1552: Gent dies after looking down a loaded longbow

Coronial records from the 16th century describe the death of Henry Pert, a gentleman from Welbeck, near Worksop in Nottinghamshire. Pert died a day after receiving an arrow to the head – apparently fired from his own weapon. According to the coroner’s finding, Pert was stood over his loaded longbow while attempting to release a jammed arrow:

“[Pert] went out to play at Welbeck and drew his bow so fully with an arrow In it that he lodged the arrow in the bow. Afterwards, intending to make the arrow climb straight into the air, he shot the arrow from the bow… Because his face was directly over the arrow as it climbed upwards, it struck him above his left eye, near to his eyelid, and into his head to the membrane. Thus the said arrow (worth one penny) gave him a wound, of which he immediately languished and lay languishing until noon on October 29th, when he died at Welbeck by misadventure.”

Source: Calendar of Nottinghamshire Coronial Inquests 1485-1558. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.