Joseph Merrick

 · Merrick was 17 when he went into the Leicester workhouse system. Fortunately, Joseph’s uncle Charles Merrick, a barber, took his nephew in, but the deformed young man was still unable to make Estimated Reading Time: 8 mins.

 · Joseph Merrick was a healthy baby until the age of 21 months when his lips began to swell. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy. A TERRIBLE CHILDHOOD. One of the worst things that happened to Merrick was the death of his beloved mother Mary Jane. She died of pneumonia when Merrick was just 11 and he was said to be devastated.

 · At the time Joseph Carey Merrick lived (), leading authorities stated he suffered from elephantiasis. This is a disorder of the lymphatic system that causes parts of the body to swell to a huge size. In , a doctor postulated that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis, a rare disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nervous system.

Joseph Merrick was born on August 5, in Leicester to Mary Jane and Joseph Rockley Merrick. He had a younger brother and sister and was completely normal until the age of an autobiographical note which appeared on the reverse side of his freak show pamphlet, Merrick noted that his deformity first manifested with small bumps appearing on the left side of his body.

The story of Joseph Carey Merrick began in , when he was born to Mary Jane and Joseph Merrick of Leicester, but the story of the Elephant Man did not start until several years later. It was when he was a toddler that tumours first appeared on Merrick's body.


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2 Replies to “Joseph Merrick”

  1. Biography of Joseph Carey Merrick ( - ) Exhibitions of live human curiosities had appeared in travelling fairs, circuses and taverns in England since the s. These shows were still popular in when Joseph Carey Merrick, an apparently healthy baby, was born to Mary Jane and Joseph Merrick in Leicester, England.

  2. Joseph Merrick, in full Joseph Carey Merrick, also called the Elephant Man, (born August 5, , Leicester, Leicestershire, England—died Ap, London), disfigured man who, after a brief career as a professional “freak,” became a patient of London Hospital from until his death. Merrick was apparently normal until about the.

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