According to this article, “….The Royal Touch and King Edward the Confessor’s healing powers were so well known that, during the reign of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare referenced them in his play Macbeth. This is unsurprising however, as Elizabeth’s grandfather, Henry VII, had reintroduced the concept in the late 15th century….”
So, if the Royal Touch was known to have begun with Edward the Confessor…which monarchs abandoned the practice until Henry VII nobly reintroduced it? It seems that Henry III was the last monarch before Henry VII who is known to have carried out the Royal Touch.
The next thing we know is (according to Wikipedia) “…Since the reign of Edward IV (r. 1461–1470, 1471–1483), monarchs presented the diseased with a gold coin known as an Angel and hung it around the subject’s neck…” So it became a sort of cure by remote control?
But what happened between Henry III and Edward IV? Was it abandoned altogether? The seemingly empty period covers a lot of kings. And then there’s Richard III. Chronologically he seems to fall under the “gold noble” period, following on from Edward IV.
So are we quite sure that Henry VII resumed the actual Royal Touch? Somehow it doesn’t sound like him. Mind you, presenting anyone with a gold angel doesn’t sound like him either!