William Bradley (10 Feb 1787 – 30 May 1820) was known as Giant Bradley or the Yorkshire Giant and he is the tallest recorded British man that ever lived, at 7 feet 9 inches tall (2.36 m).
Giant Bradley was born in Market Weighton in East Yorkshire, and spent much of his life travelling around to fairs and freak shows up and down the country, where large crowds would gather to see him. He eventually went his own way, hiring a room in various towns, and charging a shilling for each person to visit him. When he was presented before King George III at Windsor, the king gave him a large gold chain, which he wore for the rest of his life. Giant Bradley died at the age of 33 in his home town, and was buried inside the church for fear of graverobbers. Since 1996 his home town of Market Weighton has held an annual festival called Giant Bradley Day in memory of him. There is also a life-sized wooden statue of him in the town.
Giant Bradley weighed 14lb at birth, later weighing in at 26 stone. Teased at school by those brave enough to do so, Giant Bradley would sometimes be asked by his teacher to lift misbehaving children up to the classrooms high cross beams, where they would be left until the teacher had them taken back down again. Giant Bradley’s father, luckily for him, was a master tailor.