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Broadside entitled 'Violating Sepulchres'


This trial report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account, of the Trial and Sentence of Thomas Stevenson, alias Hodge, who is to be Banished for Seven years beyond the Seas, for Wickedly and feloniously Stealing Dead Bodies, particularly that of Janet Moir, from the Churchyard of Larbert, in Stirlingshire, in March last, and for violating the Sepulchres of the dead.' The sheet was published by Robert Forrest in June 1823 and cost a penny.

Stevenson had been previously convicted of violating graves, under the name of Hodge, and had been very badly treated by the people of Linlithgow afterward. It is interesting to note that the judge reprimands the people, saying it is not for them to take the law into their own hands. It is strange that the sheet does not mention what drove Stevenson to commit the crimes or who Janet Moir was. He was sentenced to seven years' transportation.

It is interesting to note that this incident took place a few years before the great body-snatchers, Burke and Hare, begun their spree in 1827 and 1828. After the great publicity involving their case, such acts became known as 'burking'.

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Date of publication: 1823   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(072)
Broadside entitled 'Violating Sepulchres'
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