The infamous Joseph Merrick was buried in the same place where the victims of Jack the Ripper.
7 may 2019 14:51
In 1862, in the British city of Leicester-born Joseph Merrick, later known in history as “the elephant Man”.
By the age of five he began to manifest a congenital disease that severely deformed his bones and skin. So it will describe the contemporary a few years later:
“The most eye-catching trait was his enormous, irregularly-shaped head with a huge bone spurs on my forehead where usually there are the eyebrows, the back of the head hanging folds of spongy skin, the surface of which was comparable to brown cauliflower inflorescences.
On top grew a few long thin hairs. Growth of the face almost hid one eye. Of the upper jaw grew another bone growth. It was sticking out of his mouth like a pink stump, the top lip was turned out. The nose was just a piece of flesh, and to understand that the nose was only possible by location. Back was terrible because it was hanging down to mid-thigh, huge, use a fold of flesh covered with the same leather, reminiscent of the disgusting cauliflower”.
He was rejected by family and society, and hunted for food ideas in the “freak show”. The “extra” skin and “wrong” bones didn’t allow him to speak clearly, and he had to sleep sitting up.
This disease had not deprived him of the ability to think: he was intelligent, and by nature romantic and sensitive. It was noticed by the surgeon Frederick Trius, who took the custody of Joseph.
The unfortunate young man attracted the attention of the public, he had friends among the London aristocracy, he read a lot, more agile left hand collected paper model of cathedrals and wrote poetry. Merrick died in 1890 at the age of 27 years: according to the generally accepted version, he tried to sleep lying down and gasped.
Trips studied as Joseph in his lifetime, and after death before the funeral, the doctor took tissue samples, and retained its skeleton, the study of which could be useful to future physicians.
However, precise information about where it was buried the remains of the unusual patient, he didn’t. This gap was filled by his biographer Joan vigor-Mungavin. Comparing the social status of men, place and time of his death, she suggested that he could be allocated land in the territory of London cemetery and crematorium is a historic district located in the Eastern part of the capital of great Britain.
“It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could write a more detailed book about Merrick” Paul Begg Ripperologist review issue 154 #elephantman pic.twitter.com/JmKD630f0I
— Jo Vigor-Mungovin (@Berliozjo) June 22, 2017
Vigor-Mongoven explains that the greatest difficulty was the search of cemeteries in Victorian London there were too many.
Knowing the history of this time, the researcher suggested that Joseph could be buried in the same place where the victims of Jack the Ripper – the legendary maniac of those years, killed close to the hospital, where Joseph lived.
About the place, vigor-Mungavin tried to find a mention of the dead Man-the elephant in the registration books. The idea was brilliant: on the second page, the historian found the record of the burial of Joseph Merrick, dated April 24, 1890. It is known that he died on 11 April, and a long period before the funeral is explained by medical manipulation, which was conducted by Trius.
Today after weeks of emails, research & visits to the #CityofLondonCemetery the final resting place of #JosephMerrick has been located. His bones are @BHAandM for medical purposes but his flesh/remains were buried in consecrated ground after a small service. #Leicester R. I. P pic.twitter.com/MNSSf68Bh2
— Jo Vigor-Mungovin (@Berliozjo) may 3, 2019
Now the biographer is seeking to install a memorial plaque on the place unmarked and forgotten grave of a famous person. In addition to the contributions to medicine, Joseph has inspired artists to create plays, operas, books and movies. In particular, in the classic film of 1980 directed by David Lynch starring John hurt, and the doctor’s role Trusa went to Anthony Hopkins.
As for the reasons for the unusual disease, they were installed recently. For a century after Joseph’s death, doctors speculated that he could suffer a severe form of neurofibromatosis; then changed to a rare genetic disorder Proteus syndrome. And only in the beginning of the XXI century on the basis of studies of samples of DNA taken from the hair and bones of the deceased, the experts found that the sick and neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome at the same time.
And he Joseph Merrick had no doubt that the cause of his deformity was the fact that his mother had frightened the elephant during pregnancy.
Let’s see how modern people with elephant disease.