William Burke

b2ux

Banned
William Burke



The West Port murders

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Sold the corpses of his victims to provide material for dissection
Number of victims: 17
Date of murder: November 1827 - October 1828
Date of arrest: November 1, 1828
Date of birth: 1792
Victim profile: Men and women
Method of murder: Suffocation
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging in Edinburgh on January 28, 1829




The Burke and Hare murders (also known as the West Port murders) were serial murders perpetrated in Edinburgh, Scotland, from November 1827 to 31 October 1828.

The killings were attributed to Irish immigrants Brendan "Dynes" Burke and William Hare, who sold the corpses of their 17 victims to provide material for dissection. Their purchaser was Doctor Robert Knox, a private anatomy lecturer whose students were drawn from Edinburgh Medical College.

Their accomplices included Burke's mistress, Helen M'Dougal, and Hare's wife, Margaret Laird. From their infamous method of killing their victims has come the word "burking", meaning to purposefully smother and compress the chest of a victim.

Historical background

Before 1832, there were insufficient cadavers legitimately available for the study and teaching of anatomy in British medical schools. The University of Edinburgh was an institution universally renowned for medical sciences. As medical science began to flourish in the early 19th century, demand rose sharply, but at the same time, the only legal supply of cadavers—the bodies of executed criminals—had fallen due to a sharp reduction in the execution rate in the early 19th century, brought about by the repeal of the Bloody Code.

Only about 2 or 3 corpses per year were available for a large number of students. This situation attracted criminal elements who were willing to obtain specimens by any means. The activities of body-snatchers (also called resurrectionists) gave rise to particular public fear and revulsion. It was a short step from grave-robbing to anatomy murder.

Burke and Hare

Burke (1792 – 28 January 1829) was born in Urney, near Strabane, in the very west of County Tyrone, part of the Province of Ulster in the north of Ireland. After trying his hand at a variety of trades and serving as an officer's servant in the Donegal Militia, he left his wife and two children in Ireland and emigrated to Scotland about 1817, working as a navvy for the Union Canal. There he met Helen M'Dougal. Burke afterwards worked as a labourer, weaver, baker and a cobbler.

Hare's (born 1792 or 1804) birthplace is variously given as Poyntzpass near Newry, or Derry, both of which are also in the Province of Ulster in Ireland. Like Burke, he emigrated to Scotland and worked as a Union Canal labourer. He then moved to Edinburgh, where he met a man named Logue, who ran a lodging-house in the West Port. When Logue died in 1826, Hare married Margaret Laird, Logue's widow. Margaret Hare continued to run the lodging house, and Hare worked on the canal.

[note on the origins of Hare from the Newry Telegraph 31 March 1829]

Hare the Murderer. On Friday evening last Hare the murderer called in a public house in Scarva accompanied by his wife and child and having ordered a naggin of whiskey he began to enquire for the welfare of every member of the family of the house, with well affected solicitude. However, as Hare is a native of this neighbourhood, he was very soon recognised and ordered to leave the place immediately, with which he complied after attempting to palliate his horrid crimes by describing them as having been the effects of intoxication. He took the road towards Loughbrickland followed by a number of boys yelling and threatening in such a manner as obliged him to take through the fields with such speed that he soon disappeared whilst his unfortunate wife remained on the road imploring forgiveness and denying, in the most solemn manner, any participation in the crimes of her wretched husband. They now reside at the house of an uncle of Hare’s near Loughbrickland. Hare was born and bred about one half mile distant from Scarva in the opposite county of Armagh and shortly before his departure from this country he lived in the service of Mr Hall, the keeper of the eleventh lock near Poyntzpass. He was chiefly engaged in driving the horses which his master employed in hauling lighters on the Newry Canal. He was always remarkable for being of a ferocious and malignant disposition, an instance of which he gave in the killing of one of his Master’s horses, which obliged him to fly to Scotland where he perpetrated those unparalleled crimes that must always secure him a conspicuous page in the annals of murder. (Correspondence of The Northern Whig).

Murders

In late 1838, Burke and M'Dougal moved into Tanner's Close, in the West Port area of Edinburgh, where Margaret Hare kept a lodging-house. Burke had met Margaret on previous trips to Edinburgh, but it is not known whether he was previously acquainted with Hare. Once Burke arrived in Tanner's Corner, they became good friends.

