Eccentric Whim…….

One of the joys of the internet is being able to read historical newspapers from the comfort of home. I access these online via Findmypast newspaper collection – as they are included as part of my annual subscription.  Completely fascinated by the interesting snippets that can be found.

Recently whilst researching a family tree for a 70th birthday present I came across the following:-


Stamford Mercury 4 November 1864

Eccentric Whim.- A tradesman of Spalding some

days since ordered an upholsterer in this town to make

his coffin, which the owner purposes making use of dur-

ing his life-time as an article of furniture, and when he

“shuffles of this mortal coil” it is to be the receptacle of

his remains. This coffin is now finished, and is of thick

Spanish mahogany, polished, with double lock, and two

shelves inside forming three compartments. Fixed in an

upright position, it will answer the purpose of either cup-

board or wardrobe, and doubtless will be considered by

the owner a very elegant article of furniture.  The cost,

we understand, will be about 20 guineas. What next !


In fairness, maybe he had the right idea – good solid wood coffins are expensive and end up in the ground or a pile of ashes in a matter of days…….

The cost of 20 guineas in 1864 is now approx £1,525 for a solid mahogany English style casket with split lid rising to £3,019 for polished mahogany with a domed lid.  One of the cheapest coffin options is the Whitby at £457 – which is oak veneered chipboard with rope handles……

Have you decided what you would like? or are you leaving that for the family to decide?

Coffins and caskets

One thought on “Eccentric Whim…….

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