Dr. Burke’s Case and Public Outrage

No sooner had Dr. Burke been taken to Armly Gaol, to await his demise, when the letters campaigning for the lessening of his sentence of the death penalty,began to appear in the newspapers of the day.

It was also beginning to come out of his fragile mental state not just in the lead up to the fateful night but long beforehand. The letter, by his friends the local church wardens to the Leeds Mercury tells of his long term battle with alcohol, and how in it’s grip had reduced him to fits of weeping, unheard of in Victorian society.

The letter, revealing as it was for the time helped to make a case for the doctor. During the days that followed rallying against the harshness of his sentence began to take momentum.

Leeds Mercury 10 May 1888