The ‘world’s smallest museum’ set to open in Edinburgh

Infamous 'body-snatchers' William Burke and William Hare have tours and are popular in Edinburgh's history.
Infamous 'body-snatchers' William Burke and William Hare have tours and are popular in Edinburgh's history.
0
Have your say

THE “world’s smallest” museum is to open in the Capital - to display only one exhibit.

The William Burke Museum will showcase a calling card case made out of the skin of notorious Edinburgh “bodysnatcher” William Burke.

It will open on 84 West Bow exactly 188 years after the execution of William Burke on January, 28 1829.

The case, made from skin taken from William Burke’s left hand, was sold at auction for £1050 in 1988, to Robin Mitchell of The Cadies and Witchery Tours, by the family of Piercy Hughes, a descendent of a surgeon involved in the dissection.

When it appeared on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow it was described as “priceless”.

Mr Mitchell said: “We used to carry the calling card case around on our walking tours, but decided that we needed to protect it from wear and tear and loaned it to the Police Information Centre in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

“When the centre closed we needed to come up with another plan of action for this grisly relic and The William Burke Museum concept was hatched.”

Cameron Pirie, manager of The Cadies and Witchery Tours, added: “This will be the smallest museum in the world. I know of museums in England and the USA claiming to be the smallest but we’re the only museum with one exhibit.”