Friday, 10 February 2012

John Tallis, bed ridden to the nth degree

On page 123 of the March 1753 issue of Gentleman's Magazine, a reader called J.D. sends in an account of an eccentric who lived in Burton, Worcestershire.

This man, John Tallis, was born around 1676 and then at the beginning of 1724 he asked for a new room to be built that wouldn't allow any fresh air in. The only window had four panes and the glass was three times thicker than normal, so that no air could pass through.

He then spent the rest of his life in this room, in bed, entirely covered by the covers, and his head wrapped up in flannel which was held in place by string, and then some woollen cloth laid over his face. He kept his nostrils closed by the use of stoppers, and he usually held a piece of ivory in his mouth.

The Gentleman's Magazine for 1755 reports his death in that year, having not risen from his bed in 30 years.

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