According to Hare's later testimony, the first body they sold was that of a tenant who had died of natural causes, an old army pensioner who owed Hare £4 rent. Instead of burying the body, they filled the coffin with bark and brought the cadaver to Edinburgh University, looking for a purchaser. According to Burke's later testimony, a student directed them to Surgeon's Square where they sold the body for £7.10s to Dr. Robert Knox, a local anatomist.

Burke and Hare's first murder victim was a sick tenant, Joseph the Miller, whom they plied with whisky and then suffocated. When there were no other sickly tenants, they decided to lure a victim from the street. In February 1828, they invited pensioner Abigail Simpson to spend the night before her return to home. Using the same modus operandi, they served Simpson alcohol with the intention of intoxicating her, and then smothered her. They were paid £10.

Hare's wife, Margaret, invited a woman to the inn, plied her with drink, and then sent for her husband. Next, Burke encountered two women in the section of Edinburgh known as the Canongate, Mary Patterson and Janet Brown. He invited them to breakfast, but Brown left when an argument broke out between M'Dougal and Burke. When she returned, she was told that Patterson had left with Burke; in fact, she, too, had been taken to Dr. Knox's dissecting rooms. The two women were described as prostitutes in contemporary accounts. The story later arose that some of Knox's students recognized the dead Patterson.

The next victim was an acquaintance of Burke, a beggar woman called Effie. They were paid £10 for her body. Then Burke "saved" a woman from police by claiming that he knew her. He delivered her body to the medical school just hours later. The next two victims were an old woman and her blind grandson. While his grandmother died from an overdose on painkillers, Hare took the young boy and stretched him over his knee, then proceeded to break his back. Both bodies were ultimately sold for £8 each. The next two victims were Burke's acquaintance "Mrs. Ostler" and one of M'Dougal's relatives, Ann Dougal.

Another victim was Elizabeth Haldane, a former lodger who, down on her luck, asked to sleep in Hare's stable. Burke and Hare also murdered her daughter Peggy Haldane a few months later.

Burke and Hare's next victim was an even better-known person, a mentally retarded young man with a limp, named James Wilson, called "Daft Jamie", who was 18 at the time of his murder. The boy resisted, and the pair had to kill him together. His mother began to ask for her boy. When Dr. Knox uncovered the body the next morning, several students recognized Jamie. His head and feet were cut off after Knox had shown his students the body. Knox denied that it was Jamie, but he apparently began to dissect the cadaver's face first.

The last victim was Marjory Campbell Docherty. Burke lured her into the lodging house by claiming that his mother was also a Docherty, but he had to wait to complete his murderous task because of the presence of lodgers James and Ann Gray. The Grays left for the night and neighbours heard the sounds of a struggle.

Detection

The next day, Ann Gray, who had returned, became suspicious when Burke would not let her approach a bed where she had left her stockings. When the Grays were left alone in the house in the early evening, they checked the bed and found Docherty's body under it. On their way to alert the police, they ran into M'Dougal who tried to bribe them with an offer of £10 a week. They refused.

Burke and Hare had removed the body from the house before the police arrived. However, under questioning, Burke claimed that Docherty had left at 7:00 a.m., while M'Dougal claimed that she had left in the evening. The police arrested them. An anonymous tip-off led them to Knox's classroom where they found Docherty's body, which James Gray identified. William and Margaret Hare were arrested soon thereafter. The murder spree had lasted twelve months.

When an Edinburgh paper wrote about the disappearances on 6 November 1828, Janet Brown went to the police and identified her friend Mary Patterson's clothing.

The evidence against the pair was not overwhelming, so Lord Advocate Sir William Rae offered Hare immunity from prosecution if he confessed and agreed to testify against Burke. Hare's testimony led to Burke's death sentence in December 1828. He was hanged on 28 January 1829, after which he was publicly dissected at the Edinburgh Medical College.

The dissecting professor, Alexander Monro, dipped his quill pen into Burke's blood and wrote "This is written with the blood of Wm Burke, who was hanged at Edinburgh. This blood was taken from his head." His skeleton, death mask, and items made from his tanned skin are displayed at the college's museum.

