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'Elephant Man' Joseph Merrick's grave found

Posted on Monday, 6 May, 2019 | Comment icon 16 comments

The precise nature of Merrick's condition still remains unclear. Image Credit: Public Domain
The long-lost unmarked grave of Merrick, who suffered from terrible deformities, has been found after 130 years.
Born in 1862, Merrick showed no signs of physical deformity for the first few years of his life.

As time passed however, he started to develop abnormal growths across several parts of his body and in particular, his head, which became so riddled with growths that he could barely speak and the immense weight of his skull prevented him from being able to sleep lying down.

His condition and appearance would lead him to become a popular 'curiosity' at shows and exhibitions where he was billed as the 'Elephant Man' and was described as 'half-man, half-elephant'.

It was a difficult life and one that would see him mocked and shunned on a daily basis.

Sadly, Merrick died at the age of just 27 on April 11th 1890. An examination revealed that he had died of a dislocated neck due to the immense weight of his head.

After his death, his skeleton was preserved for medical research while his soft tissues were buried. Determining the precise location of his grave however has long since proven a challenge.

Now though, following an extensive search, author Jo Vigor-Mungovin believes that she has finally located Merrick's final resting place in the City of London Cemetery.

The key to finding the grave was the realization that Merrick's remains were most likely sent to the same place as the victims of infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper.

"I decided to search in an eight-week window around the time of his death and there, on page two, was Joseph Merrick," she said. "The burial is dated 24 April 1890, and Joseph died on 11 April."

"It gives his residence as London Hospital, his age as 28 - Joseph was actually 27 but his date of birth was often given wrong - and the coroner as Wynne Baxter, who we know conducted Joseph's inquest. Everything fits, it is too much to be a coincidence."

Source: BBC News | Comments (16)

Tags: Joseph Merrick

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Kismit on 7 May, 2019, 9:29
Tempted to sell tickets, Mod wrestling, sounds entertaining. @Still Waters
Comment icon #8 Posted by Piney on 7 May, 2019, 9:33
I'll pass. Everytime I got near my sisters or 2 best friends when they were mashing up, I got the worst end of it. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Myles on 7 May, 2019, 11:08
What a miserable life he must have had.      
Comment icon #10 Posted by oldrover on 7 May, 2019, 21:04
 He was trying to buy John Merrick's skeleton? 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney on 7 May, 2019, 22:56
Yup! Tell me he wasn't a ignorant turd.  One of the reason I would never listen to his music.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by oldrover on 8 May, 2019, 9:17
Not my thing at all either. But that is just weird isn't it. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Piney on 8 May, 2019, 9:27
To display human remains like a knickknack is so wrong no matter what your belief is. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Myles on 8 May, 2019, 11:10
I agree, but am curious to how you feel.    How old do the remains have to be till it is OK?   
Comment icon #15 Posted by Piney on 8 May, 2019, 11:18
I'm the guy that made sure Native remains were treated right during study and reburied properly. Some tribes don't even allow studies.  But I think they should be studied and reburied or stored respectfully for restudy and with the current technologies we can scan them and even make 3D copies. We should learn from them but like I said they are not a "knick knack". 
Comment icon #16 Posted by Still Waters on 11 May, 2019, 13:02

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