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Speaking of Druids

So there’s this guy, who is the reason why cremation is legal in the UK.

William Price (1800–1893). Welsh doctor, Chartist, neo-druid, nutcase.

The Chartists were the first mass labor movement, and when that gig hotted up for Price, he fled to France until things cooled off. There, he spotted a rock in the Louvre with a Greek inscription, which he believed to be an ancient Celtic bard’s address to the moon. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that’s what’s sewn onto his jaunty longjohns there. No word whether he borrowed Joseph Smith’s magic rock for the trip.

So he became a druid. Arch druid. And named his first born Iesu Grist (Jesus Christ in Welsh) just to piss people off.

It worked.

So when the poor baby Jesus Christ Price died as an infant and Price decided to cremate him on a hilltop, there was trouble. Angry pitchfork wielding mob type trouble. An autopsy showed Jesus died of natural causes, so he was just charged with the cremation.

Much to everyone’s embarrassment, it turns out cremation was not actually against any law. Also, Price did a darned good job pleading an anti-burial case.

He walked free. His trial, plus the nascent Cremation Society of Great Britain, led to the Cremation Act of 1902.

Price’s last words were, “bring me a glass of champagne.” He drank it and died. At his request, they cremated him on the same hillside where he had cremated Jesus Christ. Twenty thousand people turned up for the event and they drank the pubs dry.

The end.

June 21, 2012 — 10:29 pm
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