Bathurst – 1930 – In fossil in the 1930’s deposits found around Bathurst from a depth of 6 feet below the surface a fossil lower back molar tooth was found. The owner would have been at least 25 ft. tall. Also found were huge stone artifacts — clubs, ponders, adzes, chisels, knives and hand axes all of tremendous weight, scattered over a wide area weighing from 8 to 25 pounds, implements which only men of tremendous proportions could possibly have made and used. Estimates for the actual size of these men range from 10 to 12 feet tall and over, weighing from 500 to 600 lbs.
Blue Mountains New South Wales – In the Megalong Valley in the Blue Mountains NSW, a depression found in ironstone protruding from a creek bank was the deeply impressed print of a large human-like foot. This footprint measures 7 inches across the toes. Had the footprint been complete it would have been at least 2 feet in length, appropriate to a 12 foot human. The largest footprint found on the Blue Mountains must have belonged to a man 20 feet tall!
Gympie – At Gympie, Queensland, a large fragment of the back portion of a jaw which still possessed the hollow for a missing lower back molar tooth was discovered. The owner of the tooth would have stood at 10 feet tall.
Mulgoa, New South Wales – A set of 3 huge footprints was discovered near Mulgoa, south of Penrith, N.S.W. The prints, each measuring 2 ft 7 inches across the toes, are 6 ft. apart, indicating the stride of the 12 ft. giant who left them.
Macleay River New South Wales –
Noel Reeves found near Kempsey, N.S.W. monstrous footprints were discovered in sandstone beds on the Upper Macleay River. One print shows toe 4 inches long and the total toe-span is 10 inches suggesting that the owner of the print may have been 17 feet tall.
Aborigine – the Aborigine themselves admit in their ancient folklore that this land was inhabited by several groups of men, as well as giants, before they settled here.
Aymon – a member of the Archduke Ferdinand’s bodyguard, reportedly stood eleven feet tall. For many years a carved wooden likeness of this giant was preserved in the Castle of Ambras in the Tyrol Alpines.
Battle of Noreia – 113 B.C. – Rome dispatched an army to check the migration of three hundred thousand Cimbri and Teutone warriors, plus their women and children who followed them in leather-covered wagons. Led by Papirius Carbo, the Roman legionnaires engaged these German giants in battle at Noreia in Styria and were annihilated by them.
Josef Winkelmaier – 1887 – An Austrian named Josef Winkelmaier was exhibited in London on January 10,1887 who claimed a height of eight feet nine inches.
Ænotherus – In his Annals of Bavaria, Aventine writes that a giant named Ænotherus, who threw down whole battalions like mowing grass, fought on the Emperor Charlemagne’s side. The huge warrior hailed from Turgan, near the Lake of Constance.
Flanders’ Giants 1569 – In his Origines Antwerpianoe, 1569, and De Gigantomachia, royal physician Johannes Goropius Becanus reports that a youth almost nine feet tall and a woman about ten feet tall lived near his home in Flanders.
1936 – In 1936, two French archaeologists, Lebeuf and Griaule, on an expedition to Chad in North Central Africa, dug up several egg-shaped funeral jars that contained the remains of a gigantic race, along with pieces of their jewelry and their works of art.1 The giants, according to the natives, were called the Saos.
1719 – From account of Captain George Shelvock’s 1719 voyage: “M. Frezier gives us an account that the Indians inhabiting the continent to the south of this island (the island of Chiloe, which lies off the coast of Chile, about lat. 42 S. and long. about 72 W of London) are called Chronos, that they go quite naked, and that in the inland part there is a race of men of an extraordinary size, called Cacabues, who, being in amity with the Chronos, have sometimes come with them to the dwellings of the Spaniards at Chiloe. He adds, that he was credibly informed by several who had been eye witnesses, that some were about nine or ten feet high.
1555 – The Chinese, in whose land archaeologists have found some of the earliest skeletal remains of giants, insist they once had among them some men as much as fifteen feet tall. Melchior Nunnez, in his letters from India, vouches for the fact that China grew some giants to that tremendous size. He “speaks of porters who guarded the gates of Peking who were of that immense height; and in a letter dated in 1555, he avers that the emperor of that country entertained and fed five hundred of such men for archers of his guard.” George Hakewill, in his Apologie, 1627, issues a similar report
Chang Woo Gow – 1865 – The Chinese giant Chang Woo Gow showed himself in England in 1865 at the old Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly. A courtly gentleman and able scholar, he was invited to visit the Prince and Princess of Wales. He stood eight feet two inches. He was not the tallest in his family, however, for one sister measured eight feet four inches.
Chinese Colossus – 1675 – Purchaas, in his Pilgrimes, 1625, says that while he was in China he saw a man who “was cloathed with a tyger’s skin, the hayre outward, his armes, head, and legges bare, with a rude pole in his hand; well-shaped, seeming ten palmes or spans long, his hayre hanging on his shoulders.”
Cornwall – Cornwall was known as the Land of the Giants. The Cornish giants were a six-toed, six-fingered race, some known to be gentle.
Cormoran and his blind wife Cormelian lived on St Michael’s Mount.
Holiburn of Carn Galva protected the people of Morvah and Zennor.
Denbras lived in the Towednack hills.Myen du
Dynas a deaf and dumb giant Treryn, lived in the stronghold of Dinas.
Bolster lived in Beacon.
Jack the Tinkeard or Jack of the Hammer, perhaps the original giant-killer, found his fame here.
