John Bigg, an eccentric hermit. Line engraving by Wilkes.
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About this work
The lettering from another print (record no. 167) states that the sitter was "baptised 22d. April 1629 buried 4th. April 1696. Browne Willis gives the particulars of this man out of a letter written to him by Thos. Herne dated Oxon Feby 12: 1712 He was formerly clerk to Simon Mayne of Dinton one of the Judges who passed sentence on King Charles the First, he lived at Dinton (co.Bucks) in a cave, he had been a man of tolerable wealth, was looked upon as a pretty good scholar, and of no contemtable parts, upon the Restoration he grew melancholy, betook himself to a recluse life, and lived by charity, but never asked for anything but leather, which he would immediately nail to his clothes, he kept 3 bottles that hung to his girdle, viz for strong & small beer & milk, his shoes are still preserved they are very large and made up of about a thousand patches of leather, one of them is in the Bodleian Repository the other in the collection of Sr. John Vanhatten of Dinton who had his cave dug up some years since, in hopes of discovering something relative to him, but without success".