Hugh Douglas, Burke and Hare.

Hugh Douglas, Burke and Hare. The Murder Act of 1752 made medical dissection of all executed murderers compulsory. On 28 January 1829, Burke was hanged; thirty shillings being the cost of a good view of the scaffold. Tertius began the dissection and accompanying lecture at 1 o'clock and was (for the day at least) the most popular anatomy lecturer on campus. The scalp was first removed to show the muscles of the upper part of the head; then the skull was cut away to expose the brain. An enormous quantity of blood gushed out, so that by at the end of the lecture at 3 o'clock, the room was like an abattoir with the floor all bloody and trodden upon. Burke's skeleton was carefully preserved, and can still be seen today in the Anatomical Museum in Edinburgh. Hare turned King's Witness and escaped the death penalty.

Hugh Douglas, Burke and Hare. London: Robert Hale, 1973. Med. W880

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