sleep), literally a sleeping-place, the name applied by the early Christians to the places set apart for the burial of their dead. These were generally extra-mural and unconnected with churches, the practice of interment in churches or churchyards being unknown in the first centuries of the Christian era. The term cemetery has, therefore, been appropriately applied in modern times to the burial-grounds, generally extra-mural, which have been substituted for the overcrowded churchyards (q.v.) of populous parishes both urban and rural.

From 1840 to 1855, attention was repeatedly called to the condition of the London churchyards by correspondence in the press and by the reports of parliamentary committees, the first of which, that of Mr Chadwick, appeared in 1843. The vaults under the pavement of the churches, and the small spaces of open ground surrounding them, were crammed with coffins. In many of the buildings the air was so tainted with the products of corruption as to be a direct and palpable source of disease and death to those who frequented them. In the churchyards coffins were placed tier above tier in the graves until they were within a few feet (or sometimes even a few inches) of the surface, and the level of the ground was often raised to that of the lower windows of the church. To make room for fresh interments the sextons had recourse to the surreptitious removal of bones and partially-decayed remains, and in some cases the contents of the graves were systematically transferred to pits adjacent to the site, the grave-diggers appropriating the coffin-plates, handles and nails to be sold as waste metal. The neighbourhood of the churchyards was always unhealthy, the air being vitiated by the gaseous emanations from the graves, and the water, wherever it was obtained from wells, containing organic matter, the source of which could not be mistaken. In all the large towns the evil prevailed in a greater or less degree, but in London, on account of the immense population and the consequent mortality, it forced itself more readily upon public attention, and after more than one partial measure of relief had been passed the churchyards were, with a few exceptions, finally closed by the act of 1855, and the cemeteries which now occupy a large extent of ground to the north, south, east and west became henceforth the burial-places of the metropolis. Several of them had been already established by private enterprise before the passing of the Burial Act of 1855 (Kensal Green cemetery dates from 1832), but that enactment forms the epoch from which the general development of cemeteries in Great Britain and Ireland began. Burial within the limits of cities and towns is now almost everywhere abolished, and where it is still in use it is surrounded by such safeguards as make it practically innocuous. This tendency has been conspicuous both in the United Kingdom and the United States. The increasing practice of cremation (q.v.) has assisted in the movement for disposing of the dead in more sanitary conditions; and the proposals of Sir Seymour Haden and others for burying the dead in more open coffins, and abandoning the old system of family graves, have had considerable effect. The tendency has therefore been, while improving the sanitary aspects of the disposal of the dead, to make the cemeteries themselves as fit as possible for this purpose, and beautiful in arrangement and decoration.

The chief cemeteries of London are Kensal Green cemetery on the Harrow Road; Highgate cemetery on the slope of Highgate Hill; the cemetery at Abney Park (once the residence of Dr Watts); the Norwood and Nunhead cemeteries to the south of London; the West London cemetery at Brompton; the cemeteries at Ilford and Leytonstone in Essex; the Victoria cemetery and the Tower Hamlets cemetery in East London; and at a greater distance, accessible by railway, the great cemetery at Brookwood near Woking in Surrey, and the cemetery at New Southgate. The general plan of all these cemeteries is the same, a park with broad paths either laid out in curved lines as at Kensal Green and Highgate, or crossing each other at right angles as in the case of the West London cemetery. The ground on each side of these paths is marked off into grave spaces, and trees and shrubs are planted in the intervals between them. The buildings consist of a curator’s residence and one or more chapels, and usually there is also a range of family graves with imposing tombs, massive structures containing in their corridors recesses for the reception of coffins, generally closed only by an iron grating. The provincial cemeteries in the main features of their arrangements resemble those of the metropolis. One of the most remarkable is St James’s cemetery at Liverpool, which occupies a deserted quarry. The face of the eastern side of the quarry is traversed by ascending gradients off which open catacombs formed in the living rock,—a soft sandstone; the ground below is planted with trees, amongst which stand hundreds of gravestones. The main approach on the north side is through a tunnel, above which, on a projecting rock, stands the cemetery chapel, built in the form of a small Doric temple with tetrastyle porticos.

Many of the cities of America possess very fine cemeteries. One of the largest, and also the oldest, is that of Mount Auburn near Boston. Others of importance are the Laurel Hill cemetery (1836) at Philadelphia; the Greenwood cemetery (1838) at Brooklyn (New York); the Lake View cemetery at Cleveland, Ohio; while the cemeteries at New Orleans (q.v.) are famous for their beauty.

The chief cemetery of Paris is that of Père la Chaise, the prototype of the garden cemeteries of western Europe. It takes its name from the celebrated confessor of Louis XIV., to whom as rector of the Jesuits of Paris it once belonged. It was laid out as a cemetery in 1804. It has an area of about 200 acres, and contains about 20,000 monuments, including those of all the great men of France of the 19th century—marshals, generals, ministers, poets, painters, men of science and letters, actors and musicians. Twice the cemetery and the adjacent heights have been the scene of a desperate struggle; in 1814 they were stormed by a Russian column during the attack on Paris by the allies, and in 1871 the Communists made their last stand among the tombs of Père la Chaise; 900 of them fell in the defence of the cemetery or were shot there after its capture, and 200 of them were buried in quicklime in one huge grave and 700 in another. There are other cemeteries at Mont Parnasse and Montmartre, besides the minor burying-grounds at Auteuil, Batignolles, Passy, La Villette, &c. In consequence of all these cemeteries being more or less crowded, a great cemetery was laid out in 1874 on the plateau of Méry sur Oise, 16 m. to the north of Paris, with which