Antony Payne By the time the Cornish giant Antony Payne reached his twenty-first birthday he already stood seven feet two inches. After his father, a tenant farmer at Stratton, “attached” him to the house of Sir Beville Granville of Stowe, his landlord, Tony grew two more inches. For all his size and bulk, the witty Payne showed no signs of clumsiness, but awed everyone with his dexterity and very quick reflexes. They also say he had the brains to match the brawn that had thrust him into the role of a mighty man.
Tregoney Giant 1761 – While working in a new tin mine at Tregoney-on-Fal, in Cornwall, reports the Annual Register for 1761, a miner discovered a stone coffin on which some unrecognizable characters were inscribed. Inside the ancient eleven-foot-three-inch casket he saw the gigantic skeleton of a man, which, when exposed to the air, crumbled to dust-except for one tooth, which measured two and one-half inches in length.
387 BCE – At the little river Allia, in 387 B.C., the Senone giants put the proud Roman army to a hasty, humiliating flight. Upon hearing the news of the defeat, practically the entire population of Rome fled the city. Shortly afterward, the revengeful giants burned Rome to the ground.
Cimmerian Giants – The Cimbri or Cimmerians, after making their way overland by the northern route, occupied for a time the country above the Euxine or Black Sea, around the Palus Maeotidis. When they again felt the irresistible urge to roam, they continued westward, eventually settling east of the Rhine, in Germany. They afterward established themselves as far north as Denmark and also colonized Belgium. Acmon’s hordes, meanwhile, having advanced by the southern route, first settled in Cappadocia and Galatia, then later on the southern shores of the Black Sea. From there they spread into Gaul, which today we call France, and also across Spain, where they assimilated with the Iberians.6 Being as prolific in Eu-rope as they had been in Asia, Gomer’s oversized children soon overspread a vast territory—from the lands east of the Rhine to the Atlantic and from the Baltic Sea to the coasts of Spain. They also inhabited Switzerland and some northern parts of Italy, especially around the Adriatic. The Greek historian Pausanias called them the world’s tallest people. Gerhard Herm, his modern counterpart, agrees. He describes them as “blond giants” who struck terror in the hearts of every foe, even in the mightiest of mighty Rome, which they fought several ferocious wars with and which they once captured, sacked, and burnt to the ground. At the utmost divergence from the mean, some Celts even stood to a colossal height, perhaps as tall as or taller than the nine-foot-nine Goliath, or even Og, who required a bed over thirteen feet long.
Giants are often celebrated as heroes in the North of France.
Jan den Houtkapper a giant with blue eyes, was head of a family of giants.
Ain Giant – The Gospel Herald of Dayton, Ohio, gives the following account of a large human skeleton, recently discovered in Ain, France.
The frame is complete in all its parts, and is four yards in height. It was found in a soil of alluvium, the head buried in the earth, with the feet upward.”
Angers’ Giant – 1692 – A skeleton found in 1692 in a tomb near Angers, France, which measured seventeen feet four inches.
Battle near Aquae Sextiae – Two days after the battle at Aquae Sextiae, the great Roman general Gaius Marius tricked over one hundred thousand huge Teutones and Ambrones into attacking his retreating cavalry up a hill where he was posted. At the top, the cavalry suddenly turned. Being now joined by the legionnaires, they drove the pursuing Teutones and Ambrones into an ambush that Marius had set up in some nearby woods. Of the great Celtic army that began the battle, only three thousand escaped.
Bordeaux Giant – 1494 – In his De Gigantibus, Joh. Cassanio relates that while in Bordeaux, Francis I of France (1494-1547) saw a giant of such height that he immediately enlisted him as one of his guards. It is said that the giant, who subsequently became an archer, stood so tall that a man of ordinary size could walk between his legs.
Joseph Brice – 1862 – Known as “The Giant of the Mountains” at the age of sixteen he toured France and afterward exhibited himself in England and Ireland. In an 1862 advertisement he claimed to be eight feet tall, but Frank Buchland challenged him to a measurement, and in his third series of Curiosities of Natural History, he reported the French giant’s actual height as seven feet six and one-half inches. But that was still tall enough, declared Buchland, to frighten the troop-horses at Regent’s Park Barracks and cause them to snort and shy away when he and the giant, as his invited guest, visited that place.
Chevalier Ricon De Vallemont – 1509 – An ancient tomb that ditch diggers uncovered in Rouen, France, in 1509, contained the skeleton of a man over seventeen feet tall, in his armor. Affixed to the tomb was this engraved identification: “In this tomb lies the noble and puissant lord, the Chevalier Ricon de Vallemont, and his bones.”
Charles Gruel D’lndreville – 1789 – His seven feet six inches made Charles Gruel d’lndreville, of Nesle, in Normandy, the tallest Frenchman of his day. As a young man he enlisted as a private in the imperial army, but quickly rose to the rank of sub-lieutenant. He fought in the battles of Wagram and Moscow. When he returned to France he set up a glassworks that became famous, even drawing several visits from King Louis Philippe himself. He belonged to the Legion of Honor. In 1860, at the age of seventy-one, he died near Rouen.
Louis Frenz – 1829 – In 1829, Louis Frenz, a seven-foot-four-inch Frenchman, came to London seeking his fortune. During his tour, his portrait was engraved and a cast of his giant hand was made for the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Frenz reportedly had a brother taller than himself and two sisters almost as tall.
Antoine Hugo – Antoine Hugo proclaimed himself the world’s tallest man. He stood about eight feet and four inches tall.
Isoret – John Riolan, the naturalist, relates that at the close of the sixteenth century the tomb of the giant Isoret, who towered twenty feet high, could be seen near St. Germain.
Battle in Provence – 109 BCE – In 109 B. C, the Cimbri, Teutones, and Ambrones suddenly reappeared in Roman-occupied Provence. To check them, the Senate sent an army out under the consul Silanus. The giants practically destroyed it and put their few survivors to a rout.
