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Robert Knox

Robert Knox
(1791—1862)

Anatomist

One of Edinburgh’s most successful anatomists, Robert Knox was one of those dependent on the city’s ‘resurrection men’ for his subjects. In 1827—28 he became a customer of Burke and Hare, who got their corpses by murder, rather than from the grave. Knox was cleared of knowledge of their crimes but the doubts that remained about his complete innocence damaged his career. Bridie’s play The Anatomist and Stevenson’s horror story The Body Snatcher, are both based on Knox’s life.