Why did Napoleon Bonaparte die? Conspiracy theories about deadly enemas, poisons and cancer resurrected even 200 years later

Even two hundred years after Napoleon Bonaparte to die there are various conspiracy theories as to exactly how he died on the windswept island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic.

The official conclusion, supported by an autopsy performed by the British who held Napoleon in exile, is that he died on May 5, 1821, at the age of 51, from a stomach cancerO.

Even then, many – and not just in France – were skeptical of this conclusion, so it is not surprising that various, sometimes extremely colorful, conspiracy theories have emerged.

Poisoned?

One of the most vivid theories of the French conspiracy is the belief that Napoleon was slowly poisoned by the British or his trustee, Count Charles de Montholon, as being hired by French royalists who did not want the emperor to return home.

Scientific evidence is a chemical analysis of a haircut of a dead Napoleon haircut performed in 2001, which showed a high concentration of arsenic.

In 2002, the theory of poisoning was challenged in the French publication Science et Vie. The article presented the results of 19 Napoleon hair taken in 1805, before his first defeat in 1814, and also, in 1821, the results of research into arsenic.

All samples contained high concentrations of arsenic, ranging from 15 to 100 parts per million (ppm). The normal concentration would be only 0.8 ppm and the maximum safe concentration would be 3 ppm.

Poison / Shutterstock photo

The most likely source of arsenic in Napoleon’s hair is a remedy for hair loss. The bald emperor probably used such products, and in the early 19th century they usually contained a lot of arsenic.

Deadly enema

Others blame the zealous doctors for the early death of the emperor.

As forensic pathologist Steven Karch of the San Francisco Department of Medical Research said in 2004, doctors gave Napoleon an enema every day to help with stomach ailments and intestinal cramps.

This, together with regular doses of potassium antimony tartrate to induce vomiting, had to lead to dangerous potassium deficiency.


Ancient enema / Shutterstock photo.

Ancient enema / Shutterstock photo.

This in turn could lead to heart rhythm disorders that disrupt blood flow to the brain.

A lot of telling pants

In 2005, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) validated the theory of stomach cancer based on a study of the emperor’s pants.

Researchers at the University Hospital of Basel and the University of Zurich studied 12 Napoleon pants worn between 1800 and 1821 to determine his weight at death and weight changes over the last two decades of his life.

“It’s that Napoleon [gyvenimo] At the end of the year, she lost more than 10 kg of weight, indicating a severe, progressive chronic disease … This is very much in line with the diagnosis of stomach cancer, ”said the authors.



Napoleon Bonaparte / Scanpix / Shutterstock photo

The last British prank?

In 1840, Napoleon’s remains were taken to Paris and buried in a large marble tomb under the gilded dome of the Cathedral of the Disabled.

But some people with lawyer Bruno Roy-Henry at the forefront believe that the British exchanged corpses to say goodbye to an old enemy in order to say goodbye to some completely unknown man in order to say goodbye to an old enemy.

At the time, some of the emperor’s most loyal supporters claimed that Napoleon had fled Saint Helena – just like his first exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba – and began a new life in America.

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