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Strange Deaths in History: The Duke who Died in a Barrel of Wine

Strange Deaths in History: The Duke who Died in a Barrel of Wine


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George Plantagenet, 1 st Duke of Clarence, was a 15 th century English nobleman who was executed by allegedly being drowned in a vat of Malmsey wine. He was a member of the House of York and played an important role in the Wars of the Roses , a series of civil wars that was fought between the two rival branches of the House of Plantagenet .

George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence. On Right - Coat of Arms of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence. Source: Left,

George Plantagenet’s Early Life

George Plantagenet was born on the 21 st of October 1449 in Dublin, Ireland. He was the third surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and Cecily Neville, the daughter of Ralph Neville, 1 st Earl of Westmorland. George was also a cousin of the English king, Henry VI, who belonged to the House of Lancaster. When the latter was dethroned in 1461, Edward IV, the first English king from the rival House of York and George’s older brother came to power.

Once on the English throne, Edward IV appointed his brother George as the Duke of Clarence. In the following year, the adolescent George was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in spite of his young age. Clarence was initially a staunch supporter of his brother and these appointments would have helped to secure his loyalty. Nevertheless, Clarence would later become influenced by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and turn against the king.

Edward IV Plantagenet. (PKM / )

Clarence married Warwick’s Daughter and the Problems Begin

The Earl of Warwick had once been an important advisor to the king. It was thanks to his support that Edward IV was able to overthrow Henry VI. Nevertheless, the two eventually had a falling out, and by 1468, the earl was no longer able to exert the same kind of influence he once had on the king. Therefore, he began to look for a replacement and chose to back the Duke of Clarence. In 1469, Clarence married Warwick’s elder daughter, Isabel Neville, at Calais, against the wishes of the king. In 1470, a rebellion broke out in northern England and both Clarence and Warwick secretly supported the rebels. When their treacherous behavior was discovered by the king, the two men fled to France, where they remained for several months.

Isabela Nevillová. (Acoma / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

In France, Warwick formed an alliance with Margaret of Anjou, the wife of Henry VI , and launched an invasion of England. Warwick was successful, Edward IV was deposed, and Henry VI was once again the king of England. By the end of the year, however, Clarence had grown disillusioned with the way Warwick was handling things and was not too happy with having to fight for the Lancastrian cause. Therefore, he decided to return to the side of his brother and to support him in regaining the English throne.

The Houses of York and Lancaster fought two important battles in 1471 – the Battle of Barnet in April, and the Battle of Tewkesbury in May. On both occasions, Clarence sided with the Yorkists who crushed the Lancastrians. As a result, Henry VI lost power and Edward IV became king once more. Although his favor with the king was restored, Clarence soon grew jealous of the influence that his other brother, the future Richard III , was enjoying at court. Relations between Clarence and the king got worse after Isabel’s death in 1476. The duke was hoping to marry the Duchess of Burgundy, but this was rejected by the king.

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Battle of Barnet - Artistic portrayal of the battle: Edward IV (left), wearing a circlet and mounted on a horse, leads the Yorkist charge and pierces the Earl of Warwick (right) with his lance; in reality, Warwick was not killed by Edward. (Jappalang)

Clarence Plots to Seize the Throne

Things got so bad between the brothers that Clarence was eventually accused of plotting to seize the throne for himself. One of the duke’s retainers, an astronomer at Oxford by the name of John Stacey was arrested in 1477 and confessed, under torture, that he along with two others were plotting to kill the king using ‘ black arts’ . As a consequence, Clarence was arrested and imprisoned. He was accused of slandering the king and preparing a rebellion and was convicted of high treason.
In 1478, Clarence was secretly executed in the Tower of London . Although it is unclear as to how Clarence was executed, the most popular version of the story is that he was drowned in a butt (a unit of measurement equivalent to 570 liters / 151 gallons) of Malmsey wine. When the duke’s body was exhumed it was found to be intact. In other words, he was not beheaded, which was the traditional method of executing members of the nobility at that time. Therefore, it is possible that Clarence was indeed drowned in wine.

The Duke of Clarence being drowned in a barrel of wine (public domain)

Another view is that the duke’s drowning in wine is merely a rumor. Some have traced the origins of this rumor to what was initially meant to be a joke. Clarence was notorious for being a heavy drinker and it was thought that this joke about his manner of execution would have been appropriate considering his fondness for drinking. Alternatively, it has been suggested that his body was preserved in wine while being transported to Tewkesbury Abbey for burial thus giving rise to this rumor.


Top 10 Strangest Deaths in the Middle Ages

You may have heard how medieval rulers have been killed in battle or died from an assassin’s blade. But did you know about the king who died from uncontrollable laughing or the emperor who was dragged 16 miles through a forest by a deer? Check out our list of the top ten strangest deaths from the Middle Ages!

1. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (d.1244)

The son of a Welsh prince, Gruffydd was being held as hostage in the Tower of London when he tried to escape by lowering himself down in a rope. However the rope broke, and Gruffydd fell 90 feet to his death.

2. Zeno, Byzantine Emperor (d.491)

Some accounts state that the emperor fell unconscious after drinking heavily. His wife Empress Ariadne declared Zeno dead, had him placed in a sarcophagus and refused to allow anyone to open it when they heard his calls for help.

