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Chesten Marchant
Last speaker of Cornish

Chesten Marchant

Chesten Marchant
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Last speaker of Cornish
From England
Gender male
Birth Cornwall, United Kingdom
Death 1676, Gwithian, United Kingdom
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Jurōjin, the god of longevity in Taoism

Longevity myths are traditions about long-lived people (generally supercentenarians), either as individuals or groups of people, and practices that have been believed to confer longevity, but for which scientific evidence does not support the ages claimed or the reasons for the claims. While literal interpretations of such myths may appear to indicate extraordinarily long lifespans, many scholars believe such figures may be the result of incorrect translation of numbering systems through various languages coupled by the cultural and/or symbolic significance of certain numbers.

The phrase "longevity tradition" may include "purifications, rituals, longevity practices, meditations, and alchemy" that have been believed to confer greater human longevity, especially in Chinese culture.

Modern science indicates various ways in which genetics, diet, and lifestyle affect human longevity. It also allows us to determine the age of human remains with a fair degree of precision.

The Sacrifice of Noah, Jacopo Bassano (c. 1515 – 1592), Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Potsdam-Sanssouci, c. 1574. Noah was traditionally age 601 at the time.

Extreme longevity claims in religion

Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)

Several parts of the Hebrew Bible, including the Torah, Joshua, Job, and 2 Chronicles, mention individuals with lifespans up to the 969 years of Methuselah.

Some apologists explain these extreme ages as ancient mistranslations that converted the word "month" to "year", mistaking lunar cycles for solar ones: this would turn an age of 969 years into a more reasonable 969 lunar months, or about 78.3 solar years.

Donald Etz says that the Genesis 5 numbers were multiplied by ten by a later editor. These interpretations introduce an inconsistency: it would mean that the ages of the first nine patriarchs at fatherhood, ranging from 62 to 230 years in the manuscripts, would then be transformed into an implausible range such as 5 to 18½ years. Others say that the first list, of only 10 names for 1,656 years, may contain generational gaps, which would have been represented by the lengthy lifetimes attributed to the patriarchs. Nineteenth-century critic Vincent Goehlert suggests the lifetimes "represented epochs merely, to which were given the names of the personages especially prominent in such epochs, who, in consequence of their comparatively long lives, were able to acquire an exalted influence."

Those biblical scholars that teach literal interpretation give explanations for the advanced ages of the early patriarchs. In one view, man was originally to have everlasting life, but as sin was introduced into the world by Adam, its influence became greater with each generation and God progressively shortened man's life. In a second view, before Noah's flood, a "firmament" over the earth (Genesis 1:6–8) contributed to people's advanced ages.

Christianity

  • Around 1912, the Maharishi of Kailas was said by missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh to be an over-300-year-old Christian hermit in a Himalayan mountain cave with whom he spent some time in deep fellowship. Singh said the Maharishi was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and baptized by the nephew of St. Francis Xavier.
  • Scolastica Oliveri is said to have lived in Bivona, Italy, 1448–1578 (age 129–130), according to the archive of Monastero di San Paolo in Bivona located in Palermo.

Falun Gong

Chapter 2 of Falun Gong by Li Hongzhi (2001) states, "A person in Japan named Mitsu Taira lived to be 242 years old. During the Tang Dynasty in our country, there was a monk called Hui Zhao [慧昭, 526–815] who lived to be 290 [288–289] years old. According to the county annals of Yong Tai in Fujian Province, Chen Jun [陈俊] was born in the first year of Zhong He time (881 AD) under the reign of Emperor Xi Zong during the Tang Dynasty. He died in the Tai Ding time of the Yuan Dynasty (1324 AD), after living for 443 years."

Hinduism

Like Methuselah in Judaism, Bhishma among the Hindus is believed to have lived to a very advanced age and is a metaphor for immortality. His life spans four generations and considering that he fought for his great-nephews in the Mahabharata War who were themselves in their 70s and 80s, it is estimated that Bhishma must have been between 130 and 370 years old at the time of his death.

