Coffin (prob. from Saxon Cofa = a cave). "The slight wooden case in which bodies are now interred appears to be of comparatively recent origin; in earlier ages the graves were sometimes lined with slabs of stone, but usually a stone coffin formed of a single block was used, and the body placed in it, either enveloped in grave-clothes, or clad in some particular dress: ecclesiastics were generally buried in the habit of the order to which they belonged, the dignitaries of the Church frequently in their official robes and accompanied with the ensigns of their office, and sovereigns in their robes of state. Numerous stone coffins exist in this country which appear to be as old as the eleventh and twelfth centuries; they are formed of a single block of stone hollowed out to receive the body, with a small circular cavity at one end to fit the head. and they are usually rather wider at this end than at the other; there are generally one or more small holes in the bottom to drain off moisture: these coffins were never buried. deeply in the ground; very frequently they were placed close to the surface, so that the lid was visible, and when within a church formed part of the paving; sometimes, in churches, they were placed entirely above the ground."