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Broadside entitled 'Extraordinary Case!'


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.

Jane Tomkinson was presumed dead, but, although unable to move or speak, she was still fully conscious. She tells how she was at her own funeral and entombed then was stolen away by body-snatchers, who sold her to the medical school for students to practice on. There they performed some painful-sounding galvanic experiments; experiments using electricity, and even began making an incision in her chest. At that moment she came out of her trance and all were astounded.

Burke and Hare were Irish bodysnatchers and murders, who worked in Edinburgh's Canongate area - eventually becoming a local living legend. They hit upon the idea of murdering vulnerable people (in an attempt not to get caught) so that they could sell the bodies for dissection. Hare turned King's Evidence and so was acquitted, but this secured the conviction of Burke, who was hanged on the 28th January 1829.

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Probable date of publication: 1825   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(2)
Broadside entitled 'Extraordinary Case!'
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