William Burke, 1792 - 1829. Murderer (about 1830)
About this artwork
An Irishman who had come to Scotland to work as a labourer on the Union Canal, William Burke was convicted of the murder of sixteen people. Burke and his associate, William Hare, sold their victims to Robert Knox, the leading teacher of anatomy in Edinburgh. The judge described the case as 'one of the most monstrous exhibitions of atrocity ever disclosed in the annals of criminal jurisprudence'. Burke was hanged on 28 January 1829. Hare turned 'King's evidence' and walked away free while Dr Knox was not prosecuted, even though the final body had been found on his dissecting table.
- title: William Burke, 1792 - 1829. Murderer
- accession number: SPL 262.1 F
- artist: T. Clerk (active 1810 - 1830)
- after: LutenorScottish
- depicted: William Burke
- gallery: Scottish National Portrait Gallery(Print Room)
- object type: Work on paper
- subject: Medicine and science
- materials: Line engraving and etching on paper
- date created: about 1830
- measurements: 14.50 x 10.00 cm
- credit line: Purchased at an unknown date
Clerk was a Scottish engraver. He is best known for engraving maps and plans of Scottish towns between 1810 and 1830. In 1828, one of his maps showing the soils and roads of Perthshire was issued with Morison Morison's 'Guide to the City and County of Perth' in 1828.