A Dundee Funeral

A Dundee Funeral

Morning Chronicle: 31 July 1823

Cemetery Gun on the wall of National Trust property Canons Ashby Northamptonshire

A Dundee Funeral – Curiosity drew together a crowd of people on Monday, at Dundee, to witness the funeral of a child, which as consigned to the grave in a novel manner.

The father, in terror of the resurrection men, had caused a small box, enclosing some deathful [sic] apparatus, communication by means of wires with the four corners, to be fastened to the top of the coffin.

Immediately before it was lowered into the earth, a large quantity of gunpowder was put into the box, and the hidden machinery put into a state of readiness for execution. The common opinion was, that if anyone attempted to raise the body, he would be blown up.

The sexton seemed to be in dread of an immediate explosion; for he started back in alarm after throwing in the first shovelful of earth – Scotch Paper

I've been researching the macabre world of body snatching since 2005 when I looked at the topic in depth for my Under Grad dissertation. Since then, I've been absolutely fascinated by this often forgotten side of Britain's history.