In Poland, as in other European countries, the second half of the 20th c. brought a significant progress in research on the issues of death and funerals. Analyses undertaken concerned last wills and funerals. Funerals were investigated in the aspect of the ceremony itself and of the role of the family and religious and secular institutions (guilds, fraternities, schools, hospitals, parishes) in it. The issue of the cost of such ceremonies, however, was rather marginalised by researchers. The article explores some possibilities of filling this gap with regard to the class of burghers in the 16th-18th c. Much attention is paid to small and medium towns, which were the majority of urban centres in the Crown of Poland. The issue of funeral costs is illustrated with examples from two towns: Wojnicz in Little Poland (c. 2000 inhabitants) and Bydgoszcz in Kuyavia (c. 4000 inhabitants). The sources used include testaments and probate inventories. Some testaments include instructions concerning the place of burial (church or cemetery) and the way of covering funeral costs: either a particular sum is stipulated or, when no cash was available, some property to be sold is mentioned (e.g. some land, a house, livestock, crops, stocks from a craftsman’s workshop). Some probate inventories, on the other hand, specify burial costs. Among the expenses they list elements of the setting (ringing the bells, candles), payment to the participants of the ceremony (e.g. to women who watch over the body, to the priest for a valediction, to the carpenter for the coffin, with the cost of material and labour specified separately, to the gravediggers), payments to institutions (to the parish for the funeral mass, to the guilds and fraternities participating in the ceremony), and finally donations to the poor in cash or in kind (the most common form was to distribute bread vodka or dinner, or finance a bath). The lists of costs presented in the article, although they include many details, usually do not cover all the expenditure; in some cases the sources only mention “other funeral costs” or omit them altogether (those may include buying a burial place at the cemetery or preparing the body for the funeral). Furthermore, funeral costs are appended to the minority of probate inventories available. Only in exceptional complete documentation concerning a person has survived (a testament, a probate inventory and a specification of funeral costs). Due to all those factors, the data cannot be analysed statistically. Since the data on the financial position of the deceased and their families are incomplete we cannot answer intriguing questions about the real burden of funeral costs for burgher families, the average level of costs in particular towns and regions, or their dynamics in the three centuries in question. However, specifications of funeral costs may be highly useful in studying the sources of income of particular groups of town dwellers: the clergy and sextons, craftsmen (carpenters, tailors), gravediggers, students, the poor, etc
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