E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Wild Boy of Hamelin
or Man of Nature, found in the forest of Hertswold, Hanover. He walked on all fours, climbed trees like a monkey, fed on grass and leaves, and could never be taught to articulate a single word. Dr. Arbuthnot and Lord Monboddo sanctioned the notion that this poor boy was really an unsophisticated specimen of the genus homo; but Blumenbach showed most conclusively that he was born dumb, of weak intellect, and was driven from his home by a stepmother. He was discovered in 1725, was called Peter the Wild Boy, and died at Broadway Farm, near Berkhampstead, in 1785, at the supposed age of seventy-three.