Heralding from the old-fashioned market town in East Yorkshire, Market Weighton, William Bradley, also known as ‘Giant Bradley’, was born in 1787 and died in 1820. He was from a huge family and was of 13 children.
He weighted 27 stone and stood at a whooping 7ft 9inches high. Yorkshire’s very own Hagrid mirrors the Harry Potter giant as his father was small in stature at just 5ft 9 inches making Bradley a whole two foot bigger than his father. He weighed 14lb at birth and by the age of 11 he was 11 stone.
For years he would make a living from appearing at fairs all over England and charging people a shilling to shake his hand. He travelled around as part of PT Barnum’s circus of freaks after being spotted whilst they were visiting the town.
He became the star attraction for the circus but eventually quit after he fell out with circus owners after they failed to pay him his promised cut of the profits and due to cramped conditions in his caravan.
At Windsor he received a gold watch from the King of England at the time King George III, which he wore for the rest of his life.
Because of his stature his house was made with especially high doors and ceilings, and his house is now a shop. You can visit the shop in which there is a plaque that has his footprint, which is 15 inches long and 6 inches wide
Since 1996 the town has celebrated Giant Bradley day with exhibits, stalls and entertainment. For those wanting to visit Market Weighton there is a Giant Bradley trial which is made up for 23 steps for you to explore. It’s great fun for adults and children alike.
In 2007 a statue was sculpted by Malcolm MacLachlan from English oak and unveiled during the town’s ‘Giant Bradley Day’ in 2007.
Giant Bradley died at age 33 in Market Weighton and is buried inside All Saints Chuch to deter grave robbers. His is still recorded in the Guniess Book Of World Records as the tallest Englishman.
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Feature Image Credit: Photo © Stephen McKay (cc-by-sa/2.0)