M'Dougal was released, since her complicity to the murders was not provable. Knox was not prosecuted, despite public outrage at his role in providing an incentive for the 16 murders. Burke swore in his confession that Knox had known nothing of the origin of the cadavers.

Aftermath

M'Dougal returned to her house but was attacked by an angry mob. She may have returned to her family in Stirling. She was rumoured to have left for Australia where she died around 1868. Margaret Hare also escaped lynching and reputedly returned to Ireland. Nothing more is known about her.

Hare was released in February 1829, and many popular tales tell of him as a blind beggar on the streets of London, having been mobbed and thrown in a lime pit. However, none of these reports were ever confirmed. The last known sighting of him was in the English town of Carlisle.

Knox kept silent about his dealings with Burke and Hare, and he continued to employ Edinburgh body-snatchers while lecturing on anatomy. After the Anatomy Act was passed in 1832, his popularity among students decreased. His applications for formal positions in the Edinburgh Medical School were rejected. He moved to the Cancer Hospital in London and died in 1862.

Political consequences

The murders highlighted the crisis in medical education and led to the subsequent passing of the Anatomy Act 1832, which expanded the legal supply of medical cadavers to eliminate the incentive for such behaviour. About the law, the Lancet editorial stated:

Burke and Hare ... it is said, are the real authors of the measure, and that which would never have been sanctioned by the deliberate wisdom of parliament, is about to be extorted from its fears ... It would have been well if this fear had been manifested and acted upon before sixteen human beings had fallen victims to the supineness of the Government and the Legislature. It required no extraordinary sagacity, to foresee that the worst consequences must inevitably result from the system of traffic between resurrectionists and anatomists, which the executive government has so long suffered to exist. Government is already in a great degree, responsible for the crime which it has fostered by its negligence, and even encouraged by a system of forbearance.

In media portrayals and popular culture

Up the close and down the stair,
But and ben with Burke and Hare.
Burke’s the butcher, Hare’s the thief,
Knox, the boy who buys the beef.
—19th-century Edinburgh jumping-rope rhyme

Folk tales about "Burkers" attacking travelers, especially children, to sell their cadavers are still common in Scotland.

The Burke and Hare murders are referenced in Robert Louis Stevenson's short story, "The Body Snatcher", which portrays two doctors in Robert Knox's employ responsible for buying the corpses from the killers.

The 1945 film The Body Snatcher, directed by Robert Wise, stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. The murders were adapted into a 1948 film with the working title Crimes of Burke and Hare; however, the British Board of Film Censors deemed its topic too disturbing and insisted that references to Burke and Hare be excised. The film was redubbed with alternative dialogue and characters, and was released as The Greed of William Hart.

Dylan Thomas' 1953 screenplay, The Doctor and the Devils, is a retelling of the Burke and Hare murder story, in which the names of the characters were altered. It was realised as a film in 1985 which starred Timothy Dalton as Dr Rock (Thomas' characterisation of Dr Knox) and was directed by Freddie Francis.

The 1960 film The Flesh and the Fiends starred Peter Cushing as Knox, Donald Pleasence as Hare and George Rose as Burke. The following year, The Anatomist featured Alastair Sim as Knox.

A 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone called The New Exhibit features Burke and Hare along with several other historical murderers who are exhibits in a wax museum. At the end of the episode we are not sure if the wax figures are responsible for murders committed during the episode or if it's part of a psychosis of the museum curator played by Martin Balsam.

The 23 November 1964 episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, "The McGregor Affair" featured Burke and Hare as characters. Andrew Duggan starred as McGregor, a man who hauls items for Burke and Hare. Burke was played by Arthur Malet, and Hare by Michael Pate.

The 1971 film Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde transported Burke and Hare into the late Victorian era and portrayed them as being employed by Dr. Jekyll. Burke was played by Ivor Dean and Hare by Tony Calvin.

The 1972 film Burke & Hare starred Derren Nesbitt as Burke and Glynn Edwards as Hare.

The 2004 Doctor Who audio drama Medicinal Purposes placed the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) amidst the events of the murders; the play featured Leslie Phillips as Dr. Knox and David Tennant as Daft Jamie.

Burke and Hare, a film loosely based upon the historical case, starring Simon Pegg as Burke and Andy Serkis as Hare, and directed by John Landis, began filming in early 2010, and was released in the UK on 29 October 2010. A North American release date is forthcoming.