3. Philip, son of Louis VI of France (d.1131)

The brash son of the French king was riding with friends through the streets of Paris when a pig jumped in front of his horse causing it to the trip. Philip was thrown off and landing “so dreadfully fractured his limbs that he died on the day following.”

4. Pope Adrian IV (d.1159)

This English Pope suffered from a form of tonsillitis that caused puss to build up in his mouth. According to one account, he took a sip of wine and began to choke on a fly, which had been floating inside his goblet. Combined with the puss in his throat, the Pontiff died within minutes.

5. Sigurd Eysteinsson, Earl of Orkney (d.892)

After defeating and killing Mael Brigte the Tusk in battle, Earl Sigurd strapped his severed head to his saddle and rode back home. As he was riding, Mael Brigte’s teeth cut into his leg and the wound became infected, leading to Sigurd’s death.

6. Henry II, Count of Champagne (d.1197)

The Crusade leader was watching his troops gather from his palace in Acre when, in the words of one chronicle, “He was leaning on the railings of a window and looking down. The railings gave way, and he fell to the ground. His dwarf, frightened and distressed, fell out too and landed on top of him. It was said that if the dwarf had not fallen on him he would perhaps not have died so soon.”

7. Henry I, King of England

After a day of hunting, the English king decided, against his doctor’s advice, to dine a plate of lamprey eels. That night he fell ill and soon died.

8. Basil I, Byzantine Emperor (d.886)

The 75-year old Emperor was out hunting when his belt was caught in the antlers of a deer, and he was allegedly dragged 16 miles through the woods. He was saved by an attendant who cut him loose with a knife, but he suspected the attendant of trying to assassinate him and had the man executed shortly before he himself died.

9. George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence (d.1478)

The erratic brother of King Edward IV was found guilty of treason by and ordered to be executed. According to some reports, he asked to be drowned in a large vat of Malmsey Wine, his favourite beverage.

10. Martin the Humane, King of Aragon and Sicily (d.1410)

Martin was suffering from indigestion on account of eating an entire goose when his jester entered the king’s bedroom. Martin asked him where he had been, the jester replied “Out of the next vineyard, where I saw a young deer hanging by his tail from a tree, as if someone had so punished him for stealing figs.” The king started laughing uncontrollably until he fell over and died.


The Strange Deaths of 20 Interesting People

Despite our best efforts, Death, in all its myriad and weird forms, is constantly lurking around the corner. But who knew a toothpick could be so dangerous? Or that one's trademark scarf, draped so dramatically around your neck, could be conspiring to kill you?

Here, adding to the list of things one should worry about—cellphones causing cancer, the probability of a car accident, the potential for being struck by lightning whilst enjoying a game of pick-up soccer on an unfortunately situated field -- is a long list of the strange deaths of interesting people. Take heed and keep an eye on those toothpicks.

1. KING ADOLF FREDERICK OF SWEDEN

The king ate himself to death in 1771: His last meal included lobster, caviar, cabbage, smoked herring, and Champagne, followed up by 14 servings of his favorite dessert, semla in hot milk.

2. ALLAN PINKERTON

The founder of the Pinkerton detective agency, died from an infection incurred after he bit his tongue.

3. JACK DANIEL

The purveyor of fine whiskey, died from an infection sustained after kicking his safe and busting his toe.

4. ISADORA DUNCAN

The early 20th century modern dancer, was killed by her trademark scarf while riding in a convertible car. The long scarf blew back and wrapped around a tire axel, breaking Duncan's neck.

5. VIC MORROW

The lead actor from the television series Combat! , was decapitated by a helicopter blade during a stunt for The Twilight Zone: The Movie gone way bad. Two Vietnamese children also died in the accident, prompting the film industry to institute stricter child labor laws.

6. TYCHO BRAHE

The 16th century Danish nobleman and astronomer, supposedly died of a bladder infection after holding it way, way too long during a banquet. Good story, but not true: A 1996 report showed that though Brahe did become ill after the banquet with symptoms similar to a bladder infection, he actually died of mercury poisoning. Brahe and his assistants frequently used mercury in alchemical experiments, however, how the mercury got into his system in such a concentrated dose remains a mystery.

7. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

The longtime alcoholic and author of some of the most enduringly bleak plays of the 20th century, choked on an eyedropper bottle cap in 1983.

8. SHERWOOD ANDERSON

The author of Winesburg , Ohio, died of peritonitis, an infection of the lining of his stomach, suffered after he swallowed part of a toothpick.

9. NORMAN "CHUBBY" CHANEY

Chaney, one of the original Little Rascals , died as a result of a glandular disorder at the age of 21. Evidently, what made him a popular character on the show "“ his weight, which at one point topped 300 pounds on his 4-foot 7-inch frame "“ was actually contributing to his death.

10. ATTILA THE HUN

The invader died of a nosebleed on his wedding night. He passed out drunk and drowned in his own blood.

11. SIR FRANCIS BACON

The scientist died after trying to preserve a chicken in snow the famous scientist contracted pneumonia after the successful experiment and died a few months later.

12. AESCHYLUS

The Greek playwright, died after an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head. The tortoise reportedly lived.

13. CHRYSIPPUS

The Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after getting his donkey drunk and watching it attempt to eat figs.

