Horse-drawn hearse, 1894, owned by the Briers family in Whitwick, Leicester. The word ‘hearse’ has its origins in the 17th Century; however the horse-drawn hearse or funeral coach became increasingly important in the Victorian era. Cemeteries were more commonly located on the outskirts of towns and they were the most convenient way to transport the coffin. It was also during this time that the funeral coach began to become more elaborate as the size and splendour of a funeral reflected social standing. Horse-drawn hearses are still used in large funerals today, though they began to phase out of general use in the early 1900s. The first motorised hearses were electric with a petrol powered hearse soon following in 1909.