Near St Bartholomew's Hospital in London you can find this golden statue of a boy which is related to the London Fire of 1666, who destroyed most of the City but spared the ancient Hospital, and to the grotesque stories of ancient anatomy and body snatching.
In fact, as remembered by the long English inscription below the monument: “THE BOY AT PYE CORNER WAS ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE STAYING OF THE GREAT FIRE WHICH BEGINNING AT PUDDING LANE WAS ASCRIBED TO THE SIN OF GLUTTONY WHEN NOT ATTRIBUTED TO THE PAPISTS AS ON THE MONUMENT AND THE BOY WAS MADE PRODIGIOUSLY FAT TO ENFORCE THE MORAL. HE WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT INTO THE FRONT OF A PUBLIC HOUSE CALLED ‘THE FORTUNE OF WAR’ WHICH USED TO OCCUPY THIS SITE AND WAS PULLED DOWN IN 1910.
‘THE FORTUNE OF WAR’ WAS THE CHIEF HOUSE OF CALL NORTH OF THE RIVER FOR RESURRECTIONISTS IN BODY SNATCHING DAYS YEARS AGO. THE LANDLORD USED TO SHOW THE ROOM WHERE ON BENCHES ROUND THE WALLS THE BODIES WERE PLACED LABELLED WITH THE SNATCHERS’ NAMES WAITING TILL THE SURGEONS AT SAINT BARTHOLOMEW’S COULD RUN ROUND AND APPRAISE THEM”.
- Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (August 2011)
- Locate the item on this Google Map