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Your search for body-snatching returned 40 broadsides
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Another church yard pirate
This crime account begins: 'Glasgow, May 1st, 1823.?This morning, another of those disgusting scenes occurred, which produces horror in the minds of the living, and keeps them in anxious suspense concerning the bodies of the departed dead.' It was published by William Carse.
Body-snatching in Edinburgh in 1711
This account begins: 'An Account of the most Horrid and Unchristian Actions of the Grave Makers in Edinburgh, their Raising and Selling of the Dead, abhorred by Turks and Heathens, found out in this present Year 1711, in the month of May.'
Burke and Hare trials
This crime report begins: 'Execution, Confession, and a list of all the Horrid Murders committed by Burke, also the decision of Hare's Case / List of the 16 Murders committed by Burke'. Two woodcuts, one of Burke on the left and one of Hare on the right have been included. The bottom of the sheet also carries a woodcut of Daft or Poor Jamie, one of their victims. The sheet was published by Glass of 9 South Niddry Street, Edinburgh.
Burking Shop Destroyed
This broadside report begins: 'A particular Account of the Extraordinary Demolition of an Anatomical Theatre, at Aberdeen, on Monday last, the 19th December, 1831, which was Burnt and erazed to the ground, in consequence of the sagacity of a Dog.' The sheet was printed in 1831 by Menzies of Edinburgh, and cost one penny.
This report begins: 'Full copy of the Curious Papers which were found under a flag stone at the General Cleaning of the City, near Burke's house, where you have the names of those who were murdered, and sold by him. Together with the prices, and the sums received for each subject.' This sheet was published by Forbes and Co., Printers, Edinburgh.
Confessions made by William Burke
This crime report begins: 'CONFESSIONS MADE BY William Burke. Now under Sentence of Death, in the Calton Jail, for the Horrid Murder of Mrs Campbell, frankly detailing several other atrocious Murders, in which he was concerned along with Hare . . . Extracted from the Caledonian Mercury, 5th January, 1829.' The broadside also contains a poem describing Burke's 'Confessions, Lamentations, and Reflections'. The sheet was priced at one penny.
Confessions, Lamentations, & Reflections of William Burke
Following on from the title, the introductory text continues: 'late of Portsburgh, who is to be Executed at Edinburgh, on the 28th January, 1829, for Murder, and his body given for Public Dissection.' The ballad itself begins: 'Good people all, both great and small, / I pray you lend an ear, / Unto these lines That I have penn'd, / Which quickly you shall hear.' Although there are no publication details included on this sheet, the subject matter suggests that it was almost certainly published in Edinburgh, in January 1829.
Correct Account of the Riots Concerning Stealing Dead Bodies
This report begins: 'Correct Account of THE RIOTS concerning Stealing Dead Bodies, in different parts of Glasgow On Saturday and Sunday, the 1st and 2d of March, 1823, with an account of the Dead Bodies, and the Heads, Limbs & pieces of Human Bodies Found.' This sheet was printed by Mayne & Co. who are known to have had premises in Glasgow around this time. A woodcut representing two coffins adorns the top of the sheet.
Elegiac Lines On the Tragical Murder of Poor Daft Jamie
This crime report begins: 'Gude people all, I pray give ear, to what I now do say, / And buy a copy o' this Poem before I gang away; / It can't now but melt the hardest heart, whoe'er d' read it o'er, / How poor daft Jamie met his death, the like was ne'er before'. The poem was written by J.P. and the woodcut at the top reads 'Alas! Jamie's Pickled'. This second edition sheet was published by W. Smith of 3 Bristo Port, Edinburgh.
This memorial notice begins: 'ELEGY / ON / WILLIAM BURKE, / Who was Executed at Edinburgh, Jan. 28, 1829. / Now Willie Burke he's een awa' / And ta'en his last adieu'. The poem was written by 'A Countryman' and would have cost a penny to buy. It carries a woodcut profile of Burke at the top of the sheet.
