Body Snatching | St Cuthbert’s Kirkyard, Edinburgh EH1

Mention the watchtower and most people have probably finished with the graveyard’s darker links to the past, but there’s so much more than that if you care to step inside.

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Stealing A Cadaver: How Body Snatcher Removed A Corpse

Time and stealth were of the essence when removing a cadaver, but just how did body snatchers do it with out being detected?

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The Hope Street Body Snatching Scandal, Liverpool

In 1826 thirty-three cadavers were found stuffed into barrels waiting to be shipped from Liverpool to Leith, Edinburgh. But what happened to the gang responsible for the snatchings?

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‘Making a Killing’: How Much Money Did Burke & Hare Make?

Just how much money did Burke and Hare make on their ten month killing spree in Edinburgh? In this post, I've collected the figures together and taken a look.

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Welcome to my Site and the Wonderful World of Body Snatching

If you think you’re about to dive into a website that shares story after story of dull accounts where men simply visited a grave, dug up a corpse then left, think again. This is a blog dedicated to all things body snatching and I hope you won’t be disappointed.

I’m about to share with you the reality of body snatching. To introduce to you to the men that history has forgotten and who Burke and Hare have pushed out of the limelight.

Making Discoveries

I’ll be sharing stories of hampers that are found on the back of coaches and where the smell was that nauseous that officials were more than a little apprehensive about opening the lid.

You’re going to be reading accounts where fluid from a corpse was found oozing out from the corner of the box in which it was stored, all because of delays in shipment.

Not only that but I’ll be retelling stories of body snatchers dressing up cadavers and sitting them at the front of their gig pretending they’re a passenger.

And on occassion sharing stories of when they’ve actually dug up their own relatives for the dissecting table.

‘Dead Ends’

It’s inevitable that all of this searching through historic newspapers digs up a few ‘dead ends’. However, reports on body snatching attempts that have been discovered after the churchyard has been raided don’t always lead to unearthing a juicy case in the archives.

Some snippets are just that, ‘Dead Ends’ but I still think it’s important to share these with you . What’s the point of researching and keeping it all to myself.

You can find all of these snippets in the section entitled ‘Dead Ends’. I don’t elaborate on the posts or try to jazz them up with a back story, they are simply designed to be quick snippets to read if you visit my site but don’t have time to stay too long.

Memento Mori St Andrews Church West Linton Scotland

Prevention

If reading about the cadavers isn’t your thing, then dig deeper to learn the body snatchers modus operandi or click on the following link which will take you to all my posts relating to body snatching prevention.

From the humble pile of sticks that I discuss in my post about body snatching prevention for the poor which you can read here to the more elaborate caged lairs and a coffin collar which you can access here, we’re going to be dissecting all aspects of the body snatching trade.

Even down to how archaeologists are today finding evidence of body snatching in parishes that we didn’t even know were targeted. Not a stone will be left unturned.

I’ve been researching body snatchers since 2005. Reading how men, and occasionally women, dug up freshly buried bodies, knocked their teeth out with a bradawl, stuffed them into a sack, and carted them off to the anatomists ready to be dissected later that morning.

Trust me, there’s nothing dull about body snatching.

Why me…?

You’ll stumble on lots of sites because of your interest in the macabre world of body snatching, and while I can’t promise I won’t share bad photographs with you, I can promise that I’ve done my research.

As a qualified archivist, I can still put my archive training to good use.

I scour the archives and record offices across the country and delve into pages of the British Newspaper Archive whenever I get a free moment.

If I don’t know something, or haven’t been to that archives yet, I’m not afraid to admit it.

Suzie Lennox Digging Up 1800

‘Dead Ends’

While reading through historical newspapers, I’m bound to come across some other interesting stories, some of which just don’t lead anywhere.

There’s a dedicated page on my website where I post all of these ‘Dead Ends’, snippets from newspapers that I find during my research that have led nowhere. Like the quick post entitled ‘The Bone House’ which you can read here which is a typical entry in contemporary newspapers.

I’m about to retell a different side to our ancestors that perhaps they’d hoped had be forgotten.

Taking It Further

If you’re dedicated to the macabre world of body snatching like I am, why not subscribe to my blog via email. I try to post about once or twice a month and I promise not to bombard you with a deluge of irrelevant material!

You can follow me on Facebook and the usual social media sites, but I’m the most active on Twitter and you can follow my account here. There are other links at the top of my bio if you’d like to see more.

Bodysnatchers: Untold Stories

You can read an in-depth account of the background to body snatching as well as more forgotten stories in my book “Bodysnatchers: Digging up the Untold Stories of Britain’s Resurrection Men”.

Bodysnatchers Digging up the Untold Stories of Britain's Resurrection Men. Suzie Lennox

Packed full of references to long-forgotten body snatching accounts, together with images that have been tucked away in County Archives for years, this book has over 15 years worth of body snatching experience behind it and has been thoroughly researched.

If you’d like to discover more about the history of body snatching, you can pick up a copy via Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com and I have placed a link in the sidebar for you to read a preview if you wish.

If you prefer you can also buy my book via AbeBooks.co.uk and this link will take you to the copies available, that said, please don’t forget your local bookshop who I’m sure would be able to order you a copy.

I’d love for you to join me on my adventures, even suggesting sites for me to visit! Please do get in touch if you can recommend your own macabre story, I’d love to hear from you.


This site is owned and operated by Suzie Lennox. Diggingup1800.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies