Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Bodysnatchers in a church cemetery disturbed by the braying of an ass. Mezzotint, 1771.

2 May 1771
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


The accompanying verses are ironic in tone since the anatomist holding the lantern is overseeing the grave-robbers, rather than disturbing them in the act. The braying ass and the reference to Balaam in the text refers to Balaam's ass who was given the gift of speech Old Testament, Book of Numbers 22:1-35)


London (No. 69 in St Pauls Church Yard) : Carrington Bowles, Map and printseller, 2 May 1771.

Physical description

1 print : mezzotint ; image 24.1 x 35.5 cm


The disturbers of the dead put to flight...

Lettering note

Four lines of verse below: Whether Doctor, or Balaam, is most to be prais'd, / Our readers are left in some doubt, / The good Doctor 'tis sure, the Outcry first rais'd' / But the braying compleated the Rout


Wellcome Library no. 25643i



  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

Permanent link