Bucart – 1705 – The giant Bucart, the famed “tyrant of the Vivarais,” whose bones were recovered in 1705 from his grave at the foot of the Crussol mountain in France, measured twenty-two-and-a-half-feet tall.
Brunswick-Hanover Giant – 1775 – According to Schreber, in his History of Quadrupeds, 1775, the Duke of Brunswick-Hanover had in his service a guard eight feet six inches tall. Jacob Damman
Platerus – a noted seventeenth century physician who took a great interest in giants, reported seeing “a young man at Luneuburg called Jacob Damman, who for his extraordinary stature was carried through Germany to be seen. Anno 1613 he was brought to us at Basil; he was then twenty-three years and a half of age; beardless as yet, strong of body and limbs, save that at that time he was rather sick and lean; he was nine feet high complete; the length of his hand was one foot six inches.”
Michael – In the sixteenth century, a giant named Michael, who measured eight feet tall, served in the Court of Joachim, the Elector of Brandenburgh, a province in northeastern Germany.
Maximilian Christopher Miller – 1674 – Maximilian Christopher Miller, born in 1674 at Leipzig, in Saxony, not only grew to a remarkable height but exhibited amazing strength. After touring several countries on the continent, he came to England about 1728, during the reign of George II. According to James Paris’ manuscript at the British Museum, Miller appeared in November, 1732, at the Blue Post, as announced in the following handbill: “This is to give notice to all gentlemen, ladies, and others. That there is just arrived from France, and is to be seen at the Two Blue Posts and Rummer, near Charing-cross, a giant, born in Saxony, almost eight foot in height, and every way proportionable; the like has not been seen in any part of the world for many years: he has had the honour to shew himself to most princes in Europe, particularly to his late majesty the King of France, who presented him with a noble scymiter, and a silver mace.” Maximilian Christopher Miller appears in this etching wearing his cap topped with a plume of feathers and the curved sword that Louis XIV presented to him. Miller actually stood seven feet eight inches tall, but his velvet cap, with its large plume, made him seem taller. He usually wore a Hungarian tunic, and always at his side swung the curved, single-edged sword that Louis XIV gave him. Dressed thus, he would appear dramatically in a draped doorway, strut briefly among his patrons, then suddenly vanish, leaving them “clamoring to see him again.”
Rhone River Battle – 105 BCE – In 105 B.C.E , when a large band of roving German giants advanced as far as Orange, two Roman armies, one under Caepio, the other under Manlius, confronted them at the river Rhone. In the resulting battle, only ten legionnaires and two generals escaped.
Saxony’s Prodigy – 1716 – A seven-foot-five-inch giant from Saxony was born with such strength that he could hold at arm’s length a ten-pound weight for twelve minutes. James Paris, who saw him in London in May, 1716, included him in his book of drawings, which the British Museum later acquired. The Saxony giant, during his travels in Europe, was presented with a suit of armor custom-made to his great size by the King of the Romans. In England he appeared before George I, the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and Court of Windsor.
Wurttemberg’s Giant – 1775 – Schreber, in his History of Quadrupeds, 1775, reports that the Duke of Wiirttemberg in Germany employed a porter with a stature of seven and a half feet.
The Greeks had more than their share of giants.
The Giants, Titans and Cyclopes include: Agrius, Alcyoneus, Aloeus, Alpus, Antaeüs, Arges, Atlas, Brontes, Chthonius, Clytius, Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Damasen, Enceladus, Ephialtes, Epimetheus, Eurytus, Gegenees, Gration, Hippolytus, Hopladamus, Hyperion, Lapetus, Metis, Mimas, Mnemosyne, Oceanus, Orion, Orius, Otus, Pallas, Peloreus, Phoebe, Polybotes, Porphyrion, Prometheus, Rhea, Steropes, Talus, Tethys, Thea, Themis, Thoas, Thurius, and Typhoeus.
Antimenidas’ Victory – Strabo mentions a royal champion of gigantic stature who was slain, after “a great struggle,” by Antimenidas, of Mitylene in Lesbos, a soldier brother of the famed Greek poet Alcaeus.
1583 – From the history of the voyage of Capt. Cowley, an Englishman, in 1583, appears an account of giants: The Indian inhabitants of this island were all well made, active, vigorous, and some of them seven feet and an half high. Capt. Cowley took as he says, four of these Infidels prisoners, which to be sure, being a good Christian, he had a right to do; and it appears by the sequel of the account, that he treated them as other good Christians had treated Infidels, which strength or cunning had put into their power. “We brought them on board, says he, tying their hands behind them, but they had not been long there before three of them leapt overboard into the sea, swimming away from the ship with their hand bound behind them we sent a boat after them, and fund that a strong man at the first blow could not penetrate their skins with a cutlas. One of them had received, in my judgment, forty shots in his body before he died, and the last of the three that was killed had swam a good English mile, though his hands were not only tied behind him, but his arms pinioned.”
German Prodigy – 1664 – The “German Giant” claimed a height of nine feet six inches. On August 15,1664, Pepys went to Charing Cross, “and there saw the great Dutchman that is come over, under whose arm I went with my hat on, and could not reach higher than his eyebrows with the tip of my fingers. He is a comely and well-made man, and his wife a very little but pretty comely Dutch woman.” Pepys then adds: “It is true, he wears pretty high-heeled shoes, but not very high, and do generally wear a turban, which makes him show yet taller than he really is.” One of his handbills reads: “The true Effigies of the German Giant, now to be seen at the Swan, near Charing Cross, whose stature is nine foot and a half in height, and the span of his hand a cubit compleat. He goes from place to place with his wife, who is but of an ordinary stature, and takes money for the shew of her husband.”
