Description

Human curiosities were as much a part of popular amusements as were exotic animal shows in the 18th century, and formed a principal part of both private viewings and travelling shows. Pictured in this illustration is Henry Blacker, the so-called ‘Living Colossus’ or ‘British Giant’. Blacker was born in Cuckfield in Sussex 1724 and at the age of 27 travelled to London to seek fame for his great height, said to be seven feet four inches high. One newspaper from 1752 advertised his appearance at Ludgate in London from nine in the morning until nine at night, where he could be viewed ‘by any number of persons’. Before this appearance Blacker had already been inspected by members of the nobility and gentry, who judged him ‘to be the best proportioned of his size they ever saw’.

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