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Watching and Warding

GUL, Sp Coll, Northern Looking Glass

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Watching and Warding

Coloured cartoon from the Northern Looking Glass 18 August 1825, the third in the series "Essay on Modern Medical Education". Entitled "Watching and Warding" it depicts people gathered around a lantern in a graveyard, canoodling and drinking.

Such was the extent of body snatching from graveyards in the city, that citizens would gather in the grave yard for several nights after a burial to ensure that the body of a friend or relative was not dug up by "resurrectionists" seeking fresh cadavres to sell to a medical school for dissection. In this cartoon, the "watchers" have turned their vigil into a night of drinking and merriment. While they carouse the body snatchers have exhumed a body and are sneaking it over the kirkyard wall still wrapped in its mortcloth.

Reference: Sp Coll Bh14-x.8

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections

Keywords:
cadavres, canoodling, cemeteries, corpses, dissection, drinking, drunkenness, Glasgow Looking Glass, grave robers, gravestones, graveyards, lithographs, mortcloths, Northern Looking Glass, resurrectionists, watchers, watching and warding



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