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simple to be sainted:—2. That the contin* gent expence amounted to more than King Henry VII. was willing to defray, being not less than 1500 ducats of gold, a large sum at that time of day *.
But, however, although King Henry VI. performed no Cures in his life-time, yet was a man miraculously saved from death at the gallows by the appearance of the King, 40 years after his demise (in the 10th year of Henry VII.), by which intervention the halter had no effect; for the convict was found alive, after having hung the usual hour, and went speedily (as in duty bound) to return thanks at the King's Tomb at Chertsey, for such a wonderful deliverance. The Story states, that the man was really innocent, though, from circumstantial evidence, presumed to have been guilty; otherwise the Ghost of so pious and merciful a King had doubtless never appeared to him and interposed.
* Id. in eod.
It is evident, from various concurrent ciiN* feumstances, that this King touched for the Evil, as the Religious Ceremonial used upon those occasionsj such as Prayers, Benedic* tions, Suffrages, &c. during his Reign, are to be found not only in MS. in the British Museum, but were afterwards printed by order of King James II. A. D. 1686; both in Latin. Another proof arises from charges made for pieces of money delivered for this purpose in that Reign; for, in the 18th year of Henry VII. we find a disbursement of 20 shillings, made by John Heron, "for heling 3 seke folks;" and again, "13s. 4d. for heling 2 seke folks." From these sums it is evident, that the Touch-pieces given were Nobles, or 6s. 8d. in value *. The accounts of this John Heron are preserved, together with those of divers others, in the office of the Remembrancer of the Exchequer. The fact is further established from the testimony of Polydore Vergil, who wrote his History at the command of King Henry VII. (though it was not made public till the following Reign); wherein the Writer, after going a little into the origin of this Gift, adds, that the Kings of England, even in his time, healed persons afflicted with this disease \Je Nam Reges Angliae etiam nunc Tactu strumosos sanant."J He further subjoins, that the exercise of it Avas attended with hymns, and other devout ceremonies; meaning, no doubt, those abovementioned: [" quibusdam hymnis non sine caeremoniis prius recitatis *."] From looking over the Ceremonial, I conceive that by hymns, Polydore Vergil means the Gospel, which at that time was sung, or the suffrages, which might be chanted.
* In the Ceremonial the King crossed the Sore of the Sick Person, with an Angel-Noble.
Fabian Philips, in his Treatise on Purveyance, p. 257, asserts, "that the Angels issued by the Kings of England on these occasions, amounted to a charge of three thousand pounds per annum-."
I shall give a transcript of the service appropriated to this occasion in the Appendix, (No. I.) as the printed copies are very scarce.
* Polydore Vergil, p. 143. Basil edit. 1546.
I cannot dismiss this Reign without observing that the learned Editor of the Northumberland Household Book * is hereby proved to have been very inattentive, when he savs that "this miraculous Gift was left to be claimed by the Stuarts; our ancient Plantagenets were humbly content to cure the Cramp -f\"
What part the Plantagenets took in this business, for want of information, must be left doubtful; but ample proof has been offered, that the rPudors possessed the Gift of Healing.
The King now before us, though he kept a journal of all material occurrences, does not, however, once hint that he touched for the Evil, as probably his natural piety would have
* The late truly venerable Bishop Percy.
t Notes to p. 334.—This Ceremony of consecrating the Cramp-Rings will be added to this account of the King's Evil. See Appendix, No. III.
led him to have done, had it ever taken place: but, if there be any truth in the immediate prevalence of prayer on the ears of Heaven, an instance is recorded wherein the King obtained his request, in a more notable instance than any cure he might have performed by the operation of his Touch. Sir John Cheke, his Tutor for the Greek language, lay very dangerously ill, to the great disquiet and concern of the King, who, after frequent and daily inquiries, learned from the Physicians at last that there was not the least hope of life. "No," said the King, "he will not die now; for this morning I begged his life from God in my prayers, and obtained it." This accordingly came to pass; and Sir John recovered speedily, contrary to all medical expectations. The truth was ascertained by an ear-witness, the Earl of Huntingdon, who related it to the grandson of Sir John Cheke (Sir Thomas Cheke, of Pirgo, Essex), by whom it was mentioned to my Author *.
* Fuller's Church History of Britain, book vii. p. 425.