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Simon Farnaby as "Death"

Stupid Deaths is a recurring sketch in the Horrible Histories 2009-2013 TV series. It features historical figures explaining the circumstances of their death to the Grim Reaper (portrayed by Simon Farnaby), who then decides if they can enter the afterlife.

Theme Song Edit

Stupid Deaths, Stupid Deaths! They're funny 'cause they're true! Stupid Deaths, Stupid Deaths! Hope next time, it's not you!


Series 1Edit

Francis Bacon Edit

  • Year of Death: 1626
  • Occupation: Philosopher
  • Method of Death: Froze to death while attempting to preserve some chicken in the snow. 

Matthew WebbEdit

  • Year of Death: 1883
  • Occupation: Famed swimmer
  • Method of Death: Died attempting to swim Niagara Falls. 

Franz ReicheltEdit

  • Year of Death: 1912
  • Occupation: Tailor, inventor, & parachuting pioneer
  • Method of Death: Fell to his death jumping off the Eiffel Tower. 

Edmund IIEdit

  • Year of Death: 1016
  • Occupation: King of England
  • Method of Death: Stabbed in the backside by Vikings, who hid in a pit where Edmund was doing his business. 

The Saxon King (portrayed by Jim Howick) tells of his famous death where he learns Vikings will attack in the most bizarre places!

General PausaniasEdit

  • Year of Death: 470 BC
  • Occupation: Spartan regent, general, & war leader for the Greeks
  • Method of Death: Starved to death while trapped in the Temple of Athena of the Brazen House, surrounded by Spartan ephors. 

Also features Measly Middle Ages: The gory Middle Ages, which results in the Grim Reaper threatening to quit.


  • Year of Death: 456 BC
  • Occupation: Playwright & soldier
  • Method of Death: Killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle which had mistaken his bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile.

Sigurd the MightyEdit

  • Year of Death: 892
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death: Died of a wound infection when his leg got grazed by the teeth of a severed head that he was carrying.  

Series 2Edit

Bobby LeachEdit

  • Year of Death: 1926
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death: While on a publicity tour in New Zealand, Leach injured his leg when he slipped on an orange peel. The leg became infected, & eventually, gangrene necessitated the amputation of the leg. Despite this extreme procedure, Bobby Leach died of complications two months later.

Victorian Niagara Falls daredevil (portrayed by Jim Howick) tells of his stupid death, which wasn’t as heroic as his work.


  • Year of Death: 475 BC
  • Occupation: Philosopher
  • Method of Death: Died buried under a mountain of cow dung. 

Tudor entertainerEdit

  • Year of Death:
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death: Accidentally stabbed himself whilst unprepared for an act.

Humphrey de BohunhEdit

  • Year of Death: 1322
  • Occupation: Knight
  • Method of Death: Stabbed in the backside by a pike under a bridge.

Clement VallandighamEdit

  • Year of Death: 1871
  • Occupation: Politician
  • Method of Death: Accidentally shot himself with a pistol while representing a defendant. 

Arthur AstonEdit

  • Year of Death: 1649
  • Occupation: Army officer
  • Method of Death: Killed by Parliamentarian soldiers by dashing his brains out with his own wooden leg.

Cockney businessmanEdit

  • Year of Death:
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death:


  • Year of Death: 600 BC
  • Occupation: Lawmaker
  • Method of Death: Accidentally crushed to death by a mountain of hats & cloaks caused by a Greek audience. 

The Greek Lawmaker, although cruel, was a bit too loved by a Greek audience!

Diodorus the hunchbackEdit

  • Year of Death: 200 BC
  • Occupation
  • Method of Death: Died when a doctor attempted to straighten his spine.  

Series 3Edit

Greek boxerEdit

  • Year of Death:
  • Occupation: Boxer
  • Method of Death: Crushed to death by a falling statue of a rival boxer. 

Unnamed contemporary of famous Greek boxer Theagenes of Thasos beats his rival’s statue until it topples over onto him.

James II of ScotlandEdit

  • Year of Death: 1460
  • Occupation: King of Scots
  • Method of Death: Accidentally killed as a result of standing too close to a cannon. 

Knights TemplarEdit

  • Year of Death: 1187
  • Occupation
  • Method of Death

Gruffydd Ap LlywelynEdit

  • Year of Death: 1063
  • Occupation: King of Wales
  • Method of Death

Griffith tells what happened when he was escaping from the Tower of London.

