1896: George Bush in court for his “mania for nudity”

In the summer of 1896, George Bush appeared in a London court charged with running around stark naked. He was found scaling a wall in Whitman Road, Bow in the nude. Bush had only been released from prison hours before, after serving a month for streaking through a first-class railway carriage.

The constables who arrested Bush were alerted to his antics by local children, who had been frightened by a “white ghost”:

“[The] prisoner said ‘It’s been rather hot today and they are after me. I threw my clothes into the Cut. I was only liberated [from prison] this morning.’ Constable JR said that doctors who had examined Bush certified they could find no trace of insanity. The present [charge] made the eighth time he had been charged with being in a state of nudity in railway carriages or public streets… Altogether there were 18 former convictions against the prisoner.”

The magistrate condemned the prisoner for his “mania for nudity”. He was ordered to pay a combined surety of 20 pounds or spend another month in prison.

Source: Reynold’s Newspaper, London, August 23rd 1896. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.