Leyden’s Giant Man – Dr. Thomas Molyneux examined the osfrontis or forehead bone of a giant man preserved in the school of medicine at Leyden that measured about twenty-one inches from orbit to orbit, or “twice as large as a common bone of this sort in a full-grown man.”
John Tates – 1665 – Isbrand Diemerbroeck, in his Anatomy, relates that in 1665, at Utrecht, Holland, he saw a man eight and a half feet tall, well-proportioned, and of great strength. The giant’s name was John Tates, born at Schoonhoven in Holland. Tates is also mentioned by Ray in his topographical Observations, by Dr. Robert Plot in his Staffordshire, 1686, and by Dr. Thomas Molyneux in the Philosophical Transactions of 1700.
1664 – James Paris du Plessis, in his Short History of Human Prodigies, Dwarfs, etc., reports that a Hungarian, known as the “Monstrous Tartar,” was exhibited at “Ye Globe in the ould Baily in February 1664. He was taken prisoner by Count Serini and was a creature of extraordinary strength and valour, who, having spent all his arrows in fight against the Christians, was taken alive and so continues being carefully kept in those parts.”
Before the Incan times, Wiraccocha created the heavens and the earth, he first created a race of giants.
Irish tradition recounts that the brutal, warlike Fomorians were “giants” who invaded in ships from Africa, and demanded children at Halloween time. They were finally driven north to the Hebrides Isles off northwest Scotland and to Tory Island off northwest Ireland in the deep Atlantic. From there, they preyed on the people of Ulster. The Formorian giants were supposedly endowed with double-rows of teeth.
Fitzgerald – 1752 – In its August 1, 1732, issue, the Daily Post thought it worth a paragraph to let its readers know that “about the middle of July, an Irishman named Fitzgerald who was seven feet high and a lieutenant in the King of Prussia’s Guards, came to London.
Edmund Malone – 1698 – In the Philosophical Transactions for 1698, Dr. William Musgrave issued the following report on the Irish giant Edmund Malone: “The measure of some of the parts of this Irish-man, nineteen years of age, shown at Oxford, were communicated to me by Dr. Plot. He was seven feet six inches high, his finger six inches and three quarters long, the length of his span fourteen inches, of his cubit (the distance from the elbow to the finger-tips) two feet two inches, of his arm three feet two inches and a quarter, from the shoulder to the crown of his head eleven inches and three-quarters.” Earlier, in 1684, the giant appeared before the Court of Charles II. The amazed king walked under his outstretched arm, an event that Malone mentioned thereafter in his handbills, as in the following: “The Gyant; or the Miracle of Nature. Being that so much admired young man, aged nineteen years last June, 1684.Born in Ireland, of such a prodigious height and bigness, and every way proportionable, the like hath not been seen since the memory of man: he hath been several times shown at court, and his majesty was pleased to walk under his arm, and he is grown very much since, he now reaches ten foot and a half, fathoms near eight foot, spans fifteen inches; and is believed to be as big as one of the giants in Guildhall. He is to be seen at the sign of the Catherine Wheell in Southwark fair. Vivat Rex.”
Murphy the Irish Giant – Working on the Liverpool Docks apparently did not appeal much to Murphy, the Irish giant. So he quit to wait on tables at the hotel. But because he was a man of extraordinary height, Murphy drew large crowds to the hotel. One day he decided he might as well get paid for being a curiosity and began exhibiting himself. In May of 1857, the Emperor and Empress of Austria invited the touring County Down native to appear before them. Before he died of smallpox at Marseilles, at the age of twenty-six, Murphy had amassed a small fortune. He measured almost nine feet and weighed three hundred and thirty-six pounds.
Shawn Nabontree – 1856 – On December 6, 1856, the Mayo Constitution carried this obituary: “One of the last of the mythical line of Irish giants, in the person of Shawn Nabontree, died at Connemara, Ireland, on Friday last. He owed his sobriquet to his unusual stature, being a man of extraordinary athletic symmetry-namely, seven feet in height, and weighing over twenty stone [280 pounds]. His family, the Joyces, has been for many years one of the wonders of Connemara. He died at the age of seventy, and has left four stalwart sons.”
Patrick Cotter O’Brien – 1826 – Patrick Cotter O’Brien was a native of Kinsale in the kingdom of Ireland and measured nearly nine feet high. O’Brien’s great size sometimes placed him in humorous situations. In an article published in the Mirror for 1826, his hairdresser, who lived at Northampton, noted that the giant was a man of mild disposition, but he recalled when “an impertinent visitant excited his choler one day, during his residence here [at Northampton], by illiberal allusions to the land of his birth. The Philistine was sensible of the insult, seized the prig by the collar, held him out at arm’s length, and gave him three or four mild agitations.” Another time, O’Brien was riding in his coach, which was about to be robbed. Because of his huge frame, his carriage maker had adapted the coach to his better use. By sinking the foundation some feet, the maker found a way to accommodate his long legs without changing the carriage’s appearance very much. So when the highwayman rode out into the road and stopped the coach he expected nothing out of the ordinary. But as O’Brien put “his head forward to observe the cause that impeded his progress, the highwayman was struck with such a panic, that he clapped spurs to his horse and made a precipitate retreat.”
In his History of Mankind, Dr. Pritchard writes: “In Ireland men of uncommon stature are often seen, and even a gigantic form and stature occur there much more frequently than in this island: yet all the British isles derived their stock of inhabitants from the same sources. We can hardly avoid the conclusion that there must be some peculiarity in Ireland which gives rise to these phenomena.” “Frederick the Great ascended the throne, he soon afterward disbanded the enormously expensive regiment of giants and, with the money saved, established in their place four regiments of men of ordinary stature.”
