Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser

Funeral Of A Gipsy

Wednesday, 24th August 1870

The tribe of Gipsies at present encamped in a field in the Union road have lost one of their number by death since they have been in Exeter. The deceased was named Young, and was a man about 28 years of age.

The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, at the New Cemetery. It was astonishing to see the crowds of people that assembled at the top of Blackboy road and the cemetery. There must have been several thousand persons present, four-fifths of them being women. Most of them evidently expected to see something of a showy display, for much of the talk among the fair ones referred to how the mourners would be dressed, how they would look, and how the deceased would be buried. Those who came expecting any display, or the performance of any mysterious rites or ceremonies, must have been disagreeably disappointed.

The funeral took place in the form prescribed by the Church of England and the Rev. A. Buckeridge, the rector of St. James, the parish in which the field where the tribe are located lies, was the officiating clergyman.

The funeral cortege consisted of three mourning coaches and the hearse containing the body. The mourners were all attired in black, and had it not been for their swarthy complexions it would have been impossible to tell that the funeral not that of an ordinary citizen.

The crowd showed the customary fine feeling of English mobs on such occasions. They pressed, and pushed, and scrambled in order to get near the chapel to obtain a view of the procession, and it was with some difficulty that the minister and mourners could get through. Then, as soon they were inside the chapel, a rush was made after them, and a scene of hustling and confusion took place that, on such a solemn occasion, was simply deplorable.

With Thanks To:
The British Newspaper Archives

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Extracted From:
Taunton Courier & Western Advertiser - Wednesday, 24th August 1870
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  • Walter Young