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G. F. R. Barker

revised by Anita McConnell

Dunstan, Jeffrey (1759?–1797), hawker and ‘mayor of Garrett’, was a foundling reared in the parish workhouse of St Dunstan-in-the-East, in the City of London. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to a greengrocer, but he ran away to Birmingham, where he worked in the factories. The heavy labour probably added to his deformities, for as an adult he had knock knees, a large head, and grew to a height of only ...


Jeffrey Dunstan (1759?–1797) by T. Wilkes, pubd 1794 © National Portrait Gallery, London


Thomas Seccombe

revised by David Turner

Peter the Wild Boy (c. 1712–1785), curiosity, was found in 1725 in the woods near Hamelin, about 25 miles from Hanover. In the words of contemporary pamphleteers, he was observed 'walking on his hands and feet, climbing trees like a squirrel, and feeding on grass and moss'. In November 1725 he was taken to the house of correction at ...


Peter the Wild Boy (c. 1712–1785) by Valentine Green (after Pierre Étienne Falconet, exh. Society of Artists 1767) © National Portrait Gallery, London