Brennus – 387 BCE – About 387 B.C., the Celtic chieftain Brennus led three hundred thousand Senone giants across the Apennines. Swarming into northern Italy, these hordes ravaged Etruscan towns and the surrounding country as they went. This invasion soon led to a war between the giants and Rome, after a Roman embassy blundered while trying to negotiate a peace between the Etruscans and the Senones. It was Brennus who later reddened the faces of the Romans with a humiliating insult. While weighing out a bushel of gold as a ransom payment to the Senones for their withdrawal, the Romans started an argument over the scales the Senones were using. Thereupon, Brennus threw the weight of his great sword on the scales, with this warning: “Woe to the vanquished!”
Calabria’s Colossus – The Journal Litteraire of the Abbé Nazari reports that the skeleton of a huge giant exhumed in Calabria, Italy, measured “eighteen Roman feet.” The fellow’s teeth, adds the journal, weighed at least an ounce each.
The remains of an enormous 6ft. 6in. warrior who fought more than 2,000 years ago have been found in Kazakhstan. Archaeologists believe he was well-built, heavily armed, and revered by people who buried him with his weapons. Historians say this may lead them to re-examine the origins of the region’s people.
Laotian mythical giants were known as Yaksa.
At Agadir in Morocco, reports Peter Kolosimo, the French Captain Lafanechere “discovered a complete arsenal of hunting weapons including five hundred double-edged axes weighing seventeen and a half pounds, which were twenty times as heavy as would be convenient for modern man. To handle the axe at all one would need to have hands of a size appropriate to a giant with a stature of at least 13 feet.”
Dutch Giant – 1837 – In 1837, a young giant left the service of the King of the Netherlands and exhibited himself for money at Parma. He reportedly stood eight feet ten and three-quarters inches, and weighed four hundred and one pounds.
Norse Giants – Giants play an integral role in the lore of the Norse gods. Angr-boda, Asvid, Aurboda, Aurvandil, Baugi, Beli, Bergelmir, Bestla, Bolthorn, Bolverk, Börr, Brimer, Buri, Byleist, Eggther, Farbauti, Fjolvar, Gang, Geirrod, Gerdh, Gilling, Gjalp, Grid, Gunnlauth, Gymir, Hela, Helblindi, Hlebard, Hrauthung, Hreidmar, Hrimthurs, Hrod, Hrungnir, Hrym, Hymir, Hyndla, Hyrrokin, Ide, Jarnsaxa, Jötunn, Laufey, Leirbrimir, Logi, Mistblindi, Norfe, Odin, Orvandil, Skadi, Surt, Suttung, Thiassi, Thrym, Thurs, Tjatsi, Trivaldi, Trym, Utgarda-Loki, Vafthruthnir
The Dovre Giant – an idiosyncratic and somewhat oversized troll. He is supposed to live in a cave inside Mount Dovre
Angus McAskill, “Big Boy” – Angus McAskill Cape Breton’s famous giant, became a legend in his own time for his great feats of strength. Cape Breton historian Albert Almon writes that John McAskill himself confirmed that some taunting French sailors once bet his older brother he could not lift an anchor weighing well over a ton. Gripping the anchor, Angus McAskill not only raised it to his shoulder but walked a piece down the wharf with it.64 Also, The Canadian Encyclopedia reports that the giant “is known to have possessed prodigious strength and reputedly could lift 635 litre barrels and beams as long as 18 meters.” In her Two Remarkable Giants, biographer Phyllis R. Blakeley recounts that he once “jogged down the street with a 300 pound barrel of pork under each arm to the admiring whistles of bystanders.”
Angus McAskill eventually reached a height of seven feet nine inches, with shoulders that measured forty-four inches broad and hands a foot long with palms eight inches wide. He weighed over four hundred pounds.
Assam Giant – A human skeleton measuring eleven feet was found some years ago at Tura in Assam, near the border of East Pakistan, reports Peter Kolosimo.
Magellan – 1519 – “When they had crossed the line, and the South pole appeared above the horizon, they held on their south course, and came upon the Main of Brasil, about that part of it which lies in twenty two degrees. They observed it to be all one continued tract of land, higher from the Cape St. Augustine, which is in this part of the country. Having made two degrees and an half more South latitude, they fell in with a country inhabited by a wild sort of people: They were of a prodigious stature, fierce and barbarous, made a horrible roaring noise, more like bulls than human creatures; and yet with all that mighty bulk were so nimble and light of foot that none of the Spaniards or Portuguese could over take them.”
In an account of the voyage of Sir Francis Drake
“In sailing forth from the river of Plate, in latitude 36 S. they came to a good bay, in which were several pretty islands; the admiral being on shore in one of these islands, the people came dancing and leaping about him, and were very free to trade; they were a comely strong-bodied people, very swift of foot, and of a brisk lively constitution; their faces were panted, and their apparel only a covering of the skins of beasts, with the fur on, about their waists, and something wreathed about their heads; they had bows an ell (an “ell” equals 2 1/2 feet) long, but no more than two arrows a piece: They seemed not altogether ignorant of marital discipline, as appeared by their method of ordering and ranging their men. They were the nation which Magellan called Patagons.”
