Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > (6) Giants of Real Life.

 (5) Giants of Mythology.Giant’s Causeway, 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
(6) Giants of Real Life.
 
       
ANAK (of Bible history), father of the Anakim. The Hebrew spies said they were mere grass-hoppers in comparison with these giants (Joshua xv. 14; Judges i. 20; and Numbers xiii. 33.)
ANAK. (See BRICE.)
ANDRONI’CUS II. was 10 feet in height. He was grandson of Alexius Comnnus. Nictas asserts that he had seen him.
BAMFORD (Edward) was 7 feet 4 inches. He died in 1768, and was buried in St. Dunstan’s churchyard.
BATES (Captain) was 7 feet 11 1/2 inches. He was a native of Kentucky, and was exhibited in London in 1871. His wife (Anna Swann) was the same height.
BLACKER (Henry) was 7 feet 4 inches, and most symmetrical. He was born at Cuckfield, in Sussex, in 1724, and was called “The British Giant.”
BRADLEY (William) was 7 feet 9 inches in height. He was born in 1787, and died 1820. His birth is duly registered in the parish church of Market Weighton, in Yorkshire, and his right hand is preserved in the museum of the College of Surgeons.
BRICK (M. J.) exhibited under the name of Anak, was 7 feet 8 inches in height at the age of 26. He was born in 1840 at Ramonchamp, in the Vosges, and visited England 1862–5. His arms had a stretch of 95 1/2 inches, and were therefore 3 1/2 inches too long for symmetry.
BRUSTED (Von) was 8 feet in height. This Norway giant was exhibited in London in 1880.
BUSBY (John) was 7 feet 9 inches in height, and his brother was about the same. They were natives of Darfield, in Yorkshire.
CHANG, the Chinese giant, was 8 feet 2 inches in height. The entire name of this Chinese giant was Chang-Woo-Goo. He was exhibited in London in 1865–1866, and again in 1880. He was a native of Fychou.
CHARLEMAGNE was nearly 8 feet in height, and was so strong he could squeeze together three horseshoes with his hands.
COTTER (Patrick) was 8 feet 7 1/2 inches in height. This Irish giant died at Clifton, Bristol, in 1802. A cast of his hand is preserved in the museum of the College of Surgeons.
DANIEL, the porter of Oliver Cromwell, was a man of gigantic stature.
ELEA’ZER was 7 cubits (nearly 14 feet). Vitellius sent this giant to Rome; and he is mentioned by Josephus. N.B.—The height of Goliath was 6 cubits and a span.
        Nothing can be a greater proof that the cubit was not 21 inches, for no recorded height of any giant known has reached 10 feet. The nearest approach to it was Gabara, the Arabian giant (9 feet 9 inches) mentioned by Pliny, and Middleton of Lancashire (9 feet 3 inches) mentioned by Dr. Plott. Probably a cubit was about 18 inches.
       
ELEIZEGUE (Joachim). Was 7 feet 10 inches in height. He was a Spaniard, and exhibited in the Cosmorama, Regent Street, London.
EVANS (William) was 8 feet at death. He was a porter of Charles I., and died in 1632.
FRANK (Big). Was 7 feet 8 inches in height. He was an Irishman whose name was Francis Sheridan, and died in 1870.
FRENZ (Louis) was 7 feet 4 inches in height. He was called “the French giant.”
FUNNUM (court giant of Eugene II.) was 11 feet 6 inches.
GABARA, the Arabian giant, was 9 feet 9 inches. This Arabian giant is mentioned by Pliny, who says he was the tallest man seen in the days of Claudius.
GILLY was 8 feet. This Swedish giant was exhibited in the early part of the nineteenth century.
GOLI’ATH was 6 cubits and a span (11 feet 9 inches, if the cubit = 21 inches, and the span = 9 inches).
       See note to the giant ELEAZER. If the cubit was 18 inches, then Goliath was the same height as the Arabian giant Gabara.
       
