Diary of a Resurrectionist, Friday 7th February 1812

Friday 7th
Met together me & Butler went to Newington, thing bad. Jack & Bill went to Goswell St got 1 Came home met again. Danl. Bill & me went to St. Johns got 2 adults. Ben and Jack went to Flemish got nothing, took 2 St. Thomas’s.

‘Thing bad’ is a decayed body already too rotten for sale or otherwise unfit for purpose.

Goswell Street is in Islington, off Old Street, in the opposite direction from Bunhill Fields. James Blake Bailey suggests that this ground may be that belonging to the church of St Thomas’s Charterhouse, but this church was not established until 1848. The Charterhouse, a school and almshouse, did occupy that site though (as it had since the 1610s) and the almshouse may have had a burial ground. However, Isabella Basil Holmes also suggests that because Goswell Road (near St Bartholomew’s) was called Goswell Street in 1811, Naples might be referring to a burial ground attached to the hospital.

Isabella Basil Holmes further suggests that St John’s is probably St John Horsleydown in Bermondsey – this would not be very far from the Flemish or St Thomas’s, and so it might be a simple split of the party, with one part going one way and the other in the other direction.

The Flemish was the name for the dissenters’ burial ground attached to the parish of St Olave in the Borough. It was on Carter Lane and the site is now under London Bridge station.


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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