Monday, 5 August 2013

A standard size coffin was sent as they believed that the telegraph was a mistake

Anna Haining Bates (August 6, 1846 – August 5, 1888),
Anna Haining Bates, born Anna Haining Swan (August 6, 1846 – August 5, 1888), was a Canadian from Mill Brook,  Nova Scotia, famed for her great height, believed to be 2.27 m (7' 5½") at the peak of her stature. Her parents were of average height.

When visiting a circus in Halifax with which Martin Van Buren Bates — another enormously tall person — was travelling, Anna was spotted by the promoter and hired on the spot. The giant couple became a touring sensation and eventually fell in love and, on 17 June 1871 in St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, they married. Rev. Rupert Cochrane, a friend of Anna's family who happened to be preaching in London at the time, agreed to conduct the ceremony. Despite his 6-foot-3-inch (1.91 m) stature, the Reverend looked small when standing next to the giant bride and groom.

In 1872, Anna and her husband purchased 130 acres (0.53 km2) of land and had furniture made to their specifications. Martin supervised the construction of the house. The main part of the house had 14-foot (4.3 m) high ceilings, while the doors were extra wide and were 8 and a 1/2 feet tall. The back part of the house was built an average size for servants and guests.

Anna Swan died of consumption (tuberculosis) at her home on August 5, 1888 just one day before her 42nd birthday. She succumbed to heart failure after struggling with a thyroid goitre for some time previously.
After his wife's death, Captain Bates wired Cleveland, Ohio, for a coffin. A standard size coffin was sent as they believed that the wire was a mistake. Furious about this, he contacted them again to say that his first wire was correct. The funeral had to be delayed as it took the coffin three further days to arrive.

Anna, Martin and their children are buried in Mound Hill Cemetery in Seville, Ohio, USA.

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