14. ROMAN EMPEROR TITUS

A bug allegedly flew into into the ruler's nose and, for the next seven years, happily ate at his brain. According to the Babylonian Talmud, it was the size of a bird when he died.

15. KEITH RELF

The lead singer of the Yardbirds was electrocuted by his own electric guitar.

16. EMPEROR CLAUDIUS OF ROME

According to Karl Shaw's book 5 People Who Died During Sex and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists, Emperor Claudius of Rome choked on a feather he'd been using to induce vomiting during a banquet in 54 AD. Other historians say he was poisoned by his wife, Agrippina.

17. PLAYWRIGHT CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE

who was perhaps better known in his day than even contemporary Shakespeare, died in 1593 after a fatal argument in a tavern over a bill, he was stabbed in the eye.

18. KING HENRY I

The king died in 1135 of food poisoning after overdosing on lampreys, a parasitic eel-like marine animal popular in British cuisine during the Middle Ages. Because he died while in France, his remains were sewn into the hide of a bull and shipped back to England for burial.

19. BOBBY LEACH

He cheated death when he made the historic (and historically stupid) trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, the second person to do so, but he wasn't so lucky on dry land. The stuntman slipped on an orange peel and fractured his leg, which then became infected. Despite the amputation of the gangrenous limb, Leach still died only two months later.

20. DRACO

The Greek lawmaker whose stringent legal code gave rise to the word "draconian," died somewhere in the 7th century BCE, supposedly after particularly masterful speech: He suffocated under the mounds of hats and cloaks thrown upon him by admiring Greeks, as a show of appreciation.


Strange Deaths in History: The Duke who Died in a Barrel of Wine - History

King Adolf Frederick of Sweden: You've heard the expression "too much of a good thing." Well, King Adolf Frederick is supposedly "remembered by Swedish school children as the king who ate himself to death. He died on Feb. 12, 1771, after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favorite dessert, semla, served in a bowl of hot milk.’’

Edgar Allan Poe: There are several theories as to this writer's death in 1849 — rabies and a brain tumor among them. Another hypothesis is that he died from a cerebral edema after a drinking binge.

Elizabeth Stride: It was reported in The Evening News that Elizabeth Stride , one of Jack the Ripper 's five known victims, was found dead in 1888 with grapes in hand. She was supposedly seen earlier with a man who bought the grapes from a vendor. Grapes were expensive and one theory is that they were used to lure Stride .

Tommy Dorsey: This renowned trombonist led bands that were ranked among the top two or three of the Swing era. Supposedly, he choked to death in his sleep in 1956 while under sedation from sleeping pills following a heavy meal.

Calamity Jane: This icon of the Wild West was famous for drinking. Supposedly, she died after a last binge "She rode an ore train to Terry, a little mining village near Deadwood, where she became violently sick to her stomach. A bartender secured a room for her in the Calloway Hotel and a doctor was summoned. Her death. was ascribed to inflammation of the bowels and pneumonia." Another food-related note, after Jack McCall killed Wild Bill Hickok it was supposedly Jane who "had the honor of commanding him [McCall] to surrender, when cornered in a butcher shop, with a meat cleaver as her weapon."

Basil Brown: This health advocate died in 1974 after supposedly drinking 10 gallons of carrot juice during a period of 10 days — 10,000 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

Bandō Mitsugorō VIII: In 1975, revered Kabuki actor Bando Mitsugoro VIII supposedly "ordered four fugu kimo in a restaurant in Kyoto, claiming he could resist the poison. He was wrong."

William Holden: This Oscar-winning actor was a big box office draw during the 1950s. He was found dead in his apartment in 1981 after supposedly hitting his head while drinking heavily.

Marty Feldman: The actor perhaps most immediately recognizable for playing the part of Igor in Young Frankenstein was found dead in his motel room in Mexico in 1982. Filmmaker Michael Mileham is said to have theorized that Feldman may have died of shellfish poisoning after using a knife they'd used on some lobsters.

Bernard Loiseau: Chef Loiseau tragically took his own life in 2003 not long after supposedly confiding to a friend that he would do just that if he lost a Michelin star.

Jennifer Lea Strange: In 2007 this game show contestant died of water intoxication after participating in a water-drinking contest run by the Sacramento radio station KDND-FM.


16 Music Greats Who Died Mysterious Deaths

The Notorious B.I.G. was shot to death 20 years ago on March 9, 1997. The rapper’s murder will be forever linked with that of his peer Tupac Shakur, though the pair are just in a long line of musicians who’ve shuffled off the mortal coil under less-than-clear circumstances. Even if the ink has dried on the official paperwork, rumors still abound about …

Sam Cooke (1964)

Possibly the greatest “pure” soul singer in American history, Cooke’s career was on the rise after a string of hits when he was shot to death in a seedy L.A. motel, allegedly by the hotel’s manager in self-defense. A great number of alternate theories abound, however, most of which circle around the idea that Cooke may have been murdered: Etta James, for instance, saw Cooke’s body before he was buried and maintained his injuries were more consistent with those of a beating than a shooting.

