Ward's Book of Days.
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What happened on this day in history.
On this day in history in 1770, was born Daniel Lambert.
Lambert was the fattest man in British history in the days before tubbiness became trendy.
Lambert was born in Leicester, the son of the keeper of the Bridewell, a cross between a prison and a workhouse. As a youth he was robust but nimble, a keen sportsman and a good swimmer. He ate regularly but frugally and his intake of ale was minimal. At the age of twenty-one, he took over as keeper of the Bridewell, a post which, it would seem, was hereditary. It was then, that Lambert began to gain weight rapidly.
Within two years, in 1793, Lambertís weight was 448 pounds. In 1804 his weight had increased to 686 pounds. This enlargement of his figure did not interfere with his ability to keep the Bridewell. He was well spoken of by magistrates and inmates alike. He was active, breeding fighting cocks and racing greyhounds and, by all accounts, not excessively hoggish. In 1804, the Bridewell was closed and Lambert, because of his fine work, was awarded a pension.
In 1806, having ample time and modest money, Lambert conceived the idea of exhibiting himself for profit. He commissioned a special carriage to take him to London, where he charged five shillings a head for a view of his portly person. He made tours of the country, putting himself on display to the paying public and earned sufficient fund to defray his enormous clothing bill.
In 1809, suddenly while on tour in Stamford, aged thirty-nine, of a waist measurement of 9 feet, 4 inches, and weighing 739 pounds, Lambert died of an unknown cause. The wall of the inn where he was residing had to be dismantled to allow his body to be removed for burial. His coffin had to be supported on wheels and it took twenty men to lower it down a ramp to the grave.
Lambert is buried in St Martinís Churchyard, High Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2LF. His clothes are on exhibition at Stamford Museum.
Daniel Lambert, the fattest person in Britain.
Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. Daniel Lambert . (Pamphlet)
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