Unusual Deaths From History: Atypical Deaths of these Historical Figures
Atypical Deaths of these Historical Figures

Atypical Deaths of these Historical Figures

Khalid Elhassan - July 14, 2020

Atypical Deaths of these Historical Figures
Canute and Edmund Ironside. A Clerk of Oxford

1. Ironside, But Not an Iron Butt

Ethelred’s massacre of Danish settlers triggered an invasion by the Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard. He conquered England in 1013, and forced Ethelred to flee to Normandy. However, Sweyn died the following year, at which point Ethelred returned. With his son Edmund playing a leading role, Ethelred’s forces chased Sweyn’s son, Canute, out of England in 1014. Canute returned the following year at the head of a large Danish army, which pillaged much of England. However, Edmund mounted a fierce resistance which stymied the Dane. When Ethelred died in 1016, Edmund, by now known as “Ironside”, succeeded him on the English throne.

Edmund II’s strange death came seven months after he was crowned, on November 30th, 1016. That night, Edmund went to the privy to answer a call of nature. Unbeknownst to him, an assassin was waiting in the cesspit for the royal posterior to show up. When Edmund sat down to do his business, the assassin stabbed upwards with a sharp dagger. Leaving the weapon embedded in the king’s bowels, the killer made his escape. Unfortunately for Edmund, even if his sides had been made of iron, his bottom was not.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

American Battlefield Trust – The Death of John Sedgwick

Ancient History Encyclopedia – Mongol Siege of Baghdad

Ancient History Encyclopedia – Valerian

Ancient Origins – What Really Happened to Valerian?

Argus, The, December 19th, 1950 – Mother’s Defense: “Killed In Her Sleep”

BBC – Victorian Strangeness: The Lawyer Who Shot Himself Proving His Case

Burrows, Edwin G., and Wallace, Mike – Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (2001)

Classic Movie Web – Facts About ‘They Died With Their Boots On’

Cracked – 6 Deaths From History You Will Got to Hell for Laughing At

Encyclopedia Britannica – Dancing Plague of 1518

Encyclopedia Britannica – John, King of Bohemia

Guardian, The, July 5th, 2018 – Keep on Moving: The Bizarre Dance Epidemic of Summer 1518

Herald Sun, Australia, January 1st, 2014 – Night Terrors: The Sleepwalking Murder of Patricia Cogdon

Horror History Net – Edmund Ironside, Murdered on His Toilet

Kierner, Cynthia A. – Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America (2004)

Londonist – The Time Someone Shot a Ghost Dead in Hammersmith

Military History Matters – Royal Deaths: John the Blind

Murderpedia – Sada Abe

National Park Service – John Sedgwick

War History Online – The Sack of Baghdad in 1258

We Are the Mighty – Sigurd the Mighty Was Killed by a Dead Man

Wikipedia – Hammersmith Ghost Murder Case

Wikipedia – Martha Mansfield

Wikipedia – They Died With Their Boots On

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