Rare photograph of ‘the world’s heaviest man’
WE marked the 140th anniversary of a Tyneside historical curiosity in last Saturday’s Chronicle.
On May 26, 1878, William Campbell, the landlord of the Duke of Wellington pub on Newcastle’s High Bridge died suddenly upstairs on the premises.
Glasgow-born Campbell was nicknamed the ‘Scottish giant’ and spent time in a freak show.
By the time he arrived in Newcastle, he struggled to walk and claimed to be the ‘world’s heaviest man’ – weighing a remarkable 52st.
22-year-old Campbell had only been manager of the Duke of Wellington - formerly Stokoe’s Vaults - for six months when he passed away.
On the day of his funeral, his one-ton coffin had to be winched from the upper floor of the pub, while thousands of curious onlookers lined the route to his resting place at Jesmond Cemetery.
Interestingly, despite Campbell being wellknown in life, Newcastle historian Steve Ellwood points out there is no headstone on his grave today.
Thanks to Frank Saunders for sending us this rare postcard image of the hitherto unseen William Campbell, the ‘Scottish giant’.
William Campbell, ‘the world’s heaviest man’, ran the Duke of Wellington pub in Newcastle’s High Bridge in the 1870s; right, the pub today