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Image of medieval surgeon tools on a table.	 Source: IBRESTER/Adobe Stock

King Henry V's Life Saved by Remarkable Medieval Surgical Procedure (Video)


In the summer of 1403, amidst a rebellion threatening England's stability, two opposing English armies clashed near Shrewsbury. Among them was Prince Henry (later King Henry V), facing a perilous moment as he was struck by an arrow in the face. Rushed to Kenilworth Castle for treatment, his life hung in the balance. Royal surgeon John Bradmore undertook the daunting task of saving the heir to the throne.

Bradmore meticulously detailed the procedure he performed, guiding us through the delicate operation step by step. The depth of the wound, six inches, underscored the severity of the situation. Facing the risk of leaving the arrowhead lodged dangerously close to the spine, Bradmore devised a methodical approach.

Using innovative techniques, Bradmore widened the wound, employing "tents" to create space for extraction. Amidst excruciating pain, Prince Henry remained remarkably resilient, enduring the ordeal with extraordinary fortitude.

Bradmore's ingenuity extended beyond the surgery itself. He pioneered a method for wound healing, cleansing it daily with antiseptic solutions. His dedication and skill earned him not only a royal pardon but also a place in history.

The successful operation on Prince Henry stands as a reminder of medieval surgical prowess, showcasing the resourcefulness of practitioners in an era often underestimated for its medical advancements. The legacy of this miraculous intervention echoes through the annals of history, a beacon of hope amidst the darkness of conflict and uncertainty.

Top image: Image of medieval surgeon tools on a table. Source: IBRESTER/Adobe Stock

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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