Mudcat Café message #173280 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17805   Message #173280
Posted By: Abby Sale
03-Feb-00 - 11:28 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Burke and Hare (ballads about)
Subject: RE: burke and Hare
Some other stuff:

Edinburgh: One of Scotland's great culture heroes, William Burke, was hanged to a crowd of 20,000 on 1/28/1829. His partner, William Hare, had turned him in & thus Hare got off. The crime, of course, was at first bodysnatching. Later on, it was sort of snatching the bodies before they were quite ready for burial.

As I get the story, it was Burke's own fault. Seems Burke was spending some of his earnings on a pretty whore and was caught (non-flagrante) by his wife. Burke protested that she was only a "client," and the wife shouldn't be jealous, he was doing nothing wrong. Naturally he had to follow through and kill her.

The whore was so pretty, however, that she was preserved in whiskey, not dissected, and rented out by the medical school to artists for life studies. In all this genius-like behavior, the police eventually got interested, rattled Hare somewhat who turned in Burke.

In addition to the DT song, there are several others, eg. "Burke's Confession," Grieg, _F-S of the N-E_, #XXXVI