Jane Bunford

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Jane Bunford
Born Jane Bunford
(1895-07-26)26 July 1895
Bartley Green, Northfield, Birmingham
Died 1 April 1922(1922-04-01) (aged 26)
Bartley Green, Northfield, Birmingham
Known for Tallest recognised British person
Height 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in)

Jane Bunford (26 July 1895 – 1 April 1922)[1] was the one of the tallest women ever measuring 2.41 metres (7 ft 11 in) at the time of her death (adjusted for spinal curvature).

Early life[edit]

Bunford's parents were John Bunford (1856-1916)[1] and Jinny Bunford (1857–1934)[1] of Bartley Green, Northfield, Birmingham, UK. Her father was a metal caster. She was a quiet, shy child who enjoyed good health during the first 11 years of her life, while she was quite tall for her age, her growth rate was not unusual before her accident. In June 1906, she stood 1.52 metres (5 ft 0 in) tall.

Accident[edit]

In 1906, Bunford fractured her skull after falling off her bicycle and hitting her head on the pavement. It is believed that the injury permanently damaged her pituitary gland, releasing an excess of growth hormone which sent her growth out of control. The accident also indirectly led to her death.

School[edit]

Bunford attended St. Michael's Secondary School in Bartley Green. At school she displayed a talent for embroidery, but was tormented after her accident. Also, the desks and chairs became too uncomfortable for her to sit at. As a result of both factors, Bunford's parents took her out of school close to her 13th birthday. On her 13th birthday she was measured at 1.98 metres (6 ft 6 in) tall.[2] At age 19 in 1914, she was measured at 2.33 metres (7 ft 8 in) tall. On her 21st birthday Bunford was measured at 2.39 metres (7 ft 10 in) tall, her peak standing height.

Later life[edit]

Bunford rejected several opportunities to benefit financially from her size and appearance. She had straight long auburn hair. In her final years Bunford became a recluse. She hated the attention her size brought her, and her spine developed a severe curvature. Because of this, Bunford could not stand fully erect towards the end of her life. By the end of her life, Bunford was also in pain because of joint problems and other ailments.[3] She often baby-sat young children in the area, as a favour for neighbors. Bunford had a close friend named Emma, who was a dwarf and lived nearby.[citation needed]

Death and funeral[edit]

Shortly before her death, Bunford was measured at 2.31 metres (7 ft 7 in) tall. It was estimated that she would have been 2.41 metres (7 ft 11 in), if she had not developed the spinal curvature.[4]

Bunford died at her home in Jiggins Lane on 1 April 1922. According to her death certificate, Bunford died of hyperpituitarism and gigantism.[5]

The funeral was held at St Michaels and All Angels Church, Bartley Green, on 5 April 1922. According to undertaker's records published in General Practitioner, her coffin was 2.50 metres (8 ft 2 in) long and was probably the longest ever used for a UK funeral.

Preceded by
Unknown
Tallest Recognized Woman
?-1982
Succeeded by
Zeng Jinlian
Preceded by
Unknown
Tallest Recognized Woman ever
?-1982
Succeeded by
Zeng Jinlian
Preceded by
Unknown
Tallest Recognized British Person ever
?-present
Succeeded by
-

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl
  2. ^ The Guinness Book of Records – various issues 1972 – 2000
  3. ^ http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ENG-BLACK-COUNTRY/2004-06/1088623379
  4. ^ "Ladies First"
  5. ^ Jane Bunford's death certificate – 3 April 1922

External links[edit]