"it having been an invariable rule to bury such lost sinners before the rising of the sun"

Since it signified the abandonment of faith and renunciation of God’s gifts, committing suicide meant being deprived of a Christian burial. Corpses were instead buried at night at the juncture of a crossroads – or, as in Robert’s case, of land boundaries. This was based on the superstition that the troubled souls of suicides posed a high risk of returning to wreak havoc upon the living and that such measures would prevent them from doing so. No doubt burying the body in a liminal area of no particular name also served to reinforce the marginal position of suicides in the moral and social order.