Bobby Fuller (1966)

The “I Fought the Law” singer was found dead in his car only a few months after the song became a hit. His body had apparently been doused in gasoline, and several people indicated the presence of bruises on his body. Initially considered a suicide, Fuller’s death was eventually ruled accidental, though rumors circulated that he𠆝 been killed by the Mafia, or, in one more outlandish theory, the Manson Family.

Brian Jones (1969)

The eccentric genius behind some of the most daring sounds on the early Rolling Stones records—including the marimba on “Under My Thumb”—Jones’ death was ruled an accidental drowning in his pool (and labeled �th by Misadventure” by the coroner as a nod to his alcohol and drug abuse), but U.K. investigative journalist Scott Jones pinned Jones’ death on a builder named Frank Thorogood, the last person to see the musician alive. Sussex police reviewed the case in 2009 based on his evidence, but decided none of the new information was enough to overrule their initial decision.

Don Drummond (1969)

Skatalites trombonist Drummond was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Anita Mahfood, in 1965. He was incarcerated in a Kingston, Jamaica insane asylum, where he died four years later. His death was put down to natural causes, but in the famously corrupt and wild Kingston music scene, virtually any of the theories put forth about his death — he was killed by gangsters as revenge for Mahfood’s death, the government was bumping off members of the music community who had become politicized — could be possible.

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Darrell Banks (1970)

One of the strongest soul singers of the �s to never achieve truly legendary status, Banks was shot by an off-duty policeman named Aaron Bullock. Banks’ girlfriend, Marjorie Bozeman, was attempting to leave Banks, and the two started fighting. Bullock, however, was also seeing Bozeman, and had been waiting for Banks to drop her off from work. Banks reportedly pulled a gun first when Bullock intervened in their argument, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. Bullock was not prosecuted.

Jim Morrison (1971)

Given Morrison’s legendary hedonism, considering his death “mysterious” might seem odd. But no autopsy was ever performed on the Doors frontman, and in 2014, Marianne Faithful fingered late drug dealer Jean de Breiteuil as the man behind Morrison’s death, administering a too-strong dose of heroin to Morrison.

Paul Williams of the Temptations (1973)

Williams was found dead in an alleyway with a gun nearby shortly after an argument with his girlfriend, and had reportedly spoken of suicide to friends in recent months. That said, the coroner’s report states that Williams used his right hand to shoot himself in the left side of his head — think about the logistics of that — and the gun used in the shooting had fired two shots that night, only one of which killed Williams.

Donny Hathaway (1979)

Hathaway suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and was known to be not particularly attentive about adhering to his medication routine. Though his career was rebounding from a low point in 1979, he was behaving erratically during a recording session in January, after which he went back to his 15th-floor room at the Essex House Hotel and jumped to his death. Rumors persist that Hathaway owed money to the mob around this time, though it would have been hard to separate his ravings about “white men being after him” from the symptoms of his mental illness.

Gary Driscoll of Rainbow (1987)

Driscoll was found murdered in his Ithaca, New York, home, with no apparent motive. Separating fact from invention is difficult, but there are rumors that there was more than one murderer, the killing was drug-related and perhaps most disturbingly, that Driscoll was either dismembered or flayed alive. It remains an unsolved case to this day.

Chet Baker (1988)

Baker fell to his death from the balcony of a hotel in Amsterdam in 1988. A notorious junkie who was therefore usually in some kind financial struggle, it was easy to assume that Baker’s death had some malicious aspect to it. (After all, he was beaten over drugs so badly in the late 1960s that most of his teeth were knocked out.) Drugs were found in his system, and at this point, it is widely assumed that his death was accidental, but given Baker’s enduring legend, it’s likely to remain a point of rumor circulation.

Cornell Gunter of the Coasters (1990)

Gunter was shot and killed in his car in Las Vegas in 1990. He was shot through the windshield at an intersection, and witnesses reported Gunter arguing with a man from his car shortly before the shooting. No arrests were made and the murder remains unsolved.

Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls (1991)

Like Morrison, Thunders’ death was hardly a surprise. But though it was ruled officially drug related, toxicology reports later determined the drugs in his system were not at a fatal level. (Thunders had also been suffering from advanced leukemia at the time.) The room, however, had been ransacked, and Dee Dee Ramone wrote in his autobiography that, “Johnny had gotten mixed up with some bastards … who ripped him off for his methadone supply. They had given him LSD and then murdered him.”

Mia Zapata of the Gits (1993)

Zapata was beaten, strangled and raped on the streets of Seattle, Washington, in 1993. Though members of the Seattle music community — Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden among them — raised $70,000 to hire a private investigator to look into Zapata’s murder, it took until 2003 for a break in the case, when Florida fisherman Jesus Mezquia was arrested after a positive DNA comparison from another case was made. Mezquia was convicted in 2004 and has been in prison since 2003.

Richey Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers (1995)

Edwards had a long history of mental health issues, and went missing in February 1995, just before his band was supposed to fly to the U.S. for a promotional tour. Though his car was found abandoned near a bridge that was a common suicide spot in the U.K., Edwards become one of rock’s most famous missing persons for a time, with sightings in tropical islands and India. His sister criticized the police’s handling of the case, and his family never had him declared legally dead until 2008, when his status was changed to “missing, presumed dead.”

