Swiss church mummy 'is Boris Johnson's ancestor'

Jan 26, 2018, 01:39
Swiss church mummy 'is Boris Johnson's ancestor'

With a 99.8 per cent probability that the descendants and the mummy were all from the same maternal line, the scientists and historians were confident that the mummy is Anna Catharina Bischoff. The woman, who was clearly wealthy because of her clothing and the fact that she ate well, was buried in front of the altar, the BBC said. She is believed to be Johnson's great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother, according to researchers who had been testing her body since 2015and announced their findings on Thursday. Bischoff had seven children, two of whom reached adulthood, and one of her daughters married a baron by the name of Pfeffel von Kriegelstein.

Six generations later, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was born, now the UK's foreign secretary and Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

DNA tests show Bischoff died of mercury poisoning, which explains why the remains were so well preserved - the poison acted as a preservative.

Her body was covered in mercury - a standard treatment for syphilis from the late 15th to the 19th Century.

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She married a church minister, and lived for much of her adult life in Strasbourg.

The 230-year-old unknown mummy was discovered four decades ago during excavations of Barfusser church in Basel. There, it is believed, she may have contracted syphilis while caring for patients with the sexually transmitted disease.

Their son was Stanley Johnson, Boris Johnson's father.

Scientists, after examining records, set out to establish whether the woman was related to the Bischoff family.

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On the death of her husband she returned to her home town of Basel, and apparently underwent rigorous mercury treatment in the hope of a cure.

Dr Hotz spoke of his pride in the project, which involved a team of more than 40 people, adding that discovering the link to Mr Johnson was the icing on the cake.

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