St Oswald’s church, Farnham. Times were hard for the wool trade in the latter half of the seventeenth century following the dislocation of the... Be buried in wool ! – or there will be a £5 fine !

St Oswald’s church, Farnham.

Times were hard for the wool trade in the latter half of the seventeenth century following the dislocation of the civil war which had hit exports. Something had to be done. What would oblige people to buy more woollen goods? Someone came up with the idea of requiring everyone to be buried in a woollen shroud – no linen or silk. So laws to this effect were passed in 1668, 1678 and 1680 . (The laws were not repealed until the 1800s though seem to have been largely ignored after initial enthusiasm.)
Scotton was part of Farnham parish at this time and the burial register of St Oswalds record burials in wool from 1678 to 1681. The fact that they were buried only in wool was attested by a friend or relative in front of a JP. There were about 20 burials of Scotton folk during this period. Marmaduke Buckle was one of these. We know something about him from records. He was one of Scotton’s yeoman farmers. He seems to have been fairly prosperous in his younger days, having to pay tax on 2 hearths in 1672. (Only his brother William, the Bainbridges and the Watkinsons had bigger houses.) Perhaps he suffered from the slump in the wool trade. In his will, apart from the goods and chattels in his house, he left only 4 sheep and a little hay.
He died in early 1680/1 and was buried on the 5th of January. The parish register notes that he was buried as the law required ‘without any coffin and without any material then sheeps woole only attested by Anne Wilks before Will. Ingleby’.