Richard Rice (poisoner)

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Richard Rice (died 1531) was a cook to John Fisher, bishop of Rochester and was executed for poisoning the Bishop's household. He was the first person in England executed by being boiled to death, after the law had been passed.[citation needed]

This yere was a coke boylyd in a cauderne in Smythfeld for he wolde a powsyned the bishop of Rochester Fycher with dyvers of hys servanttes, and he was lockyd in a chayne and pullyd up and downe with a gybbyt at dyvers tymes tyll he was dede.

Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London, 1531 

From the time that Queen Catharine was defended so stoutly and learnedly by the Bishop of Rochester she did seek by all means his destruction. One Richard Rice, a cook, was suborned to poison him, and he knew no other way to do it than to poison the common pot, which was for the whole household of the bishop. It chanced that that day according to his custom the bishop came not to dine in the parlour, but most of his family that dined there were poisoned and died thereof. Rice the cook being discovered did confess it and was publicly put to death for it.--The Life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria

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