SIR - Your correspondent "Lex Scripta Manet" in his letter of the 24th instant, in reference to the funeral of an infant on that day (it was on the 25th), states that the "remains were conveyed in a cab, the vehicle drew up at the Cathedral door, but with its melancholy burthen departed quickly, no reception of the body, and no service being performed at the Cathedral."|
It is a pity your correspondent before rushing into print, had not taken some pains to have made a few enquiries into the matter. If he had applied to me I should have been most willing to have answered them. The true facts of the case are these: - A poor man from the country applied to the Archdeacon last Monday for permission to bury his child, which had died the previous day, in St. David's burial ground free of expense, which request was granted. On his way to the burial ground yesterday (the 25th instant) with the body, he called at the church and saw me. I informed him the officiating clergyman was present to read the funeral service in the church, but he adhered to his former resolution, expressed last Monday, of going direct to the burial ground. The man had his own way and his feelings were respected. It was therefore no fault of mine, or any want of respect to the poor man, that the service for the dead was not read over the child's body in the church.
I am respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
BENJAMIN HALL BROWNE,
Sexton St. David's Cathedral.
June 26th, 1862.
[The circumstances to which this letter refers, have become a matter of such public scandal that we think it the bounden duty of the ministers and churchwardens of St. David's to offer the public some further satisfaction on the subject than Mr. Browne's communication affords. The statements current are entirely at variance with the explanation now given. If we are correctly informed, the father of the child felt acutely the treatment, at the door of St. David's, of the remains of his child. Our comments on this painful case were sufficiently temperate to have deserved a fuller, a better, and a more authentic answer. The scandal yet survives to the grief we know, from many communications to us on the subject, of most attached and faithful members of the Church of England. - ED. M.]