This report begins 'A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of W. BURKE, who was Hanged at Edinburgh on Wednesday the 28th January 1829; also, an account of his conduct and behaviour since his condemnation, and on the Scaffold.' The broadside was sold for one penny. It does not carry a date of publication nor the name of the publisher.
Execution of William Burke
This report begins: 'An account of the Last Moments and Execution of William Burke, at Edinburgh, for the West Post Murders. This day, Wednesday 28th Jan. 1829. William Burke underwent the last sentence of the law, for the murder of Mrs Docherty, one of the victims of the West Port Tragedies.' The broadside does not carry the name of the publisher or location of publication.
This report begins: 'A full and Wonderful Narrative of the Extraordinary Sufferings of Mrs JANE TOMKINSON, who fell into a Trance, and was buried alive, a short time ago, in this vicinity--her observations and feelings--her extraordinary escape from the Grave--her wonderful recovery in the Dissecting-Room, in consequence of a galvanic experiment, and happy return to her family and friends.---All as related by Herself.' Published in Edinburgh by James Mathewson, this report sold for a penny.
Extraordinary Occurrence, and Supposed Murder, &c.
This sensationalist report begins: 'An Account of a most Extraordinary circumstance that took place on Friday night, the 31st October 1828, in a House in the West Port, Edinburgh, where an old Woman of the name of Campbell is supposed to have been Murdered, and her Body Sold to a Medical Doctor.' This broadside was printed in Edinburgh, on the 3rd of November, 1828 and sold for a penny.
Hare's Confession and Death !
This crime report begins: 'Awful Death and Confession of HARE, the notorious associate of Burke, the West Port murderer, who died in the parish of Orrey, County of Tyrone, on Saturday, the 29th May, 1841.' This sheet was published by G. Whitelaw
The ballad begins: 'Good people all give ear to what I say, / 'Twill make your very blood run cold, / And fill you with dread dismay, / When the truth to you I've told.' This broadside was priced at one penny. The sheet has had two related articles pasted to it. One is an advertisement for a full report of the trial of William Burke and Helen McDougal, for the murder of Margery Campbell. The other is a short report from the Edinburgh Evening Post claiming that 'investigation into the late criminal transactions has been renewed'.
Jamie Wilson's Mother's Dream
This ballad is prefaced by a woodcut depicting a crest and someone in a coffin, and a verse which reads: 'Poor Jamie ne'er was shrowded, / But in a Tea-chest crowded; / With Coffin ne'er connected, / But by the knife dissected.' Verse 1 reads: 'DARK, dark and drizzly was the night, / And lang lang after gloamin', / When Jamie's Mother lonely sat/ His absence sair bemoanin'.' The poem was written by A. Gowrie. The broadside was published by W. Smith of No. 3 Bristo Port, Edinburgh.
Life and Transactions of the Murderer Burke, and his Associates
This crime report begins: 'The following columns will be found to contain the substance of all the horrid atrocities committed by Burke and his associates, and of all the circumstances connected with that tragical affair.' The broadside also contains four captioned woodcuts, depicting Burke, Hare, Burke's common-law wife Helen McDougal, and one of their victims, 'Daft Jamie'. The sheet cost threepence to buy, and was published by Glass of 9 South Niddry Street, Edinburgh.
Life in Edinburgh!
This broadside begins: 'A full, true and particular account of the narrow escape of a Gentleman from a Den in the Grass-market, who was nearly Burked by a crew of noted characters, well known in this city, he having been seized by the throat by a man and a number of women, who, after losing his coat-tails, and being severely wounded, with difficulty made his escape - (Told by Himself)'.
Lines Supposed to have Been Written by Mrs Wilson, Daft Jamie's Mother
Following on from the title, the prologue continues: 'On ascertaining the Way and Manner her son had been basely murdered in the [W]est Port, by WILLIAM BURKE and WILLIAM HARE.' The ballad begins: 'O my son, why did you wander, / Why so far away from home'. Although there are no publication details included on this sheet, the subject matter suggests that it was almost certainly published in Edinburgh, in 1829. To the left of the ballad is an eye-witness report, describing how a Glasgow mob pelted William Hare's wife with stones.
