Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Question from Asher - Edward VI and arsenic

Has the story about Edward VI being administered arsenic by John Dudley's phsycicians ever been confirmed? I've read it a number of times from respected historians, but in the most recent comprehensive history of the Dudley's, Derek Wilson's "The Uncrowned King's of England," no mention is made of the rumor.


Anonymous said...

The short answer to your question is "No." The long answer is that arsenic was often used for medicinal purposes in the sixteenth century, as were other poisonous substances like mercury and lead, so it would not be at all surprising if it were administered to Edward with the young king's full knowledge and consent. The only way to confirm the rumour, however, short of a written statement from Dudley or one of Edward's physicians, would be to perform forensic testing on his remains ... and that is unlikely ever to happen.

Anonymous said...

So what did Edward VI die from??

Anonymous said...

Most references to Edwards' death state tuberculosis as the cause; however, it did not conform to pattern. When he died he had no hair or fingernails. I've always wondered about this myself.