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Bunhill Fields Burial Ground

Bunhill Fields Burial Ground,
38 City Rd,

Bunhill Fields is an old burial ground in the London Borough of Islington, north of the City of London, and managed by the City of London Corporation. It is now roughly 4 hectares (nearly 10 acres) in size but was much larger at different stages in its long history.

The name Bunhill is apparently derived from "Bone Hill", very descriptive of its function. It is believed that burials have taken place here since Saxon times although other burials and remains were reinterred here in the 16th Century. A Wikepedia description states: " 1665 the City of London Corporation decided to use some of the fen as a common burial ground for the interment of bodies of inhabitants who had died of the plague and could not be accommodated in the churchyards. Although enclosing walls for the burial ground were completed, Church of England officials never consecrated the ground or used it for burials. A Mr Tindal took over the lease.."

It was used as a burial site for Nonconformists from the late 17th century until the middle of the 19th century and contains the graves of many notable people.

An order for the closure of the burial ground was made in 1853 and the last burial took place in January 1854.

The records on Deceased Online comprise scans of burial registers for approximately 71,000 interments and span the period 1713 to 1854. They comprise burial registers from The National Archives collection RG4, item references 3974 to 4001 plus 4288, 4289, 4290 and 4291.

According to the Wikipedia entry, notable burials at Bunhill which are in the Deceased Online database include:

  • Joshua Bayes (1671-1746), English cleric
  • Thomas Bayes (1702-1761), mathematician, clergyman, and friend of Richard Price
  • John Bellers, (1654-1725), political and educational theorist and writer.
  • William Blackburn (1750-1790), architect and surveyor
  • William Blake (1757-1827), painter, engraver, poet, and mystic
  • John Bradford (1750-1805) English dissenting minister
  • Thomas Fowell Buxton (1758-1795), antislavery philanthropist
  • Daniel Defoe (1661-1731), author of Robinson Crusoe
  • James Foster (1697-1753), Baptist minister and author of Essay on Fundamentals, one of the first nonconformist texts.
  • John Gill (1697-1771), author of the Exposition of the Bible and the Body of Divinity
  • Thomas Hardy (1752-1832), political reformer and founder of the London Corresponding Society
  • Joseph Hart (1712-1768), hymn writer and Calvinist minister in London
  • Jabez Carter Hornblower (1744-1814), Steam engine pioneer.
  • John Hyatt (1767-1826), One of the founding preachers of Calvinist Methodism at Whitefield's Tabernacle, Tottenham Court Road 1806-1828.
  • Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808), a founder of Unitarianism
  • Paul Henry Maty (1744-1787) British Museum librarian.
  • David Nasmith (1799-1839) founder of the City Mission Movement
  • Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) Steam Engine Pioneer (exact site of burial unknown)
  • Joseph Nightingale (1775-1824), writer and preacher
  • Dame Mary Page (1672-1728), wife of Sir Gregory Page, 1st Baronet
  • Apsley Pellatt (1763-1826), glass manufacturer.
  • Richard Price (1723-1791), founder of life insurance principles.
  • Thomas Pringle (1789-1834), Scottish poet and author, and Secretary to the AntiSlavery Society:(reinterred 1970, Eildon Church, Baviaans valley, South Africa)
  • John Rippon (1750-1836), Baptist clergyman, composer of many well known hymns
  • Richard 'Conversation' Sharp (1759-1835) Prominent among the Dissenters' 'Deputies', critic, merchant and MP.
  • Henry Hunter (1741-1802), Scottish minister
  • James Ware (ophthalmologist) (1756-1815), English eye surgeon and Fellow of Royal Society
  • Isaac Watts (1674-1742), hymn writer, educationalist and poet
  • Susanna Wesley (1669-1742), mother of John Wesley, founder of Methodism
  • George Whitehead (1636-1723), Quaker leader and author of memoir, The Christian Progress of George Whitehead
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