They have lengthy been famed for his or her love of lavish banquets and wealthy recipes. But what’s much less well-known is that the British royals additionally had a style for human flesh.
A brand new e book on medicinal cannibalism has revealed that presumably as not too long ago as the tip of the 18th century British royalty swallowed elements of the human physique.
The creator provides that this was not a observe reserved for monarchs however was widespread among the many well-to-do in Europe.
Even as they denounced the barbaric cannibals of the New World, they utilized, drank, or wore powdered Egyptian mummy, human fats, flesh, bone, blood, brains and pores and skin.
Moss taken from the skulls of lifeless troopers was even used as a remedy for nosebleeds, in response to Dr Richard Sugg at Durham University.
Dr Sugg mentioned: ‘The human physique has been broadly used as a therapeutic agent with the most well-liked therapies involving flesh, bone or blood.
‘Cannibalism was discovered not solely within the New World, as usually believed, but additionally in Europe.
factor we’re hardly ever taught in school but is evidenced in literary and
historic texts of the time is that this: James I refused corpse medication;
Charles II made his personal corpse medication; and Charles I was made into
‘Along with Charles II, eminent customers or prescribers included Francis I, Elizabeth I’s surgeon John Banister, Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kent, Robert Boyle, Thomas Willis, William III, and Queen Mary.’
The historical past of medicinal cannibalism, Dr Sugg argues, raised numerous necessary social questions. He mentioned: ‘Medicinal cannibalism used the formidable weight of European science, publishing, commerce networks and educated principle.
corpse medication has typically been offered as a medieval remedy, it
was at its top in the course of the social and scientific revolutions of
‘It survived properly into the 18th century, and amongst the poor it lingered stubbornly on into the time of Queen Victoria. ‘Quite aside from the query of cannibalism, the sourcing of physique elements now appears extremely unethical to us.
the heyday of medicinal cannibalism our bodies or bones had been routinely
taken from Egyptian tombs and European graveyards. Not solely that, however
a way into the eighteenth century one of many largest imports from
Ireland into Britain was human skulls.
‘Whether or not all this was worse than the trendy black market in human organs is tough to say.’
The e book provides quite a few vivid, usually disturbing examples of the observe, starting from the execution scaffolds of Germany and Scandinavia, by means of the courts and laboratories of Italy, France and Britain, to the battlefields of Holland and Ireland and on to the tribal man-eating of the Americas.
A portray displaying the 1649 execution of Charles I confirmed individuals mopping up the king’s blood with handkerchiefs.
Dr Sugg mentioned: ‘This was used to deal with the “king’s evil” – a grievance extra often cured by the contact of residing monarchs. ‘Over in continental Europe, the place the axe fell routinely on the necks of criminals, blood was the medication of alternative for a lot of epileptics.
Denmark the younger Hans Christian Andersen noticed mother and father getting their
sick youngster to drink blood on the scaffold. So in style was this therapy
that hangmen routinely had their assistants catch the blood in cups as
it spurted from the necks of dying felons.
a affected person would possibly shortcut this method. At one early sixteenth-century
execution in Germany, ‘a vagrant grabbed the beheaded physique “earlier than it
had fallen, and drank the blood from him..”.’
The final recorded occasion of this observe in Germany fell in 1865.