Clergyman / Sideshow Figure
Date Of Death:
30 July 1937
mauled by a lion
Best Known As:
The scandalous Rector of Stiffkey
Harold Davidson was the subject of a famous 1932 British scandal. As the Rector of Stiffkey parish in Norfolk, he spent much of his time in London attempting to rescue troubled young ladies and fallen women. When it began to appear that his interest in the ladies was more lascivious than charitable, he was tried for unwholesome behavior and defrocked by the Church of England. In an odd twist, Davidson turned himself into a sideshow attraction, proclaiming his innocence to paying customers. In 1937 he gained new fame for being killed by a carnival lion during one of his shows. Ken Russell's film Lion's Mouth (2000) was inspired by the Davidson scandal.
Stiffkey is pronounced “stookey.”