  • Trailanga Swami reportedly lived in Kashi since 1737; the journal Prabuddha Bharata puts his birth around 1607 (age 279–280), upon his death in 1887. His birth is also given as 1527 (age 359–360).
  • The sadhaka Lokenath Brahmachari reportedly lived 1730–1890 (age 159–160).
  • Shivapuri Baba, also known as Swami Govindanath Bharati, was a Hindu saint who purportedly lived from 1826 to 1963, making him allegedly 136–137 years old at the time of his death. He had 18 audiences with Queen Victoria.

Islam

Ibrahim (إِبْـرَاهِـيْـم‎) was said to have lived at 168–169 years. His wife Sarah is the only woman in the Old Testament whose age is given. She was 127 (Genesis 23:1).

According to 19th-century scholars, Abdul Azziz al-Hafeed al-Habashi (عبد العزيزالحبشي) lived 673–674 Gregorian years or 694–695 Islamic years, from 581–1276 of the Hijra.

In Twelver Shiism, Muhammad al-Mahdi is believed to currently be in hiding (Major Occultation) and still alive (age 1150).

Jainism

Extreme lifespans are ascribed to the Tirthankaras, for instance, Neminatha was said to have lived for over 10,000 years before his ascension, Naminatha was said to have lived for over 20,000 years before his ascension, Munisuvrata was said to have lived for over 30,000 years before his ascension, Māllīnātha was said to have lived for over 56,000 years before his ascension, Aranatha was said to have lived for over 84,000 years before his ascension, Kunthunatha was said to have lived for over 200,000 years before his ascension, and Shantinatha was said to have lived even for over 800,000 years before his ascension.

Theosophy/New Age

  • Babaji is said to be an "Unascended Master" purportedly many centuries old and is claimed to live in the Himalayas. The Hindu guru Paramhansa Yogananda claimed to have met him and was supposedly one of his disciples.

Ancient extreme longevity claims

These include claims prior to approximately 150 CE, before the fall of the Roman empire.

China

  • Fu Xi (伏羲) was supposed to have lived for 197 years.
  • Lucian wrote about the "Seres" (a Chinese people), claiming they lived for over 300 years.
  • Zuo Ci who lived during the Three Kingdoms Period was said to have lived for 300 years.
  • In Chinese legend, Peng Zu was believed to have lived for over 800 years during the Yin Dynasty (殷朝, 16th to 11th centuries BC).
Emperors
  • Yellow Emperor was said to have lived for 113 years.
  • Emperor Yao was said to have lived for 101 years.
  • Emperor Shun was said to have lived for 110 years.

Greece

A book Macrobii ("Long-livers") is a work devoted to longevity. It was attributed to the ancient Greek author Lucian, although it is now accepted that he could not have written it. Most examples given in it are lifespans of 80 to 100 years, but some are much longer:

  • Tiresias, the blind seer of Thebes, over 600 years.
  • Nestor lived over 300 years.
  • Members of the "Seres" over 300 years.

Japan

Some early emperors of Japan are said to have ruled for more than a century, according to the tradition documented in the Kojiki, viz., Emperor Jimmu and Emperor Kōan.

  • Emperor Jimmu (traditionally, 13 February 711 BC – 11 March 585 BC) lived 126 years according to the Kojiki. These dates correspond to 125 years, 339 days, on the proleptic Julian and Gregorian calendars. However, the form of his posthumous name suggests that it was invented in the reign of Kanmu (782–806), or possibly during the time in which legends about the origins of the Yamato dynasty were compiled into the Kojiki.

Korea

  • Taejo of Goguryeo (46/47 – 165) is claimed to have reigned in Korea for 93 years beginning at age 7. After his retirement, the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa give his age at death as 118, while the Book of the Later Han states he died in 121 at age 74.

