Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Huge Daniel Lambert Came From Leicester

Daniel Lambert, usually regarded as England’s heaviest man, was a native of Leicester. If you come from Leicester yourself, you probably know that, but if not you probably don’t.

In the smashing little town of Maldon in Essex, they are very proud of Edward Bright, an enormous character who achieved the astonishing weight of 44 stone.

However, in Maldon they don’t acknowledge the fact that Bright’s record was taken from him by the Leicester-born Daniel Lambert, who achieved the even more remarkable 52 stone.

It’s often assumed that Daniel was a glutton. Far from it.

He was born in1770 in Blue Boar Lane, close to where Richard III had spent his last night in a bed. Until he was 19, he was a perfectly normal young man.

From then on, however, his weight grew and grew, obviously because of a disease of some sort. He was a reasonably tall 5 feet 11 inches, his girth was 9 feet 4 inches around the waist and he measured 3 feet 1 inch around his calf.

Daniel was teetotal and only ate in moderation.

He succeeded his father as gaoler in one of the town’s prisons in High Cross Street, but had to retire when he became too corpulent to get through the passages.

Daniel was a very intelligent man as well as being friendly and cheerful. He would from time to time rent rooms in Piccadilly in London, and charge visitors a shilling to come and chat with him.

In 1809, he went to Stamford to visit friends and watch the races. At the Wagon and Horses Inn, now a private house, he had a heart attack and died. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Martin’s Church at Stamford. It has to be said that Stamford shows a jolly sight more pride in Daniel, who only died there by chance, than his native city does.

But here, as they say, is the rub. On 30th March 1984, a man named Peter Yarrall died. Peter had achieved 59 stone, considerably more than Daniel Lambert.

And just as in Maldon they never mention Daniel Lambert, in Leicester they never mention Peter Yarrall.