Monday, January 20, 2014

How to stuff a rhinoceros

How to stuff a Rhinoceros ??
Well I don't know, but Jean's great great great Grandfather did.

A rhino had been imported in to England  1790 as a gift to Mr. Dundas a Scottish Member of Parliament, who apparently did not want the bother of keeping it and gave it away. It was subsequently purchased by Gilbert Pidcock for £700 and was exhibited at the Exeter Exchange Menagerie in the Strand and also as an exhibit in Pidcock's travelling menagerie.

 The animal is described as having been very docile, would obey his keeper's orders and would allow visitors to pat him. In October 1792, in an act of getting to his feet, the rhino dislocated the joint in one of his forelegs, which brought on inflammation. This injury resulted in his death about nine months later, but not before Pidcock, its owner, had taken out an insurance policy on the animal. The death occurred whilst the Menagerie was on the move and near the town of Portsmouth, (some sources state "Corsham near Portsmouth”). The odour from the remains was such that the Mayor of Portsmouth ordered that the carcass be buried. About two weeks later, the story goes, the remains were dug up, at dead of night and was subsequently preserved by Thomas Hall of City Road.

This event was commemorated on a number of tokens issued about 1795, one by Thomas Hall and another by Pidcock.

 Read the full story in our book Thomas Hall of City Road available on