Headstones with unusual stories to tell: Peter the Wild Boy

Peter had been found living alone and naked in a German forest in 1725. He could not talk, and would scamper about on all fours rather than walk.

When he was about 12 he was brought to London by King George I where he became a "human pet" at Kensington Palace. However, his inability to learn table manners or speech, hatred of wearing clothes - even his specially-made green velvet suit - and lack of decorum led to him falling out of favor.

The court paid for him to retire to a Hertfordshire farm with a generous pension and when he died, aged about 72, the locals paid for a headstone. Even today, flowers are laid on his grave.

Peter's funeral was held at St Mary's Church, Northchurch, Hertfordshire, and was paid for by the government. His gravestone was provided by local people.

At the time, courtiers assumed Peter's behavior was the result of being brought up by wolves or bears. However, modern analysis of a portrait suggests Peter had a rare genetic condition known as Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome.

Read more 

No comments: