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Edgar Allan Poe

What killed Cromwell? Or Mozart? Sleuthing doctors take on the 'ultimate whodunit'

What killed Cromwell? Or Mozart? Sleuthing doctors take on the 'ultimate whodunit'

The patient was dead, but the cause remained a mystery. And if there's anything doctors hate more than their inability to forestall death, it's their inability to explain it.

And so, 357 years after Oliver Cromwell died at age 58, several dozen physicians convened here under the austere arches of Westminster Church this fall to ponder the patient's medical history, assess his symptoms in his final days, and settle upon a cause of the English statesman's death.

There would be no physical examination of the man who, in the 17th century, dethroned an English king, brutally suppressed Catholic uprisings in Ireland and united an empire riven by dissension.

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