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Plagues bred on city's filth DISEASE GLASGOW was the victim of the Three Pestilences - the plagues of 1350, 1362 and 1381.

The first was the most devastating and the writer Boccaccio vividly described the ravages of the disease, after it claimed the lives of three-quarters of the population of his native Florence in 1384.

yo He said: "It first betrayed itself by the emergence of tumours in the groin or armpits, some of which grew as large as an apple, others as an egg." oin "d ah No one knows just how many died the Glasgow plagues. in as too he to Bruce said: "It seems everyone was busy burying or trying not to breathe take a proper headcount." As Glasgow grew, with all the attendant overcrowding and filth, it was inevitable there would be further epidemics.

et endant table that pay There were outbreaks in 1498, 1574 1584 and again in 1644, probably spread Scottish soldiers returning from a battle Newcastle. Glasgow also had leprosy the 10th to 16th centuries. 74 and pread by attle in y from The lepers were made to live in became the Gorbals. Bruce said: "They forbidden to beg door to door but were allowed to beseech travellers to give wh we what later hey were ere coins."

L mn G tum violen fire e GLASGOW has had a tumultuous past, hit by violence, plagues, floods, and murder. In his new book Bloody Scottish History: Glasgow, Dr Bruce Durie delves into the city's dark and grisly past. Here, his gives us a taste of book g k the city's bleaker side.

Fires and floods wreaked havoc DISASTERS MANY fires hit Glasgow. One of the largest was in 1652 and spread through the Saltmarket, Briggait and Gallowgate, and ravaged more than 80 of Glasgow's closes and left more than 1000 families homeless.

There was yet another fire in 1677 - this one started out of pure malice.

On November 2, an apprentice smith who had been beaten by his master set fire to the shop.

The fire grew to consume 130 houses and shops, especially in the Saltmarket, and put more than 600 families out on the street. The fire reached the Tolbooth and gave an anti-government mob the excuse they needed to break in and free the prisoners. And that was the end of wooden house building.

There were also several major floods in the lower lying parts of the city, until the channels in the River Clyde were eventually deepened.

In 1712, those living and working in the Saltmarket and Briggait had to be rescued in boats.

In 1782, the river rose to an astonishing 20ft and the waters at the eastern end of Briggait was 9ft deep.

The Gorbals became an island and in the town centre provisions were brought in by boat.

This is still the greatest flood of the River Clyde on record.

BODY SNATCHING Rioting over theft of OAP's corpse IN the 1800s, doctors were only allowed to use the bodies of executed criminals as cadavers for their students' lectures and demonstrations, so grave robbing was rife.

It was so bad that mortsafes or metal cages were erected in cemeteries where dead bodies were locked away and left to decompose until they were of no use to medics.

There was a riot in Glasgow in 1823 when three doctors and a boy stole the body of an old man from the slums.

An angry mob broke in to a medical lecture theatre in Duke Street.

An account at the time detailed the grisly sight that greeted them.

It read: "On the floor stood a large tub, in which was found a number of heads, arms and legs.

"On the table lay the whole body of a woman with long hair. The body of a man lay aside it with the head cut off, and the entrails out.

"At the end of the room was a complete skeleton.

"Other mangled bodies were found, and limbs and mutilated fragments of bodies were strewn about the room."

"The mobs were so exasperated that, seizing the bodies and everything found in the room, they tossed them into the streets."

80,000 crowd gathered for last public hanging ubh awmk AT 8am on July 28, 1865, Dr Edward Pritchard gained the dubious honour publicly he was hanged in front of an estimated 80,000 onlookers at Glasgow Green. Pritchard became an infamous Glasgow poisoner after he killed his wife and his mother-law and may have raped and burned to death his maid. The hanging was an undignified affair.

dubiou of being the last person pub executed in Glasgow when hanged estim 80,000 infam Glasgow k wife raped undig d g thw Bruce said: "It the coffin Pritch taken w is claimed Pritchard was taken away in was so ill-made that he fell out of the bottom - and some enterprising local liberated his boots."

Susan Newell was the last woman hanged in Scotland, in October 1923, at Duke Street Prison in Glasgow.

Newell, then aged 30, strangled and killed a 13-year-old newspaper boy, John Johnston, because he called at her flat and would not give her the evening paper without her paying for it.

After she killed him, Newell went to sleep. She then wheeled his body through the streets in a cart covered by a rug, with her young daughter, Janet, perched on top.

It was her daughter's evidence, which convicted her.

Bruce said: "Weirdly, Newell accepted a lift from a kindly lorry driver, who failed to notice the boy's leg sticking out from the rug.

"Fortunately, a woman passer-by did and called the police."

The jury at her trial, who felt that she might be insane, convicted her on a majority verdict and unanimously recommended mercy but that went unheeded.


er ered rd HEADLINES J How the Record covered the murderous goings-on of Pritchard and Newell in Glasgow at the time PROTECTION J Mortsafes were erected to prevent doctors from stealing dead bodies for lectures FEAR er ered rd HEADLINES J How the Record covered the murderous goings-on of Pritchard and Newell in Glasgow at the time HANGED J A mercy verdict went unheeded for Susan Newell, left, while Dr Pritchard, above, lost his boots after his coffin fell apart
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 16, 2012
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