The Traveler… digging into his job…

April 5, 2018 by  
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Earlier this week I journeyed to London, England, by the way of The Post Boy dated April 1, 1718. I found the reporting of a recent court, called Assize, where the grave-digger got a bit too involved in his work. “On Saturday Night the Assizes ended at Kingston, where 15 Persons received Sentence of Death, among whom are Joseph Oade and Thomas Nightingal. The Grave-Digger of S. Saviours, who was convicted of stealing dead Bodies out of their Graves, was fined 40 s. and two Years Imprisonment…”

It made me ponder. What he did do with the bodies? And what did the others do to deserve the sentence of death and he to be only fined and imprisoned?

~The Traveler

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One Response to “The Traveler… digging into his job…”

  1. Aaron on April 5th, 2018 7:10 pm

    In England people called “resurrectionists” would exhume corpses to give for medical and anatomical research- the legal means of acquiring cadavers was very limited in the 18th century. Interestingly, only few decades after this Post Boy article, a law called the Murder Act was passed, which allowed for convicted murderers like the 15 in this article to be given over for dissection rather than public display. A pretty grim subject all around!

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