In 1685, King Charles II suffered a severe stroke and was on his deathbed; meanwhile, doctor’s in the monarch’s circle attempted every possible avenue to save his life.
But, once his medical team had exhausted all options, Charles II shared one last idea that he was convinced would save his life.
Years earlier, the King had paid a generous price to a chemist named Jonathan Goddard– the inventor of Goddard’s Drops– for his secret formula.
The chemist’s invention, which later became known as King’s Drops, was claimed to be a miracle cure for a plethora of ailments.
The recipe was, of course, complex and included various distillations and components. However, the concoction’s success was believed to depend on one gruesome ingredient– the powder of crushed human skulls. And five pounds of human skulls, to be exact.
Both Goddard and the King did not think that any old skulls would suffice, either. Instead, the bones were to be from someone young and healthy who died an unexpected or violent death– such as during war or execution.
So, once Charles II reached the curtail of his life, his royal medical team poured a whopping forty drops of this creepy concoction down his throat every single day.
And if you were wondering, no, the elixir did not result in the King’s desired effect. Rather, the skull drops– along with numerous other mythical medical treatments of the day– likely only quickened the King’s death.
Still, this reality did not stop beliefs about King’s Drops’ magical abilities from making their rounds around the rest of England and greater Europe.