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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Two Glasgow student resurrectionists and their "sick friend"


DURING the time of the excessive demand for bodies as subjects for dissection, which led to the resurrection outrages and Burke and Hare murders of some two generations ago, two Glasgow medical students, having heard of an interesting case of illness and death at the Mearns, a few miles to the south of the city, determined to obtain possession of the body, in order to find out what it was that had baffled the skill of two such eminent practitioners as Drs. Cleghorn and Balmanno.

Knowing that their expedition might be spoiled by the numerous watchers, they took the most ample precautions against discovery. They purchased a suit of old clothing in the Saltmarket, and with it they drove out to the Mearns. The body they desired was easily raised, and was

carefully dressed in the suit they had provided. Then they placed it between them in the gig, and returned gaily towards the city. The keeper of the Gorbals toll-bar, through which they had to pass, was a suspicious old man, and they thought they might have some difficulty with him. When they came to the bar they halted promptly, and while one was producing the toll-money, the other was attending with the utmost solicitude to what he called his "sick friend," who was, of course, none other than the dead man. The tollman, noticing his efforts, looked at the "sick friend," and remarked sympathetically:

Oh! puir auld bodie, he looks unco ill in the face; drive cannily hame, lads, drive cannily."

Once over the bridge, the students lost no time in conveying to their den the prize they had so ingeniously secured.


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