A Full, True, and Particular Account of the discovery of no less than
Four Dead Bodies, on Saturday last, in different parts of Edinburgh,
under violent suspicion of one or more of them having been mur
dered,-namely, the body of Alexander Kennedy, fifty.one years of
age, found in Hunter's Close, Grassmarket, with the full particu
lars of his death, the apprehension of a man on suspicion, and a
precognition going on.?the finding of the body of a young woman
in Princes Street, packed up in a box-the finding of the body of
an infant near the Canal Basin, with a stone bound to it by awel
?and the finding of the body of another infant in the Canongate
About one o'clock on Sunday morning, one of the watchmen in the
Grassmarket, found, in Hunter's Close, Grassmarket, the body of a
man, not yet cold, but quite dead.
The body was immediately conveyed to the Police Office, and sub
jected to medical inspection; but it was found that the vita! spark
had for ever fled.
The body was at once recognized to be that of Alexander Kennedy,
a sort of itinerant barber, well known to almost the whole population
of the City,?he having been many years a drummer in the Edin-
burgh Gentlemen Volunteers. He was afterwards a Serjeant in, the
Army, but for many years past he has again resided in this City, in the
enjoyment of a pension.
The deceased was fifty one years of age, and lodged in a house in
Aird's close, Grass'market, which is the next close east from that in
which the deceased was found lying dead-
There were found in the pockets of the deceased, nothing but-an
old razor and a little tobacco.
From the most careful information we have been able to collect,, it
appears that the deceased had been drinking during a great part of
Saturday in the premises of a Spirit Dealer, near to the spot in which
his dead body was afterwards discovered- He was seen in that situa-
tion during periods of the day by some of his fellow lodgers and other
persons and it is alleged that at night he was seen lying his back
drunk and asleep, on the floor of the Spirit dealer's premises-
While the unfortunate man was in this helpless, and (from the
quantity of strong drink be had already swallowed), dangerous condi
tion, it seems that a man had been at once so brutal and so imprudent,
as to pour into his mouth a further quantity of spirits,? mixed, it is
said, with another fluid of a disgusting nature and which decency for.
bids to be named.
Whether the unfortunate man died very soon after this, and while
he was Still lying on the floor of the premises in Which, he had been
drinking,?and whether, after being asccrtained. be dead, he was
then carried out of the spirit shop, and laid down in the situation in
which he was found,?or whether he was still alive, or was supposed
to be still alive, when he was carried out, --or whether he had been
subjected to any further ill usage than that of pouring the whisky,
&.C-, into his mouth,?are, points that are not yet perfectly deter-
The authorities, however, immediately instituted the most prompt .
and careful investigation into the circumstances of the case. At so
late an hour as ten o'clock "last night, the Sheriff and Captain Stuart
were on the spot, inquiring into the facts of the case ; and a precogni- ?
lion will be. taken before the Sheriff this day-
There being circumstances of suspicion about this painful and rather
mysterious affair, an individual was ordered to be taken into custody,
last night, and to abide the consequences of the legal investigation
which is now; giving on.
By those who saw the body of the deceased, when it was laid out,
we are informed that it appeared to be that of a person who had
previously been" in perfect health, -being, though' not tall, strongly
formed, and fat There was a flush on the countenance, as if the blood
had been impelled in to the head by suffocation. The features, however,
were remarkably composed and placid.
The body of an infant, under still stronger circumstances of suspi.
oion than those attending the death of poor Kennedy, was found on
Saturday in Grove-street, or Wellington-street, near the Canal Basin.
There was nothing upon this body except a towel wrapped round its
middle ;?and (very suspiciously) a stone was found between the
towel and the body, pressing on the abdomen.?The remains of the
helpless infant were conveyed to the Police Office, -where they still
On Saturday, also, a coffin containing the body of a dead infant was
found in the Canongate Church Yard, about two o'clock. It is sup-
posed to have been thrown into the Church Yard, over the wall.
And, on Saturday forenoon, upon the arrival of one of the Glasgow
coaches, the Policeman on duty ascertained that a box brought into
the city contained a dead body. He also recognized,, in one of the
persons loitering about, a well known Glasgow resurrectionist. The
resurrectionist he immediately apprehended ; and he employed a por-
ter to carry the box and its contents to the Police O.hce. The body
was found to be that of a stout young woman with red hair.. Decom-
position of the body has proceeded so far, that its smell is very ob
noxious. It still remains at the Poli e Office, with the bodies of Ken-
nedy, and the infant found near the Canal Basin. The resurrectionist
Having denied all knowledge of the matter, was of course set at liberty.
Forbes and Owen Printer,118 High street.
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Probable date published:
1830- shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(235)
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