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Shoemaker's Knife

This month’s object is a shoemaker’s knife, used as evidence in the trial of James Gow, and the heart and skin of his wife, the murder victim.

On the night of the 16th July, 1831, Gow stabbed the woman once in the chest. It was a fatal wound which pierced the heart at the base of the left ventricle and can clearly be seen on both specimens. She went to hospital but died nine days later and on dissection, four pounds of blood were found in her chest cavity and her left lung had collapsed.

James Gow was executed by hanging on 2nd December. His body was then delivered to Alexander Munro (tertius) who dissected it at the Edinburgh Medical School.

Shoemaker's Knife
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