These 17 stars represent the 17 miniature coffins found on Arthur’s Seat following the grisly Burke and Hare murders of 1828.

One target, Mary Paterson, met her end just near the Mimi’s Little Bakehouse in Gibb’s Close, after which her body was supplied to Dr Robert Knox for dissection in his anatomical lectures.

The grim deeds of Edinburgh’s most famous mass murderers also inspired Robert Louis Stevenson, who based his story ‘The Body Snatcher’ on Burke and Hare. The story was first published in the Pall Mall Gazette in December 1884.

 

 

 
The grisly discovery of the tiny coffins inspired Ian Rankin in his Inspector Rebus novel The Falls.

The coffins are now displayed by the National Museum of Scotland on Chamber Street.