Tupac Shakur (1996)

Shakur’s death by shooting incurred its own spate of conspiracy theories. Often rumored as the victim of an inter-gang dispute, some have even fingered hip hop mega moguls of ordering the deed. In his 2011 self-published book, Murder Rap, former LAPD detective Greg Kading claimed to have proof that Sean “Puffy” Combs and Suge Knight were responsible for Shakur’s death, and the Los Angeles authorities suppressed the evidence. Combs, however denied the allegations in a 2011 email to L.A. Weekly, writing, “This story is pure fiction and completely ridiculous.” Though supposedly one of Shakur’s songs contains the hidden message “Suge shot me,” there has never been any conclusive evidence linking the rap tycoon to Shakur’s death. Knight himself has denied killing Shakur, and even claimed (presumably jokingly) to TMZ in 2014 that the rapper is, in fact, still alive.

Most bizarrely, FBI files released in 2011 revealed that Shakur had received death threats from the Jewish Defense League, an organization characterized as a terrorist cell. In any event, Shakur’s murder remains unsolved.

Biggie Smalls (1997)

A similar group of rumors surrounds Smalls’ death. While some have posited the unfounded theory that government agents killed both Smalls and Shakur to end the perceived �st Coast/West Coast” battle, the FBI’s files on the “Juicy” rapper’s death include a reference to rare ammo used in the shooting that was also found in the home of LAPD cop David Mack. At the time of the murder, Mack was moonlighting as a bodyguard for Suge Knight and was arrested for bank robbery that same year. The FBI also found a black Chevy Impala SS in Mack’s possession—the same vehicle the agency claims was driven by the killer. Smalls’ family named Mack in a 2005 wrongful death lawsuit, but the case was dismissed from court. Retired LAPD Detective Russell Poole was a vocal proponent of the theory that Knight ordered unknown assassins—possibly Mack—to commit the crime before his own death in 2015. To this day, Mack has not been prosecuted for any crime related to Smalls’ murder, and he continues to maintain his innocence. Knight also has denied ordering anyone to kill Smalls.

Elliott Smith (2003)

Smith died of what were two seemingly self-inflicted stabs to the heart. However, there were wounds on his hands consistent with defensive marks, and the coroner’s report made no mention of typical “hesitation wounds” seen in suicides by stabbing. Detectives concluded his death was “possibly suspicious” at the time, though nothing ever came of a further investigation.


Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die

On July 4, 1826, former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, die on the same day within five hours of each other.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.

Adams preceded Jefferson as president (1797-1800) it was during this time that their ideas about policy-making became as distinct as their personalities. The irascible and hot-tempered Adams was a firm believer in a strong centralized government, while the erudite and genteel Jefferson believed federal government should take a more hands-off approach and defer to individual states’ rights. As Adams’ vice president, Jefferson was so horrified by what he considered to be Adams’ abuse of the presidency–particularly his passage of the restrictive Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798–that he abandoned Adams and Washington for his estate at Monticello. There, he plotted how to bring his Republican faction back into power in the presidential election of 1800. After an exceptionally bitter campaign, in which both parties engaged in slanderous attacks on each other in print, Jefferson emerged victorious. It appeared the former friends would be eternal enemies.

After serving two presidential terms (1801-1809), Jefferson and Adams each expressed to third parties their respect the other and their desire to renew their friendship. Adams was the first to break the silence he sent Jefferson a letter dated January 1, 1812, in which he wished Jefferson many happy new years to come. Jefferson responded with a note in which he fondly recalled when they were fellow laborers in the same cause. The former revolutionaries went on to resume their friendship over 14 years of correspondence during their golden years.


Mari Lopez

YouTube Mari Lopez during a video on her YouTube channel.

Mari Lopez was half of a mildly successful YouTube duo who used the platform to tout her beliefs. Her biggest claim? That veganism cured her cancer.

Lopez and her niece Liz Johnson’s YouTube channel, “Liz and Mari”, produced videos stating that a vegan lifestyle and faith in God were curing Lopez’s stage four breast cancer. The pair posted content that detailed Lopez’s decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle — in lieu of traditional medicine. In one video, Lopez said that her doctors had recommended treatment, but she felt that she had a better grasp on things through her lifestyle choices.

Lopez underwent a 90-day juice cleanse, which she said healed her — even though it gave her flu-like symptoms. In the video where she shares the recipe with followers, she points to her juicer and says, “I recovered from cancer with this machine”.

She stirred up further controversy in another video, claiming that on top of curing her cancer, her vegan diet and faith in God turned her from gay to straight.

By October 2017, Johnson had posted a video that stated that her aunt’s cancer had returned and spread to her liver, blood, and lungs. By that time, Lopez was living with her sister (Johnson’s mom), who encouraged her to seek traditional medicine to help fight her cancer.

She started radiation, but it was too late. Lopez died of cancer in December 2017. When Lopez realized that the cancer was going to win, she asked Johnson to take their videos down, but she refused. Johnson believes that Lopez’s switch to conventional medicine — as well as abandoning veganism — is what pushed her towards death.

“My family was not familiar with that style of living,” Johnson told babe. “My mom started to tell her [Lopez] that she needed to eat meat now. She said it was OK to use things that she didn’t want to use. My aunt was very against the microwave because of cancer-causing issues with that, and my mom would cook her things using the microwave.”