Persian empire

The reigns of several shahs in the Shahnameh, an epic poem by Ferdowsi, are given as longer than a century:

  • Zahhak, 1,000 years.
  • Jamshid, 700 years.
  • Fereydun, 500 years.
  • Askani, 200 years.
  • Kay Kāvus, 150 years.
  • Manuchehr, 120 years.
  • Lohrasp, 120 years.
  • Goshtasp, 120 years.

Ancient Rome

In Roman times, Pliny wrote about longevity records from the census carried out in 74 AD under Vespasian. In one region of Italy many people allegedly lived past 100; four were said to be 130, others up to 140. The ancient Greek author Lucian is the presumed author of Macrobii (long-livers), a work devoted to longevity. Most of the examples Lucian gives are what would be regarded as normal long lifespans (80–100 years).

  • Tiresias, the blind seer of Thebes, was alive for over 600 years (Lucian).
  • Nestor lived over 300 years (Lucian).
  • According to one tradition, Epimenides of Crete (7th, 6th centuries BC) lived nearly 300 years.

Sumer

Age claims for the earliest eight Sumerian kings in the major recension of the Sumerian King List were in units and fractions of shar (3,600 years) and totaled 67 shar or 241,200 years.

In the only ten-king tablet recension of this list three kings (Alalngar, [...]kidunnu, and En-men-dur-ana) are recorded as having reigned 72,000 years together. The major recension assigns 43,200 years to the reign of En-men-lu-ana, and 36,000 years each to those of Alalngar and Dumuzid.

Medieval era

Poland

  • Piast Kołodziej, king of Poland, died in 861 at the alleged age of 120 (740 AD/861 AD).

Wales

  • Welsh bard Llywarch Hen (Heroic Elegies) died c. 500 in the parish of Llanvor, traditionally about age 150.

Modern extreme longevity claims

This list includes claims of longevity of 130 and older from the 14th century onward.

