Mary Ann Bevan

November 4th, 1919: Mary Ann Bevan (1874 – 1934), also known as Rose Wilmot, claimed the title of the ‘Ugliest Woman in London’. Bevan suffered from Acromegaly

Image from (link) . Photographer A. R. Coster

Widowed at 40 in 1914, Mary Bevan turned to showbiz to help support her four children after being discovered trying to earn a living as a farm labourer in Kent disguised as a man.  With her large head, huge hands and size 11 feet, Mary turned to parading herself as a fairground freak after being wheedled into entering a beauty contest by a friend.   “I had more people looking at me than those who tried to look pretty,” she later said.

“So after they had given the prize to the one they thought most beautiful, they came and gave me a prize for being the most unbeautiful.

“Then they offered me a job to travel to the different fairs, which I did, and in between times I entered more contests, in which I was always the winner. Then I knew I was ugly, and what most people considered a great drawback proved in my case to be a blessing in disguise.”

Her physical gifts saw her tour across four continents during the course of her career. (from

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