Robert Knox, British anatomist and ethnologist, 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by Schenk of Dr Robert Knox (1791-1862). Knox, Scottish lecturer on anatomy, started his medical career as asistant army surgeon. He became conservator at the Edinburgh College of Surgeons' Museum of Comparative Anatomy and Pathology in 1825. The high demand for corpses for disection by the medical schools led to bodysnatching - the theft of recently-dead bodies from graveyards. Burke and Hare, two of the most infamous bodysnatchers, murdered their victims and sold them for disection, and it is probable that Knox accepted bodies from these two with, 'no questions asked'.