In an account of a voyage round the world, by Sir Thomas Cavendish
“Sailing from Cape Frio, in the Brasils, they fell in upon the coast of America, in 47 d. 20 m. North (it should be South) latitude. They proceeded to Port Desire, in latitude 50. Here the Savages wounded two of the company with their arrows, which are made of cane, headed with flints. A wild and rude sort of creatures they were; and, as it seemed, of a gigantic race, the measure of one of their feet being 18 inches in length, which, reckoning by the usual proportion, will give about 7 feet and an half for their stature.” Harris says that this agrees very exactly with the account given of them by Magellan, but in his epitome of Magellan’s account he says that the head of one of his middle sized men reached but to the Patagonian’s waist; which, supposing Magellan’s man to be but 5 feet 6 inches high, will make the Patagonian 9 at least. He says, indeed, that Magellan gave them the name of Patagons, because their stature was five cubits, or seven feet six, but, if so, his own account is inconsistent with itself, neither has he told us in what language Patagon expresses this stature.
1598 – Oliver Noort – The first Dutchman to attempt a voyage around the world between1598 ,and 1601, gives the account of the inhabitants of these parts “He went up the river at Port Desire, and going on shore, found beasts like stags and buffaloes, also some savages, who, he says, were tall portly men, painted and armed with short bows and arrows, that were headed with stone.”
Sebald de Weert – 1598 -Sailed to the Streights of Magellan in the year 1598, and in his account are the following particulars. He detached two sloops to an island near the mouth of the Streights, to catch sea dogs. When these sloops came near the shore, they perceived seven canoes, with Savages on board, that were ten or eleven feet high, of a reddish colour, and with long hair. They are farther described as being naked, except one who had a sea dogs skin about his shoulders; and it is remarkable that de Weert was on this coast in May, which is there a winter month.
Gargayan – A skeleton measuring 17 feet was discovered
Bungisngis – a cave dwelling giant.
Buringcantada – was a house dwelling giant.
Gisurab / Guisurab – had a house in the forest.
Ikugan – was a giant with a tail.
1575- when the Tartars invaded Poland, Jacobus Niezabilo-vius slew a warrior of enormous size who fought in their ranks. After the battle, Polish soldiers marveled that as he lay dead on the ground “his body was of so prodigious a bulk that… his carcass reached to the navel of any ordinary person standing by the side of it.”
Countess Lodoiska – 1863 – The Countess Lodoiska, the Polish giantess, also showed great strength. Seven feet tall and weighing two hundred and seventy, she could with only one hand and without much strain lift one hundred and seventy pounds. In 1863, at the age of twenty, she exhibited at Saville House, Leicester-square. Writers described the Warsaw woman as “remarkably well formed,” with a pleasing appearance.
Martin Wierski – 1550 – Dr. Browne reports in his Travels through Germany that one Martin Wierski, a Polander who stood a full eight feet tall, was on account of his great height invited to appear at the Court of Maximilian II, emperor of Germany, during the second half of the sixteenth century.
Rwanda – Burundi
Watusi Giants – Practically everyone has seen on film or at least heard about the very tall Watusi, who are famous for their dancing. For those who may never have seen them, Glenn D. Kittler offers the following superbly drawn word-picture: “For the most colorful and exciting dancing, you must go to Ruanda-Urundi… east of the Congo. Here the ruling tribe is the Watusi, the tallest people in the world. It has been said that these giants are born six feet tall, and when you walk among them you can believe it. Men towering seven or eight feet are a common sight. Women gain height by having their heads bound into conical shape in infancy, then training their thick hair to grow straight up to add a few inches. Beholding these lean, dignified, soft-spoken giants is quite overwhelming–and they know it.”
Pusio and Secundilla – 27 BCE – During his principate, Caesar Augustus (27 B.C.-A.D. 14) assigned two giants who towered over ten feet tall to lead the Roman armies into battle. “On account of this remarkable height,” writes Pliny, the bodies of the two giants “were preserved in the tomb in Sallust’s Gardens; their names were Pusio and Secundilla.”
Battle of Telamon – 25 BCE – In a decisive battle at Telamon in 225 B.C., Roman legionnaires by chance caught seventy thousand invading Celts between their two armies. That bloody day the Latins killed forty thousand of the giant warriors from across the Apennines and captured another ten thousand.
Loushkin – An eight-foot-five-inch Russian giant named Loushkin served as drum major in the imperial regiment of guards, Préobrajenskéy. A figure of him, dressed in his military outfit, was included by Madam Tussaud in her exhibition, along with casts of his thigh bone (twenty-six inches) and tibia (twenty-two inches).
Machnow – 1882 – In 1882, at Charkow, Russia, a baby named Machnow was born. He eventually grew to a height of nine feet three inches and weighed three hundred and sixty pounds. Machnow thus became history’s tallest man on record, with even the most conservative of British encyclopedias accepting the above figure as a true and accurate mea-surement. “From his wrist to the top of his second finger,” reports the February 10, 1905, issue of The Times, “he measured 2 ft.” The Russian giant exhibited in London, the United States, Germany, Holland, and elsewhere
Little John – Hector Boetius, in his History of Scotland, reports that the bones of a Scottish giant nicknamed “Little John,” who stood fourteen feet high, were still to be seen in his day.
Mazara Giants – 1812 – In July, 1812, an Italian journal reported that in the valley of Mazara in Sicily the skeleton of a man ten feet and three inches in length was dug up. It was noted that several other human skeletons of gigantic size had previously been found in the same area.
Valencia Giant – In his book, Giants, Roy Norvill reports that the bones of a man twenty-two feet tall were recovered from his grave near Valencia, Spain.
Daniel Cajanus – Standing “above eight feet high,” the Swedish giant Daniel Cajanus billed himself as the “Wonderful Giant.” It was, his pro-moter states in a handbill, “humbly presumed that of all the natural curiosities which have been exhibited to the publick, nothing has appeared for many ages so extraordinary in its way as this surprising gentleman.”
