"At Hathern, as late as 1890, the incumbent stopped a funeral procession, though due notice had been given, and before admitting it to the churchyard demanded fees and a certificate. An apology being refused, a summons was issued. The case got into court, but the summons was withdrawn when the incumbents legal representative expressed "unfeigned regret" and apologies for the breach of the law and pain caused to the relatives of the deceased. To their expressions of gratification about the legal proceedings, the Deputies added that they had learnt "with astonishment" of the "most offensive letters" written by the Rev. E. Smythies to their Secretary and to the minister who officiated. He had grossly misrepresented the proceedings in court and made defamatory statements declared by his Diocesan to be "altogether unfounded". The Deputies drew the moral: burial grounds ought not to be left in the care of clergymen "who are subject to no authority which can effectually restrained them from the commission of acts of illegality and intolerance"

Source ; Google books

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