Joseph Carey Merrick’s Armchair – William Taylor, the great-grandfather of the present owner of the chair, worked at the Royal London Hospital as Chief Engineer.
It was he who converted the rooms in the basement of the East wing for use by Joseph. He also made the armchair, or had it made.
At some point, the chair came into the possession of the engineer and, as you can see, it’s still in the family today.
Chair Description and Name Plate
This is the actual, commissioned chair, in which Joseph sat whilst at the London Hospital.
The frame is untouched, so are the legs and swivel wheels.
At some point however, it was re-covered, (this is not the original fabric); it had become worn with time.
What you see is probably very close to the original fabric design.
The specially designed angle of the chair was to accommodate Joseph’s uneven form.
It is not known when the painted name plaque was attached; as it was there before it came into the present family’s possession.
William introduced his son, Edward Charles Taylor, (the chair owner’s grandfather, (below), to Joseph. Edward was rather partial to playing a little amateur violin and his artistic talent soon became known to our Friend, Joseph.
According to the Taylor family, Joseph once asked Edward if he would play him something – he did. The piece that was chosen is unknown. From what I understood, he often played for Joseph.…