Find your ancestors in Yorkshire, Leeds, cremations 1938 - 1969

Learn about these records

Each record contains the transcription of an original record. The information contained varies but you could be able to find out the following about your ancestor:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Year of birth
  • Date of death
  • Date of cremation
  • Crematorium

Discover more about Leeds cremations

There are 25,042 records of those cremated at the Cottingley Hall crematorium in Leeds since just after it opened in 1937 until 1969.

Cremation didn’t become legal in Britain until 1885 although with the population of towns and cities exploding during the Industrial Revolution, the matter of the disposal of human remains was one of great concern.

In the Vienna Exposition of 1873, Queen Victoria’s physician Sir Henry Thompson saw a model of an Italian cremation apparatus, together with a sample of the ashes it produced, and he became a passionate advocate of cremation on his return to England.

Sir Henry saw cremation as a more sanitary way of disposal. He also believed that the method would prevent premature burial, reduce the expense of funerals, spare mourners from unnecessary exposure to the elements during interment and also that urns would be safe from vandalism.

Cremation was declared legal in February 1884 as a result of the trial of Welsh physician, nationalist, Chartist and neo-Druid Dr William Price, who had been prosecuted by Welsh police for cremating his son. The trial judge ruled that cremation was not an illegal way of disposing of a body and opened the way to the opening of crematoria across England and Wales. The first to open was in Woking in Surrey, near London, soon after the judgement.

Cottingley Hall crematorium opened in Leeds in 1937. Leeds is a city in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the north east of England. In the 17th and 18th century the town became a major centre for the production and trading of wool, before developing into a major industrial centre during the Industrial Revolution. The wool industry continued to dominate, but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing and other industries rose in importance.