Name Alleged birthday Death Alleged age Country Notes
and references
Abdel Wali Numan 1865 2007 142 Yemen
Aisha Heddou 1885 2015 134-135 Morocco
Ajko Omerovitch 1804 1934-12 133–134 Ottoman Empire
Austria-Hungary
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Alhaji Abdu Sikola 1880 2015-04-26 134–135 Nigeria
Ali Al-Alakmi 1871 2018 146–147 Saudi Arabia
Ali bin Abdullah bin Ezab 1866 2006-12-14 159–160 United Arab Emirates
Ali Mohammed Hussein 1862 1997 134–135 Lebanon
Anton Pilya 1830 1965 134–135 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Antisa Khvichava 1880 2012 132 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Georgia
Bashir Al Saalmi 1873 2010 136–137 Oman
Bir Narayan Chaudhary 1856 1998 141–142 Nepal
Details
Bir claimed he was born in 1856, the son of a landowner. A cattle rancher in the village of Khanar, near Kathmandu, he was purportedly a leader of the first land survey team in the area, conducted in 1888. He was a smoker throughout his later life. Bir rose to prominence in the mid-1990s when Nepalese television and press began reporting on his claimed age. In 1997, he was honored by Nepal's King Birendra for his claimed longevity.
Cécilé Tshibola 1880 2010 129–130 Congo-Kinshasa
Charlie Smith 1842 1979 136–137 United States
Details
Prior to Smith's death, the Guinness Book of World Records had called his claim into question, noting that Smith's marriage certificate from 1910 stated that he was 35 years old at the time, which would make him 104 years old at the time of his death.
Chesten Marchant 1511 1676 164–165 United Kingdom
Details
Said to have been the last monolingual speaker of Cornish, died in 1676 at Gwithian, Cornwall. She is reported to have reached the age of 164 by one source (the claim apparently going back to either William Scawen or, according to Henry Jenner, to William Borlase.)
Colestein Veglin 1260–1261 (arrested in 1876) 615 United States
Details
According to the July 20, 1876 edition of The New York Times, a man arrested in Newark, NJ named Colestein Veglin claimed to be 615 years old and to have 6 wives, all living. Following this proclamation, he was taken to an insane asylum for two days.
Dhaqabo Ebba 1853 2015-06-10 161–162 Ethiopia
Details
A farmer from Oromia, Ethiopia who claimed to remember the 1895 Italian invasion of Ethiopia and that at the time he had 2 wives and a son old enough to herd cattle. Prior to his death, he laid claim to the largest extended family in his region and had allegedly seen his great-grandchildren into adulthood. He died at 11:30 pm on 10 May 2015, at the supposed age of 163 years, survived by, among others, an allegedly 128-year-old son, Ahmed Daqabo (b.1886/7). Like most rural Ethiopians, Ebba did not possess a birth certificate and his age cannot, therefore, be verified.
Mrs. Eckleston 1548 1691 143 United Kingdom
Details
From Philipstown, King's County.
Felix Bocobo 1833-10-3 1963-10-16 130 Philippines
Feroz-ud-Din Mir 1872-03-10 2014-08-29 142 Pakistan
Gabriel Umeh Enemuo 1864 2015-04-28 150–151 Nigeria
Habib Miyan 1869 2008-08-19 138 India
Details
Rahim "Habib Miyan" Khan of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, holds the Guinness World record for the Longest retirement pension. Miyan's claimed birth date derives from a family tree listing a Rahim Khan born in 1869, although his pension book listed his birth date as May 20, 1878. He said he had been using these documents since he was discharged from the army in 1938 to claim a pension, making him the world's longest-registered old-age pensioner. The Limca Book of Records lists him as the oldest man of Jaipur, describing him in its 2005 edition as "over 120 years". In 2004 two unidentified people donated money for Miyan to go to the Hajj, making him purportedly the oldest Hajj pilgrim in history. He was named as the Aab-e-Jaipur, ('Lustre of Jaipur') by the mayor of Jaipur.
Henry Jenkins 1501 1670-12 168–169 United Kingdom
Details
A brief biography of Henry Jenkins, of Ellerton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, was written by Anne Saville in 1663 based on Jenkins's description, stating birth in 1501; he also claimed to recall the 1513 Battle of Flodden Field. However, Jenkins also testified in 1667, in favor of Charles Anthony in a court case against Calvert Smythson, that he was then only 157–thereabouts. He was born in Bolton-on-Swale, and the date given, 17 May 1500, results in only a 1-year discrepancy with the age of 169 on his monument (he died 8 December 1670).
James Olofintuyi 1844-08-16 2015 171 Nigeria
Javier Pereira 1789 1955–58 165–169 Colombia
Details
A Zenú Indian from Colombia who was reputedly over 160 years old at the time of his death. Although his death is variously said to have been in 1955, 1956, and 1958, sources all claim that he was born in 1789.
Johanna Ramatse 1883-01-01 2017-05-31 134 South Africa
Li Ching-Yuen 1677 / 1736 1933-05-06 196–197 / 255–256 Republic of China
Qing Dynasty
Details
A New York Times story announced the death on 5 May 1933 in Kai Xian, Sichuan, at the age of 197, of the Republic of China's Li Ching-Yuen (李青云, Li Qing Yun), who claimed to be born in 1736. A Time article noted that "respectful Chinese preferred to think" Li was 150 in 1827 (birth 1677), based on a government congratulatory message, and died at age 256. T'ai chi ch'uan master Da Liu stated that Li learned qigong from a hermit over age 500.
Jon Andersson 1582-02-18 1729-04-18 146–147 Sweden
Josefa Molina Lantz 1831-04-30 2006 174–175 Venezuela
Joseph Surrington 1637 1797 159–160 United Kingdom
Khanum Hasno 1877 2013 135–136 Afghanistan
Klayonoh Bleaorplue 1863-03-07 2016-08-02 153 Liberia
Louisa Truxo 1610 1785 174–175 Argentina
Details
The London Chronicle on 5 September 1785, reported the history of Louisa Truxo, who supposedly lived until the age of 175 years (1610?–1785).
Margaret Patten 1601–1602 1739 137 United Kingdom
Maritina Vangatala 1879 2016 136-137 Solomon Islands
Maria Olivia da Silva 1880-02-28 2010-07-08 130 Brazil
Mbah Gotho 1870-12-31 2017-04-30 146 Indonesia
Dutch East Indies
Details
In May 2010, Solopos reported that census enumerators recorded that Saparman Sodimejo, known more commonly as Mbah Gotho, was 142 years old. Liputan 6 reported that his estimated age was 140, and that he could not remember his date of birth but claimed to remember the construction of a sugar factory in Sragen in 1880. His ID card, issued in 2014, displays his claimed birth date of 31 December 1870. A heavy smoker throughout his life, he allegedly outlived ten siblings, four wives and all five of his children. On 28 April 2017 he was admitted to RSUD Hospital in Sragen, where he died on 30 April.
Mohammed bin Masoud 1861 2014-02-27 152–153 Oman
Mohammed bin Zarei 1858–1859 2013 153–155 Saudi Arabia
Moloko Temo 1874-07-04 2009-09-03 135 South Africa
Mubarak Rahmani Messe 1874 2014-01-11 140 Algeria
Details
Died in 2014, allegedly at 140 years of age, in El Oued Province, Algeria, and was survived by 100 grandsons. According to family members, Rahmani had spent much of his early life in the Algerian Desert and later held various challenging occupations, including in construction, farming and herding. He was hospitalised for the first time in 2012, with a stomach complaint. His diet, referred to as "natural", consisted largely of dates, wheat flour, sheep's milk, and green tea.
Mzee Barnabas Kiptanui Arap Rop 1879 2012-03-08 132–133 Kenya
Nasir Al-Hajry 1873 2012 146-147 United Arab Emirates

