6 episodes

From anatomy riots to finding cadavers in barrels en route to Edinburgh, this is a true-crime podcast with a difference. Let me take you back to Georgian Britain, into an underworld where the commodities are human bodies and discover a darker practice known as ‘Body Snatching’ - a topic that rarely makes it into the history books. Forget the murderers' Burke and Hare, I’ll share with you tales of real body snatchers - the type of men that history forgot.

DiggingUp1800: The Podcast Suzie Lennox

    • History
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

From anatomy riots to finding cadavers in barrels en route to Edinburgh, this is a true-crime podcast with a difference. Let me take you back to Georgian Britain, into an underworld where the commodities are human bodies and discover a darker practice known as ‘Body Snatching’ - a topic that rarely makes it into the history books. Forget the murderers' Burke and Hare, I’ll share with you tales of real body snatchers - the type of men that history forgot.

    005: Eckford Watch Tower & The Tale Of Dandy Jim

    005: Eckford Watch Tower & The Tale Of Dandy Jim

    In This Episode:

    We travel to the Scottish Borders, to a small village called Eckford and hear a short tale from 1829 that inspired the inhabitants of the parish to build a watchtower in the graveyard in an attempt to keep their loved ones safe. 

    If you'd like to see this episode on my blog so that you can read it instead, you can find it on my website here 

    Although there are specific books for Eckford, this and other stories can be found in the following books, all of which are great starting points if you're new to this darker side of history. 


    Norman Adams - Scottish BodysnatchersBrian Bailey - The Resurrection Men Martin Fido - BodysnatchersGeoff Holder - Scottish Bodysnatchers:  A GazetteerSuzie Lennox - Bodysnatchers: Digging Up The Untold Stories of Britain's Resurrection Men Want a mid-week fix of all things body snatching? Then head on over to my blog at diggingup1800.com

    Twitter @Diggingup1800
    Instagram @Diggingup1800
    Facebook @Diggingup1800

    • 6 min
    004: Making A Killing: How Much Money Did Burke & Hare Make?

    004: Making A Killing: How Much Money Did Burke & Hare Make?

    In This Episode:

    Notorious murderers Burke and Hare made money from their killing spree by selling the bodies of their victims to anatomist Dr Robert Knox. But how much money did they actually make during their ten-month killing period?
    Join me in this episode where I take a closer look at the prices paid for the corpses and tally the final total made by the pair before their murders were discovered just after Halloween 1828.

    Taking Things Further & Recommended Reading

    You can read my blog post that accompanies this episode, Making a Killing: How much money did Burke and Hare Make?  on my website
    If you're interested in reading about the murder of their last victim Mary Docherty you can find my blog post here

    If the London body snatchers are more your thing then why not try my post 'A Week In The Life of A London Body Snatcher' 
    Although there have been many books written on Burke and Hare, the two I mentioned in this episode are:
    Brian Bailey’s Burke and Hare: The Year of the GhoulsOwen Dudley Edwards: Burke and Hare Both are excellent although I found it quite hard to get into Edwards’ book if I’m honest.
    Finally, access to The British Newspaper Archive to look at the trial of Burke and Hare can be reached here, although there is a subscription for this service.

    Want a mid-week fix of all things body snatching? Then head on over to my blog at diggingup1800.com

    Twitter @Diggingup1800
    Instagram @Diggingup1800
    Facebook @Diggingup1800

    • 23 min
    003: The Legend Of Half Hangit Maggie Dickson

    003: The Legend Of Half Hangit Maggie Dickson

    In This Episode:

    The story of Half Hangit Maggie is legendary in Edinburgh's Grassmarket and is a story universally known about the woman who survived a date with the hangman.

    Having come across Maggie's story many times while researching body snatching, I decided to take in more detail at this remarkable woman and retell her story, one more time.  From her time in Musselburgh when her husband deserted her, to the moment she wakes up in her coffin,  join me as I look again at this legendary figure.

    Taking Things Further & Recommended Reading

    If you’d like to see this episode written in full on my blog post, in all its glory with pictures and full links to other blog posts etc. then you can find it here

    I also mention Burke and Hare's victim Abigail Simpson, and you can read the blog post in full here

    I recently came across Alison Butler's book on Maggie 'The Hanging of Margaret Dickson’ and although I've yet to read it, the author interview carried out by Unearthed Podcast sold it to me and it's on my 'must read' list. it is from this book that I discovered the name of Maggie's husband, Patrick Spence.

    An excellent FREE online resource called ‘Inveresk Parish Lore From Pagan Times’ can help you piece together snippets from this Scottish parish.

    The broadside ‘The Particulars of the Life, Trial, Character and Behaviour of Margaret Dickson’ was published in 1813 and has a few glaringly obvious errors, but can be accessed for FREE on the National Library of Scotland website and the section 'The Word on The Street’.

    If you'd like to look at Margaret's story in the newspapers, it often appears in various different snippets. Access to the newspapers is via the British Newspaper Archive (£) and the account retelling the soldier’s experience at the gallows can be found in The Scots Magazine, Thursday, 1 December 1808, page 25

    • 15 min
    002 The Hope Street Body Snatching Scandal : Liverpool

    002 The Hope Street Body Snatching Scandal : Liverpool

    In This Episode:

    In 1826 one of the biggest discoveries of cadavers awaiting shipment to the anatomy schools of Scotland was made at George Dock in Liverpool.