Mary, the Maid of the Inn
Verse 1: 'Who is she, the poor maniac, whose wildly fix'd eyes / Seem a heart overcharg'd to express? - / She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs; / She never complains; but silence implies / The composure of settled distress.' This poem was published on 3rd July 1869 by the Poet's Box in Glasgow, priced one penny. At the foot of the sheet it is noted 'The POET is universally admitted to be the cheapest LETTERPRESS PRINTER in the city'. The 'POET' is not named.
New Way of Raising the Wind!
This entertaining narrative begins: 'An account of rather a New and Curious Circumstance that took place at Aberdeen . . . between a respectable Lecturer on Anatomy . . . and a party of Sailors'. This story was sourced from the 'Fife Journal' of Thursday 26th February, 1829 and the 'Montrose Review'.
This broadside report begins: 'Full, True and Particular Account of the seizure of the Body of an Old Woman, on Saturday Night, the 8th instant, at the head of Infirmary Street, on its way to Surgeon's Square; with an acconnt of that Horrid and Awful event which took place at Falkirk where a Woman was carried off by three men and supposed to be Burked.' Although no date of publication is included, the subject matter suggests it was probabably printed in the 1830s. The sheet was published by John Campbell of Edinburgh.
Riot at Dumfries! Hares Arrival
This crime report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Reception of WILLIAM HARE, one of the West Port Murderers, at Dumfries, on Friday morning last, on his way to Ireland!' This report was sourced from the 'Edinburgh Evening Courant' of the 9th February 1829 and the sheet would have cost one penny to buy.
Riot at Dumfries! Hares arrival
This broadside news report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Reception of WILLIAM HARE, one of the West Port Murderers, at Dumfries, on Friday morning last, on his way to Ireland!' Although this sheet does not include the name of the publisher, the story was sourced from 'The Edinburgh Evening Courant' of February the 9th, 1829, and cost one penny.
Riot in Stirling, 1823
This news report begins: 'An account of a serious riot which took place in Stirling on Saturday the 19th April, 1823. when two disturbers of the Dead were almost torn to pieces by the populace, and a party of soldiers being brought from the Castle to quell the riot, fired on the mob, when several persons were wounded.'
Riot outside Dr. Robert Knox?s house, Edinburgh over Burke and Hare
This report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Riot which took place in Edinburgh on Thursday last ; also of the Hoax played off on a Celebrated Doctor.'
Robbery of Dead Bodies
This report begins: 'An account of that woman who died in Jamaica Street, Edinburgh, on the 3d Feb. 1825, and after being coffined the room was entered by a window, the corpse stolen and the coffin filled with stones; also the apprehension of a resurrection man in Haddington church-yard with the instruments employed for lifting the dead. Likewise an account of the discovery of the body of a man in a trunk, by a porter at Pettycur while carrying it to the steamboat, on Tuesday the 8th Feb. and which had been brought from Dundee on its way to Edinburgh.' It was published by J. Seller of Edinburgh, in 1825.
Rumour of Burking in Leith
This broadside report begins: 'A Full, True, and Interesting Account of the Serious Rumours at present afloat of Two Fish-Women being missed in Leith within a few days past, and of their bodies having been found hidden in a barrel, -- as also of the apprehension of the suspected individual.' The sheet was published by George Craig of Edinburgh, and cost one penny.
The --- ---'s DREAM; OR THE Devil opposing the Resurrection Men
The first verse reads: 'AT rest on a sofa the --- --- was laid, / Not asleep --- yet a drowziness over him hung ; / Some say that he thought on his bills yet unpaid, / But the notion at this time was certainly wrong.' Unfortunately, no publication details have been included.