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Affidavit certifying the burial in wool of Mary Harvey of Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire.

Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire, England, 1680 April 1.
Physical Description:
1 sheet (1 page) ; 31 x 22 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2021 10a
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Archives & Manuscripts
Engraved affidavit, completed in manuscript, certifying the burial in wool of Mary Harvey of Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire: “Elizabeth Harvey & Sarah Waynman of the parish of Gamlingay ... maketh oath that Mary daughter of Francis & Mary Harvey ... lately deceased, was not put in wrapt or wound up or buried, in any shirt, sheet, or shroud, made or mingled with flax, hemp, silk, gold, or silver; or any coffin lined or faced with any cloth, stuff, or ... any other material contrary to [the] late act of Parliament for burying in woolen, but sheeps wool only ...”
Signed off at foot by William Mainstone JP & witnesses John Dackin and Elizabeth Humphrys, with two small red wax seals adjacent to their signatures.
In support of the English wool trade, the Burial in Woolen Acts (1666, 1678, 1680) required that the dead of England should be buried in pure English woollen shrouds and not foreign cloths. An affidavit, as here, had to be sworn in front of a Justice of the Peace by a relative or close associate to confirm that the deceased had been buried in wool. A penalty of £5 was instituted for non-compliance. The macabre engraved border of this document is decorated with a skull and crossbones, hourglasses, spades, pickaxes, and a coffin. A skeleton, with a corpse wrapped, presumably in wool, is illustrated at the foot of the sheet.
Subject Terms:
Burial -- Great Britain.
Death -- Great Britain.
Funeral rites and ceremonies -- England.
Harvey, Elizabeth.
Harvey, Mary, -1680 -- Death and burial.
Waynman, Sarah.
Wool -- England.
Woolen goods industry -- England.
Death certificates.
Blank forms.
Engravings -- 1680.
Burial in woolen affidavits.
Mainstone, William, 1625 or 1626-1683.
Dackin, John.
Humphrys, Elizabeth.
IIIF Manifest:

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