Shot by a toasting fork

This is one of my favourite nineteenth-century cases, which I originally intended to include in my forthcoming book but which didn’t quite make it to the final manuscript. It was written by Dr T. Davis, from the small Worcestershire town of Upton-upon-Severn, and published in the Transactions of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association in … Continue reading Shot by a toasting fork

Death from peas

In July 1842 the London Medical Gazette printed one of the most intriguing headlines in the history of the journal: The story accompanying it was told by George Johnson, a physician’s assistant at King’s College Hospital in London. This is what he had to relate:  John Lydbury, aged 60, labourer, was brought to the hospital on … Continue reading Death from peas

The fire-proof man

In 1828 The Lancet reported the antics of  a person they called ‘the fire-proof man’, a Cuban with extraordinary abilities: The French medical journal, La Clinique, gives an account of the experiments of M. Martinez, the fire-proof man, as he is called, who is now one of the principal objects of attraction at Paris. M. … Continue reading The fire-proof man

A suicidal machine

In 1837 The Lancet reported a cause of death previously unknown in the annals of medical science.  Its report begins:  The following is an account of the post mortem examination of the body of Mr. Robert Cocking, aged sixty-one, who fell with a suicidal machine called a parachute, from the cord of a balloon which ascended from Vauxhall Gardens, on … Continue reading A suicidal machine