Life

The Mysterious Deaths of the Medici Grand Duke and His Wife Solved: The Shocking Truth Revealed After 400 Years About Their Arsenic Poisoning Murder

   In recent years, the hit British TV series “The Medici: The Famous Family of Florence” has made many historians around the world re-interested in the history of the Medici, the first family in Florence, Italy. Speaking of the history of this family, we have to mention the bizarre death case that has been sealed for more than 400 years: Archduke Francesco and his wife died suddenly within two days. In the 21st century, scientific and technological identification methods have been developed. Based on the records of a writer, people found the remains of the two deceased people, re-opened the coffins for autopsy, and finally solved this historical unsolved case. The truth about the sudden death of the Grand Duke and his wife surprised everyone: this was actually the same case. A poisoning murder that was planned for 5 years!
  Elopement
   One night in 1563, a 15-year-old noble girl in Venice eloped with a poor, down-and-out boy. They secretly escaped to Florence, a place outside her father’s sphere of influence…
   This aristocratic girl’s name was Bianca Cappello, who was born into the Cappello family, a noble family in Venice, Italy. She is the only daughter of the patriarch Bartolomeo Capello and the socialite Pellegrina Morosini. She is pampered and daring. When she was 15 years old, Bianca became as beautiful as a flower and became a sensation in Venice. The family was rich and powerful, and she was as beautiful as a flower, so there was an endless stream of suitors.
   But Bianca ignored those suitors from aristocratic families and fell in love with Pietro Bonaventura, a poor boy from a poor family. She begged her parents to fulfill their love. Her parents were completely obedient to Bianca in all other aspects, except for the important matter of marriage. They could not let her do whatever she wanted, and they strongly opposed this marriage where there was a huge disparity in wealth and family status. Bianca was both rebellious and blinded by love, so she eloped with Pietro to Florence.
   After arriving in Florence, they quickly married and soon gave birth to a daughter.
   The Capello family used all their connections to find out that Bianca had come to Florence, and they immediately sent people to capture Bianca and Pietro. However, Florence is not the sphere of influence of the Capello family.
   The Capello family captured young couples who settled here on this land, which aroused the dissatisfaction of the ruler of Florence, Archduke Cosimo Medici, who considered this to be contempt for the Medici family. Cosimo said that Pietro and Bianca’s marriage was legitimate and could not be changed, and asked the people sent by the Capello family to evacuate Florence.
   Bianca’s parents were very angry. In order to maintain the family honor, they decided to make a clean break with their daughter: “She is no longer a member of the Capello family. Don’t even think about taking anything from here.”
   Bianca was completely free, but she didn’t. It didn’t take long before she regretted it. When the passion between the two faded away, the real life made her feel that her decision to have a private lifelong relationship was reckless and stupid. Pietro was so poor that he couldn’t afford a servant, so Bianca had to do the menial work herself, which was exhausting every day. As time went by, the two had more and more conflicts, and the frequency of quarrels became higher and higher.
   However, the beautiful Bianca is not destined to live an ordinary life. That day, she walked through the municipal square to buy food at the market as usual, and her fate changed at that moment.
   At that time, Francesco, the eldest son of Archduke Cosimo, was sunbathing on the balcony of the Medici family’s villa beside the square. He looked melancholy and was disturbed. Because his father decided a marriage for him, and the woman was Joanna, the princess of the Holy Roman Empire. Although she has the most distinguished family background in Europe, being forced to marry a woman he has never met disgusts the hot-blooded Francesco. Just when he was troubled, Bianca walked slowly from the square. Although she was dressed simply, her skin was whiter than snow, her face was delicate, her golden hair shone in the sun, and she exuded alluring charm. “It’s so beautiful!” Francesco exclaimed, “This is the partner of my dreams!”
   Francesco fell in love with Bianca at first sight and immediately called his subordinates to investigate Bianca’s identity and background.
   After learning that Bianca was married and had a daughter, Francesco was not discouraged. He warmly invited Pietro and Bianca to the Medici family’s mansion, and during the dinner he paid Bianca compliments and showed his goodwill. After that, Francesco launched a fierce pursuit of Bianca.
   As Francesco’s mistress, Bianca can live a better life than before in Venice, and she does not want to miss this opportunity of wealth again. Francesco also expressed his willingness to invest in changing Pietro’s poverty. After weighing the pros and cons, Pietro acquiesced to Francesco’s love relationship with Bianca.
   Francesco and Bianca are fighting each other, and the flames are lingering. Their behavior becomes more and more public, and they often flirt without scruples on the busy streets. Those who knew Bianca would inevitably point fingers and look at her with disdain when they saw their frivolous behavior. But Bianca didn’t care and said to Francesco: “My marriage is unhappy. You are a savior who saved me who was so stupid.” One
  of them
   is a married woman and the other is engaged. The eldest son of the grand duke hooked up with each other regardless of their status and ethics. This was destined to be explosive news, and it quickly reached the ears of Archduke Cosimo.
   Archduke Cosimo reprimanded Francesco severely and asked him to stop his dissolute behavior, lest the scandal spread to Austria, causing changes in the marriage and affecting the relationship between the two noble families. Francesco finally restrained himself under his father’s beating.
