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For centuries English and French were thought to possess the ability to cure scrofula by the touching of the sufferers with their fingers. This became a healing ritual known as "touching for the king's evil."
Many thousands of subjects assembled for this royal touch and some English kings were credited for hundreds of cures. It seems the custom began during the reign of Edward the Confessor as the result of a dream of a young woman. When the custom seem too Roman Catholic it was discontinued during the Hanoverian period. A.G.H.