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Obesity is a killer

Updated on July 4, 2013


They say that obesity can kill, and this man from Essex in the UK was a testament to that fact. He lived for only 29 years and on his death he weighed 42stones and 6 pounds, or 594 pounds. He was 5feet 9 inches tall. Edward Bright lived in Maldon, Essex from 1721 to 1750, and he was said to be the fattest man in Britain. At the age of 12years Edward weighed 12 stone or 168pounds and he had to give up his job as mail boy because he was too heavy to ride the pony that was supplied. This was not a good start for the lad and from then on things could only get worse.

Fat man of Maldon


Bright later became a grocer in the town and he lived in a house near to the church of St. Peter in the High Street. He had a wife and five children. The house now displays a blue plaque confirming that the 'Fat man of Maldon', as he was known, lived there. A close was named after him : Edward Bright Close is situated off the High Street.

The Plaque

The seven hundred

Edward's waistcoat was six feet wide, and after his death seven men were wrapped in the giant waistcoat. A local man in the pub was heard boasting about Edward's obesity and he said that Edward Bright's waistcoat could fit around seven hundred men. At this obvious drunken talk, a gambler who happened to be in the bar ridiculed the statement and bet the local man that it couldn't. His bet was covered and the gambler lost, as seven men from a part of the town called Dengie Hundred were wrapped in Edward's waistcoat. A sculpture of the men wrapped in the waistcoat is in Maldon Museum in Promenade Park.

The sculpture

Final rest

On Edward's death a special coffin had to be built around the huge man and the staircase and part of a wall of the house had to be removed to get him out. Once he was out of the house a carriage had to be used to pull the coffin to the church. From there, it was dragged along rollers into it's final resting place just inside the church.

Obesity does kill, so tomorrow I start my diet.

Sadly in September 2012 I attended the funeral of a friend of mine's son. He was only 47 years old, but he weighed in excess of 28stone, or 352 pounds.

Guide to obesity


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    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 6 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks, alocsin. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What an unusual story. Love the tomb. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 6 years ago from South Wales

      PAPA, Gaizy and Eddy, Happy New Year to you all, and thanks for commenting.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi so nice to see you on here !!!

      I have lost track of you lately but glad I caught up for this great write !

      So sad yes but also so very common !!

      Thanks for sharing this gem which I have to vote up up and away.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • Gaizy profile image

      Gaizy 6 years ago from Denbigh, North Wales, UK

      Seven "hundred" men - lol - Perhaps he wasn't so drunk after all! - Excellent stuff.

    • PAPA-BEAR profile image

      John W Townsend 6 years ago from London England UK

      Now that was a sad tale, small wonder he died young, no income as well as poor health. Very interesting.