The archbishop was one of the "undertakers" who controlled the Irish House of Commons, and although he did not regain the almost dictatorial power he had exercised at an earlier period, which had suggested a comparison between him and Cardinal Wolsey, he continued to enjoy a prominent share in the administration of Ireland until his death, which occurred in London on the 19th of December 1764.
The reply of the Colonial Office contained the following statements of general policy: - " With the progressive development of society the tendency is to enlarge the functions and widen the sphere of action of the central government as well as of the local authorities, and to claim for them a more or less exclusive use of powers, and the performance of services where the desired result is difficult to attain through private enterprise, or where the result of entrusting such powers or services to private enterprise would be detrimental to the public interest, through their being in that event necessarily conducted primarily for the benefit of the undertakers rather than of the public. This tendency is specially manifested in cases where from the magnitude or other conditions of the enterprise the public is deprived of the important safeguard of unrestricted competition..
The undertaking, once approved, is regarded as a work of public utility, and the undertakers are invested with all the rights that a public department would have in the case of the carrying out of public works.
Libitina was the goddess of funerals; her officers were the Libitinarii our undertakers; her temple in which all business connected with the last rites was transacted, in which the account of deaths - ratio Libitinae - was kept, served the purpose of a register office."
They have now been relegated to the warehouses of undertakers, where they serve as bearers for folks too poor to employ cat~ialques, their place on the roads and in the streets having been completely taken by the jinrikisha, a two-wheeled vehicle pulled by one or two men who think nothing he of running 20 m.
Here the undertakers (libitinarii), who carried out all funeral arrangements by contract, had their offices, and everything necessary was kept for sale or hire; here all deaths were registered for statistical purposes.
Though now free from constitutional control it was no less subject than before to the influence of corruption, which the English government had wielded through the Irish borough owners, known as the "undertakers," or more directly through the great executive officers.
The House was enraged at the supposed project (then much misunderstood) of the " Undertakers "; objection was taken to Bacon being elected or serving as a member while holding office as attorney-general; and, though an exception was made in his favour, it was resolved that no attorneygeneral should in future be eligible for a seat in parliament.
The system of road-building by private enterprise, the undertakers being rewarded by tolls levied from vehicles, persons or animals using the roads, was established in England in 1663, when an act of Charles II.
Outside the house, beyond the gates, a group of undertakers, who hid whenever a carriage drove up, waited in expectation of an important order for an expensive funeral.