Lopez’s attempt at curing cancer through veganism (and failing) makes her untimely passing one of the most unusual deaths in recent history.


Contents

Robert Mondavi's parents, Cesare Mondavi and Rosa Grassi, emigrated from Sassoferrato [2] in the Marche region of Italy and settled in the American city of Hibbing, Minnesota. Robert Gerald Mondavi was born in Virginia, Minnesota. From Minnesota the Mondavi family moved to Lodi, California, where he attended Lodi High School. In Lodi, his father, Cesare, established a successful fruit packing business under the name C. Mondavi and Sons, packing and shipping grapes to the east coast primarily for home winemaking. Mondavi graduated from Stanford University in 1937 with a degree in economics and business administration. While at Stanford he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.

In 1943, Mondavi joined his father and brother Peter after the family acquired the Charles Krug Winery located in St. Helena, California, from James Moffitt. In 1965, Robert Mondavi left the family winery after a feud with his younger brother Peter over the business direction of the Krug Winery. Subsequently, Mondavi started his own winery in Oakville, California, and set out to create wines that could compete with fine French wines. [3] The Robert Mondavi Winery is located on Highway 29 between Oakville and Rutherford (though its corporate headquarters are in nearby St. Helena.)

In 1966, he founded the Robert Mondavi Winery with his sons Michael and Tim Mondavi in the Napa Valley with the goal of producing wines that would compete with the finest wines from Europe. Michael Mondavi, the elder, was in charge of the sales and marketing for Robert, while Tim was the winemaker. Robert Mondavi was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the post-Prohibition era. Part of Mondavi's original vineyard land included the To Kalon (a Greek term meaning "the beautiful") vineyard originally established by Napa Valley pioneer H.W. Crabb in 1868. The winery bearing Mondavi's name produced high-quality wine in the California mission style. Robert selected Cliff May to design the winery building, which opened in 1966 and is now considered an architectural icon in the Napa Valley, [4] with an expansive entryway arch and bell tower.

In 1937, Mondavi married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Ellen (Declusin) Mondavi. Together, the couple had three children: Michael, Marcia, and Tim. In the late 1970s, their marriage ended in a divorce. In 1980, at the age of 67, he married Margrit (Kellenberger) Biever Mondavi, a Swiss-born, and multilingual woman who worked at the Robert Mondavi winery. [5] Robert and Margrit had no children, but together they dedicated a lot of time and money to philanthropic events.

In 1968, Mondavi made a dry oak–aged Sauvignon blanc, an unpopular variety in California at the time, and labeled it "Fumé Blanc". The wine was a success and, in time, Fumé Blanc became accepted as a synonym for Sauvignon blanc.

Mondavi successfully developed a number of premium wines that earned the respect of connoisseurs and vintners alike. In 1979, he built the Mondavi Woodbridge Winery in Lodi, California developing it into a leader of popular-premium wines. He also entered into a joint venture with Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild to create Opus One Winery, and since the 1990s has set up joint ventures with local partners in Europe, South America and Australia. [6]

Interested by his work and his success, in the 1990s Mondavi's story and his wine company became topics for specialists of wine.

In the Grand European Jury Wine Tasting of 1997, the Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Reserve was ranked number one.

In 2005, Robert Mondavi and his younger brother Peter made wine together for the first time after their feud. Using grapes from both family vineyards, they produced one barrel of cabernet blend, which was sold for $400,000 under the name "Ancora Una Volta" ("Once Again") at the 2005 Napa Valley Auction. [7] All the money earned from the barrel of wine went to charity.

In 2003, Mondavi expressed regret and criticized his sons for the business strategy that emphasized the inexpensive Mondavi lines, Coastal and Woodbridge, over the premium wines, allowing the company name to lose its association with fine wine it held in the past. He said, "We've got to get our image back, and that's going to take time." [8]

In the 2004 documentary film Mondovino, the Mondavi family featured prominently, in close application to its theme of globalization. At the time, the Mondavis had recently acquired the Italian "cult wine" Ornellaia winery, Tenuta Dell'Ornellaia.

On December 22, 2004, Constellation Brands acquired the Mondavi winery in a controversial takeover for nearly US$1.36 billion in cash and assumption of debt. [9] Following the sale of the company, Mondavi partnered with his younger son Tim Mondavi and daughter Marcia Mondavi to make a single wine from a single estate at the highest level. The family partnership Continuum Estate is still run by Robert's son Tim, daughter Marcia and grandchildren Carissa Mondavi, Chiara Mondavi, Carlo Mondavi and Dante Mondavi.

In 2001, Robert Mondavi donated $10 million to help with the building cost of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts building at UC Davis. The Mondavi Center was opened on October 3, 2002. Robert also donated $25 million to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and this opened a new era for UC Davis’s wine and food programs. It was the largest private contribution to UC Davis.

The two were founders and major benefactors behind the museum Copia, which opened November 2001 in the city of Napa, California.

Robert and Margrit were also founding supporters of the restoration of the 19th-century Napa Valley Opera House and the Oxbow School, a new art school in Napa that provides grants and instruction to art students in their junior year of high school. They have contributed to the restoration of the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville, California, and have supported the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Robert Mondavi died at his Yountville home on May 16, 2008 at the age of 94. [10] [11] [12] [13]

An autobiography Harvests of Joy was published in 1998. [14]

In 1985, Mondavi received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. [15]

Robert Mondavi was selected as the Decanter "Man of the Year" in 1989. [11] He was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1991.

