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Public memorials, Cemeteries and cremation Back Home
During the 19th century churchyards became overcrowded as the urban population grew. This led to concerns about drainage and the threat to public health.
Town corporations began to look to set up large cemeteries on the outskirts of towns. The 1850 Metropolitan Interment Act led to the closure of urban churchyards and encouraged the development of public cemeteries. Highgate Cemetery was privately run by the London Cemetery Company, and it was the third of the seven great new cemeteries built around London in the first half of the ninetenth century.
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The Christian Church was very much against cremation. The burial service was a legal requirement for Church of England funerals until 1880. It was argued that cremation could be a threat to the physical ressurection of the body. In 1874 Cremation Society of England founded.
The first controlled cremation took place at the Cremation Society's site in Woking in 1885. By the early 20th century cremation had become legal in most countries, and the 1902 Cremation Act legalised the process in Great Britain. In 1918 only 0.3% of British funerals involved cremation. By 1998 there were 233 crematoria and 72% of funerals involved cremation.

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