[72] He had spent his entire adult life segregated from women, first in the workhouse and then as an exhibit. Merrick was born in Leicester and began to develop abnormally before the age of twelve. [76] He met other women during his life at the hospital, and appeared taken with them all. This account is the source of much of what is known about Merrick, but there were several inaccuracies in the book. For other uses, see, Man with severe deformities known as the Elephant Man, "I was taunted and sneered at so that I would not go home to my meals, and used to stay in the streets with a hungry belly rather than return for anything to eat, what few half-meals I did have, I was taunted with the remark—'That's more than you have earned. In addition to proving that his name was Joseph, not John, they were able to describe in more detail his life story. Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . This service is provided on News Group Newspapers' Limited's Standard Terms and Conditions in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie Policy. [9] She was said to have some form of physical disability, and as a young woman worked as a domestic servant in Leicester before marrying Joseph Rockley Merrick, then a warehouseman,[10] in 1861. IN THE ARCHIVES: Radium Girls Shrunken Heads Dissections Alberta the Dog Synthetic Cadavers Cobain and Depression Preserved Heavenly Bodies. [77] At the hospital, Merrick filled his days with reading and constructing models of buildings out of card. He made his way back to London, but unable to communicate, police found Dr Treves' card on him and he took Merrick back to the hospital with him, where Merrick would stay for the rest of his life. [91] An inquest was held on 27 April by Wynne Edwin Baxter, who had come to notoriety conducting inquests for the Whitechapel murders of 1888. [32], Merrick concluded that his only escape from the workhouse might be through the world of human novelty exhibitions. [92][93] Treves, who performed an autopsy, said Merrick had died of a dislocated neck. [93] Knowing that Merrick had always slept sitting upright out of necessity, Treves concluded that Merrick must have "made the experiment", attempting to sleep lying down "like other people". [52] Eventually, Merrick told Norman that he no longer wanted to be examined at the hospital. [69] Treves and Merrick built a friendly relationship, although Merrick never completely confided in him. Merrick was admitted for bronchitis, washed, fed and put to bed in a small isolation room in the hospital's attic. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Joseph Carey Merrick was born on 5 August 1862 at 50 Lee Street in Leicester, to Joseph Rockley Merrick and his wife Mary Jane (née Potterton). Gomm wrote a letter to The Times, printed on 4 December, outlining Merrick's case and asking readers for suggestions. He noted that his skin was covered in papillomata (warty growths), the largest of which exuded an unpleasant smell. [138], In 2002, American heavy metal band Mastodon included an instrumental track, "Elephant Man", on their album Remission. A replica of his skeleton is on display at the Royal London Hospital Museum and Archives (the real skeleton is in the medical school and not on public display). Photos of Joseph Carey Merrick (August 5, 1862 – April 11, 1890), sometimes incorrectly referred to as John Merrick. 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. "Then I went home and really thought about it and started looking at the records of the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium near Epping Forest, where two Ripper victims are buried. [70] It did not take Treves long to realise that, contrary to his initial impressions, Merrick was not intellectually impaired. [20] Merrick held this belief about the cause of his affliction for his entire life. [141], "The Elephant Man" redirects here. This biography, whether written by Merrick or not, provided a generally accurate account of his life. He discovered that Merrick's physical condition had deteriorated over the previous two years and that he had become quite crippled by his deformities. [69], Treves observed that Merrick was very sensitive and showed his emotions easily. In this he is not alone – life expectancy at his birth, in 1862, was around 40, and his brother died of scarlet fever aged four. Mrs Vigor-Mungovin told the BBC, a story about his soft tissue being buried separately had not been followed up due to the number of graveyards in use at the time. From there, he travelled by train to London and arrived at Liverpool Street station. [118] During 2003, the filmmakers commissioned further diagnostic tests using DNA from Merrick's hair and bone. To see all content on The Sun, please use the Site Map. [25] Merrick failed to make enough money as a hawker to support himself. [116][117], During 2002, genealogical research for the film led to a BBC appeal to trace Merrick's maternal family line. He was not eligible to enter a workhouse in London for more than one night and would be accepted only by Leicester Union, where he was a permanent resident. [22] On 29 May 1873, fewer than three years after the death of her youngest son William, Mary Jane Merrick died from bronchopneumonia. Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Merrick had an iron bed with a curtain drawn around to afford him some privacy. [122][123] In a letter to the World's Fair newspaper, and later in his own memoirs, Norman denied this characterisation and said he provided his show attractions with a way of earning a living, and that at the London Hospital Merrick was still on display, but with no control over how or when he was viewed. They refuted some of the inaccuracies in Treves's account, showing that Merrick's mother had not abandoned him, and that Merrick deliberately chose to exhibit himself to make a living. [46][nb 2][34], At the hospital, Treves examined Merrick, observing that he was "shy, confused, not a little frightened, and evidently much cowed". The calcified tumors and nodules were sculpted using reference from the actual Merrick skeleton. [75] His facial deformities continued to grow and his head became even more enlarged.
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