Month: January 2007

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178 years ago today, an Irishman named William Burke was executed in Edinburgh, Scotland. You may never have heard of him, but at the time of his death he was infamous: 'This day, Wednesday 28th Jan, 1829, William Burke underwent the last sentence of the law, for the murder of Mrs Docherty, one of the victims of the West Port Tragedies. At an early hour, the spacious street where the scaffold was erected, was crowded to excess ; and all the windows which could command a view, were previously bespoken, and high prices given for them.' So begins the Broadside which was posted on the streets of Edinburgh in 1829, informing those who could read it that William Burke, one half of the infamous Burke and Hare, had been sent to the gallows and hung until dead. A Broadside, in case you were curious, was the popular means of mass...