The American death metal band Macabre releases an album in 2011 entitled Grim Scary Tales, which features a song entitled 'Burke And Hare.'

Further reading

Howard, Amanda; Martin Smith (2004). "William Burke and William Hare". River of Blood: Serial Killers and Their Victims. Universal. ISBN 1581125186

Adams, Norman (2002). Scottish Bodysnatchers. Goblinshead. ISBN 1899874402.

Bailey, Brian (2002). Burke and Hare: The Year of the Ghouls. Mainstream. ISBN 1840185759.

Conaghan, Martin; Pickering, Will (2009). Burke and Hare. Insomnia Publications. ISBN 1905808127.

Douglas, Hugh (1973). Burke and Hare. Hale. ISBN 070913777X.

Edwards, Owen Dudley (1993). Burke and Hare. Mercat Press. ISBN 1873644256.

MacDonald, Helen (2005). Human Remains: Episodes in Human Dissection. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0522851576.

Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt; Simpson, Allen D.C. (1994). "The West Port Murders and the Miniature Coffins from Arthur's Seat". Book of the Old Edinburgh Club. 3. The Old Edinburgh Club. pp. ns 63–81.

Richardson, Ruth (1987). Death, Dissection and the Destitute. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7102-0919-3. Retrieved 16 July 2010

Rosner, Lisa (2009). The Anatomy Murders: Being the True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh's Notorious Burke and Hare and of the Man of Science Who Abetted Them in the Commission of Their Most Heinous Crimes. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 9780812241914.

Roughead, William; Sante, Luc (2000). "The West Port Murders". Classic Crimes: A Selection from the Works of William Roughead. New York Review of Books. ISBN 0940322463


Burke and Hare

Hard working Irish immigrants by day, scheming murderers by night - William Burke and William Hare were a unique pair of criminals who made a profit from providing dead bodies to the anatomy students of 19th century Edinburgh.

Edinburgh's population of university students and practicing anatomists created a unique market for fresh corpses that prompted Burke and Hare to enter into an illegal trade.

Acting on a strict code of 'no questions asked', the financial rewards of Burke and Hare's crimes led to a series of 16 murders spanning a period of just under a year. And had the two criminals not allowed their greed to consume them, they may never have been caught.

Murder for money

In early 19th century Britain, the law stated that only the bodies of executed criminals could be used for autopsy purposes. But with the ever-growing popularity of anatomy studies, the demand for fresh corpses soon outstripped the supply and grave robbing became common practice among criminals who wanted to earn an easy pound.

Murder for money is not an original concept by any means, but Burke and Hare had a new perspective on killing for financial gain. Unusually, they had little interest in the wealth of their victims, all they needed was a fresh corpse to sell.

Burke and Hare are reported to have first met in Edinburgh, after both men had left their native Ireland to work on the Union Canal in Scotland. However, it was not until Burke moved from Leith to West Port, with his partner Helen McDougal, that he and Hare actually met.

Hare (pictured right) had settled at a boarding lodge with a recently widowed woman named Margaret, the two had struck up a relationship soon after her husband's death and they ran the lodge as if they were a married couple.

After a chance meeting, it was Margaret who introduced Helen and Burke to her partner and the couple soon became paying lodgers. The two couples were never the best of friends, but their love for drinking and easy moneymaking schemes made them a murderous match. Ultimately, their real dislike for one another would lead to their downfall.

A cunning plan

In 1827, one of Hare's lodgers, an old man named Donald, fell ill and died. His death was of no real concern to Hare except that Donald owed him £4 in rent. Such was Hare's anger that he began to consider how the dead man could pay off his debt. Aware of the demand for corpses by anatomists, Hare hatched a plan.

On the day of the funeral, Burke and Hare took Donald's body from the coffin and replaced it with a sack of bark. Later in the day they removed the body from the house and took it to the anatomy offices of Professor Robert Knox. They were asked to return after nightfall and on doing so, they were paid 7 pounds 10 shillings for their efforts.

This ready cash made the pair contemplate a risky, but ultimately effortless, moneymaking scheme. Grave robbing was labour intensive and the quality or freshness of a corpse was not guaranteed. However, committing the murder themselves would be an easy way to ensure the supply of fresh quality corpses for sale.

