Wednesday, 29 June 2016

29th June 1816: The executed rioters are buried in Ely

The memorial plaque, on the south wall of the tower of St Mary's Church, Ely, to the five executed Ely and Littleport rioters, executed on 28 June 1816 & buried the following day (Photo: John McCullough, cc license)
In the evening of Saturday 29th June 1816, the five Ely rioters who had been executed the preceding day, were buried in the churchyard of St Mary's Church at Ely. The Bury & Norwich Post of 10th July 1816 carried a brief report of the funeral:
The bodies of the five unhappy sufferers for the late Riots (whose execution was noticed in our last) were committed to the care of the Chief Constable, who, at the express wish of their relations, provided a house to deposit them in, where they were decently and respectfully laid in their coffins, attended by four constables until the funeral took place on Saturday evening, when they were carried to church in the following order:—A company of singers from Littleport walked before, singing the 104th Psalm through the streets to Church: next the Chief Constable and Mr. Barlow, keeper of the prison, with their staves of office, covered with black, and themselves also dressed in black; then followed the corpse of Beamiss, he being the elder; next his relations; the other four were carried two abreast, with their respective relations following each corpse.—From the great concourse of spectators, it was thought necessary to have the attendance of several constables.—The bodies were all deposited in one grave, by the side of each other, in the church yard of Ely St. Mary's, in the most decent and respectful manner.—The reports circulated of disturbances on this occasion, and the further mischief committed in the Isle, are all unfounded.

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