Diary of a Body-Snatcher

In the 19th century, medical education was making great strides, and professors needed cadavers for demonstrations and lectures. However, the only legal way to procure bodies was after criminal executions, and there weren't enough of them. This gave rise to the profession of body-snatching, and grave robbers could make a pretty penny for their clandestine efforts. A "Resurrection Man" named Joseph Naples was one of the rare body-snatchers to keep a diary of his work. An excerpt:

13th January 1812

Took 2 of the above to Mr Brookes & 1 large & 1 small to Mr Bell. Foetus to Mr Carpue. Small to Mr Framton. Large small to Mr Cline. Met at 5, the Party went to Newington. 2 adults. Took them to St Thomas’s.

Large and small refer to adult and child corpses. The diary is in the possession of the Hunterian Museum in London. Read more about it at Atlas Obscura. Link


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