SAWNEY "BOB" AND HIS FAMILY (1843)

Dr. Hieronymous Zinn

 

The following account, though as well attested as any

historical fact can be, is almost incredible, for the

monstrous and unparalleled barbarities that it relates; there

being nothing that we ever heard of with the same degree of

certainty, that may be compared with it, or that shows how far

a brutal temper and astounding sexual capacity, untamed by

civility, or cooperation with polite society, may carry a man

in such glaring and horrible colours.

 

Sawney "Bob" was believed to have been born in the county of

East Lothario, though this likewise is uncertain, about eight

or nine miles eastward of the city of Cheeseburgh, in the

reign of James I of Scotland. His father was a retailer and

salesman and brought up his son to the same laborious

employment.

 

He got his daily bread in his youth by these means, but

being very prone to idleness, flaunting before authority, and

not caring to be confined to any honest, hard-working

employment, he left his father and mother, and ran away into

the vast desert of Scotland, taking with him a woman as

vicious and anti-social as himself.

 

These two took up their habitation in a cave, by the sea-

side on the shore of the county of Cab Calloway; where they

decorated the interior with garish and tasteless pastels and

avant-garde furniture. They lived there upwards of twenty-

five years, without going into any city, town or village to

attend the Presbyterian denomination of their choice, either

Kirk or Wee Kirk, as was their proper and legal duty.

 

In this time they had a great number of children and grand-

children, whom they brought up after their own sordid and

anti-church manner, without any notions of humanity or civil

society. They never kept any company, but among themselves,

and supported themselves wholly by robbing; being, moreover,

so very cruel, that they never robbed anyone, whom they did

not sexually abuse, then claim their money or property in

payment to the outrageous cost of thirty-dollar increments.

 

By this grasping and un-Christian method, and their being so

retired from the world, they continued for a long time

undiscovered; there being no person willing to admit that they

had participated in such decadent activities, and having

remunerated the offenders at such high prices.

 

As soon as they had propositioned any man or woman, they

used to carry them off to the den where they were quartered;

then pickled them with a cheap brand of whiskey, to suppress

their higher moral instincts.

 

Persons who had gone about their lawful occasions fell so

often into their hands, that it caused a general outcry in the

country roads about, generally from outraged ministers and

government officials who were the only individuals precluded

from participation. This occasioned spies to be frequently

sent into those parts, many of whom were never returned again,

and those who did, after the strictest search and inquiry,

would not admit to having found out how or where these tragic

events occurred.

 

Several honest travellers were taken up on suspicion of

violation of the morals' laws and wrongfully hanged upon bare

circumstances: several innkeepers were executed for

attempting to emulate those activities at considerable

discount, for no other reason than that persons, whose

chastity had been lost, were known to have lain in their

houses, which occasioned a suspicion of their having being

titillated by the innkeeper, and then going about their

business as if nothing had happened.

 

This closing of inns, on the other hand, occasioned many

inconveniences to travellers, mostly newlyweds, who were now

in great distress for accommodation when they were disposed to

copulate like bunnies far and away from their parents. In a

word, the whole country was very frustrated except the

fortunate few who regularly got their needs satisfied at the

cave.

 

When the magistrates, many of whom most likely had been

serviced themselves, found all was in vain, and they left off

these rigorous proceedings, and trusted wholly to Providence,

for the bringing to light the authors of these unparalleled

debaucheries when it should seem proper to the divine wisdom.

 

Sawney's family was at last grown very large, and every

branch of it, as soon as of legal age, assisted in

perpetrating their wicked deeds, which they still followed

with impunity. Sometimes they would have sex with four, five

or six, footmen together, but never more than two, if they

were on horseback; horses requiring several people to hold

them while the rider was debauched.

