January 1, 2008

January 1 | Charles the Bad

October 10, 1332 - January 1, 1387: Age 54

Full disclosure: this picture is not of Charles the Bad. It is of John the Good, ordering his arrest. Really.

Charles II of Navarre earned the title Charles the Bad mainly by being an inconvenience to his father-in-law and cousin, King John II of France ("John the Good"), whose throne he felt entitled to. He also felt entitled to a lot of other things: the fiefdoms of Champagne, Brie, and Angoulême, and the Duchy of Burgundy. He pursued all these claims in the usual way: double-dealing, intrigue, war, pillage, etc. He was unable to realize any of these claims.

In 1387 he became ill and consulted doctors (often a mistake in those days). The prescription resulted in a particularly horrific death. He was to be wrapped completely in a linen cloth impregnated with brandy. The remedy was administered at night, and the attendant charged with sewing up the cloth that enclosed him...
"...having come to the neck, the fixed point where she was to finish her seam, made a knot according to custom; but as there was still remaining an end of thread, instead of cutting it as usual with scissars, she had recourse to the candle, which immediately set fire to the whole cloth. Being terrified, she ran away, and abandoned the king, who was thus burnt alive in his own palace.

Source: Wikipedia

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