Lewis Brierley's Grave, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire.
In the graveyard of St. Michael and all Angels's church, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire.
In Memory of
LEWIS Son of JAMES and MARY
BRIERLEY, of Valley Mill, who died
Oct 3, 1827, in the 15th Year of his Age
Although once beneath the ground his corps was laid
For use of surgeons it was thence convey'd.
Vain was the scheme to hide the impious theft
The body taken, shroud and coffin left.
Ye wretches who pursue this barbrous trade
Your carcases, in turn may be convey'd,
Like his, to some unfeeling surgeon's room.
Nor can they justly meet a better doom.
MARY Wife of the above mentioned
JAMES BRIERLEY, who died April
1828, in the 43rd Year of her Age
At first sight this stone is a memorial to a fifteen year old boy,
also to his grieving mother who died shortly after her son.
But the verse engraved on the stone tells a spine chilling tale straight from early 19th century England.
Anaesthesia was being developed.
The properties of nitrous oxide had been discovered at the very end of the 18th century.
In the early 19th century there were experiments with carbon dioxide and diethyl ether,
this lead to the discovery in 1831 of chloroform.