A FEATURE presentation from themanwhofellasleep:


The Floating Lawyer - was he animal, mineral or dunstable?

During the 1830's, this "man" terrorised England. Described as short and stout and often seen wearing a knitted tie and an expensive Italian suit, this creature could hover 20 to 30 feet above the ground. It was reported that he had large pointy ears and red glowing eyes, and was capable of emitting a high-pitched keening noise like a sorrowful dolphin entering an overpriced art gallery.

The Early Sightings

The first sighting of the Floating Lawyer may have occurred in September of 1837 in London, England, a small country off the coast of mainland Europe.

A bearded businessman, Alfred Skips, was returning home from work late at night when a mysterious figure swooped down over the railings of a cemetery and jumped to the ground, landing directly in the path of Skips. He cackled madly and handed the man a business card, before flinging an old copy of Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine at the startled victim. Skips was unhurt, but never slept again.

A little while later, a creature matching the description of the Floating Lawyer was said to have attacked a group of people in Shoreditch, east London. All ran but Polly Glipp, who was left behind, paralysed by a fear of lawyers, which had haunted her since early childhood when her parents had left her in a room with two elderly legal clerks. The Floating Lawyer ripped off the top of Polly's blouse, grabbed her breasts, and began to loudly harangue her about being topless in the streets.

The attack knocked Polly unconscious where she lay until being discovered by a stoat.

The Jenny Frost Incident

In October of 1842, Jenny Frost, a London servant, was returning to her employers home on Horlicks Hill. While passing through an alleyway, the Floating Lawyer sprang from behind some dustbins, wrapped his arms around her, licked her face and began running his hands down her blouse.

Local ugly men were alerted by Jenny's atonal screams and quickly arrived on the scene. They searched for the assailant to no avail. Few believed Jenny's incredulous tale of a legal beast from the skies...

But the very next day, the Floating Lawyer struck again! The mysterious menance floated down in front of a passing carriage - causing the carriage to careen out of control and crash. The fiendish creature then issued a writ, claiming 50 guineas for the emotional damage caused by the incident. Witnesses at the scene claimed that the Floating Lawyer left the scene by soaring effortlessly into the skies like a regretful raindrop trying to return to a cloud.

A few months later, in January 1843, London's Lord Mayor Sir Cow Arthur declared the Floating Lawyer both a "public menace" and a "great man". A posse of men were formed to search for the individual responsible for the gruesome and pointless attacks. It was during this time that the great Duke of Wellington, who was then 104 years old, joined in the search.

What was the Duke's connection to the ghastly creature? In recent years it has been suggested that the Floating Lawyer may have been the product of the Duke's undercover attempts to crossbreed solicitors with chaffinches.

But we will never know for sure: the Floating Lawyer was never found and the Duke died the following year when his breathing apparatus become clogged with hair.

  Who knows the true identity of the Floating Lawyer?

The Alsop Incident

Two days after the Duke joined the search, on February 22, 1843, buxom wench Terry Alsop was in her home in Bow, east London, when she heard a knock on the door. Answering the door, a black-cloaked man exclaimed "I'm a policeman. In the name of Allah, bring me a light, for we have caught the Floating Lawyer in the lane!"

Terry went to fetch a light for the stranger at the door. She returned with a candle and as she was handing the light to the man, it shone on his face and she saw a ghastly, inhuman face, devoid of human emotion! The horrific apparition let out a milk-curdling scream and gleefully starting chanting about a breach of his civil rights.

Terrified, Terry tried to run back into the house but the besatly creature held on tightly to the back of her hair. Terry's father Gavin managed to drag her out of his grasp and back into the safety of the house. The Floating Lawyer continued banging on their door some time, shouting about intellectual property laws before leaving in a huff.

The Final Attacks

Things grew quiet for many years before flaring up again during 1877 (coincidentally, the year of my birth). In Kennington, south London, there were several reports of the Floating Lawyer travelling across the town by sailing slowly from rooftop to rooftop. Strangely many reports indicated that the man was using a primitive Stanna Stairlift to scale the buildings.

In August of that year, the Floating Lawyer appeared before a group of soldiers in Aldershot's North army camp.

Private Harold 'Harry' Harrison was standing sentry at the camp when he heard the noise of someone dragging a sack of gravel down the road. He went to investigate, but found nothing unusual and turned to return to his post. As he did, the Floating Lawyer leapt at him and clawed at his face with a sharpened Palm Pilot. Other sentries heard the commotion and rushed to Harry's aid.

The soldiers claim that the Floating Lawyer escaped by simply leaping over them, clearing them by 10 feet or more. The sentries fired at the intruder and claimed that their bullets merely passed right through the creature like advice passing through a woman's ears. Private Harrison described the attacker as having the body of a man, but the face of a lawyer.

Theories Abound

Several theories explaining the origins of the Floating Lawyer have been proposed, but the lack of hard evidence leaves a dirty cloud of mystery hanging over this strange historical anomaly.

Professor Chad Dixons offers our best explanation. In his Encyclopedia of Legal and Clerical Monsters, Dixons notes that 'half-quid fancies' were very popular during the era. These magazines, similar to modern day comic books, often featured stories of the Floating Lawyer. The vivid tales may have so terrorised stupid, brainless, ordinary, working-class people that they simply imagined the apparition. What a cop out, eh!

However, it should be remembered that even today lawyers exist, and that despite the strides mankind has taken in ridding ourselves of this unseemly scourge, few of us would be surprised if the Floating Lawyer were ever to return.