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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Singular case of the pursuit of science under difficulties


As the following singular case occurred at a time when the whole of Scotland was struck with terror at the wholesale pillage of churchyards, and the frequent mysterious disappearance of the living, it consequently caused a terrible sensation in Glasgow. In the month of August, 1828, a poor woman in that city was delivered of a child, and on the same evening some female neighbours observed, through a hole in the partition wall of the apartment in which she resided, that her medical attendant made a parcel of the newly-born infant, and placed it below his coat.

When he left the house, they raised the hue and cry after him, calling out, "Stop, thief!" and telling all that they met that the man had a dead child in his possession. An immense crowd soon gathered. The man was attacked; the body taken from him, and only the opportune arrival of the police saved him from being torn to pieces by the mob. The officers took him and the body to the station-house, the people hooting and howling around them. An examination of the body of the infant was made by several practitioners in the city, at the instance of the authorities, and they certified that it had been still-born. The explanation was:—That the young man was a medical student finishing his course, and that the mother had agreed with him that if he attended her during her illness, he should have the body of the dead child for the purpose of using it as he thought proper.


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