E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Drowned in a Butt of Malmsey.
George, Duke of Clarence, being allowed to choose by what death he would die, chose drowning in malmsey wine (1477). See the continuation of Monstrelet, 196; Fulgosus, ix. 12; Martin du Bellaiss Memoirs (year 1514).
Admitting this legend to be an historic fact, it is not unique: Michael Harslob, of Berlin, wished to meet death in a similar way in 1571, if we
may credit the inscription on his tomb: