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A wen is said to be cured by the hand of a dead man while hanging on the gallows. This is still a superstitious notion among the common people at this day; and a child's cawl is a preservative against drowning in the notions of sailors (who are extremely credulous in general): one often sees them advertised for sale; and, if bought at all, they find a vent, no doubt, at Wapping.
A wedding ring of gold, rubbed on a stye upon the eyelid, used to be esteemed a sovereign remedy; but, if I mistake not, it must be applied nine times.
In January 16S3, the following Proclamation was ordered to be published in every Parish in the Kingdom *.
"At the Court at Whitehall, 9th of January 16S3. Present, the King's Most Excellent Majesty; Lord Keeper, Lord Privy Seal, Duke of Ormond, Duke of
* One of these is still preserved in a frame in the Vestry of St. Martin's Church at Leicester, placed there by the Rev. Samuel Carte, Vicar of that Parish, and brother of Mr. Thomas Carte the Historian.
Beaufort, Earl of Oxford, Earl of Huntingdon, Earl of Bridgewater, Earl of Peterborow, Earl of Chesterfield, Earl of Clarendon, Earl of Bathe, Earl of Craven, Earl of Nottingham, Earl of Rochester, Lord Bishop of London, Mr. Secretary Jenkins, Mr. Chancellor of the Duchy, Lord Chief Justice Jeffryes, Mr. Godolphin. Whereas, by the grace and blessing of God, the Kings and Queens of this Realm, by many ages past, have had the happiness, by their sacred Touch, and invocation of the name of God, to cure those who are afflicted with the disease called the King's Evil; and his Majesty, in no less measure than any of his Royal Predecessors, having had good success therein; and, in his most gracious and pious disposition, being as ready and willing as any King or Queen of this Realm ever was, in any thing to relieve the distresses and necessities of his good subjects; yet, in his princely wisdom, foreseeing that in this (as in all other things) order is to be observed, and fit times are necessary to be appointed for the performing of this great work of charity, his Majesty was therefore this day pleased to declare in Council his Royal will and pleasure to be, That (in regard heretofore the usual times of presenting such persons for this purpose have been prefixed by his Royal Predecessors) the times of public healings shall from henceforth be from the Feast of All-Saints,, commonly called Alhallow-tide, till a week before Christmas; and after Christmas, until the first day of March, and then to cease till the Passion-week, being
times most convenient, both for the temperature of the season, and in respect of contagion, which may happen in this near access to his Majesty's sacred Person. And when his Majesty shall at any time think fit to go any progress, he will be pleased to appoint such other times for healing as shall be most convenient. And his Majesty doth hereby accordingly order and command, that, from the time of publishing this his Majesty's order, none presume to repair to his Majesty's Court to be healed of the said disease, but only at or within the times for that purpose hereby appointed as aforesaid. And his Majesty was farther pleased to order, that all such as shall hereafter come or repair to the Court for this purpose, shall bring with them certificates, under the hands and seals of the parson, vicar, or minister, and of both or one of the churchwardens of the respective parishes where they dwell, and from whence they come, testifying, according to the truth, that they have not, at any time before, been touched by his Majesty, to the intent to be healed of their disease. And all ministers and churchwardens are hereby required to be very careful to examine into the truth before they give such certificates; and also to keep a register of all certificates they shall from ti me to time give. And, to the end that all his Majesty's loving subjects may the better take knowledge of this his Majesty's command, his Majesty was pleased to direct, that this Order be read publicly in all parish-churches, and then be affixed to some conspicuous place there; and for that end the same be printed, and a convenient number of copies sent to the Most Reverend Father in God the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Lord Archbishop of York, who are to take care that the same be delivered to all parishes within their respective provinces.
Loyd. "London, printed by the Assigns of John Bill, deceased, and by Henry Hills, Printers to the King's Most Excellent Majesty."
A regular Notice to the same effect was published by authority in the London Gazette.
In 1684, John Browne, Sworn Chirurgeon in Ordinary to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, published a work, not now easily to be met with, except in the Libraries of the curious; and perhaps, for its general subjects, exploded at this day, as the fashion of physick has much altered, as well as many new and important discoveries been made, since it was written. It is in three Books. The Titles to the three Books are— 1. "Adenochoiradelogia; or, an AnatomickChyrurgical Treatise of Glandules and Strumaes, or King's Evil Swellings. Together with the Royal Gift of Healing or Cure thereof by contact or imposition of Hands, performed for above 640 years by our Kings of England, continued with their admirable Effects and miraculous Events; and concluded with many wonderful Examples of Cures by their Sacred Touch; all which are succinctly described by John Browne, one of His Majesty's Chyrurgeons in Ordinary, and Chyrurgeon of his Majesty's Hospital; published with His Majesty's Royal Approbation: Together with the Testimony of many eminent Doctors and Chyrurgeons. Sold by Samuel Lowndes, over-against Exeter Change in the Strand;" 2. " Chteradelogia; or an Exact Discourse of Strumaes, or Kino's Evil Swellings; wherein are discovered their Names and Natures, Differences, Causes, Signs, Presages, and Cure, in that modest and plain Dress, that the meanest capacity may hereby find out the Disease." 3. Charisma Basilicon; or, the Royal Gift of Healing Strumaes, or King's Evil, Swellings, by