Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 126,788 pages of information and 199,892 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

London's Magnificent Seven Cemeteries

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The "Magnificent Seven" is an informal term applied to seven large cemeteries in London. They were established in the 19th century to alleviate overcrowding in existing parish burial grounds

In the first 50 years of the 19th century the population of London more than doubled from 1 million to 2.3 million. At this time all London's dead were buried in small parish churchyards, which quickly became dangerously overcrowded, leading to decaying matter getting into the water supply and causing epidemics. There were stories of graves being dug that already contained bodies, and bodies being flushed directly into the newly-built sewer system.

In 1832 Parliament passed a bill encouraging the establishment of private cemeteries outside London, and later passed a bill to close all inner London churchyards to new deposits. Over the next decade seven cemeteries were established:

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