Going Out With a Bang


Gravestone of William the Conqueror

At his funeral in 1087, William the Conqueror’s body exploded. He died after his horse reared up during a battle, throwing the king against his saddle pommel so forcefully that his intestines ruptured. An infection set in that killed the king several weeks later. As priests tried to stuff William into a stone coffin that proved too small for his bulk, they pushed on his abdomen, causing it to burst. Mourners supposedly ran for the door to escape the putrid stench.

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