Scientists have dealt a major blow to conspiracy theorists and those who maintain that Napoleon Bonaparte was murdered.
For years the controversy has raged about his being killed - either by French Royalists or the British - and all have pointed to the high levels of arsenic in the emperor's body as being evidence of such dastardly behaviour.
However, while recent tests on strands of the emperor's hair have shown arsenic in his body, they prove that is not what killed him.
The scientists, quoted in the magazine Science et Vie (Science and Life), said the tests had them originally thinking he had died from the poison, but further investigation revealed the high levels of the toxin were not taken orally. If they had been, the experts said, then Napoleon Bonaparte's death would have been much quicker.
They said the emperor's body contained some 15 parts per million of the poison, where the maxium safe limit is only three parts per million.
Following their investigation, the experts said they believed the emperor had absorbed the toxin over a long period of time and cited such things as hair products, wallpaper, ash from wood fires or glue as being the slow-poisoning culprits.
They now agree the most likely cause of the emperor's death was stomach cancer.
This will no doubt bring some relief to the family of Count Charles de Montholon, who has long been suspected by the murder theorists of being the man who delivered the fatal doses