Diary of Resurrectionist, Saturday 14th December 1811

Saturday 14th.
Went to Bartholomew took’d two Brookes : Pack’d 4 and sent them to Edinborough, came Home to Ben’n , settled £14 6s. 2 1/2 d. each man, came home, got up at 2 me Jack & Bill went to Bunhill Row and got 3. Ben & Daniel staid at home.

Miss Parkinson

Delivered 2 bodies from the Bartholomew’s store to Brookes, sent 4 to Edinburgh by coach, settled up for a considerable sum, and raised 3 bodies at Bunhill Row.

A regular feature of Saturdays is the boxing up of corpses and sending them by coach to Edinburgh, where bodies were harder to come by. There are several stories from the 19th century press of bodies being discovered by various authorities while in transit across the land or the water, often when the travelling was taken some time and the smell of the cargo became noticeable…

According the National Archive’s currency converter, which allows you to convert sums of money from the past into modern money and make a rough estimation of contemporary buying power, Mr Naples’ share of the money was worth about £485, the equivalent of a rough 95 days of labour for someone in the building trade, and just around half the annual yearly wage of an ordinary nurse. Each member of the gang received this money. If it’s assumed there are 5 members of the gang – Naples, Crouch, the 2 Harnetts, Butler – then the total sum of money being divided up would had the rough equivalent worth of just under £2500’s worth of in modern money, a sum which would have had great buying power in 1811.

Bodysnatching was worth a lot of money.

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About theresurrectionists

My name is Kirsty Chilton. I am a Medical Historian working in London and relentlessly searching for the body snatchers of 18th and 19th century London. Currently, the content of this blog is a personal project to repost and comment on the diary of 19th century Resurrectionist Joseph Naples 200 years from the time it was written.
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