Did Richard “touch” for the King’s Evil…?
I have just bought an interesting and absorbing book, the ‘Encyclopaedia of Superstitions’ by E & M Radford, originally published in 1949.
Reaching the section on the King’s Evil (scrofula, which was believed to be cured by the touch of the monarch) I read: ‘The practice was introduced by Henry VII of presenting the person “touched” with a small gold or silver coin.” It seems that Dr Johnson was given one that had St George and the Dragon on one side and a ship on the other. Some of them have a hole pierced through them, so they could be worn around the neck.
Intrigued, I Googled “touch piece” and found other sites, including the following, which has an excellent photograph of several such coins. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/objects/display?id=4546
Another much more detailed article about these touch pieces at https://francisyoung.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-gold-angel-legendary-coin-enduring-amulet/
My question is, did Richard ever “touch” those with scrofula? I know his reign was very brief, but even so, did he find time to do this?