©Wellcome Library, London
 
 

An account of Burke's execution was published in a penny broadsheet several days after the event. ĎAs soon as the executioner proceeded to do his duty, the cries of "Burke him, Burke him, give him no rope," ... were vociferated in voices loud with indignation. Burke, in the mean time, stood perfectly unmoved, and gazed around till the cap was drawn over his face, and shut the world for ever from his view. The executioner ... placed the signal in Burke's hand ... The crowd again set up another long and loud cheer ... followed by cries for "Hare, Hare! Where is Hare?" Burke lifted his hands and ejaculated a prayer of a few sentences - then dropt the napkin, and momently the drop fell. The struggle was neither long nor apparently severe; but at every convulsive motion, a loud huzza arose from the multitude ... During the time of the wretched man's suspension, not a single indication of pity was observable among the vast crowd - on the contrary, every countenance wore the lively aspect of a gala day, while puns and jokes on the occasion were freely bandied about, and produced bursts of laughter and merriment ... "Burke Hare too! Wash blood from the land!" ... until the culprit was cut down ... when one general and tremendous huzza closed the awful exhibition.