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Cause Of The Warrior King's Death Still A Mystery

2 March, 2013

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MessageToEagle.com - Recently, a team of forensic experts meticulously analyzed the embalmed heart of Richard I of England, known as the Lionheart (Coeur de Lion in French) who ruled England and continental lands from 1189 to 99.

"We found things that we didn't expect," said Philippe Charlier, a physician and anthropologist, known for his forensic research into some of France's most famous dead.

Charlier led the team that carried out the research, after removing the king's remains from a church in France where part of his body was laid to rest.


Effigy of Richard I of England in the church of Fontevraud Abbey. Image: Adam Bishop, Wikimedia


The latest biomedical techniques were used to decipher the composition of the king's heart, and according to the researchers it's the oldest embalmed heart ever studied and, belonging to a king, certainly the most prestigious.

They found that medieval embalmers, prepared the king's body for burial by using mercury and tar-like creosote chemicals (known for their anti-septic and preservative properties) to protect the heart.


Fontevraud Abbey, France


Before the organ was wrapped in linen and placed inside a lead box, the embalmers applied frankincense, myrtle, daisy and mint having spicy-sweet aroma, so the organ was treated with the veneration reserved for a Christian relic. In 1838, the heart, already turned to powder, was rediscovered, transferred to a glass box and placed in Rouen’s Departmental Museum of Antiquities.

"The frankincense is something we have never seen until now. It is a substance whose use comes directly from divine inspiration," Charlier explained.

"It was one of the three gifts brought by the Wise Men at Jesus' birth, and it was used by Joseph of Arimathea to help preserve Jesus's body at his death. So using it is a direct reference to Christ."

The organ had been buried in one of the crypts in Rouen Cathedral after King Richard I was killed at the rebellious French town of Chalus while laying siege to the castle there in 1199.

After analyzing the compounds surrounding the heart of the warrior, it has been established that the king's organs were often separated from the rest of his body before being placed in the ground.

Richard the Lionheart succumbed to a mysterious infection while being treated for a crossbow wound.



He died 12 days later, probably from septicaemia or gangrene, but nobody has ever been able to figure out what germ infected Richard's bloodstream, causing his mysterious death at the age of 42.

His body is buried in Fontevraud Abbey in the western Loire Valley, France and according to the ancient records, Richard the Lionheart asked to be buried there, when his time came.

He was interred there, in April 1199 and today, a stone effigy of the King lies in the nave of the Abbey church at Fontevraud.

In the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, are interred the bodies or the hearts of other great personalities like Henry II, King of England, Jeanne (Joan) of England, daughter of Henry II and Eleanor, wife of Raymond VI of Toulouse, Henry III, King of England and many others.

The cause of death of Richard I remains unclear. Several bacteria and fungi species were analyzed, but none confirming how he died.

The heart of the famous king and warrior will remain hidden from public view.

© MessageToEagle.com

See also:
Does The Pope Resign To Fulfill St. Malachy's Enigmatic Prophecy?

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