Henry V’s Face in Early English Literature

John Bradmore, Philomena (1403-12), trans. Matthew Strickland, in Jo Cummins, “Saving Prince Hal: Maxillo-Facial Surgery, 1403,” Dental History Magazine, http://historyofdentistry.co.uk/index_htm_files/2006Nov3.pdf

And it should be known that in the year of Our Lord 1403, the fourth year of the reign of the most illustrious King Henry, the fourth after the Conquest, on the vigil of St Mary Magdalene, it happened that the son and heir of the aforesaid illustrious king, the prince of Wales and Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, was struck by an arrow next to his nose on the left side during the battle of Shrewsbury. The which arrow entered at an angle (ex traverso), and after the arrow shaft was extracted, the head of the aforesaid arrow remained in the furthermost part of the bone of the skull for the depth of six inches. The aforesaid noble prince was cured by me, the compiler of this present Philomena gratie [The Nightingale of Grace], at the castle of Kenilworth - I give enormous thanks to God – in the following manner. Various experienced doctors came to this castle, saying that they wished to remove the arrowhead with potions and other cures, but they were unable to. Finally I came to him. First, I made small probes from the pith of an elder, well dried and well stitched in purified linen [made to] the length of the wound. These probes were infused with rose honey. And after that, I made larger and longer probes, and so I continued to always enlarge these probes until I had the width and depth of the wound as I wished it. And after the wound was as enlarged and deep enough so that, by my reckoning, the probes reached the bottom of the wound, I prepared anew some little tongs, small and hollow, and with the width of an arrow. A screw ran through the middle of the tongs, whose ends were well rounded both on the inside and outside, and even the end of the screw, which was entered into the middle, was well rounded overall in the way of a screw, so that it should grip better and more strongly. This is its form. I put these tongs in at an angle in the same way as the arrow had first entered, then placed the screw in the centre and finally the tongs entered the socket of the arrowhead. Then, by moving it to and fro, little by little (with the help of God) I extracted the arrowhead. Many gentlemen and servants of the aforesaid prince were standing by and all gave thanks to God.

And then I cleansed the wound with a syringe full of white wine and then placed in new probes, made of wads of flax soaked in a cleansing ointment. This is made thus. Take a small loaf of white bread, dissolve it well in water, and sift through a cloth. Then take a sufficient quantity of flour and barley and honey and simmer over a gentle heat until it thickens, and add sufficient turpentine oil, and the healing ointment is made. And from the second day, I shortened the said wads, soaked in the aforesaid ointment, every two days and thus within twenty days the wound was perfectly well cleansed. And afterwards, I regenerated the flesh with a dark ointment (Unguentum Fuscum). And note that from the beginning right up to the end of my cure, I always anointed him on the neck, every day in the morning and evening, with an ointment to soothe the muscles (Unguentum Nervale), and placed a hot plaster on top, on account of fear of spasm, which was my greatest fear. And thus, thanks to God, he was perfectly cured.

Edward Hall, The Vnion of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre Yorke (London: Richard Grafton, 1548):

The prince Henry that daie holpe muche his father, for although he wer sore wounded in the face with an arow, yet he neuer ceased ether to fight where the battaill was moste strongest, or to courage his men where their hertes was moste danted. (xxii)

Thomas Lanquet, An Epitome of Chronicles (London: William Seres, 1559):

Prince Henry the kinges sonne [was] wounded, with an arrowe in the face. (252)

Raphael Holinshed, The Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande (London: John Hunne, 1577):

The Prince that daye holp his father lyke a lustie yong Gentleman, for although hee was hurt in the face with an arrowe, so that dyuers noble men that were about him, would haue conueyed him forth of the fielde, yet he would in no wise suffer them so to doe, least his departure from among his men, might happely haue striken some feare into their hartes: and so without regarde of his hurt, hee continued with his men, and neuer ceassed, either to fight where the battel was most hottest, or to incourage his men, where it seemed most neede. (1139)

John Speed, The History of Great Britaine (London: William Hall and John Beale, 1611):

From Oxford, Prince  Henry was called to Court, and the Lord Thomas Perey then Earle of Worcester made his Gouernour; but being himselfe false to the Father, could giue no good example vnto the sonne, whose hostile attempts in the field of Shrewsburie cost that disloyall Earle his head, and almost had done Prince  Henry his life, who in battell  against him was wounded in the face with an arrow. This marke of his manhood, with the ouerthrow of Hotspur in that bloody conflict, were hopefull signes of his following successe, which presently were seconded with as fortunate proceedings against Owen Glendowr that scourge of his Country, and Arch-rebell vnto Englands peace, whom this Prince so pursued through the vast mountaines of Wales, that from the Dennes of those deserts hee durst not shew his face, but therein perished by famine, & natures other wants, though the Prince had then scarcely attained vnto sixeteene. (624)