BYRNE

Charles Byrne: the Irish giant. Born 1761. Arrives London April 1782. Exhibit at Cox's freak show, Spring Gardens. Ratings waning within a year. Fandom of John Hunter (Godfather of modern surgery) consistent. Byrne keeps growing. April 23 1783: Byrne at the bar pick-pocketed of his life savings (two bank notes, one for 700, the other 70). He is dead by June 1st. Reluctant exhibit ever after, Byrne demands his body be buried at sea. Friends to safeguard are paid in advance, as is the coffin and ship fee. Today, his bones form part of a primarily stolen collection of instruments and severances at the Royal College of Surgeons. Look up to Byrne, and catch your reflection in Hunter's case containing him.

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