mortsafe


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mortsafe

(ˈmɔːtˌseɪf)
n
(in the 19th century)a heavy iron cage or grille placed over the grave of a newly deceased person in order to deter body snatchers
[C19: from mort dead body (via Old French from Latin mors death) + safe]
References in periodicals archive ?
This mortsafe is one of only a handful remaining in their original locations in Britain.
It's thought to be the only mortsafe recorded in the Midlands.
As well as the mortsafe, the team discovered three coffins buried with large planks of wood on top of them - evidence of attempts to deter the body snatchers.
Frank Caldwell, Sandwell Council's museums manager, said: "The body protected by the mortsafe belonged to a young woman who we found suffered from a disfiguring skin and bone disease, which meant that her remains would have fetched a premium for the body snatchers.
Families would often place a mortsafe (iron bars) over the burial place in an attempt to prevent the grave robbers from doing their nefarious activity.
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.
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