A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
AT THE END OF A GIBBET - The Last Days of a Gruesome Tradition
A Live, Illustrated Zoom Talk with the historian Dr Shane McCorristine
Tuesday 18th October 2022 at 7:00 pm

On June 11 1832 William Jobling - a miner from Jarrow - was involved in the assault of a local magistrate, who later died. Jobling was convicted of murder and was sentenced to be executed at Durham, followed by “hanging in chains” on a gibbet in Jarrow.

Gibbeting was a particularly gruesome punishment, introduced by the Murder Act of 1751, which stipulated that the body of a murderer should never be buried. Instead the corpse was either used for dissection, to help surgeons better understand human anatomy, or hung on a gibbet to decompose in public, as a deterrent to other potential criminals.

After his execution William Jobling’s body was toured round the local area and then hung in chains on a gibbet post that had been installed in the muddy waters of Jarrow Slake - a tidal mud flat in Tyneside. Some days later the body and the gibbet irons disappeared in mysterious circumstances, presumably stolen by the dead man’s miner colleagues.

Jobling has since become something of a folk hero in popular culture and was the subject of ballads, plays, artworks, and even special edition ales. Dr McCorristine’s talk will explore the particular postmortem punishment of gibbeting, the background of this case and the strange afterlife of William Jobling.

Tickets £5 including a 20% donation toward a host of restoration projects at Kensal Green Cemetery. Please click here to purchase.

Dr Shane McCorristine
Shane McCorristine is a Lecturer in Modern British History at Newcastle University. An interdisciplinary historian, his research focuses on the 'night side' of modern experience. Drawing approaches from cultural history and the medical humanities, he explores social attitudes toward dreams, ghosts, death and the supernatural. He is the author of Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-seeing in England, 1750-1920 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Spiritualism, Mesmerism, and the Occult, 1800-1920 (Pickering & Chatto, 2012), and most recently, The Spectral Arctic: A History of Dreams and Ghosts in Polar Exploration (UCL Press, 2018).

PLEASE NOTE - This talk will take place virtually via Zoom. Ticket sales will end at 5:00 pm BST on the day of the lecture. A link to the conference will be sent to the email used at checkout at 3:00 pm BST on the day of the event. Please email suzette@acuriousinvitation.com in the event your link fails to arrive. Please note this talk will be recorded and can be sent free of charge to ticket holders by request.

Image Credit - An Odd Sight Sometime Hence (c. 1756) by George Bickham the Younger. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Creative Commons courtesy of the British Museum