Famous People's Cause of Death Lord Byron

About the famous English poet Lord Byron, biography, history and cause of death.

POSTMORTEMS--WHAT THEY DIED FROM

LORD BYRON

Born: Jan. 22, 1788

Died: Apr. 19, 1824

Cause of Death: Fever

Physician's Notes: Aside from his clubfoot, Byron, one of England's greatest poets, was an exquisite physical specimen. In 1823, during self-imposed exile, he took up the cause of the Greek insurgents against Turkish rule. During the campaign, in February, 1824, he suddenly lost the use of one of his legs, then fell into a violent, nervous convulsion. The attack was diagnosed as epilepsy, and leeches were applied to his temples. He continued to have attacks of vertigo. On Apr. 9, while out riding, he was drenched to the skin by a sudden rainstorm and took chill. Within two hours he complained of fever and rheumatic pains. Though he opposed the use of leeches, he finally relented, and they took a pound of blood from his body. He became weaker, but he was bled twice more, fainting each time. His brain was inflamed, but doctors decided that strong stimulants, Peruvian bark and wine, were his only hope. Having had no sleep for a week, Byron said, "I must sleep now," and he died without waking 24 hours later. The exact cause of his death remains a mystery; uremia, marsh fever, typhoid, and rheumatic fever have been suggested. After much debate, his body was returned to England, where it was denied interment in Westminster Abbey.

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