Things I’ve Learned – Scottish Funeral Customs

This really blew my mind.

A Scottish funeral was not expected to take place earlier than nine days from the date of death. Otherwise, it was an insult to the deceased.

So, a person died and NINE DAYS LATER he was buried.

This custom lasted until the late 19th century.

The body was placed in the best room in the house/cottage and wrapped in a winding cloth. Women often made their own winding cloths, sometimes in their hope chests, and sometimes as young girls. It was common for a married woman to make her husband’s winding cloth as well. They were stored in chests with the best linen for when they were eventually needed.

Interesting, hmm?

7 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned – Scottish Funeral Customs”

  1. OK, just think about it. During those 9 days, one would never lack for a conversation starter with any guests who may have dropped in. And the winding cloths, you could choose the cloth and the color…..wonder if they would have been in the clan’s plaid? If they lived in stone houses and castles, the cold would have kept things from going bad.

    I do not think I have a home designed for dead bodies in the living room. Actually, my living room wouldn’t mind it, but I would.

    My family background is Scottish. I knew my ancestors were brave but I never realized how brave they truly were.

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    • They must have taken their time to get it very fine, wool can have lumps if in a hurry I’m sure. What if a child died? A mother would give hers over to her child, then remake her own? What if you didn’t care for your spouse? Would his be crappy or would you have to make it good to not be punished or him insisting on yours? I’m sure family pride and face come into play. I do agree they probably waited to make sure they were really dead. Horror films are made from the possibility of being buried alive. Ugh

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  2. My dad was from the south (Mississippi). His father died when he was 11 (from appendicitis – they kept him in bed so long it was really the pneumonia that killed him). They laid him out in there house. My dad would never tolerate flowers in the house because that’s what they used to try to cover the smell!!!

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