In 2000 he was awarded Doctor of Oenology, Honoris Causa, by the Board of Trustees of Johnson & Wales University.

In 2002, he received the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. [16] In 2005, he received the Legion of Honour from the French government.

He was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America Vintner's Hall of Fame in 2007. [18] The election was based upon ballots from seventy wine journalists. The decision for their election of Mondavi is for contributions to the wine industry of California during his lifetime.

Robert Mondavi was awarded the Presidential Gold Medal of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs in December 2006 for his many contributions to the Society.


Ramses III's traitorous son

As was the custom of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, Ramses III had many wives. According to Smithsonian Magazine, one of his "secondary wives," Tiye, and her son, Pentaware, hatched an assassination plot to which would help to install Pentaware on the throne. Details of the coup attempt were recorded in contemporary documents which have survived, telling us only some details of the fallout. We have long known that Tiye and Pentaware's power grab did not ultimately succeed: The throne went to someone else, and the new Ramses IV put the mother and son on trail. Historians have been unsure, however, whether Ramses III survived the assassination attempt and, ultimately, what the fates of Tiye and Pentaware were.

Researchers have made some interesting discoveries, however. Firstly, CT scans performed on the mummy of Ramses III in 2012 revealed multiple grievous injuries, according to Live Science, including a knife wound in the king's throat suggesting that he was, indeed, murdered.

More grisly still, the body of a younger man found in the tomb has also been analyzed. Tests have demonstrated that the body is related to Ramses III and was probably his son. The body's contorted face foreshadowed what was revealed by a scan on his lungs: that the man, most likely Pentaware, had seemingly been buried alive.


Top 10 Bizarre Deaths of the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages, also known as the Medieval Period, spanned between the fifth and fifteenth centuries, ending with the death of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Given the brutality of the time period, the idea of death was viewed very differently than the modern perception, and average life expectancy was significantly lower than today. War and savage violence was extremely common and as such, untimely deaths were not considered unusual. This list encompasses some of the most famously bizarre deaths in recorded history.

Cause of Death: Shot down by a boy who was holding a frying pan.

In 1199 Richard I had bankrupted England, thanks to the costly Third Crusade and his subsequent ransom payment after being captured by the German Emperor. To finance his war efforts in France, Richard found he needed vast amounts of money which could not be provided on tax alone. Fittingly he died whilst looking for money at Castle Chalus-Chabrol in France, which housed a pot of gold according to rumor. During the siege of the tiny castle, a young boy fighting with a frying pan grabbed a crossbow and shot into a group of knights on horseback. He hit one in the shoulder, and the victim immediately stood up and congratulated the child on his well-aimed shot. This knight was Richard the Lionheart. Richard died days later as the minor wound turned gangrenous, though on his deathbed he awarded his impoverished killer one-hundred shillings in an act of final chivalry. Despite this, the boy who killed Richard was later flayed alive on the orders of one of Richard&rsquos generals and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard&rsquos grieving mother, before a public hanging.

Cause of Death: Indigestion and Uncontrollable Laughter.

During a feast in 1410, Martin, Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon, died in extremely unfortunate circumstances. Contemporaries describe the death as being caused by a lethal combination of both severe indigestion, which Martin had been suffering in the days prior to the incident, and hysterical laughter, which caused him to collapse at the dinner table. Efforts to save the King&rsquos life proved fruitless. Contemporaries failed to report what exactly made Martin laugh so uncontrollably, but it is generally assumed that his indigestion was caused by excessive gorging on eels, a popular dish of the Middle Ages.

Cause of Death: Allegedly stabbed to death in a drunken rage by King John.

Arthur of Brittany was the figurehead in a rebellion against King John in the early twelfth century. The boy, still in his early teens, was John&rsquos nephew and therefore had a legitimate claim to the English throne which John wanted to discredit in order to secure it for himself. After being captured by John&rsquos forces at Mirebeau Castle, Arthur was imprisoned at Rouen Castle along with his fellow rebels. Many conflicting stories about what subsequently happened to Arthur have been circulated, but one particular explanation seems likely given contemporary witness accounts. This states that John ordered Arthur to be castrated and blinded as punishment for his rebellion, but the jailer refused to commit the act. The furious King John drank heavily and proceeded to stab the sixteen year-old to death in his cell. He then personally tied a large rock to the child and dumped the body in the Seine River, where it was discovered later by fishermen and buried secretly at Bec Abbey.

Cause of Death: Drowned in a butt of Malmsey Wine.

George Plantagenet was brother to Kings Edward IV and Richard III, and played an important role in the War of the Roses before his death in 1478. After plotting against his brother and subsequently being convicted of treason, he was privately executed in the Tower of London. The typical method of execution at the time for those of noble birth was beheading, but this was not the case for George Plantagenet. Given his famous reputation for alcoholism, George was forcibly drowned in a large vat of Malmsey Wine, his favorite beverage, at his own request. His corpse was later transferred to the abbey in the same vat full of wine, before his burial.

Cause of Death: Choked on a fly in his wine.

