A Burgundian blow, i.e. decapitation. The Duc de Biron, who was
put to death for treason by Henri IV., was told in his youth, by a
fortune-teller, “to beware of a Burgundian blow.” When going to
execution, he asked who was to be his executioner, and was told he was
a man from Burgundy.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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