There were quite a few usual ways that most members of the Scottish and English royal families have died. Their deaths could be due to diseases easily curable or preventable now, like smallpox or measles. It could also be while in battle, or childbirth, or not even surviving infancy. It was usually one of those reasons, but there were times when a dash of peculiarity came along the way, and some members of the royal families died in odd and unexpected ways.
Ate Too Much Fish
Henry I of England was the youngest among the three sons of King William the Conqueror. When the king died, his brother Robert inherited the title of Duke of Normandy, while his other brother William became the King of England. As for Henry did not get much significant land or political power since he was the youngest. When his brother William died, he fought Robert and imprisoned him to take Normandy for himself.
Henry was considered pretty wise and far-sighted for a king, although he was stubborn— a characteristic that would cost him his life. As it turned out, Henry’s favorite dish seemed to be fish. He previously got ill after eating too many horrible-looking, eel-resembling suckers with teeth called lampreys. Per his doctor’s advice, he should stop eating them, but what did Henry do after a good day’s hunting in Normandy? He feasted on lampreys for dinner.
According to his chronicler, Henry of Huntingdon, he became ill with food poisoning after the feast and suffered “an acute fever while attempting to throw off the oppressive load.” A week later, Henry died. But, of course, there were speculations and possibilities that the fish was poisoned, given the number of enemies he accumulated throughout his 35-year reign. These enemies include his daughter, Empress Matilda, who was unhappy that he did not confer with Normandy’s castles to strengthen her position as his heir.
Starved To Death
It’s pretty rare to think that a monarch with power over lands and kingdoms could starve to death, given that they more likely enjoyed the abundance of the food supply. However, that was what happened to Richard II of England.
Richard was crowned King of England due to a series of unfortunate events. When the king who reigned for 50 years and transformed medieval England into one of the most formidable military powers on the continent, Edward III, died in 1377, he had no heir because his son Edward the Black Prince died a year before. Edward the Black Prince’s eldest son, who was supposed to take the throne instead, died at the age of five from the Bubonic Plague. Because of that, his younger brother Richard was crowned king when he was ten.
As an adult king, Richard II was known to be a progressive-thinking king who was not a fan of war but loved art. However, he was also known as a tyrant who targeted his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, and took his inheritance. Henry, however, did not just let it pass like that. The first thing that he did when he returned from exile was to reclaim the inheritance taken from him and then take away Richard’s throne.
Richard was taken as a prisoner at Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire. Not wanting to spill the blood of the anointed king, Henry decided to wait and starve Richard to death, and he died in February of 1400.
Drowned in Wine
Nothing screamed royalty more than the act of drowning your treacherous brother in wine instead of plain water.
Edward IV had a troublesome younger brother, George, Duke of Clarence. His family got caught up in the Wars of the Roses, and George was undecided on his side. At first, he was on his brother’s side and was alongside him when he seized the throne. Then, he planned with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to overthrow his brother. It didn’t work out, so he returned to Edward IV’s side.
In 1476, Edward became too fed up with his brother that he charged him guilty of treason. He did not hold a public execution or anything but instead had him drowned not with water but with wine. It wasn’t just some cheap wine as they used a costly malmsey wine. Some doubted if this happened at all, although George’s bones that were found later on showed no signs of beheading.
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