   In December 1565, Francesco and Princess Joanna held a grand wedding as scheduled and celebrated for three days and three nights in Florence. But after getting married, neither of them was happy, and they despised each other. Joanna was unwilling to marry away from Florence, looked down upon the Medici family whose status was inferior to her own, and believed that Francesco was not well-educated. Francesco felt that Joanna was too arrogant and annoying.
   However, Grand Duke Cosimo liked and valued Joanna, who was of noble birth, very much. He ordered the palace and gardens to be rebuilt, and murals of Austrian towns were specially installed to alleviate his daughter-in-law’s homesickness.
   It was for the sake of Grand Duke Cosimo that Joanna endured Francesco and fulfilled her mission of continuing the Medici family lineage. Unfortunately, the six children she gave birth to were all girls, and only three survived. The Medici family needed a male heir, so the relationship between Francesco and Joanna continued to be tense.
   On the other side, Francesco’s relationship with Bianca did not end with marrying the princess. He had already been fascinated by Bianca and was willing to settle all kinds of troublesome things for Bianca. Pietro was greedy and rude to Bianca, so Francesco sent someone to hire a gangster to assassinate Pietro. Pietro disappeared from the world, and his people also chose to remain silent. But this made the Medici family begin to hate Bianca, thinking that she was a “witch”.
   Bianca doesn’t care about the rumors and wants nothing more than to hold on to Francesco. She knew that Francesco wanted an heir, and if she could give birth to a son and Francesco’s favor, she would definitely gain a higher status and more rights. Helpless, she also gave birth to several daughters one after another.
   Francesco kept a mistress and spent more time with Bianca than Joanna. Cosimo was not unaware of this matter, and he even planned to deal with it seriously. Cosimo once said angrily: “The Medici family will never accept a witch and a slut.” However, in 1574, just as Cosimo was preparing to deal with Bianca, he died suddenly.
   At this time, the situation suddenly changed. After Francesco inherited the throne of the Grand Duke, the first thing he did was to take his beloved Bianca to the Medici family, place her in a luxurious villa, and rename the villa after Bianca. . In this way, Bianca officially became Francesco’s concubine.
   Bianca and Joanna serve the same husband together, and they secretly compete with each other, both wanting to add children to the Medici family and consolidate their status.
   In 1576, the more favored Bianca won the opportunity and successfully gave birth to a healthy baby boy, named Antonio. Francesco was so happy that he ordered the whole city to celebrate. Francesco intended to make Antonio his heir, but except for a few close friends who agreed, everyone in the Medici family opposed it on the grounds that Antonio was too young. But Bianca knew very well that they looked down upon her identity.
   The next year, Bianca’s suspicions were confirmed. This year, Joanna gave birth to her seventh child – a son! The Medici family cheered and celebrated Joanna’s son Philip with great affection. The family members also suggested to Francesco that Joanna was a noble and legitimate Grand Duchess and proposed to make Philip his heir. Bianca was very angry, but she could only accept the reality.
   In the third year, Bianca’s fate took another turn. Joanna was pregnant with her eighth child. One day, she accidentally fell down the stairs and gave birth prematurely. Joanna gave birth to a son with difficulty in pain. The child died shortly after birth. During the delivery, Joanna’s uterus ruptured due to the abnormal position of the baby. She died in tears the day after her son’s death.
   After Joanna’s unexpected death, Bianca became the biggest winner. The people in Florence hated Bianca and talked a lot about Joanna’s death: “It may not be an accident that the Grand Duchess fell down the stairs.” Many people sympathized with Joanna: “Poor Princess Joanna, she gave birth to 8 children and ate… So much suffering.”
  Murder
   Francesco had never had any feelings for Joanna, and he spent little time mourning his wife. Two months later, he announced that he would officially marry Bianca.
   Before Joanna’s body was cold, Francesco was about to appoint the controversial Bianca to the throne. This incident made the people of the city extremely angry. They surrounded the palace and strongly demanded that he withdraw his order. The nobles also gathered and petitioned Francesco to persuade him to think twice.
   Francesco refused to listen to any advice and ignored public opinion. He took Bianca to escape Florence during the night and stayed in a villa in the suburbs. He wanted to wait until the storm subsided before taking Bianca back to the palace.
   This is undoubtedly forcing the nobles and common people to accept Bianca, and even Francesco’s brother Ferdinand can’t stand it. Ferdinand followed the family’s arrangements and was responsible for the clergy and was a bishop. He was disdainful of his brother’s behavior and went to the villa in person to persuade Francesco.
   Ferdinand said: “Joanna is a noble princess. She didn’t receive any favor from you during her lifetime. She should at least get the respect and condolences she deserves after her death. Of course, you can also marry a new wife, but it shouldn’t be Bianca.”
   ” Whoever I marry, that’s my business, and I’m tired of everyone telling me how to get a wife.” Francesco felt offended and got into a heated argument with Ferdinand.
   The final result was that Ferdinand failed to convince Francesco and slammed the door.