    In this episode, I take a look at the case in more detail, from the bodysnatchers involved to the total body count and even the types of barrels used.

    In the years before murderers Burke and Hare and the discovery of the Italian Boy Murderers in London, the discovery of 33 cadavers at George Dock that day in October 1826, would shake the city to its core.

    Taking Things Further... (In Order of  Appearance)

    If you’d like to see this episode written in full on my blog post, in all its glory with pictures and full links to other blog posts etc. then you can find it here

    This is a very famous case for both Liverpool and within body snatching history so it can be relatively easy to find the odd tale or two about this case.

    The best place to look though has to be on the British Newspaper Archive website, although you do need a subscription to view the articles themselves.

    Marie McQuade's book 'School For Scandal'  is in the Liverpool History Society Journal, 5

    Want a mid-week fix of all things body snatching? Then head on over to my blog at diggingup1800.com
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    • 13 min
    001 Why Did Anatomists Hire Body Snatchers

    001 Why Did Anatomists Hire Body Snatchers

    In this episode: 

    I look at events before the rise of the professional body snatcher, when students and anatomists carried out their own midnight raids in graveyards to get cadavers for the dissecting table. 
    I also look briefly at the most famous body snatching case of them all, the snatching of ‘The Irish Giant’ Charles Byrne in 1783 and then look at how a change in the law in 1788 was the turning point for the anatomists and medical students to head out of the graveyard and back into the dissecting rooms, leaving the way clear for the professional body snatcher to ply his trade.

    Taking Things Further... (In Order of  Appearance)
    If you’d like to see this episode written in full on my blog post, in all its glory with pictures and full links to other blog posts etc. then you can find it here 
    Wendy Moore ‘The Knife Man’:  A superbly written biography on the life of William Hunter, the anatomist who opened a private anatomy school in Great Windmill Street, London and who stole the body of the Irish Giant, Charles Byrne. 
    Martin Fido ‘Bodysnatchers: A History of The Resurrectionists’:  One of the first books on body snatching that I ever bought and I dip into it still nearly every day. 
    Hubert Cole ‘Things For The Surgeon’: A classic,  just like Fido’s work -although now very hard to get hold of and horrendously expensive.   

    If you’d like to read more on the cases discussed in this episode, plus many others, you can find them in my book Bodysnatchers: Digging Up The Untold Stories of Britain’s Resurrection Men’ : since publishing I’ve found many more body snatching cases so I hope you’ll keep joining me on my blog and for more podcast episodes. 
     Ruth Richardson ‘Death, Dissection & The Destitute’: A must for any body snatching fan’s bookcase.  Although over 30 years old now, this work is an absolute classic in the medical history sector and I can’t recommend it enough. 
    'The Diary of A Resurrectionist’ written between November 1811 - December 1812 by a one-time member of the famous London band of body snatchers the Borough Gang. A fantastic insight into the world of body snatching, this little book is an absolute MUST READ. 
    With background information about this dark art, written by James Blake Bailey, Librarian of The Royal College of Surgeons, London in the late 19th century, it’s a great starting point for those new to the subject area and a valuable resource for those with an unhealthy obsession like mine. 
    It’s available as a FREE download on the Project Gutenberg Website or if you’re like me and need to read a hard copy, you can get it easily enough via the link above. 
    Want a mid-week fix of all things body snatching? Then head on over to my blog at diggingup1800.com 

    Twitter @Diggingup1800
    Instagram @Diggingup1800
    Facebook @Diggingup1800

    • 17 min
    DiggingUp1800: The Trailer

    DiggingUp1800: The Trailer

    Let me take you back to Georgian Britain, to an underworld where the goods bartered were human bodies and discover a darker side to medical history  ‘Body Snatching’ - a subject that only makes it into the history books, if you’re lucky.
    From anatomy riots, and bodies being hidden in dung heaps,  to finding cadavers stuffed into barrels and being transported throughout Britain, this is a true-crime podcast with a difference.  
    Forget the murderers' Burke and Hare, in this podcast, I’m going to share with you tales of real body snatchers - the type of men that history forgot. 
    My name’s Suzie Lennox and I have an unhealthy obsession with the Georgian Underworld and a darker side to medical history and the forgotten art of body snatching.
    I’m also the author behind the website diggingup1800.com where I write about the men who dug up cadavers for a living and sold them to the anatomy schools of Georgian Britain, where I share with you the best sites to visit to still see relics from this darker past and discover that no graveyard was safe from a visit from the resurrection men. 
    And now I’m hosting a podcast, where I hope to make my blog posts available to a wider audience. 
    Join me as I chat with medical historians, fellow authors and continue to dig deeper into this macabre practice. 
    Catch up with me on social media @diggingup1800 where I take a closer look at what actually happened during the dissecting season 

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
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1 Rating

marinebiology ,

Bodysnatching research at its best.

Really interesting podcasts to listen to and expertly researched by Suzie. Can highly recommend her book on Bodysnatching if you want to find out more on this fascinating subject.

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