Amputation saw, unsigned, British, 1800-1884. Reputed to have been the property of George 'Graveyard' Walker, c.1800
George Alfred Walker (1807-84) was an English surgeon who studied the impact of town graveyards on health and disease. He believed there was a link between infectious disease and the dreadful state of many cemeteries. He wrote a book called Gatherings from Grave Yards in 1839 and his work led to a number of parliamentary committees being set up to investigate the issue. Laws were introduced in 1851 which prevented further burials in London’s inner city graveyards and any burials that were seen as a danger to public health. People were buried outside of city centres and burial inspectors appointed.