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Elephant Man: Joseph Merrick's grave 'found by author'

May 6, 2019 5:01 am

The unmarked grave of Joseph Merrick – who is better known as the Elephant Man – has been traced after nearly 130 years, it has been claimed.

Merrick had a skeletal and soft tissue deformity which saw him as a freak show attraction, then a medical curiosity.

His skeleton has been preserved at the Royal London Hospital since his death.

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But author Jo Vigor-Mungovin says she has now discovered Merrick’s soft tissue was buried in the City of London Cemetery after he died in 1890.

After a miserable adolescence and time as a travelling exhibit, Leicester-born Merrick ended up at what was then called the London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, where he surprised staff by proving to have an intelligent and sensitive personality.

He became a minor celebrity and in May 1887 was visited by Alexandra, Princess of Wales, who afterwards sent him Christmas cards.

After his death, Merrick’s body was dissected and his skeleton preserved as an anatomical specimen.

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