By the mid-17th century, performers wandered more freely and became common sights on street corners and at festivals across Europe.
Sword swallowing began to die out in Europe and Scandinavia in the late 1800s, when variety shows were formally outlawed in Sweden in 1893.
Stevens was admitted to the Royal Medical Society (Edinburgh) on 20 January 1776, and served as its president in 17.
In 1778 Stevens read a paper to the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh entitled 'What Is the Cause of the Increase of Weight Which Metals Acquire During Their Calcination." A MS copy is in the library of Edinburgh University.
According to a June, 1939 article in Tops Magazine, an Independent Magazine of Magic entitled "Primitive Sword Swallowing", a primitive tribe in Papua New Guinea uses a form of "vine-swallowing" in the initiation rites of teens being initiated into adulthood. There was a video documentary filmed in the 1970s or 80s on this initiation rite of passage, showing many of the canes or vines being removed from the young men's throats covered in blood.
It was reported that several of the initiates die each year from the perforations. T'ang Dynasty Illustration mid 8th century Chinese Ling Troupe 1915 Chinese Sword swallower 1915 Chinese Sword swallower Shanghai 1920s Chinese Sword swallower Shanghai 1920s Sword swallower in Shanghai Chinese Sword swallower 1927 Sword swallowing was popular in Japan in the 8th century and was often seen as part of an acrobatic form of entertainment known as Sangaku, which also featured juggling, tightrope walking, contortion, and other related skills.
Sword swallowers in India are known by the term "golewala" or "jolewale" or "jholewale" or "jholawalla" (meaning "juggler" or "street performer") or "jagudar" (meaning "magician" or "miracle worker").