Archaeologists find remains of 800 children


Blackleaf
#1
The bodies of about 800 children aged under six have been unearthed by archaeologists ahead of the construction of a road in Lancashire.

They were among 1,967 bodies exhumed at St Peter's Burial Ground, which opened in 1821 in Blackburn.

The large number of children found is being put down to a lack of good sanitation and medicines leading to a high mortality rate.

Many of them would have died from infections, the archaeologists believe.

Bodies were exhumed from about 30% of the burial ground, which was in "intense use" up to the 1860s, a spokeswoman for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said.


Blackburn archaeological survey: Bodies of 800 young children found


BBC News
26 January 2016


The remains of two people were found in one grave

The bodies of about 800 children aged under six have been unearthed by archaeologists ahead of the construction of a road in Lancashire.

They were among 1,967 bodies exhumed at St Peter's Burial Ground, which opened in 1821 in Blackburn.

The large number of children found is being put down to a lack of good sanitation and medicines leading to a high mortality rate.

Many of them would have died from infections, the archaeologists believe.

Bodies were exhumed from about 30% of the burial ground, which was in "intense use" up to the 1860s, a spokeswoman for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said.


Sixteen coins from 1821 - when George IV was king - were also found


Children were found buried with colourful glass bead jewellery


The skeletons of 800 children were found in Blackburn, Lancashire


Dave Henderson, an expert in the study of bones with Headland Archaeology, said full analysis of the skeletons had "barely started" but the team believed most of the children had died from infections in the lungs and guts.

He said: "They would have died quite quickly so the signs may not turn up in their skeletons."

He said the town was becoming overcrowded at the time as it was "a very large centre for the industrial mills and the population grew very quickly".

The work could "throw light on the lives of ordinary people" outside London, where most previous large studies of this era have been carried out, he said.

Records of 176 memorial stones showed the most common names for girls were Elizabeth and Mary, while John and Thomas were popular for boys.

Among the finds was a "time capsule", containing 16 coins in circulation at the time.

Experts believe one of the men buried at the site was a soldier injured in the Crimean War.


Archaeologists worked on 30% of the burial ground in Blackburn



An artist's impression of the foundations of the Georgian-era church

Julie Franklin, finds manager, said objects found in graves - including "some incredibly poignant findings of hands still bearing cheap brass wedding rings, or children buried with colourful glass bead jewellery" - revealed what was important to their loved ones.

Some burials continued in existing family plots at the graveyard until 1945.

St Peter's Church, which would have seated 1,500 parishioners, became dilapidated in the mid-20th Century and was demolished to ground level in 1976.

The Bishop of Blackburn will hold a memorial service this summer and reburials will take place in a different part of the graveyard.

The archaeological work on the area, which will be used for the building of the Freckleton Street link road, was commissioned by Capita on behalf of the council.

Public health in the 1800s

As the Industrial Revolution developed the population grew and workers' health and welfare deteriorated
The death rate nearly doubled in major cities between 1831 and 1844
This was partly due to a lack of available housing, which caused widespread disease and poor health
A movement toward sanitary reform led to the establishment of public health institutions
The Poor Law Commission argued that spending on preventative measures would ultimately amount to less than the costs of disease

Source:
Encyclopaedia Britannica



Blackburn archaeological survey: Bodies of 800 young children found - BBC News
 
Ludlow
#2
that's morbid why would you post something like this?
 
Blackleaf
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Ludlow View Post

that's morbid why would you post something like this?


It's an archaeological dig.
 
EagleSmack
#4
Because a road is going in.
 
JLM
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

The bodies of about 800 children aged under six have been unearthed by archaeologists ahead of the construction of a road in Lancashire.

They were among 1,967 bodies exhumed at St Peter's Burial Ground, which opened in 1821 in Blackburn.


Blackburn archaeological survey: Bodies of 800 young children found - BBC News


Any clues yet as to who did it?

Quote: Originally Posted by Ludlow View Post

that's morbid why would you post something like this?


Why does Blackie do a lot of things?
 
Curious Cdn
#6
It was probably the grounds of a fukcing Catholic school.
 
JLM
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

It was probably the grounds of a fukcing Catholic school.


That explains it!
 
Ludlow
+1
#8  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Any clues yet as to who did it?




Why does Blackie do a lot of things?

I dunno I guess it's like to me some lines you really don't have to cross. Maybe I'm neurotic.
 
personal touch
+1
#9
I found the article interesting,
thank you blackie.
 
Ludlow
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by personal touch View Post

I found the article interesting,
thank you blackie.

Good for you.

Maybe he'll find another slaughter of children in antiquity that you may enjoy.
 
Blackleaf
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Any clues yet as to who did it?


It does say in the article:

The large number of children found is being put down to a lack of good sanitation and medicines leading to a high mortality rate.

Many of them would have died from infections, the archaeologists believe.


Quote: Originally Posted by Ludlow View Post

Good for you.

Maybe he'll find another slaughter of children in antiquity that you may enjoy.


It'd help if you read the article.
 
Curious Cdn
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

It does say in the article:

The large number of children found is being put down to a lack of good sanitation and medicines leading to a high mortality rate.

Many of them would have died from infections, the archaeologists believe.

.


Oh, so they probably died in the last couple of decades, then?

Maybe during the Thatcher years?
 
Blackleaf
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Oh, so they probably died in the last couple of decades, then?

Maybe during the Thatcher years?


In the article, it quite clearly states that the burial ground opened in 1861 and some burials continued on existing family plots until 1945.