The Grave Robbers of Hope Street

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized, Workhouse
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A sealed iron coffin used as protection against grave robbers

As authorities in Scotland tightened up on the activities of grave robbers, notoriously Burke and Hare who sold corpses for anatomy lessons, the body snatchers moved further afield. The above picture shows a sealed iron coffin in Scotland demonstrating how far people were ready to go to protect their loved ones’ remains.

Number 8 Hope Street became a safer base for the grave robbers. In 1826 John Henderson of Greenock rented the cellar claiming it was for the storage of fish oils. He sent three barrels to the docks ready to be shipped to Leith (Edinburgh’s port). The following day on board the Latona, sailors noticing a horrible stench opened the barrels and found eleven bodies in salt. Then 22 bodies were found in the cellar. Perhaps the workhouse across teh road provided a convenient source of cadavers.

The site of the Number 8 became the convent and college of Notre Dame opposite the Everyman.

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