William Burke and William Hare lived in Edinburgh in 1828. Burke made his money hawking secondhand clothes to paupers, Hare made his by renting his rooms out to lodgers. When one of his tenants was found dead, the pair decided to compensate for the lost wages from the dead lodger by selling his body to the anatomists at Edinburgh University’s Surgeon’s Square. The esteemed Dr. Robert Knox, father of modern anatomy, paid them £7 for the body. The two resurrectionists were told the surgeons “would be glad to see them again when they had another to dispose of.”
Burke and Hare took Knox up on his offer. When a subsequent lodger showed symptoms of cholera, Hare and his wife agreed it would be unseemly to allow her to stay on the premises with other guests. He and Burke smothered the woman and brought her body to the Royal College of Surgeons. This time they were paid £10, and Dr. Knox commended them on the freshness of the body. –A Beginner’s Guide to Body Snatching by MOLLY MCBRIDE JACOBSON

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about body snatchers.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about autopsies and human dissection.

Art Prompt: Bod snatchers

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of body snatchers.

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