The year was 258 AD and the deacon Saint Lawrence was being roasted alive. Not one to pass up the opportunity to make a hilarious joke (even whilst being barbecued), he shouted out, “Turn me over — I’m done on this side!”
He is now the patron saint of chefs and comedians. It’s not hard to see why.
In the year 892, Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney was feeling pretty proud of himself after killing his foe, Máel Brigte. So proud, in fact, that he cut off Brigte’s head and strapped it to his horse’s saddle. Unfortunately for Sigurd, he sat in such a way that caused Brigte’s teeth to rub against his legs and create an open wound. The wound became infected and Sigurd eventually died as a result.
In 1016, Edmund Ironside was killed when he was sitting on a toilet by an assassin who was hiding in the toilet.
Obviously, dying on the john is a terrible way to go, but I have to imagine that the assassin’s night wasn’t too great either.
In 1387, Charles II of Navarre fell ill and consulted his physician. The doctor ordered him to be wrapped up in a linen cloth soaked in brandy (like a really boozy sleeping bag).
One of his female attendants sewed him into the sack and tied a know to finish the stitch. She didn’t have scissors handy and decided to use a candle to burn the end of the thread. The sack (which, as you’ll remember, was soaked in alcohol) immediately caught fire, burning Charles to death.
In 1567, a man named Hans Staininger died after tripping over his own 4 1/2-foot-long beard.
He usually kept his beard rolled up in a leather pouch. For good reason, as it turns out.
And now for the tale of the king who ate himself to death…