In this article we will be taking a closer look at the mystery surrounding the legend of Peter the Wild Boy of Kensington Palace. Who was this feral child and did he actually suffer from a cognitive or physical disability?
Let’s take a closer look…
The legend starts off in 1726, when King George I of England was in the process of holding a large gathering/party in Hamelin, Germany. During the event a group of locals decided to introduce a young teenage boy to the king.
The boy had been found several months earlier in the Hertswold forest. At the time he was basically nude and all alone. The townsfolk guessed he had been looking after himself in the forest for quite some time.
The boy had thick bushy hair, and piercing green eyes – he scanned the room joyfully and ran up to the king.
He definitely appeared wild, but the king and his group instantly took to him.
The Princess Caroline of Wales
The King’s daughter-in-law, Princess Caroline of Wales, thought that Peter was delightful, and requested that he come with them back to Kensington Palace. Once there, she entrusted Peter to Dr. Arbuthnot, and commanded a group of servants to look after his needs.
Within weeks, much of the public were talking about this wild addition to the royal family, they began calling him Peter the Wild Boy.
It took many months to ‘train’ Peter how to act more like a normal child – at first he could only eat food with his hands. The Queen’s bedchamber women, a lady named Mrs. Titchbourn, seemed to be Peter’s favourite, and the two grew very close.
When Dr. Arbuthnot’s care for Peter ended, Mrs. Titchbourn took him away from Palace life to a farm owned by a Mr. Fenn. This farmer agreed to look after Peter for a pension of 30 pounds per year. Mrs. Titchbourn visited every summer.
Mr. Fenn eventually died, then one of his sons decided to take care of Peter at a farmhouse named Broadway. Peter lived out the remainder of his life at this house and had a joyful experience there.
When Peter was a fully grown adult man, he began having lessons with a guy named Mr. Braidwood. He was eventually taught a number of words that allowed him to answer simple questions. He never initiated speech on his own, but, he always seemed to understand conversations that were directed at him.
Was Peter Suffering From a Disability?
Peter ended up having quite a lucky life, but those around him thought he was simply a feral child, and lacked basic skills because of this. They did not consider that perhaps he had a genetic condition.
Over the last few decades, historians and medical experts have studied his life and now believe he could well have suffered called disease called Pitt Hopkins Syndrome. It’s a disease that has close links to Autism.
It is now thought that Peter managed to reach the ripe old age of 70.
What are your thoughts on the subject of Peter the Wild Boy of Kensington Palace?
Do you think he suffered from a disability or was he nothing more than a feral child?
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.