Rev James Hope was the son of Rev John Hope by his first wife,
In January 1865, whilst he was Vicar at Holy Trinity Church , he was summoned before the Bench at Halifax Town Hall on the charge of
having interred the body of Mrs Jemima Parratt, in Holy Trinity Church graveyard, contrary to an order in council, on 7th December last
The Town Clerk conducted the case and explained that, on the 2nd December 1857, an order in council was received concerning the closure of several burial grounds in Halifax, except under certain specified circumstances, and that of Holy Trinity Church was among the number.
That order was confirmed by another similar authority, dated 3rd February 1858.
The exceptions to the entire closing of Holy Trinity Churchyard were in the case of interments in vaults of husbands, wives, parents, unmarried children, brothers and sisters, of persons already interred.
The Sanitary Committee of the Halifax Corporation having being informed of the intended interment of Mrs Parratt, wife of Captain Parratt of the Surrey Militia, in Holy Trinity Church burial-ground, the nuisance inspector was instructed to wait upon the Rev Hope and tell him that such interment would be illegal, and to make observations.
On behalf of the information it was contended that Mrs Parratt's burial could not be legal, for her husband was living, and, though she was buried in the family vault of her father, Mr John Haigh, of Savile Hall, Halifax, she was not entitled to the privilege, because she was not an unmarried child.
In reference to the last point, it was urged in defence that Mrs Parratt had not lived with her husband for a long time, and had, in fact, separated under deed, and Mr Haigh, her father, with whom she had resided, was of opinion that the spirit of the order in council would allow the interment, though there appeared a technical objection in the letter.
Rev Hope also urged that he was not waited upon by the nuisance inspector in reference to the interment until the funeral was about to leave the house, and the death had occurred seven days previously. He did not see any alternative but to proceed with the ceremony.
Then, again, there were other coffins in the vault, and neither himself nor the sexton knew whether they did not contain the remains of a brother or sister of the deceased lady.
The Bench offered to adjourn the case if Rev Hope wished to make further inquiry in that direction, but he said that he would leave the matter in the hands of the bench.
The Town Clerk said the Corporation did not wish to deal harshly with the defendant, but to maintain the force of the orders in council. He, however, had no instructions to withdraw the information on payment of costs. Rev Hope said he did not ask for the information to be withdrawn.
He left the case in the hands of the Bench to fine him or not. The Corporation, by closing the grave-yard of Holy Trinity Church, had sealed at least a thousand graves, and his loss in fees amounted to £40 a year.
The Bench imposed a penalty of 6/- and costs of 11/6d
Page Ref: MMH631
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