'Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind's the standard of the man.
(Poem used by John Merrick in a pamphlet accompanying his freak show, and later when he wrote to thank people for their generosity in caring for him.)
Important dates compiled from the book:
"THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE ELEPHANT MAN"
By Michael Howard and Peter Ford
compiled by: Steven Knight, Montrael, Canada.
May 19, 1837: Mary Jane Potterton born
in Evington England.
February 15, 1853: Frederick Treves born at 8, Cornhill Street,
December 29, 1861: Joseph Rockley Merrick weds Mary Jane
Potterton, Thurmaston England.
August 5, 1862: Joseph Carey Merrick born at 50, Lee Street,
1865: Merricks move to 119, Upper Brunswick Street.
1868: Merricks move to 161, Birstall Street/Russel Square.
January 8, 1866: William Arthur Merrick born.
September 28, 1867: Marion Eliza Merrick born.
December 21, 1870: William Arthur Merrick dies from scarlet
1870: Charles Barnabus Merrick opens Barber/Tobacco/Umbrella
repair shop at 144, Churchgate.
1871: Frederick Treves begins medical studies at London
Hospital, London England.
May 19, 1873: Mary Jane Merrick dies from bronchial-pneumonia.
1874: Merricks move to 4, Wanlip Street.
December 3, 1874: Joseph Rockley Merrick weds Emma Wood
Antill at Baptist Church of Archdeacon Lane.
1874-75: Merricks move to 37, Russel Square.
1875: Joseph Merrick finds work at MM Freeman Cigar Factory,
9, Lower Hill street.
1877: Joseph Merrick begins short-lived work as door-to-door
1877: Joseph Merrick moves in with Uncle Charles and
Aunt Sarah over barber shop.
December, 1879: Joseph Merrick meets with William
Cartwright, administrator of the Leicester Workhouse.
Monday, December 29, 1879: Joseph Merrick admitted to the
1879: Dr. Frederick Treves becomes surgeon at London
Monday, March 22, 1880: Joseph Merrick leaves workhouse after
a six week stay.
March 24-25, 1880: Joseph Merrick returns, destitute, to workhouse.
1882: Dr. Frederick Treves publishes 1st book entitled
"Scrofula and Glandular Disease".
Mid 1882: Joseph Merrick undergoes surgery at Leicester
Hospital to remove fleshy (trunk-like) protuberance from upper lip. Dr.
Charles Marriott and Dr. Thomas Warburton Benfield are presumed
to have attended.
1884: Dr. Frederick Treves appointed Head Surgeon of London
Sunday, August 29, 1884: Joseph Merrick eats final meal at
August-September, 1884: Joseph Merrick begins career as sideshow
freak with entrepeneur Tom Norman acting as his manager/agent.
November 1884: Dr. Frederick Treves visits the Elephant
Man exhibit at 123, Whitechapel Road, London, England.
December 2, 1884: Frederick Treves presents Merrick
before the London Pathological Society, at 53, Berners Street,
March 17, 1885: Frederick Treves makes 2nd presentation to
the London Pathological Society. Joseph Merrick was not present.
Early June, 1886: Joseph Merrick robbed and abandoned by Austrian
showman while in Brussels, Belgium.
June, 1886: Joseph Merrick arrives at Liverpool Street
railway station, London, England.
June-July, 1886: Joseph Merrick admitted to London Hospital to be
treated for exhaustion, malnutrition and bronchitis.
December 4, 1886: Richard Carr Gomm, director of the London Hospital,
writes letter to the London Times outlining Merrick's case.
May 21, 1887: Joseph Merrick receives visit from the Princess of Wales
Alexandra, and the Duke of Cambridge.
1887: Joseph Merrick attends a performance of "Puss In Boots" at Drury
1889: New photos taken to document disease's rapid progress.
Summer 1889: Joseph Merrick spends six weeks vacationing in Fawsley
Park, Northampton England.
Sunday, April 6, 1890: Joseph Merrick attends both Easter services
in the London Hospital Chapel.
Friday, April 11, 1890: Joseph Carey Merrick dies at 1:30 p.m. from
asphyxiation at London Hospital. Body is found by Mr. Hodges and Mr. Ashe.
Tuesday, April 15, 1890: Mr. Wynne Baxter (coroner) leads judicial
inquiry into Merrick's death.
Wednesday, April 16, 1890: Richard Carr Gomm writes letter to the
London Times detailing Merrick's life and death.
April 1890: Joseph Merrick's remains are cast in plaster, specimens
are taken, and the body is dissected by Dr. Frederick Treves. The skeleton
remains on display at the London Hospital.
January 30, 1897: Joseph Rockley Merrick dies from chronic bronchitis
at 28, Justice Street, Leicester England
1898: Dr. Frederick Treves declines consulting physician post at London
1899: Dr. Frederick Treves serves as physician during the Boer War
in South Africa. He is discharged from duty after being stricken with distemper.
1899-1900: Queen Victoria appoints Dr. Frederick Treves Court Physician.
May 4, 1901: Dr. Frederick Treves is Knighted by King Edward VII.
June 1902: Sir Frederick Treves performs appendectomy on King Edward
1902: Sir Frederick Treves retires from medical practice to become
1918: Treves moves family to Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
1922: Sir Frederick Treves writes "The Elephant Man and Other
December 1922: Sir Frederick Treves dies from peritonitis.
December 1922: Sir Frederick Treves cremated in Lausanne, Switzerland.
January 2, 1923: Sir Frederick Treves buried at Dorchester Cemetery
following funeral at St. Peter's Church, Dorchester England.
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