Up to the end of the sixteenth century the body of the suicide was treated with barbarous cruelty. This was the outcome of the canon law rather than the civil law, and the Church still clings to a belief in the efficacy of old-time procedure. Only the other day (February, 1894) the Archbishop of Canterbury said that “the increase of suicide is largely due to the now almost universal verdict of temporary insanity given at coroners' inquests;” and he further referred to the burial of suicides in consecrated ground with former practices. The sole disability under which a suicide now lies is that which he suffers at the hands of the Church, and it is to enable him to escape that that coroners' juries deliberately perjure themselves by finding verdicts of temporary insanity where there is not a tittle of evidence to support such verdicts.
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