15. George Plantagenet, of the English House of York, elected to die by drowning in a vat of wine after being sentenced to death in 1478 following successive treasons
George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was a member of the House of York and brother to the English Kings Edward IV and Richard III. Despite being the third son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, George initially decided to support the rival House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses. Believing he could potentially leverage himself into a position to inherit the English crown, George allied with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. However, after Neville married a daughter to the son and heir of Henry VI in 1470, George realized that he was not as favored as he had previously assumed and fled back to the Yorkists.
Initially benefiting from this reconciliation, being named Earl of Warwick after the death of Neville in battle, ultimately George had chosen the wrong side in the dynastic conflict. Arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London, George was charged with treason. Found guilty of “unnatural, loathly treasons”, aggravated by his betrayals against his own brothers, George was privately executed at the Tower on February 18, 1478. Accepting that he was to die, George resolved to meet his maker in what he thought would be an appropriate and dignified fashion. Consequently, and supposedly by his own request, the English aristocrat was luridly drowned in a vat of claret wine.