Personal Effects

After the death of his daughter and subsequent arrest, Dr. Burke’s wife and young son left their marital home. Who could blame them for leaving the memories the house must have held. Dr. Burke’s wife went to live with her family, the ones she fled to so often when their marital problems became unbearable.

An advert was placed in the local papers announcing the sale of contents of the house. For the time the items for sale would be a good bargain for anyone who could afford them. They bore testimony to a lifestyle that was out of range for most, seeming desirable but the grim reality was something else. The auction offered 45 framed photographs, along with ones of his wife and children, perhaps there was one of his half-brothers and sisters, Emily included. It is hard to imagine who would want such items after they knew the circumstances of why they went up for sale, but it was Victorian times, personal effects were lesser and life harder with little room for sentiment.

It appeared from the notice below that many if not all items were sold due to the great turnout for the sale. “There were many spectators”, stated the article, not at all surprising as people had a morbid fascination with such thing particularly in that era.

17 March 1888 – Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Sheffield Daily Telegraph 20 March 1888