Extracted from an undated document produced by Ruth King for the Trustees of Aslockton Cemetery. Many thanks to Michael Flinton for obtaining a copy.
Going back to the year 1869 when the land was bought, there was no church or burial ground in Aslockton. The date stone on the church reads 1891. The place of worship was the Methodist chapel (since converted into flats) on Chapel Lane. That would account for the majority of the population being Methodist in those days. In fact as a young child I attended the still flourishing Sunday school and anniversaries followed by lovely teas.
For the purposes of church worship and burial the parishes of Aslockton and Whatton had been joined since the time of the Reformation. To quote the records, ( in beautiful handwriting)
In consequence of an act by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in separating the Parishes of Aslockton and Whatton the inhabitants of the Parish of Aslockton had been prevented from using the Parish churchyard at Whatton. They could as a compensation use the churchyard at Scarrington, ï but that being a mile distant, a number of the inhabitants and friends turned their attention to the desirability of having a burial ground of their own.
During the time of their anxiety they were greatly encouraged and substantially assisted by the magnificent sum of £50 from Samuel Morley.Esq MP This gave vigour to the movement and subscriptions were thankfully received by the committee – Mr. William Parnham.(Butcher), Mr. George Stevens, Mr. George Monks, Mr. Isaac Morley, Mr. R.Brown, Mr. Henry Stephens and Mr. William’ Carlisle.
By their united effort a piece of land, containing one acre and one rood, was secured and purchased of Mr. Matthew Hall of Flintham, lying near to the village and abutting on the highway between Aslockton and Scarrington. The said piece of land was duly conveyed by legal process into the possession of Trustees for the purposes of a Cemetery for the use of the inhabitants of the Parish of Aslockton and all other persons who from time to time desire to use i
On the 21st. December 1869 the land was publicly set apart as a Cemetery. This must have been quite a day in Aslockton.
The promoters of the Cemetery together with inhabitants of the village, assembled in the Primitive Methodist Chapel at quarter past two in the afternoon. Preceeded by about one hundred children of the Parish with flags in their hands walled in procession to the ground.
The ceremony was commenced by the assembly singing the hymn, “Before Jehovah’s awful Throne”, after which Mr. Doncaster of Bingham read the 90th. Psalm and the Rev. J.Hogers of Bingham offered the prayers. The stirring address was given by Mr. Prisby, Chaplain of the Nottingham General Cemetery( a record of which is preserved in the Register) who in his closing remarks, solemnly dedicated and declared the cemetery a sacred resting place for the dead. The Doxology was sung and the Benediction pronounced. The procession was reformed, a large plum bun was given to each of the childrenas they passed out of the cemetery gate. The company returned to the Chapel where tea was provided for more than 200 people.
At 6pm. the same day, a public meeting was held at which Mr. J. Doncaster of Bingham presided. The meeting was crowded and was addressed by Mr. Frisby of Nottingham, Rev. J. Rogers and Mr. George Baxter of Bingham. A letterwas read from the Home Secretary, from which it was shown that the Cemetery was formed upon a satisfactory and legal basis. Another letter was read from Samuel Morley. M.P. stating his inability to be present. The day’s proceedings were evidently much enjoyed. It would be a red letter day in the rememberance of the whole village and would form a subject for conversation by the children in years to come, The proceeds of the collection at the close of the meeting were handed over to the cemetery fund.
Ruth King also provided a typed transcript, although undated it appears to have been drafted in the 1860s, it certainly makes clear the feelings of the residents of Aslockton as to the ‘influence and intermeddling’ of Thomas Dickinsn Hall – the Lord of the Manor (of Whatton) refered to in the text.
Our thanks to Ruth King and Michael Flinton for giving us access to this interesting document. The document is reproduced extactly as typed.
For several months the inhabitants of this Village have been debarred the right of interment in Whatton Church Yard. Previous to this prohibition they had possessed the privilege of worshipping in Whatton Church and burying their dead in that Church Yard from the time of the Reformation. The Martyr Cranmer; as is well known was born at Aslockton; and a Memorial Tablet to that distinguished prelate is to be seen in Whatton Church.
Notwithstanding the proximity of the two parishes; and the fact that they have been wedded to each other in matters of worship and sepulture for centuries; they have now become disconnected through the influence and intermeddling of the Lord of the Manor. Without any deference to the wishes of Aslockton; but indeed; against their strongest protestation; the souls and bodies of the inhabitants have been coolly handed over to the distant parish of Scarrington. When this wicked change was projected: a unanimous Meeting of the parishioners voted resolutions to resist it; and a deputation waited upon the then Bishop of the Diocese to express their feelings regarding it. He assured the deputation that nothing in the shape of the change proposed should be done without the consent of the parish of Aslockton.