26. Touching for the evil.


The following public notice was issued by Charles II. May 18, 1664.

His sacred Majesty having declared it to be his royal will and purpose to continue the healing of his people for the Evil during the month of May, and then give over till Michaelmas next, I am commanded to give notice thereof, that the people may not come up to the town in the interim and lose their labour.

Newes, 1664

It is said, that the Kings of England exercised this miraculous prerogative as Kings of France, to whom it was granted at St. Marculf’s intercession; a miracle which, it is observed, is not common in 44Hagiology. If this be the case, we have waived it by dropping the title, and the gift vests in Buonaparte since his anointment. Our Kings have, however, the uncontested power of blessing rings, which they used to give away, and which were of special virtue against the falling sickness. When was this custom disused? It is spoken of by Polydore Virgil as a thing well known in his time.


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