When Edward Bright died in 1750 he was ‘supposed to be the biggest and weightiest Man in the World’. Dubbed ‘the fat man at Maldon’, his enormous size made him a local and national celebrity.
Edward Bright was born on 1 March 1721 in Great Waltham. His father was William Bright and his mother Mary, nee Davie. He was large as a child and ‘was descended from families greatly inclined to corpulency, both on his father’s and his mother’s side’.
Aged 12 1⁄2 and weighing 10 stones 4 pounds, Edward was apprenticed to Joseph Pattisson, a Maldon grocer. At the end of his apprenticeship, age 19, he weighed 24 stones. In the early 1740s he became a freeman of the borough of Maldon and married a woman named Mary. About the same time he became tenant of a High Street house and grocery shop. This was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1892, 57 and 59 High Street in Maldon now occupy the site. He was also tenant of a candle workshop on Market Hill – Maldon Town Hall now stands on part of the site.
A leaflet entitled Edward Bright ‘the fat man at Maldon’ and his descendants , written by Lynne Raymond is available at The Maeldune Heritage Centre .
Watch a video on You Tube : Edward Bright – Maldon’s famous fat man and his family by Lynne Raymond