Countess of CoventryEdit

  • Year of Death: 1760
  • Occupation: Irish beauty & London society hostess
  • Method of Death: Died from lead & mercury poisoning, killed by the toxins used in her beauty regimen.

Georgian woman Edit

  • Year of Death: 1767
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death: Obviously the same as Countess of Coventry.


  • Year of Death: 1673
  • Occupation: Playwright & actor
  • Method of Death: While playing the main character in The Hypochondriac, Moliere contracted pulmonary tuberculosis & died a few hours after the performance. 

Henry IEdit

  • Year of Death: 1135
  • Occupation: King of England
  • Method of Death: Died of diarrhoea as the result of taking a laxative intended to treat his indigestion after too much lamprey 

Henry I (portrayed by Mathew Baynton) is made fatally ill by a meal of eels.

Milo of CrotonEdit

  • Year of Death:
  • Occupation: Wrestler
  • Method of Death: He was attempting to tear a tree apart when his hands became trapped in a crevice in its trunk, & a pack of wolves surprised & devoured him. 

The famous Greek strongman (portrayed by Laurence Rickard) learns that brawn doesn’t always beat brain, & Death starts to get the hang of Sudoku puzzles.

Series 4Edit

Archery accidents (Tudor archers)Edit

  • Year of Death:
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death:

Gyrth & Leofwine (King Harold's brothers)Edit

  • Year of Death: 1066
  • Occupation: King Harold II's brothers
  • Method of Death: Both died in the Battle of Hastings.

Hannah TwynnoyEdit

  • Year of Death: 1703
  • Occupation: Barmaid
  • Method of Death: Killed by a tiger as a result of bothering it. 

Richard the RakerEdit

  • Year of Death: 1326
  • Occupation: Cesspit emptier
  • Method of Death: Fell into his cesspit & drowned in his own poo. 

Richard the LionheartEdit

  • Year of Death: 1199
  • Occupation: King of England
  • Method of Death

King Richard I of England tells his Stupid Death, caused by the most simple mistake!


  • Year of Death: 495 BC
  • Occupation: Philosopher & mathematician
  • Method of Death

The Greek mathematician equates that being chased by assassins & running into bean fields don’t end well!

Robert CockingEdit

  • Year of Death: 1837
  • Occupation: Watercolor artist
  • Method of Death: Died in a parachute accident. 

Series 5Edit

Arthur John PriestEdit

  • Year of Death: 1937 (Ironically, the year of his death isn't shown anywhere on his pyjamas.)
  • Occupation: Fireman, stoker, & survivor of various shipwrecks since the sinking of the RMS Titanic
  • Method of Death: Died in bed from pneumonia. 

He was refused entry into the afterlife, as the Grim Reaper considered Priest's (portrayed by Jim Howick) death in bed too boring, & not stupid enough.

Ivan the TerribleEdit

  • Year of Death: 1584
  • Occupation: Tsar of Russia
  • Method of Death: Died during a game of chess. 

It doesn't seem to give full detail about his death. 

Madame BlanchardEdit

  • Year of Death: 1819
  • Occupation: Aeronaut & the wife of ballooning pioneer Jean-Pierre Blanchard
  • Method of Death: During an exhibition, she launched fireworks that ignited the gas in her balloon; her craft crashed on the roof of a house & she fell to her death.

Hans StainingerEdit

  • Year of Death: 1567
  • Occupation: Burgomaster of Braunau
  • Method of Death: Died when he broke his neck by tripping over his own beard

Diane de PoitiersEdit

  • Year of Death: 1566
  • Occupation: Noblewoman & a prominent courtier
  • Method of Death

Emperor DomitianEdit

  • Year of Death: 96 AD
  • Occupation: Roman emperor
  • Method of Death

Pliny the ElderEdit

  • Year of Death: 79 AD
  • Occupation: Lawyer, author, natural philosopher, naturalist, military commander, & provincial governor
  • Method of Death: Died in a rescue attempt during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. 

John of BohemiaEdit

  • Year of Death: 1346
  • Occupation:
  • Method of Death: Died in the Battle of Crecy when his companions tied their horses' reins to his own & charged; he was slaughtered in the ensuing fight.


  • Stupid Deaths had only three females for Gorgeous Georgians, all of whom were portrayed by Martha Howe-Douglas.
  • When Stupid Deaths started in Series 1, it first resembled an airport check-in, but from Series 2 onwards, it looks like a talent show deriving from Britain's got Talent.

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit