The Odd Family

In the reign of William III, there resided at Ipswich a family which, from the number of peculiarities belonging to it, was distinguished by the name of ‘the Odd Family’. Every event remarkably good or bad happened to this family on an odd day of the month, and every member had something odd in his or her person, manner, or behaviour. The very letters in their Christian names always happened to be an odd number; the husband’s name was Peter, and the wife’s name Raboh: they had seven children, all boys, viz, Solomon, Roger, James, Matthew, Jonas, David, and Ezekiel. The husband had but one leg, his wife but one arm. Solomon was born blind of one eye, and Roger lost his sight by accident. James had his left ear bit off by a boy in a quarrel, and Matthew was born with only three fingers on his right hand. Jonas had a stump foot and David was hump-backed. All these, except the latter, were remarkably short, while Ezekiel was six foot one inch high at the age of nineteen The stump-footed Jonas and the hump-backed David got wives of fortune, but no girls in the borough would listen to the addresses of their brothers. The husband’s hair was as black as jet, and the wife’s remarkably white; yet every one of the children’s hair was red. The husband was killed by accidentally falling into a deep pit in the year 1701; and his wife, refusing all kinds of sustenance, died five days after him, and they were buried in one grave. In 1703, Ezekiel enlisted as a grenadier; and although he was afterwards wounded in twenty-three places, he recovered. Roger, James, Matthew, Jonas, and David, it appears by the church registers, died in different places and were buried on the same day, in 1713; and Solomon and Ezekiel were drowned together in crossing the Thames in the year 1723. Such a collection of odd circumstances never occurred before in one family.

John Timbs, English Eccentrics And Eccentricities, Volume II (1866)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.