They didn't have to look very far for their first victim.

Another of Hare's lodgers, a miller named Joseph, had fallen ill not long after Donald's death. Though he was not seriously ill, Burke and Hare took it upon themselves to put an end to his suffering.

After several glasses of whiskey with the two men, Joseph passed out. And by holding his nose and mouth closed whilst the other restrained him, Burke and Hare had, by chance, discovered their very own signature murder method. By suffocating the victim, they provided the anatomy students with the fresh, undamaged cadavers that they needed.

From then on, their victims ranged from sickly lodgers to old prostitutes and in the first four months of 1828 their killings were limited to nameless individuals that would cause no questions to be asked.

A close call

However, in April 1828, local prostitutes Mary Paterson and Janet Brown were out drinking and met up with Burke. He invited them back to his brother's where they continued to drink.

While Mary slept off her excessive drinking, an argument broke out causing Janet to leave. She told Burke that she would return for Mary later and went to visit her old landlady Mrs Lawrie. After relaying the morning's events to her old friend, Mrs Lawrie became seriously concerned for Mary's safety and told Janet to return for her at once.

A servant accompanied Janet to the Burke's, but on arrival they were told that both Burke and Mary had gone out. Janet insisted on waiting at the lodgings and asked the servant to return to Mrs Lawrie and tell her the news.

Still suspicious of the whole affair, Mrs Lawrie sent the servant straight back to the Burke's and suggested that Janet must leave. By this time Mary's body was already on the way to Dr. Knox, but thanks to Mrs Lawrie's warning, Janet had escaped a similar fate.

Familiar and unfamiliar faces

Following Mary and Janet's visit to the Burke's house, the next five victims were deliberately chosen so that they wouldn't be recognised by the students and the local community. And it was around this time that the two couples fell out. Burke (pictured right) accused Hare of supplying Knox with bodies behind his back and it was agreed that Helen and Burke would move out on their return from visiting Helen's relatives.

Once they returned, Burke and Hare's greed and apparent laziness drove them to kill much closer to home, this time they picked Ann McDougal, a relative of Helen's, who was lured to the lodging house and killed. Whilst Burke had no qualms about Ann's final demise, he did ask Hare to carry out the killing.

Carelessly, their next three victims were central to the local community and therefore easily recognised by the paying students who attended Dr. Knox's classes.

Mary Haldane was an ageing local prostitute who agreed to partake of a dram at Hare's lodgings. On being told that her mother had been seen with Hare, Mary's daughter Peggy decided to pay his lodgings a visit. On arrival, Hare said that Mary had visited, but had left. He then invited Peggy in for a drink and before long she joined her mother at Dr. Knox's. Both bodies fetched £10 each.

The neighbourhood grew suspicious at these disappearances. Mary and Peggy were familiar faces, but the risk taking didn't end there. Known as 'Daft Jamie', James Wilson was a local entertainer and extremely popular with children. Easily recognised by his deformed foot, he caused quite a stir at Dr Knox's class, yet despite several enquiries, Dr Knox strongly denied that the body was that of James Wilson.

The beginning of the end

The events proceeding their final killing undoubtedly led to the downfall of Burke and Hare. And had their new lodgers James and Ann Gray been of a similar moral disposition, they may have joined the foursome in their criminal careers.

Mary Docherty met with Burke by chance on the morning of Halloween 1828, having convinced her that she and his mother were related to Mary, she returned to the lodgings with Burke for a drink. Burke offered her a room and the Grays were moved out and given a room at the Hare's.

Late that night after drinking and dancing, the Burke's neighbours claimed they heard arguments at the Burke's and a voice calling 'murder'. They set off in search of a policeman, but having no luck and hearing no more shouting, they decided to go home.

The next morning the Grays returned to the lodgings to find Mary gone. Helen claimed that she had been overly friendly towards Burke and they had kicked her out. In truth, Mary was yet to leave the building, as her body was laid under the spare bed and covered in straw.

During the day, Ann approached the spare room and was sternly warned to stay away.

Suspicious of why Burke should be so defensive, James and Ann waited until they were alone in the house and after a brief investigation they found Mary's body.