   In June 1579, Francesco insisted on his opinion and held a grand wedding to marry Bianca. As Bianca became Grand Duchess, her son Antonio also had legal status. But Bianca is still worried because Francesco has already named Philip as his heir. Almost everyone in the Medici family hated her, and Francesco was her only support. If Francesco died before her, the position of Grand Duke would fall into Philip’s hands, and she and Antonio would most likely be kicked out, leaving them helpless.
   It must be said that Bianca is lucky. In 1582, Philip died of illness at the age of 5. Francesco only had Antonio, his only son, and he had always doted on Bianca and her son. At Francesco’s insistence, Antonio became the heir to the throne. Now, Bianca could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
   Slowly, people accepted Bianca and her son. Thanks to Francesco’s efforts, Ferdinand and Bianca can also live in harmony. Bianca finally lived a peaceful life for five years.
   In October 1587, Ferdinand went to Francesco and Bianca’s residence as usual to drink and talk with his brother and sister-in-law. Later, Ferdinand accompanied Francesco and the nobles to hunt in the woods. Francesco was very happy, but on the way back, he suddenly suffered from unbearable abdominal pain and continued to vomit.
   Francesco was sent back to the palace to rest. Two days later, his condition did not improve. He continued to have a high fever and became confused. Meanwhile, Bianca, who is worried about Francesco’s health, faints three times in one day. Eleven days later, Francesco was declared dead after resuscitation failed. The next day, the grieving Bianca passed away suddenly at the age of 39.
   Since Antonio was only 11 years old, Ferdinand was in charge of everything while Francesco and Bianca were ill. He arranged for doctors, organized an autopsy, drafted a medical bulletin, and announced that Francesco had died of a serious illness and that Bianca died of a sudden illness out of grief for her husband’s illness.
   What disease did Francesco and Bianca suffer from specifically, and how could they suddenly become seriously ill and die when they were originally healthy? There was no clear explanation at the time when technology was limited. They died mysteriously, leaving a huge question mark.
   Ferdinand held a solemn funeral for his brother according to the grand duke’s specifications, and then listened to the opinions of the nobles and buried Bianca in an ordinary tomb in San Lorenzo.
   Ferdinand’s identity and various appropriate behaviors earned him the support of the nobles. The nobles were willing to make him the Grand Duke, abandoning the young Antonio. Ferdinand, however, felt that he was childish and innocent, so he teamed up with the nobles to fabricate a story, claiming that Antonio was not Francesco’s son, but that Bianca pretended to be pregnant in order to win favor, and finally took the maid’s son to act as her own son. Ferdinand also gave Antonio a large fortune and arranged for him to join the order of knights who never married.
   Facts have proved that the nobles did not make a mistake. When Ferdinand became Archduke, he became a better ruler than Francesco. He rebuilt the judicial system, truly cared about the interests of the people, and led the Medici family to new glory.
   The wheel of history keeps moving forward, and more than 400 years have passed in the blink of an eye. Whenever people mention the history of the Medici family, they will talk about the mysterious deaths of Francesco and Bianca, eager to find practical answers and unravel the historical mysteries. Surprisingly, archaeologists did not find Bianca’s bones in the tomb in San Lorenzo, and her death seemed to be a real mystery.
   Until one day, an archaeologist came across a record written by the Florentine diarist Domenico Martinelli, which mentioned that Bianca’s real burial place was in the church of Santa Maria in Bonistallo. He quickly called his companions and went to the church together, and sure enough they found Bianca’s body.
   At the end of 2022, a team of scientists in Florence used modern technology to conduct pathological examinations on the skeletons of Francesco and Bianca, and then published the results in the famous “British Medical Journal”. It turned out that both the couple died of acute arsenic poisoning, and this poison has a popular name-arsenic!
   When the cause of Francesco and Bianca’s deaths was discovered, it caused a great stir. People discussed endlessly: “Who dared to poison them? Who murdered them?”
   A team of scientists, together with archaeologists and historians, restored the truth of the matter after detailed tracing and research.
   On October 6, 1587, the murderer came to Francesco and Bianca’s residence and put arsenic in their food while they were not paying attention. Later, Francesco, who went hunting, was the first to suffer from the poison due to his heavy exercise, and then Bianca fell ill. The murderer took the opportunity to take over the mansion, blocked important information, bribed doctors, and handled the funeral decently.
   Yes, the murderer is Ferdinand. He was dissatisfied with the slut becoming the grand duchess, and felt chilled by his brother’s behavior. He decided to kill his brother with poison to seize the throne, and planned all this carefully. The reason why Bianca took the initiative five years after she became the Grand Duchess is that historians speculate that on the one hand, murdering her brother is a cruel thing that takes a long time to make up her mind, and on the other hand, it can only be done if there is enough time. Only by getting along harmoniously with the Francescos for a long time can they let down their guard and hit the target with one hit.
   After the cold case was solved, the people of Florence were in mourning. The murder of his brother and his sister-in-law was indeed cruel and dishonorable, but it was undeniable that Ferdinand’s rise to power was a good thing for the Medici family and the people of Florence.

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