Friday, 12 August 2016

The Grave of Nanetta Stocker in Birmingham


 Worn with age and covered with lichen, it is difficult to read the inscription on this grave at St. Phillip's Cathedral in the centre of Birmingham.  It's design is unremarkable, so that people passing it are not likely give it a second look.  Yet, this memorial stands testament to a remarkable women.  Nanetta (also referred to as Nanette) Stocker was in fact the smallest woman in Britain.

At only 33 inches high (two foot nine inches), Nanetta used her height to map out a living.  A talented musician, she toured with  fellow Austrian and musician, John Hauptmann, who was himself small in stature.  Both became well known throughout Europe for their amazing talent but also as curiosities.  A booklet was even produced about them at the time called The History and Travels of the Little Nanette Stocker and of John Hauptmann.
Image via Lesley-Anne Mcleod


Nanette's grave can be found to the right of the entrance of the Cathedral and the inscription reads:

In Memory of NANETTA STOCKER, who departed this life, May 4th 1819, aged 39 years.  The smallest woman ever in this kingdom.  Possessed with every accomplishment, only 33 inches high.  A NATIVE OF AUSTRIA,

Image via Lesley-Anne Mcleod




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