E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Any man of unusual strength; so called from the Judge of Israel.
The British Samson. Thomas Topham, son of a London carpenter. He lifted three hogsheads of water, weighing 1,836 pounds, in the presence of thousands of spectators assembled in Bath Street, Coldbath Fields, May 28th, 1741. Being plagued by a faithless woman, he put an end to his life in the flower of his age. (17101753.)
The Kentish Samson. Richard Joy, who died 1742, at the age of 67. His tombstone is in St. Peters churchyard, Isle of Thanet.