« السابقةمتابعة »
Contact or Imposition of the Sacred Hands of our Kings of England and of France, given them at their Inaugurations. Shewing the Gift itself, and its continued Use, declaring all Persons Healed thereby, without any respect either to their Age, Sex, Temper, or Constitution; with the Manner, Form, and Ceremonies thereof; and divers general Rules for the meanest capacity to find out the Disease. The best expedient to prevent poor People from unnecessary Journeys. The whole concluded with above Sixty admirable Cures, performed with and without Gold, by His Majesty's Benediction; by His Late Majesty's precious Blood; and the like." Prefixed to the work is a portrait of Browne, engraved by R. White, inscribed "Johannes Browne, Regis Britannici necnon Nosocomii sui Chirurgus Ordinarius;" and a curious frontispiece, also engraved by White, entitled "The Royal Gift of Healing," representing Charles II. seated on his Throne, surrounded by his Court, touching for the King's Evil.
This ceremony seems to have been in high vogue during this reign. "The King gives freely," says Mr. Browne, "not calling the Angels to witness, nor sinking so low as others do, to perform the same by Black Art or Inchantment. He does it with a pure heart, in the presence of the Almighty, who knows all things, without superstition, curing all that approach his Royal Touch. And this I may frankly presume to aver, that never any of his Predecessors have ever exercised it more, or more willingly or freely, whose wonderful effects, and certainty of cure, we must and shall ever acknowledge *."
This is followed by accounts of about 70 "wonderful and miraculous cures, performed by his Majesty's Sacred Hands;" and also by "An Account of the Number of Persons touched for the King's Evil, from May 1660 to September 1664, from the Registers kept by Thomas Haynes, Esq. Serjeant of the Chapel Royal; from which I shall copy the
totals of each vear:
* Browne, book iii. p. 126.
It appears by the Newspapers of the time, that on the 30th of March, 1714, two hundred persons were touched by Queen Anne *, Amongst these was Samuel Johnson, afterwards the justly celebrated Moral Writer. He was sent by the advice of Sir John Floyer, then a Physician at Lichfield; and many years afterwards, being asked if he could remember Queen Anne, said, "he had a confused, but somehow a sort of solemn recollection of a Lady in diamonds, and a long black hood."
The Honourable Daines Barrington f has preserved an anecdote, which he heard from an old man who was witness in a cause with respect to this supposed miraculous power of Healing. "He had, by his evidence, fixed the time of a fact, by Queen Anne's having been at Oxford, and touched him, whilst a
* The Ceremony used in this Reign is given in the. Appendix, No. II.
t Observations on the Statutes.
child, for the Evil. When he had finished his evidence, I had an opportunity of asking him, whether he was really cured? Upon which he answered, with a significant smile, "that he believed himself to have never had any complaint that deserved to be considered as the Evil; but that his parents were poor, and had no objection to the hit of gold."
The learned and honourable Writer very properly observes on this occasion, "that this piece of gold, which was given to those who were touched, accounts for the great resort upon this occasion, and the supposed afterwards miraculous cures."
Although this Monarch, who succeeded to the Crown in 1714, had the good sense not to pretend to this miraculous Gift, it was assumed by the Descendants of the race of Stuarts. And it is well recollected, that Mr. Carte's (in other respects very excellent) "History of England" fell into almost