✹ About Friday 18 March 1663/64 Robert Harneis on 19 Mar 2017 • Link 'Call no man happy 'til he be dead.'Burial round the church was the norm in Britain and France as far as I know until quite recent times. Problems of space, and in France, the separation of church and state in 1905 changed things. Historically, you were nearer to God the closer in you were buried. For those outside being buried where the water from the church roof fell on your tomb was a plus. 'Women and men separate'. In a remote village in the Lot until recently and maybe still, the men and women from local families, including married couples, sat on opposite sides of the church durng the service. It was considered 'correct' and showing proper respect to visit the house of the deceased and view the body, the night before the funeral, before the coffin was closed. Funerals for the old were quietly jovial affairs with the men all outside discussing the weather, the price of sheep at the local market, whilst the women were in the church doing the right thing. Occasionally one would come out and tell us to keep our voices down. Local squabbles (numerous) were forgotten for the day. Numbers attending were large. Funerals for the unexpected deaths of the young and the very young were not so funny. Occasionally the local shops closed for the afternoon out of respect. Sometimes everybody was invited to the house for a drink and something to eat. All pretty similar to Tom's funeral and no doubt rapidly passing away along with the accompanying 10,000 year old agricultural society.