Swedish Giant – Frederick I of Prussia, father of King Frederick William I, had in his guard a Swede who had a height advantage of eight feet six inches.
La Tene Giants – According to Henri Hubert, some Celtic swords that archaeologists recovered “from the second period of La Tene are about 96 inches long.” And some of the “the latest swords,” he adds, “are still longer.” The recovered swords of course offer mute testimony to the extraordinary size of the Celtic giants who once wielded them.
Swiss Giant – 1784 – In 1784, a Swiss man standing nine feet high exhibited himself to astonished patrons at Vienna, says the Gentleman’s Magazine for that year.
Swiss Giantess – 1824 – According to an 1824 promotion, “upwards of three hundred persons” daily besieged the house at number 63 Piccadilly to get a peep at the “Swiss Giantess,” who touted herself as “the finest and most beautifully proportioned giantess in Europe.” An April 16, 1824, advertisement in the Morning Herald indicates her great success brought forth an imitator. The notice reads: “The public are most respectfully cautioned against the imposition of a person now travelling about London in a caravan, calling him or herself the Swiss Giantess, as the real Swiss Giantess is exhibiting at No. 63, Piccadilly, opposite St. James-street, and continues to be the leading object of attraction among the fashionable amusements of the day. …Open from 11 till 5.”
Terra del Fuego
In the account given of the voyage of George Spilbergen, we are told that on the coast of Terra del Fuego, which is to the south of Magellan’s Streights, his people saw a man of a gigantic stature, climbing the hills to take a view of the fleet, but, though they went on shore, they saw no other human inhabitant; they saw, however, several graves containing bodies of the ordinary size, or rather below it; and the savages they saw from time to time in canoes, appeared to be under six feet high.
The four gods created the giants who were very large men endowed with enough strength to uproot trees with their hands. They are called Quinametzin Huetlacame, which means large and deformed men. Nahuatl codexes go as far as to mention a king among the giants, Tlatlotl, “who built great things and was taken for a god.” Another chronicle describes how Xelhua, another giant, built an artificial column “in the shape of a pyramid”. The Codex Vaticanus 3738 depicts one of these giants.
1950 – In Southeast Turkey, the Euphrates Valley, many tombs containing giants 14 – 16 feet tall were unearthed in 1950.
One of legendary Arthur’s men, Owain ap Macsen, slew, and was slain by, a giant at Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia. The cairn at the top of Yr Wyddfa, topmost peak of Snowdon, is said to be the tomb of the giant Rhitta Gawr, who was vanquished by Arthur. Rhith means “a form, a shape, a figure, an appearance, a guise.” Gawr means “giant.”
Benlli – 1833 – While building a new road near Mold in Flintshire in 1833, workers came across a tumulus in which they found some bones and a skull of great size, along with a Lorica or golden vest. Most believed the bones to be the remains of the renowned giant Welsh warrior Benlli who lived at Mold (c. A.D. 500), and who was surnamed the “Giant of the Golden Vest.”
925 – For his many feats of valor, the celebrated warrior Sir Guy of Warwick, a son of Siward, baron of Wallingford, became a legend in his own time. The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that after gaining much fame for his prowess in war, Sir Guy won the hand of Felicia, the daughter and heiress of Roalt, earl of Warwick. But soon after his marriage, he became stricken with remorse for the violent deeds in his past. To do penance for these, he left his wife to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After years of absence, Sir Guy arrived back in England to find King Aethelstan of Winchester (reigned 925-940) under siege by two invading northern kings, Anelaph and Gonelaph. In the Danes’ ranks stood the enormous Colbrand. As the Danes’ champion fighter, the giant stood defiantly before Winchester’s walls and challenged Aethelstan to send out to him his most feared warrior. Sir Guy accepted. The duel, according to local tradition, took place at Hyde Mead near Winchester. It ended with Colbrand’s huge carcass lying at Sir Guy’s feet. After this duel the Danes gave up their campaign against Aethelstan and withdrew from England. Shakespeare mentions Colbrand and/or Sir Guy in Henry VIII, act v, scene 3, and King John, act 1, scene 1. Colbrand the Giant vs Sir Guy of Warwick
Edmund Cornwall – Edmund Cornwall, the Baron of Burford, stood seven feet three inches. The Habingdon manuscript quoted by Nash gives the following description of Worcestershire’s royal giant: “He was in mind an emperor, from whom he descended; in wit and stile so rare, to comprise in a few words, and that so clearly, such store of matter, as I scarce ever saw any to equal him, none to excel him. He was mighty of body, but very comely, and exceeded in strength all men of his age; for his own delight he had a dainty touch on the lute, and of such sweet harmony in his nature, as, if ever he offended any, were he never so poor, he was not friend with himself till he was friend with him again; he led a single life, and before his strength decayed, entered the gate of death.”
Daniel – 1658 – Oliver Cromwell’s porter Daniel measured seven feet six inches. In addition to his great stature, he became widely known as a clairvoyant. But he experienced spells of insanity, too, and spent many years in Bedlam, the famous British asylum. There, on Cromwell’s orders, he was provided a room with a library and a secretary to take down his prophetic dictations. Though some of his predictions did not pan out, some did-with astounding accuracy. For example, he declared that after Charles II would come to power and begin his reign a great comet would so brighten the nighttime sky that people would be able to read a newspaper by its light. In 1658, Cromwell died, and in 1660, Charles became the new ruler. In 1665, the great comet appeared. The noted Samuel Pepys, in a letter describing its brilliance to a friend, affirmed that it was so great “that night was as day.” Daniel also said that during Charles II’s reign a great plague would befall England, only to be followed by a rampaging fire that would leave London in ruins. In 1666, a devastating plague struck London and many surrounding towns and hamlets. In September that same year “The Great Fire” began in a wooden house in Pudding Lane and burned for three days, consuming over thirteen thousand homes, ninety churches, many hospitals and libraries and government buildings.
