Bibbero, Marcus

Bibbero, Marcus
Usually known as Professor Marquis Bibbero and occassionally Mordecai Bibbero.

He was born in Wreschen, Prussia, in 1837 but came to live in Hull as a small child, with his family. An accompished swimmer, he took his swimming skills first to Manchester and then, in 1870, to London where, he later claimed, he had coached Captain Webb for his Channel swim, although it would seem Bibbero had no connection to Webb until after his 1875 swim.

He was trainer to other Channel Swimmers, including Madam Isacescu in 1902, to whom he acted as both trainer and pilot. He was, at various times, swimming teacher at the People’s Palace in London, at the Gordon Boys Home in Dover and the Jewish Working Mens Club in the East End

In 1880 Bibbero famously swum between Brooklyn and New York with his hands mannacled. In 1908, to celebrate his golden wedding and the 33rd anniversary of Captain Webb’s famous crossing, Bibbero gave a display of swimming off the coast of Dover.

His height of fame was in the 1870s and 1880s but he doesn’t seem to have had any intention to swim the Channel until well into his elder years. In 1903 he stayed in Dover for 4 weeks preparing for an attempt in August. No attempt is recorded but he again announced in 1904 that he would make an attempt in the coming August. He was in his mid-60s at this point (although his publicity claimed he was 81- he often gave a birth date of 1821 for some reason). Practice swims along the coast drew numerous spectators but no actual cross-Channel attempts are recorded.

He died in 1910 in Dalston, London

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