spacer
spacer

Two family stories of Travellers escaping from burkers.

Record 1 of 1
« Previous Record  |  Next Record »
Title - Two family stories of Travellers escaping from burkers.
Contributors - Alec Stewart
Reporters - Dr Sheila Douglas

Summary - Two family stories of Travellers escaping from burkers.

Alec Stewart's father and uncle Davy were out hawking his father's tinware from farm to farm. Before they could find a safe place for the night, they heard the burkers' machine [vehicle] coming. They hid in a stack, but the burkers' dogs discovered them. Davy cut a dog's tail off with a bread knife and it ran away, with the burkers following. The farmer notified the police to look out for a dog without a tail.

Alec Stewart's great great grandfather and his family were travelling with a donkey and cart. They camped in a wood, but realised they hadn't gone far enough in to be hidden from burkers. They left the donkey and crept into a farmer's barn. They were dovering [nodding] over into sleep when they heard the burkers' machine. The burkers overpowered the old man and his son and cast the old woman into a bag, but the farmer came out with a gun, and the burkers dropped the bag and escaped. The Travellers found their camp torn down, their donkey killed, and their cart thrown down a bank.


Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:09:04
Date Recorded - 1978.10
Language - English
Genre - Story, Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 55955
Original Tape ID - SA1978.160
Original Track ID - SA1978.160
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R


Item Notes - The story about Alec Stewart's father and uncle may have happened to an older generation, and been retold in the first person for dramatic effect, as Alec Stewart does on the next track on the same tape (SA1978.160). The term 'burker' comes from William Burke (of Burke and Hare). Burke went beyond bodysnatching and committed murder in order to sell the bodies for dissection; he was hanged in 1829.

Permanent Link - http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/55955/1




Record 1 of 1
« Previous Record  |  Next Record »
spacer
spacer
Terms of Use  |  FAQs  |  Accessibility   |  Contact   |  Copyright  |  Acknowledgements   |  Useful Links   |  Site Map
BBC Alba
The National Trust for Scotland
Sabhal Mor Ostaig
EDINA