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One thing we are rarely taught at school yet is evidenced in literary and historic texts of the time is this: James I refused corpse medicine; Charles II made his own corpse medicine; and Charles I was made into corpse medicine.
'Over in continental Europe, where the axe fell routinely on the necks of criminals, blood was the medicine of choice for many epileptics.
'In Denmark the young Hans Christian Andersen saw parents getting their sick child to drink blood at the scaffold. So popular was this treatment that hangmen routinely had their assistants catch the blood in cups as it spurted from the necks of dying felons.
'Occasionally a patient might shortcut this system. At one early sixteenth-century execution in Germany, 'a vagrant grabbed the beheaded body "before it had fallen, and drank the blood from him..".'
The last recorded instance of this practice in Germany fell in 1865.