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King Louis XI's gory bath: Georges de Bissipat's secret mission

Turtle | Public domain
Castle Exploration Louis XI Georges de Bissipat Troissereux castle

A Greek in Picardy

Troissereux fell to Gobert d'Apremont, by marriage, in the middle of the 15th century. Ooo, he hated the old medieval fortress!! So he decided to transform it and only kept the moat and vestiges of the former keep.

Still in the 15th c... the next lord of Troissereux turned up: Georges de Bissipat, a Greek admiral, sent by the king of France Louis XI for a top secret mission!

But how did he manage to get Troissereux ? Because Louis XI gave him a wife, Marguerite de Poix... Troissereux’s heiress!

Turtles’ blood

Meanwhile, Georges was put in charge of a very special mission for the old hyponcondriac king.

This time, Louis thought he had leprosy. But he heard about a miraculous medicine, somewhere in Africa (current Cape Verde). He sent Georges there, to look for those medicines. Top secret mission, whoa!

Georges embarked in Honfleur harbour in 1483, with two big boats (800 tons), 300 soldiers and cooks.

Once he get there, he brought back the medicine, made with giant sea turtles’ blood : the sick person had to sink into this mixture and had to eat the turtle’s flesh and fat.

If you get this diet, you could be cured from leprosy in 2 years, said Eustache de La Fosse, a merchant who went in Cape Verde.

What about Louis ? Well, we don’t know if the remedy was efficient, because he died 2 months after Georges’ departure for Africa...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!