Mummy found in Basel church is related to Boris Johnson

Of course, as we now know, mercury is highly toxic and she is suspected to have died from mercury poisoning.

The corpse of the woman - who'd lain unidentified for years - was discovered in Basel, Switzerland.

Scientists in the Swiss city of Basel have finally identified a mysterious mummified body after more than 40 years and established that the woman was an ancestor of United Kingdom foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

As for the syphilis, her body was riddled with mercury, which was believed to be a standard treatment for syphilis between the late 15th Century to the 19th.

The mummy - a woman called Anna Catharina Bischoff - is the seven-times great grandmother of the Foreign Secretary, tests have found.

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DNA from the mummy's toe identified her as Anna Catharina Bischoff, a member of a prominent Basel family who died in 1787, according to the BBC.

Now the scientists and the historians were sure: the mummy was none other than Anna Catharina Bischoff.

She lived in Strasbourg with her church minister husband for much of her adult like.

Once her identity had been established, genealogists were able - with the help of the efficient records of births, marriages, and deaths which tend to be kept by the wealthier classes - to trace more of Anna Catharina's descendants.

Although she is referred to as a mummy, she had an ordinary Christian burial, and her body wasn't intentionally kept intact, according to the Business Insider. There, it is believed, she may have contracted syphilis while caring for patients with the sexually transmitted disease.

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As for Bischoff, the researchers say that after her husband's death she returned to Basel, where she received the insidious treatment that ultimately led to her own death a few years later.

Before appearing on the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are program in 2008, he said he thought he was "part Jewish, part French, part English, part American, part pterodactyl and, unpredictably, part Turkish".

Their daughter Yvonne married Osman Wilfred Johnson Kemal and their son, Stanley Johnson, went on to have British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

The Foreign Secretary has not commented on the discovery, but is known for his global ancestry.

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