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The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830's London

Free Lunchtime lecture by author and historian Sarah Wise

A free lunchtime talk at Shoe Lane Library by author and historian Sarah Wise. Towards the end of 1831, the authorities unearthed a series of crimes at Number 3, Nova Scotia Gardens in East London echoing the notorious Burke and Hare killings in Edinburgh of only three years earlier. After a long investigation, three bodysnatchers were put on trial for supplying the anatomy schools of London with suspiciously fresh bodies for dissection. They became known as the ‘London Burkers’ and their story dubbed the ‘Italian Boy’ case. The public furore over the crimes led directly to the passing of controversial legislation which marked the beginning of the end of body snatching in Britain.

Free, no need to book, no ticket required. Seating capacity 50 plus standing room, please arrive a little early to secure a seat.

Sarah Wise’s debut book, ‘The Italian Boy’ was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She is also the author of ‘The Blackest Streets: the life and death of a Victorian Slum’.


Dr Sarah Wise | talks


Date and Time:

13 April 2010 at 12:30 pm


1 hour



Shoe Lane Library
Hill House
1 Little New Street
020 75837178

More at Shoe Lane Library...




Available from:

No need to book. Seating capacity 50 for each talk plus standing room. We suggest arriving a little early to secure a seat.

Additional Information:

Nearest Public Transport: Chancery Lane Tube (Central Line) or City Thameslink (Ludgate Hill). Buses - Fleet Street or Farringdon Road.

Contact: 020 7583 7178 or shoelane@cityoflondon.gov.uk


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