March 28, 2009

Aberdeen, 1869: A doctor buying a corpse for dissection gets more than he bargained for. This "frolicsome" story was widely reported; much was made of the fact that the central figure was a "daring man of colour." The incident became the subject of a popular broadside ballad (click the magnifying glass in the corner to enlarge.)

The sailors' scheme was inspired by talk of "Burke and his associates", purveyors of corpses who had turned to murder instead of the more usual method of resurrection. Burke had been hanged in January of that year.

  • That Burke and associates link is really fascinating. It's a really good example of how web sites can be used to weave together evidence to make a really accessible and engrossing historical exhibit.
  • ... the whole crew, " gloriously fu', returned to their. Vessel, which sailed next morning. Effed up, does it mean, or is there something missing (like "llfilled")? This tale of derring-do seems worthy of Glencannon!
  • possibly dialect for 'full' which in my Scottish family was a term used for being very drunk.
  • What shall we do with do with a drunken sailor, earl-eye in the morning? Sell 'im as a corpse to a dodgy doctor Sell 'im as a corpse to a dodgy doctor Sell 'im as a corpse to a dodgy doctor, earl-eye in the morning. Way-hay and up (s)he rises!
  • *hoists beer mug in islander's general direction*