Tag Archives: Patrick Cotter O’Brien

Scary Monsters: #2 The Body Snatchers

Patrick Cotter O’Brien, “The Bristol Giant” born 1760 in Kinsale, County Cork; died Hotwells, Bristol, 1806, was over eight feet tall. He fought exploitation by showmen and opportunist medical careerists and was imprisoned for his cause.

He became his own promoter and to enjoy privacy ventured out in the hours of darkness to sometimes startling effect. His final wish was to be buried securely under 12 feet of concrete. This was difficult to achieve as the surgeon John Hunter was to steal his body before burial. He was forced to hand it back and Patrick’s last wish was granted at St Johns Chapel.

A century after his death the ghouls of Bristol University tried to rob his grave but were thwarted by the steel reinforcement and the outrage of local people. Another violation occurred in 1972 when the ghouls examined Patrick and re-interred him. The site was redeveloped in 1986 and Patrick was taken away. It is said that he was cremated respectfully although the Royal College of Surgeons still display one of his arms!

I ask the question, what was the purpose of these outrages? It cannot be scientific, as ample study was done on the sensitive Patrick when he was still alive. Also many people living today suffer his affliction. Can anybody enlighten me about the body snatchers who abuse us even after death?