Have you heard the story of the Fat Man of Maldon, Edward Bright who died in 1750 weighing 44 stone, reported to be the fattest man in England at that time. While that title has now been surpassed by some 20 stone, Edward’s story is perhaps a little more interesting.
Edward Bright lived in a house on Maldon’s High Street, and is buried in Maldon’s Church of All Saints in a specially constructed coffin. So large was the coffin that he had to be winched out of the upper story of his house.
But his story did not end there, after his death two men are said to have been speaking in a local pub about how large Edward was. One man claimed he could fit ‘seven hundred’ men into the waist coat of the late Mr Bright. The second man, being a bit of a gambler, thought this was impossible and a bet was struck.
However, the gambler lost his bet, as seven men from the ‘Dengie Hundred’ were promptly rounded up and stood inside Edwards Bright’s waist coat. This, apparently, fulfilled the criteria of the Seven Hundred Men. What do you think? You haven’t heard of the Dengie Hundred? Well I guess neither had the gambler.
In 2000, a bronze relief of seven men in Bright’s coat was installed at the King’s Head Centre off Maldon’s High Street, near Bright’s former home.