Derby Giant – In his Derbyshire, Glover states that while digging the foundation for some buildings in the King’s Head inn neighborhood in Derby, English workers uncovered a stone coffin containing a human skeleton of “prodigious size.”
Donnadea Chieftain – 1790 – The Annual Register for 1790 informed its readers that in July of that year some workers in a peat bog at Donnadea, near the seat of Sir Fitzgerald Aylmer, uncovered at a depth of seventeen feet the sepulchre of an Irish chieftain. Inside the coffin they found an eight-foot-two-inch skeleton with a seven-foot spear at his side. The sepulchre, according to local tradition, was built after the introduction of Christianity into Ireland.
Following the custom of her times, Queen Elizabeth I also employed a giant as her porter. His height extended to seven feet six inches, but not much is known about him except that he came from the Low Countries. However, Zucchero painted his portrait in a Spanish costume. It hung for some years in the Hampton Court Palace.
Ewelm’s Giant Bones – 1763 – While digging in the chancel of the church of Ewelm, near the Duchess of Suffolk’s tomb, in January, 1763, workers unearthed several human bones that once belonged to a giant, reports the Annual Register for that year.
Fitzgerald – 1732 – In its August 1, 1732, issue, the Daily Post thought it worth a paragraph to let its readers know that “about the middle of July, an Irishman named Fitzgerald who was seven feet high and a lieutenant in the King of Prussia’s Guards, came to London.” (See Potsdam Giants)
Fullwell-hills’ Giant – 1757 – Both the Gentleman’s Magazine, in November, 1757, and the Annual Register for the same year reported that while English workers were removing a ridge of limestone and rubbish in the lime quarries near Fullwell-hills, close to Durham, they unearthed a human skeleton nine feet six inches long with some teeth still in the skull.
Bernardo Gigli – 1755 – By his nineteenth year, when he came to England, Bernardo Gigli already stood to a height of eight feet. “His equal,” proclaimed a 1755 handbill, “has never been seen, nor any come higher than his armpit.” The following year a newspaper carried this ad: “The Italian giant, a giant indeed! who tho’ but nineteen years of age, is eight feet high, and of admirable symmetry, is to be seen from ten in the morning till eight at night, at a commodious apartment, the bottom of Pall-mall, near the Haymarket. Price 1s. each person.
Glastonbury Giant – 1190 – In 1190, on orders of King Henry II, who had heard that the legendary King Arthur was buried there, workers began digging between two ancient, pyramid-shaped pillars located at Glastonbury, in Somerset. At a depth of seven feet they found a leaden cross which was engraved with this inscription: HIC JACET SEPULTUS INCLYTUS REX ARTURUS IN INSULA AVALLONIA (“Here lies buried the renowned King Arthur in the Isle of Avallon”). Excited over this find, the excavators doubled their efforts. At sixteen feet their shovels struck a large oaken tree trunk which had been hollowed out to serve as a coffin. Breaking the trunk coffin open, they found the skeleton of a man who once measured close to nine feet tall. Beside him lay the remains of a woman of average height, whom the excavators took to be Arthur’s queen, Guinevere. About a century later the bones of the two were reinterred in the great church before the altar in the presence of King Edward I. “From that time,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “the Isle of Avalon has been identified with Glastonbury and romances connecting Arthur and Glastonbury are still being written.”
Robert Hales, Norfolk Giant – 1848 – In December, 1848, Robert Hales, son of a respected Somerton farmer, sailed into New York for a two-year American tour. Billed as the “Norfolk Giant,” he rose to a height of seven feet six inches, weighed four hundred an sixty pounds, had shoulders thirty-six inches broad, measured sixty-two inches around his chest, and sixty-four around his waist. On his return to England, he was commanded to appear before Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and six of the royal children at Buckingham Palace. He later bought and operated the Craven Head Tavern in Drury Lane.
Harald, Giant Viking King – 1066 – In the year 1066, following the death of Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwinson came to the throne of England, but his brother Tostig contested him. For this struggle Tostig enlisted the help of the giant Viking ruler Harald Sigurdsson, nicknamed Hardraada.
Isle of Man Giants
1815 – Among the many megaliths on the Isle of Man is one called the Cloven Stones, located in the little village of Baldrine a few miles north of Douglas. In the Swarbreck Manuscript, written in 1815 and on exhibit at the museum in Douglas, there appears this statement concerning the Cloven Stones: “Mr Millburne informed us that about seven years since, he with two or three other miners opened the mount to a depth of five feet and discovered a human skull and some thigh bones, which from their uncommon size, must have belonged to a person of Gigantic stature.” Also, according to Roy Norvill, the isle was home to the giant Arthur Caley, who grew to a height of eight feet two inches. Born in 1819, Caley and his six-foot-two wife lived for years at the Sulby Glen Hotel in the northern part of the island.
John of Gaunt – A suit of armor worn by seven-footer John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, in the fourteenth century, was displayed many years in the Tower of London’s armory, along with his sword and lance, which were also of enormous size
Marco Polo tells of running into a gigantic people in Zanzibar. All the people are idolaters, they have a king and a language of their own and pay tribute to no one. The men are large and fat, although they are not tall in proportion to their bulk. They are strong limbed and as hefty as giants. They are so strong that they can carry as many as four ordinary men. This is not altogether surprising because while they can carry as many as four men, they eat enough for five.