Daniel Lambert (1770–1809) was a gaol keeper and animal breeder from
Leicester, England, famous for his unusually large size. He was a keen
sportsman and extremely strong, on one occasion fighting a bear in the
streets of Leicester. He was an expert in sporting animals, widely
respected for his expertise on dogs, horses and fighting cocks. In 1805
the gaol of which Lambert was keeper closed. By this time he weighed
50 stone (700 lb; 320 kg), and had become the heaviest authenticated
person in recorded history up to that time. Unemployed and sensitive
about his bulk, he became a recluse. Poverty forced Lambert to put
himself on exhibition to raise money, and in April 1806 he moved to
London, charging spectators to enter his apartments to meet him.
Visitors were impressed by his intelligence and personality, and
visiting him became highly fashionable. After a few months, Lambert
returned wealthy to Leicester and soon began making short fundraising
tours. In June 1809 he died suddenly in Stamford. At the time of his
death he weighed 52 stone 11 lb (739 lb; 335 kg). It took 20 men almost
half an hour to drag his casket into the trench in the burial ground at
St Martin's Church. Though no longer the heaviest person in history,
Daniel Lambert remains a popular character in Leicester.
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