Leeds nostalgia: man in court on body snatch charge in 1826

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On this day (Saturday January 31) in 1826 it was reported the dead body of a Leeds man had been found at Newcastle. The body was identified as that of a Mr Thomas Daniels, who had been interred at St John’s churchyard. Mr Daniel’s son went straight to Newcastle, where he confirmed it was his father.

The body itself had been stolen, as was later revealed during a court case, wherein a George Cox, of Leeds, the son of a broker and a box maker, was found guilty of body stealing.

During the case, which was heard at York Sessions, Cox protested his innocence and insisted another man, a lodger he had taken in, was the real culprit and that he was merely delivering a package, the contents of which he knew not.

The court rejected his testimony and sentenced him to six months in jail for his crime. It also emerged during the case that the body, which was presumably dug up on purpose, was headed ultimately to an address in Edinburgh.