Author Topic: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century  (Read 520 times)

Offline hanes teulu

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #18 on: Sunday 27 December 20 11:04 GMT (UK) »
ANATOMISATION AND DISSECTION
https://www.criminalcorpses.com/anatomisation-dissection

Also check "Full Blog" within article.
S. Wales, Somerset, Devon - Oxenham

Aberavon - Hopkin/s, Jenkins, Thomas
St. Brides/Wick - Jenkins
Llanblethian - Price
Abergwynfi - Han(d)ford
Pontardawe - Lewis.

Offline Raybistre

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #19 on: Sunday 27 December 20 15:36 GMT (UK) »
Quoting from "The History of the County Palatine of Chester" by J.H.Hanshall, 1823:
"The bodies of executed criminals are generally interred in the Castle-ditch, beneath the wall of St. Mary's Church-yard, at the south-west corner".
It does say generally, so I'm not sure if this would apply to the remains after dissection.
Ray

Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #20 on: Monday 28 December 20 19:36 GMT (UK) »
Prisoners were usually buried in jail graveyards and murderers could not be buried in consecrated ground.

In my lifetime bodies could be legally dissected by surgeons if a patient died in a teaching hospital (where selected body parts would be placed in pickling jars), or if the body was that of a murderer. 

Originally there were two official types of surgeons = barber surgeon and the medical surgeon.   As surgeons were not paid by the taxpayer, he would probably charge a fee for viewing the dissection. Presumably the date would be published for thde public viewing and a large enough room would have to b e organised.  As the public in general knew what lay in store for murdering somebody = public hanging and public dissection this knowledge was supposed to deter people from commiting such acts.

Below are a couple of links explaining the various Legal Acts, but you need local knowledge for which graveyard.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4582158/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK384645/

Many thanks, Rena.  I'm definitely in need of local knowledge...unfortunately, gaining such is challenging at present with so many archives/museums closed (plus I live overseas, which further complicates in-person visits). 


Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #21 on: Monday 28 December 20 19:38 GMT (UK) »
You could always write and ask them. Along the lines of - I am researching the lifeof my ancestor who was hanged on the site of your school in ......

Yep...I clicked on the "Contact Us" link to do precisely that.  I'll provide an update on any response.

Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #22 on: Monday 28 December 20 19:43 GMT (UK) »
ANATOMISATION AND DISSECTION
https://www.criminalcorpses.com/anatomisation-dissection

Also check "Full Blog" within article.

Thanks for the link.  It certainly provides some useful generic background on the practice of dissection.  It seems my relative suffered a partial dissection first, and was put on display before a full dissection was completed.  I'll need to pore over the details in the Criminal Corpses website and see what other details it might reveal to help my quest.

Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #23 on: Monday 28 December 20 19:45 GMT (UK) »
Quoting from "The History of the County Palatine of Chester" by J.H.Hanshall, 1823:
"The bodies of executed criminals are generally interred in the Castle-ditch, beneath the wall of St. Mary's Church-yard, at the south-west corner".
It does say generally, so I'm not sure if this would apply to the remains after dissection.
Ray

Ray,

That's a brilliant piece of information which certainly affords one possibility as a burial site for my relative.  A quick study on GoogleEarth revealed that the location is quite easy to find, even today.  I really appreciate this pointer.  Many, MANY thanks indeed.

Kind regards,
Mark

Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #24 on: Thursday 31 December 20 17:54 GMT (UK) »
I expect you've got this, but just in case....

The body was to be delivered to Griffith Rowlands, Surgeon, for dissection.
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C34Q-6PF3?i=77&cat=345316

Hi Jen,

Dumb question but what search criteria did you use to find that record?  I've tried various options iN FamilySearch with no joy to-date.

Many thanks,
Mark

Offline JenB

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #25 on: Thursday 31 December 20 18:09 GMT (UK) »
You cannot find it in a general FS search.

You need to go to the 'Catalog Search' https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog

Enter 'Chester' and select the one in Cheshire!

The resulting list includes 'Correctional Institutions' This is where I found the record I linked to.

Only records with a camera icon without a key over them are viewable at home, and you need to be logged in. The registration process is free and only takes a couple of minutes. There is a wealth of information 'hidden' in the Catalog search which doesn't show up in a general 'Historical Records' person search.



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Offline Buffnut453

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Re: Chester General Infirmary and the Fate of Executed Convicts, Early 19th Century
« Reply #26 on: Friday 01 January 21 21:02 GMT (UK) »
Brilliant!  Thanks Jen.  There's certainly a TON of information in the catalog...but it's hard to track down specifics.  The records I examined didn't appear to be in date order.  However, really appreciate the pointer.