Ntame Zambezi 1880 2011-07-13 131–130 Botswana
Omar Abas 1857-09-26 2002-09-1/14 144 Malaysia
Opanyin Kwaku Addae 1851-12-25 2011 159–160 Ghana
Peter Czartan 1539 1724 184 Hungary
Details
Netherlands envoy Hamelbraning reported in 1724 of the death in Rofrosh, Hungary, on January 5 of Peter Czartan, reportedly born 1539 and age 184. Charles Hulbert, who reported Czartan's case in an 1825 collection, added that John (172) and his wife Sara (164) both died in Hungary in 1741 after 148 years of marriage. The Book Validation of Exceptional Longevity has the old couples last name as Rowin, while The Virgin Birth And The Incarnation puts John and Sara's married name as Rovin.
Peter Torton 1539 1724 185 Romania
Details
"Of Temeswar in Hungary [now Timișoara, Romania], a peasant"
Sarhat Rashidova 1875 2007 131 Russian Empire
Soviet Union
Azerbaijan
Scolastica Oliveri 1448 1578 130 Italy
Shirali Muslimov 26 March 1805 02 September 1973 168 Azerbaijan
Soviet Union
Details
An Azerbaijani shepherd with Talysh ethnicity from the village of Barzavu in the Lerik region of Azerbaijan, a mountainous area near the Iranian border. He claimed to be the oldest person who ever lived when he died on September 2, 1973 at the alleged age of 168 years, 162 days, based solely on a passport. National Geographic carried the claim. The oldest woman in the USSR according to the Novosti Press Agency was supposed to have been Ashura Omarova from Daghestan, aged 195.
Sylvester Magee 1841-05-29 1971-10-15 130 United States
Thomas Cam 1381 1588 207 United Kingdom
Details
The Shoreditch burial register for 28 January 1588 reads "Aged 207 years. Holywell Street. Thomas Cam"–"Carn", which supplied a traditional birth year of 1381. According to Old and New London, "the 2 should probably be 1".
Thomas Damme 1494–1495 1649 154 United Kingdom
Details
The parish registers of Church Minshull, in the county of Chester, state, "1649 Thomas Damme of Leighton. Buried the 20th of February, being of the age of Seven-score and fourteen" (154 years), signed by vicar T. Holford and wardens T. Kennerly and John Warburton.
Thomas Parr 1482–1483 1635 152 United Kingdom
Details
The case as recorded in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. William Harvey carried out a postmortem on him, according to Easton. Parr is buried in Westminster Abbey with his alleged age on the gravestone.
Thomas Newman 1388–1389 1542 153 United Kingdom
Details
A tombstone in Brislington, Bristol, reads, "1542 THOMAS NEWMAN AGED 153 This Stone was new faced in the Year 1771 to Perpetuate the Great Age of the Deceased."

