Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
Daniel Lambert

Daniel Lambert

English gaol keeper, animal breeder

Daniel Lambert (13 March 1770 – 21 June 1809) was a gaol keeper and animal breeder from Leicester, England, famous for his unusually large size. After serving four years as an apprentice at an engraving and die casting works in Birmingham, he returned to Leicester around 1788 and succeeded his father as keeper of Leicester's gaol. He was a keen sportsman and extremely strong; on one occasion he fought a bear in the streets of Leicester. He was an expert in sporting animals, widely respected for his expertise with dogs, horses and fighting cocks.

At the time of Lambert's return to Leicester, his weight began to increase steadily, even though he was athletically active and, by his own account, abstained from drinking alcohol and did not eat unusual amounts of food. In 1805, Lambert's gaol closed. By this time, he weighed 50 stone (700 lb; 320 kg), and had become the heaviest authenticated person up to that point in recorded history. Unemployable and sensitive about his bulk, Lambert became a recluse.

In 1806, poverty forced Lambert to put himself on exhibition to raise money. In April 1806, he took up residence in 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 some months on public display, Lambert grew tired of exhibiting himself, and in September 1806, he returned, wealthy, to Leicester, where he bred sporting dogs and regularly attended sporting events. Between 1806 and 1809, he made a further series of short fundraising tours.

In June 1809, he died suddenly in Stamford, Lincolnshire. At the time of his death, he weighed 52 stone 11 pounds (739 lb; 335 kg), and his coffin required 112 square feet (10.4 square metres) of wood. Despite the coffin being built with wheels to allow easy transport, and a sloping approach being dug to the grave, it took 20 men almost half an hour to drag his casket into the trench, in a newly opened burial ground to the rear of St Martin's Church. While others have since overtaken Daniel Lambert's record as the heaviest person in history, he remains a popular character in Leicester, and in 2009 was described by the Leicester Mercury as "one of the city's most cherished icons".

Timeline

March 13, 1770
Daniel Lambert was born in Leicester.

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Freaks: The Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square & Other Medical Marvels

Bondeson, Jan

2006

A Great Idea

Dickens, Charles

1852

Fat People

Dickens, Charles

1864

Latter-day Pamphlets

Carlyle, Thomas

1858

The Shows of London

Altick, Richard D.

1978

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Lisa O'Carroll Brexit correspondent
January 18, 2021
the Guardian
Daniel Lambert blasts government and on Twitter castigates bureaucratic procedures
Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.