GORDON (Alíce) was 7 feet in height. She was a native of Essex, and died in 1737, at the age of 19.
HALE (Robert) was 7 feet 6 inches in height. He was born at Somerton, in Norfolk, and was called “the Norfolk giant” (1820–1862).
HAR’DRADA (Harold) was nearly 8 feet in height (“5 ells of Norway”), and was called “the Norway giant.” Snorro Sturleson says he was “about 8 feet in height.”
HOLMES (Benjamin) was 7 feet 6 inches in height. He was a Northumberland man, and was made sword-bearer of the Corporation of Worcester. He died in 1892.
JOHN FREDERICK, Duke of Brunswick, was 8 feet 6 inches in height.
KINTOLOCHUS REX was 15 feet 6 inches in height (!), 5 feet through the chest to the spine (!), and 10 feet across the shoulders (!). This, of course, is quite incredible.
LA PIERRE was 7 feet 1 inch in height. He was born at Stratgard, in Denmark.
LOUIS was 7 feet 4 inches in height. Called “the French giant.” His left hand is preserved in the museum of the College of Surgeons.
LOUISHKIN was 8 feet 5 inches in height. This Russian giant was drum-major of the Imperial Guards.
MCDONALD (James) was 7 feet 6 inches in height. He was born in Cork, Ireland, and died in 1760.
MCDONALD (Samuel) was 6 feet 10 inches in height. This Scotchman was usually called “Big Sam.” He was the Prince of Wales’s footman, and died in 1802.
MAGRATH (Cornelius) was 7 feet 10 inches in height at the age of 16. He was an orphan reared by Bishop Berkeley, and died at the age of twenty (1740–1760).
MAXIMI’NUS was 8 feet 6 inches in height. The Roman emperor, from 235 to 238.
MELLON (Edmund) was 7 feet 6 inches in height at the age of nineteen. He was born at Port Leicester, in Ireland (1740–1760).
MIDDLETON (John) was 9 feet 3 inches in height. “His hand was 17 inches long and 8 1/2 broad.” He was born at Hale, Lancashire, in the reign of James J. (See above, GABARA.) (Dr. Plott: Natural History of Staffordshire, p. 295.)
MILLER (Maximilian Christopher) was 8 feet in height. His hand measured 12 inches, and his forefinger was 9 inches long. This Saxon giant died in London at the age of sixty (1674–1734).
MURPHY was 8 feet 10 inches in height. This Irish giant was contemporary with O’Brien (see below), and died at Marseilles.
O’BRIEN, or CHARLES BYRNE, was 8 feet 4 inches in height. The skeleton of this Irish giant is preserved in the College of Surgeons. He died in Cockspur Street, London, and was contemporary with Murphy (1761–1783).
O’BRIEN (Patrick) was 8 feet 7 inches in height. He died August 3, 1804, aged thirty-nine.
OG, King of Bashan. According to tradition, he lived 3,000 years, and walked beside the Ark during the Flood. One of his bones formed a bridge over a river. His bed (Deuteronomy iii. 11) was 9 cubits by 4 cubits.
        If the cubit was really 21 inches, this would make the bed 15 3/4 feet by 10 1/2. The great bed of Ware, Herts, is 12 feet by 12. (See above, ELEAZAR—note.)
       
OSEN (Heinrich) was 7 feet 6 inches in height at the age of 27, and weighed abvoe 37 stone. He was born in Norway. (See above, HARDRADA.)
PORUS was “5 cubits in height” (7 feet 6 inches). He was an Indian king who fought against Alexander the Great near the river Hydaspês. (Quintus Curtius: De rebus gestis Alexandri Magni.)
        Whatever the Jewish cubit was, the Roman cubit was not more than 18 inches.
       
RIECHART (J. H.) was 8 feet 4 inches in height. He was a native of Friedberg, and both his father and mother were of gigantic stature.
SALMERON (Martin) was 7 feet 4 inches in height. He was called “The Mexican Giant.”
SAM (Big). (See MACDONALD.)
SHERIDAN. (See above, FRANK.)
SWANN (Anne Hanen) was 7 feet 11 1/2 inches in height. She was a native of Nova Scotia.
TOLLER (James) was 8 feet at the age of 24. He died in February, 1819.
        Josephus speaks of a Jew 10 feet 2 inches.
        Becanus asserts that he had seen a man nearly 10 feet high, and a woman fully 10 feet.
        Gasper Bauhin speaks of a Swiss 8 feet in height.
        Del Rio tells us he himself saw a Piedmontese in 1572 more than 9 feet in height.
        C. F. S. Warren, M.A. (in Notes and Queries, August 14th, 1875), tells us that his father knew a lady 9 feet in height, and adds “her head touched the ceiling of a good-sized room.”
        Vanderbrook says he saw at Congo a black man 9 feet high.
        In the museum of Trinity College, Dublin, is a human skeleton 8 feet 6 inches in height.
        Thomas Hall, of Willingham, was 3 feet 9 inches at the age of 3.
        A giant was exhibited at Rouen in the early part of the eighteenth century 17 feet 10 inches (!) in height.
        Gorapus, the surgeon, tells us of a Swedish giantess, who, at the age of 9, was over 10 feet in height.
        Turner, the naturalist, tells us he saw in Brazil a giant 12 feet in height.
        M. Thevet published, in 1575, an account of a South American giant, the skeleton of which he measured. It was 11 feet 5 inches.
 


 (5) Giants of Mythology.Giant’s Causeway, 

 
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