John Watts

John Watts is Professor of Later Medieval History at Oxford and a fellow of Corpus Christi. He is currently preparing the volume for the years 1461-1547 in the New Oxford History of England.

At​ the Battle of Shrewsbury, in 1403, the 16-year-old Prince of Wales was hit in the face by an arrow. It was not a glancing blow. The bolt pierced his cheek to a depth of six inches, miraculously missing the brain and major blood vessels, but sticking fast in the back of the skull, whence it had to be removed with specially made pincers by a London surgeon. Honey was applied as an...

One Cygnet Too Many: Henry VII

John Watts, 26 April 2012

In a chapter on animals in his Description of England, the Elizabethan antiquary William Harrison told not one but two stories about Henry VII. ‘As the report goeth’, he wrote, the king had had all the mastiffs in England put to death because ‘they durst presume to fight against the lion, who is their king and sovereigne’. And again, ‘as some saie’, the...

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