(A). One who snatches or purloins bodies, newly buried, to sell
them to surgeons for dissection. By a play on the words, a bum-bailiff
was so called, because his duty was to snatch or capture the body of a
delinquent. The first instance of body-snatching on record was in
1777. It was the body of Mrs. Jane Sainsbury from the burial ground
near Gray's Inn Lane. The men, being convicted, were imprisoned for six
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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