Elephant Man: Joseph Merrick’s unmarked grave discovered in London, says author


The unmarked grave of Joseph Merrick – the Victorian freak present exhibit higher often called the Elephant Man – has been found in London, an creator has claimed.

Jo Vigor-Mungovin mentioned she tracked down the exact burial spot of his stays in an east London cemetery nearly 130 years after died.

A circus attraction deemed a medical marvel as a result of his extreme deformities, Mr Merrick’s skeleton was fastidiously preserved on the Royal London Hospital after his loss of life in 1890. The ultimate resting place of his tender tissue, nonetheless, has remained a thriller for over a century.

Mr Merrick’s life was depicted in a 1980 movie by director David Lynch titled The Elephant Man. The reason for the Leicester man’s deformities continues to be unsure, however some imagine he had a genetic dysfunction often called Proteus syndrome.

Ms Vigor-Mungovin consulted cemetery data across the time of his loss of life and located he had been interred on the Metropolis of London Cemetery and Crematorium close to Epping Forest.

The creator, who has written a biography of Mr Merrick, mentioned her hunt started after she was questioned concerning the location of his stays.

“I used to be requested about this and off-hand I mentioned, “It in all probability went to the identical place because the [Jack the] Ripper victims”, as they died in the identical locality,” she instructed BBC Leicester.

“Then I went dwelling and actually thought of it and began wanting on the data of the Metropolis of London Cemetery and Crematorium close to Epping Forest, the place two ripper victims are buried.

Joseph Merrick, photographed by Radiological Society of North America (PA Archive/PA Pictures)

“I made a decision to go looking in an eight-week window across the time of his loss of life and there, on web page two, was Joseph Merrick.”

The burial date listed within the data is 24 April 1890, lower than two weeks after Mr Merrick’s loss of life on 11 April.

It additionally suppliers the identify of a coroner and closing residence which correspond with beforehand established particulars about Mr Merrick.

Ms Vigor-Mungovin mentioned she is “99 per cent sure” she has situated the precise grave. “All the things suits, it’s an excessive amount of to be a coincidence”.

His unmarked grave was narrowed right down to a memorial backyard at first, however Ms Vigor-Mungovin mentioned a extra particular spot was then recognized with the assistance of cemetery authorities.

She mentioned Mr Merrick quickly can be given a becoming memorial plaque.

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