Other

  • Albrecht von Haller allegedly collected examples of 62 people ages 110–120, 29 ages 120–130, and 15 ages 130–140.
  • A 1973 National Geographic article on longevity reported, as a very aged people, the Burusho–Hunza people in the Hunza Valley of the mountains of Pakistan.
  • Swedish death registers contain detailed information on thousands of centenarians going back to 1749; the maximum age at death reported between 1751 and 1800 was 147.
  • Cases of extreme longevity in the United Kingdom were listed by James Easton in 1799, who covered 1712 cases documented between 66 BC and 1799, the year of publication; Charles Hulbert also edited a book containing a list of cases in 1825.
  • A periodical The Aesculapian Register, written by physicians and published in Philadelphia in 1824, listed a number of cases, including several purported to have lived over 130. The authors said the list was taken from the Dublin Magazine.
  • Deaths officially reported in Russia in 1815 listed 1068 centenarians, including 246 supercentenarians (50 at age 120–155 and one even older). Time magazine considered that, by the Soviet Union, longevity had elevated to a state-supported "Methuselah cult". The USSR insisted on its citizens' unrivaled longevity by claiming 592 people (224 male, 368 female) over age 120 in a 15 January 1959 census and 100 citizens of Russia alone ages 120 to 156 in March 1960. Such later claims were fostered by Georgian-born Joseph Stalin's apparent hope that he would live long past 70. Zhores A. Medvedev, who demonstrated that all 500-plus claims failed birth-record validation and other tests, said Stalin "liked the idea that [other] Georgians lived to be 100".
  • An early 1812 Russian Petersburgh Gazette reports a man between ages 200 and 225 in the diocese of Ekaterinoslaw (now Dnipro, Ukraine).

Practices

Diets

The idea that certain diets can lead to extraordinary longevity (ages beyond 130) is not new. In 1909, Élie Metchnikoff believed that drinking goat's milk could confer extraordinary longevity. The Hunza diet, supposedly practiced in an area of northern Pakistan, has been claimed to give people the ability to live to 140 or more. There has been no proof that any diet has led humans to live longer than the genetically-recognized maximum however Caloric restriction diets have increased lifespans of rodents significantly.

Alchemy

Traditions that have been believed to confer greater human longevity include alchemy.

  • Nicolas Flamel (early 1330s – c. 1418) was a 14th-century scrivener who developed a reputation as alchemist and creator of an "elixir of life" that conferred immortality upon himself and his wife Perenelle. His arcanely inscribed tombstone is preserved at the Musée de Cluny in Paris.
  • Fridericus (Ludovicus) Gualdus (Federico Gualdi), author of "Revelation of the True Chemical Wisdom", lived in Venice in the 1680s. His age was reported in a letter in a contemporary Dutch newspaper to be over 400. By some accounts, when asked about a portrait he carried, he said it was of himself, painted by Titian (who died in 1576), but gave no explanation and left Venice the following morning. By another account, Gualdus left Venice due to religious accusations and died in 1724. The "Compass der Weisen" alludes to him as still alive in 1782 and nearly 600 years old.

Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Herodotus attributes exceptional longevity to a fountain in the land of the Ethiopians. The lore of the Alexander Romance and of Al-Khidr describes such a fountain, and stories about the philosopher's stone, universal panaceas, and the elixir of life are widespread.

After the death of Juan Ponce de León, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés wrote in Historia General y Natural de las Indias (1535) that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 02 May 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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