Interments (felo de se) Act 1882

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The Interments (felo de se) Act 1882[1]
Long title An Act to amend the law relating to the interment of any person found felo de se.
Citation 45 & 46 Vict c 19
Territorial extent England and Wales and the Channel Islands.[2]
Royal assent 3 July 1882
Commencement 3 July 1882[3]
Repealed 3 August 1961
Other legislation
Repealed by The Suicide Act 1961, s 3(2) & Sch 2
Status: Repealed

Interments (felo de se) Act 1882 (45 & 46 Vict c 19) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Before this Act, a person found felo de se could be buried in a churchyard only between 9 and 12pm, and without rites. This Act sanctioned burial at any hour, and with the usual rites.[4]

Sir James Stephen said that the Act was so worded as to lead any ordinary reader to suppose that till it passed suicides were buried at a cross road with a stake through their bodies.[5]

The repeal of this Act was consequential on the abolition of felo de se.

Section 3[edit]

This section allowed interment to be made in any way prescribed or authorised by the Burial Laws Amendment Act 1880. By section 13 of that Act, any clergyman of the Church of England authorised to perform the burial service was permitted, in any case where the office for the burial of the dead according to the rites of the Church of England might not be used, to use at the burial ground such service, consisting of prayers taken from the Book of Common Prayer and portions of the Holy Scripture, as might be prescribed or approved by the Ordinary.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  • Halsbury's Statutes,
  • The Public General Statutes, passed in the forty-fifth and forty-sixth years of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, 1882. Queen's printer. London. 1882. Page 48.
  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 6 of this Act.
  2. ^ Interments (felo de se) Act 1882, section 5
  3. ^ The Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act 1793
  4. ^ Peck, H T and Peabody, S H and Richardson C F. The International Cyclopedia: A Compedium of Human Knowledge. Dodd, Mead and Company. 1892. Volume 14. Page 59.
  5. ^ Stephen, J F. A History of the Criminal Law of England. 1883. Volume 3. Page 105.
  6. ^ Burial of a Person Found "Felo de se" (1906) 50 Sol Jo 147 to 148
  7. ^ The Law Times. 1893. Volume 96. Page 408.

External links[edit]