Would you have survived in Medieval England?

Pick a character and use the information within the display to find a suitable treatment.

Scroll down to find out if your treatment worked.

William

The cauterising iron stopped the bleeding, but you lost movement in your thumb!

In 1424, William Forest really did suffer this injury and tried to take some surgeons to court after they left him unable to move his thumb. The judge said that the surgeons acted properly in the situation and that William should withdraw his complaint.

Rachel

After applying your treatment and being confined to bed, the pain and burning stopped within a day!

This treatment is detailed in the accounts of the surgeon John of Arderne, who was practising in the medieval period.

Adam

You drink some holy water mixed with the blood of St Thomas Becket. The water runs through the hole left by the arrow and after three weeks, you are cured!

This was one of the several miracles described by the monk William of Canterbury, who wrote a biography of St Thomas Becket. The story of Adam the Forester is depicted in the early 13th-century stained glass in Canterbury Cathedral.

Johanna

You visit a physician and he gives you a charm written on a piece of parchment to wear around your neck. You don’t get any better.

In 1376, Johanna atte Hache failed to get better from the same illness. A man called Roger Clark had given her a Latin charm to wear around her neck.

Johanna took him to court, claiming he was a false physician. It was discovered that the parchment he gave her had only contained scribbles, not a Latin charm.

Clark was found guilty. It turned out he was not a physician and could not read or write in Latin. As a punishment, he was paraded around the city with the false charm around his neck.