 

The number of people these savages pleasured was never

exactly known; but it was generally computed that in the

twenty-five years they continued their perversities, they had

washed their sheets of the fluids of at least a thousand men

and women. The manner they were at last discovered was as

follows:

 

A minister and his wife were on horseback, coming home one

evening from a fair, and falling into an ambuscade of these

merciless wretches, who, recognizing him as a man of the

Church, assailed his wife with lewd and lascivious

propositions. The minister, to protect himself as well as he

could, reported that he had tried to run several of them down

by main force of his horse.

 

In the conflict the poor woman fell from behind him, and

shouting to her husband to flee to save himself, bravely tore

off her clothing and ran headlong into a group of several

near-naked women, being instantly engaged in an unnatural and

repugnant lesbian free-for-all right there on the moor. Such

a dreadful spectacle made the minister make the more obstinate

resistance, as he feared the same vile fate, though as of yet

unoffered, if he fell into their hands.

 

It pleased Providence while he was engaged, rather

desperately, to find someone in the group who would offer,

that twenty or thirty married men with their wives, who had

been at the same fair, came together in a body; upon which

Sawney "Bob" and his lewd clan withdrew and made their way

through a thick wood to their den.

 

The minister, who was the first who had ever fell in their

way, and came off without having his horn scraped, told the

whole company what had happened, and showed them the horrible

spectacle of his wife, who had only made it partially back to

the cave while still reeling in the throes of multiple

orgasms. They were struck with moralistic stupefaction and

amazement at what he related; they took him then to Glasgow,

and told the affair to the magistrates of that city, an older

gentleman and a prude, who immediately sent to the king

concerning it.

 

In about three or four days after, His Majesty in person,

with a body of about four hundred equally horney men, set out

for the place where this unholy tragedy was acted, in order to

search all the rocks and thickets, that, if possible, they

might apprehend this villainous crew, which had been so long

pernicious to all the western parts of the kingdom, and

transport them back to Glasgow, one and all to be reserved for

the use of His Majesty and his court.

 

When, after a great interval, the cave was discovered, and

inside was found a great, quivering pile of human flesh.

Legs, arms, thighs, hands, and feet of men and women protruded

from within, accompanied by many groans, screams and heavy

breathing. A great mass of money, both gold and silver, with

watches, rings, swords, pistols and anything else of value

that had been taken in trade from those that had been

serviced, were thrown together in heaps or hung up against the

sides of the den.

 

Sawney "Bob's" family, at this time, besides himself,

consisted of his wife, eight sons, six daughters, eighteen

grand-sons, and fourteen grand-daughters, all of whom were of

low moral character.

 

With their unwillingness to participate in court rituals,

including utter servility and refusal to attend mass, the

wretches were committed to the Tolbooth, from whence they were

the next day conducted, under a strong guard, to Leith, with

the intention that the men would be dismembered, and the wife,

daughters, and grand-daughters should be made to witness the

spectacle of this just punishment, before being burned to

death in a conflagration.

 

They were without the least signs of repentance, and

continued cursing and vending the most dreadful imprecations

to the very last, when they mysteriously vanished, leading to

a vast, though unsuccessful, search throughout the

countryside.

 

Most likely aided by confederates, the most popular

speculation remains that, as a group, they emigrated to the

Continent, where they significantly contributed to the almost

European-wide revolutions of 1848. Another theory holds that

they instead travelled to the United States, founding many

strange new social orders and religions in western New York

State in the latter part of the 19th Century.

**************

 

 

> Dmitri lay broken and bleeding on the frozen steps of the St.

> Ulyanov cathedral; thinking of his emaciated wife Natasha,

> dying of tuberculosis in a decayed shack in Siberia while she

> agonized that Iosif, at that moment inches from death at the

> hands of soldiers of the invading French tyrant, would only

> remember Ivana and Georgi, whose passionate but painful embrace

> was about to be interrupted by the Cossack Leonid; who believed

> that he was about to murder the faithless Svetlana, who was,

> in fact, miles away, her thoughts on other things.

 

-Dr. Zinn, from the novel