The Grays immediately confronted Helen, who panicked and offered them £10 a week to keep quiet. The Grays refused and left the house to get a policeman.

Sketchy stories and a seasonal trial

Burke and Helen were taken to the police station for questioning and when interviewed separately their stories didn't match up.

At the same time, an anonymous tip led the police to Dr.Knox's classrooms. Mary Docherty's body was found and later identified by James Gray.

The Hare's were also arrested and slowly the police began to uncover the real reason for the sudden disappearances in West Port. Unsurprisingly, none of the four had the chance to go over their story and Burke blamed Hare for the murders; claiming he knew nothing of what had been happening.

After a month of indecision, the police offered Hare immunity if he testified against Burke and Helen. And on agreement, Burke and Helen were charged with Mary Docherty's murder and Burke with the murders of James Wilson and Mary Paterson.

The trial began on Christmas Eve 1828. Both the Hares testified against the Burkes and several witnesses told of victims they had seen with Helen or Burke prior to their disappearance.

On Christmas Morning, after just 50 minutes of consideration by the jury, Burke was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging and Helen was freed. During the month between Burke’s sentencing and his execution, he made two thorough confessions detailing 16 murders that he and Hare had committed, though the order was inconsistent.

Contrary to popular belief, Burke and Hare were not infamous grave robbers, in fact there is no proof to suggest they ever robbed a single grave.

Hare was released in February 1829 and many popular tales tell of him as a blind beggar on the streets of London having been mobbed and thrown in a lime pit. However, none of these reports were ever confirmed. The last known sighting of him was in the English town of Carlisle.

Helen travelled south, but she never managed to escape her past. According to rumour she moved to Australia where she died in 1868. Margaret is believed to have returned to Ireland, though like Helen she was mobbed wherever she went.



Burke, William (1792-1829); Hare, William (?-?)

SEX: 2M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE: CE

FECHAS: 1827-28

VENUE: Edinburgh, Scotland

VICTIMS:12 minimum

MO: Sold corpses of victims for medical dissection

DISPOSITION: Burke hanged, 1829; Hare immunized for testimony

An account of William Burke, who was executed at Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 28th day of January,
1829, for murder: with the confession he made while under sentence of death.
































 

b2ux

Banned

William Burke



William Burke



William Burke as he appeared at the Bar, taken in Court.



William Burke



Hand-colored engraving of Helen McDougal and William Burke.



Helen M'Dougal, the associate of William Burke the murderer.



Helen M'Dougal as she appeared at the Bar taken in Court



Burke's house from the backcourt.



Ground plan of Burke's house as produced in Court.



William Hare, King's evidence.



William Hare as he appeared in the witness box. Taken in Court.



Hare's wife and child, taken from a sketch furnished by one of the jury.



Margaret Laird or Hare, as she appeared in the witness box, taken in Court.



Dr. Robert Knox c. 1830.



Dr Robert Knox, the surgeon implicated in the West Port murders, c.1830.



Daft Jamie



Mrs. Campbell or Docherty, murdered by Wm. Burke.




Mary Patterson or Mitchell
 

b2ux

Banned




Autograph letter signed by William Burke and dated January 27, 1829.




Confessions, lamentations, and reflections of William Burke, late of Portsburgh, who is to be executed
at Edinburgh, on the 28th January, 1829, for murder, and his body given for public dissection
.





Execution : a full and true account of the last speech and dying declaration of William Burke, who was
executed at Edinburgh this morning, for murder, and his body given for dissection; also of his
conduct and behaviour since his condemnation, and on the scaffold
.





Elegy on William Burke, who was executed at Edinburgh, Jan. 28, 1829.




The execution of William Burke on The Lawnmarket, 28 January 1829.



Execution of the notorius William Burke the murderer, who supplied Dr Knox with subjects.



The execution of William Burke in the Lawnmarket, 28 January 1829.



Phrenology cast of head of William Burke



Burke's (left) and Hare's (right) life masks



Burke's skin pocket book

When the notorious murderer, William Burke, was found guilty and hanged in 1829, his body was publicly
dissected in the University of Edinburgh's medical school, and his skeleton still hangs there for students
to observe. His skin was made into various items, including this pocket book. The pocket book is
currently on display in the Surgeons' Hall Museum.




The skeleton of William Burke
 
Top