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Author Topic: Richard Joy - the 'Kentish Samson'  (Read 1904 times)
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John
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« on: July 27, 2011, 17:47:15 PM »

Renowned for his enormous strength and imposing appearance, Richard Joy was born on the 2nd May 1675 at St. Lawrence, Ramsgate. By the age of 24 he was giving public displays of his abilities - being harnessed to a rope attatched to a horse which was then whipped into trying to bolt, lifting heavy objects impossible for a 'normal' man to manage, bending iron bars, opening jars of Sainsbury's Pickled Onions (ok, I made that one up, but he would be a handy geezer to have around the house sometimes). Although he became a favourite performer for William III he was unable to support himself and turned to smuggling - upon being captured he was spared a 'serious' punishment by the intervention of nobility and instead he was pressed into the Royal Navy.

It was while onboard a warship that he had a friendly discussion with one of the officers... having demanded a double ration of rum because of his huge size, the officer agreed on condition Joy did the work of two men. Picking up a cannon, he carried it across the deck and relocated it on the opposite side - it took six ordinary seamen to replace it afterwards, apparently

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Monkton Malc
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 18:29:24 PM »

A couple of pictures from today's visit to St Peters churchyard.

The grave is very easy to find as it is only a few yards inside the gate on the left hand side of the path.


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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 18:33:44 PM »

Quite a character!
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John
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 16:55:47 PM »

It seems that Richard Joy drowned while indulging in a spot of smuggling.
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 18:27:42 PM »

Thanet Advertiser - Friday 23 February 1934

There is an interesting bicentenary this year. It was in 1734 that Richard Joy, of St. Peter's ("the English Samson") was drowned while smuggling. Richard (whose famous epitaph just inside the entrance to St. Peter's Churchyard will be recalled) and his brother William appeared at the Dorset Gardens Theatre, in 1679, billed as "the famous Kentish men." Richard also appeared before the King and other members of the Royal Family, and lifted a weight of 2,240 lbs., held an exceptionally large cart horse, and broke a rope capable of bearing 35 cwt. The management at Dorset Gardens heralded the brothers' appearance with the statement:

"Whereas several scandalous persons have given out that they can do as much as any of the brothers, we do offer to such persons £100 reward if he can perform the said matters of strength as they do, provided the pretender will forfeit £20 if he doth not.”
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