king's evil

king's evil
scrofula: so called because it was supposed to be curable by the touch of the reigning sovereign.
[1350-1400; ME kynges evel]

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▪ medical disorder
       scrofula (q.v.), or struma, a tuberculous swelling of the lymph glands, once popularly supposed to be curable by the touch of royalty. The custom of touching was first adopted in England by Edward the Confessor and in France by Philip I. In England the practice was attended with great ceremony; and from the time of Henry VII sufferers were presented with especially touched coins to be worn as amulets or charms. The custom reached its zenith during the Restoration: Charles II is said to have touched more than 90,000 victims between 1660 and 1682. The last royal healer in England was Queen Anne, who touched 200 victims in 1712. In France the ceremony persisted for another century and was even briefly revived by Charles X between 1824 and 1830.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • King's evil — King King, n. [AS. cyng, cyning; akin to OS. kuning, D. koning, OHG. kuning, G. k[ o]nig, Icel. konungr, Sw. konung, Dan. konge; formed with a patronymic ending, and fr. the root of E. kin; cf. Icel. konr a man of noble birth. [root]44. See {Kin} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • king's evil — Evil E vil ([=e] v l) n. 1. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; opposed to {good}. [1913 Webster] Evils which our …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • king's evil — n. [transl. of ML regius morbus: from the notion that a king s touch could cure it] Obs. SCROFULA …   English World dictionary

  • king's evil — scrofula, late 14c., translates M.L. regius morbus; so called because the kings of England and France claimed to heal it by their touch. In England, the custom dates from Edward the Confessor and was continued through the Stuarts (Charles II… …   Etymology dictionary

  • king's evil —    An old term for scrofula. Kings of England and France claimed to heal it by their touch a gift conferred by God through the oil used at their coronation. The first English ruler to touch for the evil was Edward the Confessor; several… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • king's evil — historic term for cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis (scrofula) which was formerly thought to be curable by the touch of a king. * * * king s evil kiŋz ē vəl, vil n, often cap K&E SCROFULA …   Medical dictionary

  • king's evil — noun (usu. the king s evil) historical scrofula, formerly held to be curable by the royal touch …   English new terms dictionary

  • king's evil — noun scrofula Suppose the person the matter is taken from, has the kings evil, the pox, madness, or some other inveterate disease I am sure the inoculator can give no reason why it should not convey one distemper as well as the other …   Wiktionary

  • king's evil — noun Usage: often capitalized K&E Etymology: from the former belief that it could be healed by a king s touch Date: 14th century scrofula …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • king’s evil — scrofula (lymphgland tuberculosis) …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

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