Adrian IV reigned in the papal chair for five years until his untimely death in 1159. Interestingly, he is thus far the only Englishman to ever occupy the position, and was born Nicholas Breakspeare, until his coronation. During the final months of his life Adrian suffered from a bizarre form of tonsillitis known as quinsy, which causes excessive pus to build up the mouth and throat. It is believed this contributed to his death, when he took a sip of wine and began to choke on a fly, which had been floating inside his goblet. The build-up of pus combined with the presence of the fly in his throat made for a deadly combination, which caused his death within minutes from choking.

Cause of Death: Crushed by the canopy above his throne, which collapsed upon him.

Bela I of Hungary ruled as King for only a brief three-year period before his bizarre death in 1063. While sitting on his throne, the canopy above him collapsed on top of him causing instant death. Contemporaries believed that the incident was more than a mere accident, and that it was the result of a clever assassination attempt. Bela had numerous political enemies after he himself usurped the throne from King Andrew I of Hungary. Despite the suspicions, no proof of foul play exists, and Bela was succeeded by Solomon of Hungary. Bela&rsquos sons fled the country for fear of persecution by the new ruler.

Cause of Death: Rolled up in a rug and trampled by horses.

Caliph Al-Musta&rsquosim of Baghdad ruled in his position of power from 1242 until his death sixteen years later, during the Mongol invasion of the Abbasid domain. By February of 1258, the Mongols, led by Hulagu Khan, sacked Baghdad and captured Al-Musta&rsquosim alive. However the Mongols feared to execute the Caliph in the regular way, which was usually beheading, due to a superstition that spilling royal blood would bring bad luck. Instead, they rolled Al-Musta&rsquosim up in a rug and had him repeated trampled by horses until he died. The process took around fifteen minutes before the Caliph finally died. Furthermore, Al-Musta&rsquosim had many sons, most of which were also executed in the same fashion.

Cause of Death: Partially decapitated while resisting arrest.

Thomas Beckett served first as Chancellor of England, before being elected Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry II of England from 1162 until his death. After numerous disagreements with Henry over the King&rsquos tyrannical law reforms, Beckett found that his life was in danger. The bloody and extremely gruesome climax to the feud occurred in December 1170, when four knights arrived at Canterbury Cathedral and ordered Beckett&rsquos arrest. After refusing to submit, one of the knights smashed the flat of his sword on to Beckett&rsquos head, sending him to his knees. Beckett then began to pray, seconds before the fatal blow was delivered. Another knight lunged forward and delivered a strike which sliced the top of Beckett&rsquos head off just above the eyes. The blow had such force that the sword shattered against the floor in pieces. A third knight then plunged his sword into the cavity in Beckett&rsquos head and scooped out the mangled brains, before smearing them on the floor and stating simply: &ldquoThis fellow won&rsquot be getting up again.&rdquo

Cause of Death: Infection of a wound received from a decapitated head.

Sigurd Eysteinsson, also known as Sigurd the Mighty, died in perhaps the most bizarre circumstances of spontaneous justice throughout history. Being a proud warrior, Sigurd challenged one of his enemies, Mael Brigte the Tusk (nicknamed so because of his buckteeth), to a pitched battle in which each man would bring forty men only. Sigurd cheated and brought eighty men, and because of this numerical advantage his men won the battle very quickly. In an act of triumphant arrogance, Sigurd strapped the severed head of Mael Brigte to his horse. Amazingly, while riding away from the battle, Mael Brigte&rsquos famous buckteeth scratched Sigurd&rsquos leg, causing a gangrenous infection which eventually claimed his life. Legend has it that Mael&rsquos ghost returned to temporarily embody his severed head to commit a final act of revenge upon Sigurd, for his treachery at the battle.

Cause of Death: Allegedly assassinated by having a red hot poker thrust into his anus.

Before his deposition in later death in 1327, Edward II ruled for twenty years as King of England. His reign was famously disastrous and was marred by political distrust and military failures. Immediately after his abdication, Edward&rsquos political enemies decided they could not afford to keep him alive. While imprisoned at Berkeley Castle, a group of assassins confronted him at night and, according to rumor, murdered the former king by forcibly inserting a red hot iron poker directly into his rectum. His public funeral was held the later same year, confirming his death to the people of England. It is said that when one visits Berkeley Castle today, Edward&rsquos screams of agony can sometimes be heard faintly through the walls.

These deaths of the so-called &ldquoPrinces in the Tower&rdquo were more mysterious than bizarre, but the interesting story of the two innocent children warrants them a place on the list as a bonus. The eldest of the young princes was rightful heir to the throne of England, and it is generally assumed, though never proven, that both children were murdered by agents of Richard III of England, in an attempt to secure the throne for himself. In 1483 both children were accommodated in the Tower of London, which was then a royal residence as well as a dungeon. Around summertime, the princes vanished from the castle grounds without trace. Rumors circulated London that the pair had been murdered by Richard&rsquos men, but nothing was ever proven. Then almost two hundred years after their disappearance, two small skeletons were found under a staircase in the Tower of London, due to a renovation. The skeletons were buried near the castle grounds, and were later exhumed in 1933 to be examined using modern science. The age of the children upon their deaths was dated at around 8-9 years-old for the youngest, and 11-13 years-old for the other, almost the exact ages of the princes around their disappearance.


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