The Diary of a Resurrectionist

Scope and Content

'Diary of a Resurrectionist' and notes on the places and activities described in the diary.

This volume is the manuscript diary of a bodysnatcher active in the London region in the period 1811-12. It details the graveyards the author's gang raided and the fees received, it records important points concerning the author's life and social life and details of the moon's phases.

Administrative / Biographical History

The author of the diary, probably Joseph Naples, was a resurrectionist supplying bodies to anatomy teachers, and was active from 1811 until 1832. The 1832 Anatomy Act made him redundant and he went to work in the Dissecting Room at St Thomas' Hospital.Isabella M. Holmes wrote a book called "The London Burial Grounds" which James Blake Bailey referred to when he published a book about the diary. The text of the diary, along with a commentary, was published by James Blake Bailey in 1896.

Access Information

Open. Due to the fragile nature of the original diary researchers will usually be asked to view a digital surrogate.