1135: King Henry I Dies from Overeating

1135: King Henry I Dies from Overeating
Photo Credit To http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/King_Henry_I_of_England.jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event: Overeating on a delicacy which he really enjoyed likely cost King Henry I his life.

English King Henry I died on this day, supposedly from overeating on a delicacy which he very much liked – lampreys. This is a species of aquatic animals similar to eels, considered a delicacy in the Middle Ages and appraised on the aristocratic dining tables. Even the ancient Romans loved to eat lampreys, and during medieval Christianity in particular, they were used during periods of fasting, when meat was not allowed. Namely, the lampreys could be eaten during the lean days like fish, and their flavor is supposedly more like meat than was the case for fish.

The deceased Henry I was a King of England from the Norman dynasty. He was the son of the powerful William the Conqueror, who forcibly took the English throne in 1066 as Duke of Normandy. Henry inherited large estates in France from his father, and it is interesting that he also died precisely in Normandy – in Saint-Denis-en-Lyons.
Henry I is also very interesting because he had a large number of offspring. He had more sons and daughters than any other king of England, and there is a possibility that he is one of the Europeans with the most children in history. Namely, he had about 26 sons and daughters, of whom only three were born in lawful wedlock. The other children were born to his numerous mistresses, whose total number was more than seven. 

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