Oct 252014

avavavaIdly leafing through back-numbers of The Gentleman’s Magazine (as one does) I came across this obituary from November 1787:







I rather like the idea of William Elliott living to 93, and recording that his happiest times were when he was a beggar. It reminded me of the lovely portrait by Nathaniel Hone The Elder of a beggar (by the name of James Turner). Interesting though that Elliott not only ran a Lottery Office – but was also a lottery winner… £10,000 would have been more than three quarters of a million pounds in modern terms.

Mind you, he had quite a life – running a distillery; eating chicken for five years while  marooned a la Robinson Crusoe; getting a job as a strolling player; becoming a quack doctor; dealing in horses; ending up as a porter. Not many people get to try quite so many careers – you cannot say that the Eighteenth Century didn’t provide opportunities for entrepreneurship and  a change of job!

  One Response to “A contented beggar goes to meet his Maker, November 1787”


    there are some lovely snippets in the papers, I just read of the Widow Herring who died in her 106th year possessed of all her faculties to her last breath; and a gentleman 91 espousing a lady 86, both IIRC in 1815 [and not being what I was looking for at all]

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