Thomas Parr, The Man Who Lived to 152 Years

On 15 November 1635, Thomas Parr was laid to rest at a grave in old Westminster Abbey. Tradition insist that this man was born around the year 1482 or 1483, and that he had reached the ripe old age of 152 years. Parr’s unusual longevity made him a sensation, and when he went to London to visit the King towards the end of his life, Parr was practically smothered by the crowd attempting to touch him and hear him speak. Although any rational person would refuse to believe the human life is capable of such lifespan, some credence was lent to Parr’s life because his body was dissected upon his death by the famed physician William Harvey, who, like others of the time, accepted Parr’s age.

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Portrait of Thomas Parr by John Condé, circa 1793.


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