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Now, a fortified Madeira wine of the sweetest type. Originally, a strong, sweet white wine imported from Greece and the eastern Mediterranean islands. The word came into English from Middle Dutch via Old French from Monemvasia, the name of a port in SE mainland Greece.

George, Duke of Clarence (1449–78), brother of Edward IV, was said by contemporary chroniclers to have been drowned in a butt of malmsey while prisoner in the Tower of London.

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