Cremation Act 1902 [UK]


Edition: May 2019

[22nd July 1902]

1902 CHAPTER 8 2 Edw 7

An Act for the regulation of the burning of Human Remains, and to enable Burial Authorities to establish Crematoria.

BE it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled,
and by the authority of the same, as follows :

1 Short title.
This Act may be cited as the Cremation Act 1902.

2 Definitions.
In this Act—
The expression “crematorium” shall mean any building fitted with appliances for the purpose of burning human remains, and shall include everything incidental or ancillary thereto.

3 Application to Scotland.
In the application of this Act to Scotland—
The expression “the Local Government Board” shall mean the [F2Secretary of State]

4 Burial authority may provide for cremation.
The powers of a burial authority to provide and maintain burial grounds or cemeteries, or anything essential, ancillary or incidental thereto, shall be deemed to extend to and include the provision and maintenance of crematoria:

5 Site of crematorium.
No crematorium shall be constructed nearer to any dwelling-house than two hundred yards, except with the consent, in writing of the owner, lessee and occupier of such house, nor within fifty yards of any public highway, nor in the consecrated part of the burial ground of any burial authority.

6 Donations of land.
A burial authority may accept a donation of land for the purpose of a crematorium, and a donation of money or other property for enabling them to acquire, construct or maintain a crematorium.

7 Regulations as to burning.
The Secretary of State shall make regulations as to the maintenance and inspection of crematoria, and prescribing in what cases and under what conditions the burning of any human remains may take place, and directing the disposition or interment of the ashes, and prescribing the forms of the notices, certificates and applications to be given or made before any such burning is permitted to take place and also regulations as to the registration of such burnings as have taken place. Each such application shall be verified in such manner as the Secretary of State may by such regulations prescribe. All statutory provisions relating to the destruction and falsification of registers of burials, and the admissibility of extracts therefrom as evidence in courts and otherwise, shall apply to the register of burnings directed by such regulations to be kept .

7A Forms of documentation for burning
The Scottish Ministers may make regulations prescribing the forms of notices, certificates and applications to be given or made before the burning of any human remains is permitted to take place.

7B Procedure for regulations
A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 7 or 7A is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the Scottish Parliament.

8 Penalties for breach of regulations, &c.
(1)Every person who shall contravene any such regulation as aforesaid, or shall knowingly carry out or procure or take part in the burning of any human remains except in accordance with such regulations and the provisions of this Act, shall (in addition to any liability or penalty which he may otherwise incur other than an offence under section 27A(1) of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965 (c. 49) (offence of disposal of body without authorisation]) be liable, on summary conviction, to a penalty not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(2)Every person who shall wilfully make any false representation, or sign or utter any false certificate, with a view to procuring the burning of any human remains, shall (in addition to any penalty or liability which he may otherwise incur) be liable to imprisonment, not exceeding two years.

(3) Every person who, with intent to conceal the commission or impede the prosecution of any offence, procures or attempts to procure the cremation of any body, or, with such intent, makes any application or gives any certificate under this Act, shall be liable to conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

9 Fees.
The burial authority may demand payment of any such charges or fees, for the burning of human remains in any crematorium provided by them, as may be authorised by any table approved by the Local Government Board, and such charges or fees, and any other expenses properly incurred in or in connection with the cremation of a deceased person, shall be deemed to be part of the funeral expenses of the deceased.

10 Saving for coroners.
Nothing in this Act shall interfere with the jurisdiction of any coroner under Part 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and nothing in this Act shall authorise the burial authority or any person to create or permit a nuisance.

11 Incumbent not to be obliged to perform burial service.
The incumbent of any ecclesiastical parish shall not, with respect to his parishioners or persons dying in his parish, be under any obligation to perform a funeral service before, at or after the cremation of their remains, within the ground of a burial authority, but, upon his refusal so to do, any clerk in Holy Order of the Established Church, not being prohibited under ecclesiastical censure, may, with the permission of the bishop and at the request of the executor of the deceased person or of the burial authority or other person having the charge of the cremation or interment of the cremated remains, perform such service within such ground.

12 Fees may be fixed.
In any table of fees respecting burials to be made or approved by the Secretary of State, a fee may be fixed in respect of a burial service before, at or after cremation, and, if no fee is fixed, the fee, if any, fixed in respect of a burial service shall apply.

13 Application of 10 & 11 Vict. c. 65. ss. 52 and 57.
Sections fifty-two and fifty-seven of the Cemeteries Clauses Act 1847 and any similar provisions in any local and personal Act authorising the making of a cemetery, shall apply to the disposition or interment of the ashes of a cremated body, as if it were the burial of a body.

14 Repeal of local Acts.
As from the date at which regulations under this Act come into force, any provisions of any local and personal Act for the like purpose as this Act, and any bye-laws or regulations made thereunder, shall, so far as they relate to that purpose, cease to be in operation.

16 REP

16 Extent of Act.
This Act shall not apply to Ireland.