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(18) Two brass pins, he adds, were carefully laid across each other on the top edge of this stone, for oracular purposes. See“ Nat. Hist. of Cornwall," p. 199.
In the catalogue of stone superstitions we must not omit to mention London Stone, and the stone in Westminster Abbey, brought from Scotland by King Edward the First, which Monsieur Jorevin saw, and thus describes : “ Jacob's Stone, whereon he rested his head when he had the vision of the angels ascending and descending from heaven to earth on a long ladder. This stone is like marble, of a blueish colour, it may be about a foot and a half in breadth, and is enclosed in a chair, on wbich the kings of England are seated at their coronation; wherefore, to do honour to strangers who come to see it, they cause them to sit down on it.” – Antiq. Repertory, vol. ii. p. 32.
“ London Stone,” says Mr. King, in his “ Munimenta Antiqua,” vol. i. fol. Lond. 1799, p. 117,“ preserved with such reverential care through so many ages, and now having its top incased within another stone, in Cannon Street, was plainly deemed a record of the highest antiquity, of some still more important kind ; though we are at present unacquainted with the original intent and purport for which it was placed. It is fixed, at present, close under the south wall of St. Šwithin's church, but was formerly a little nearer the channel facing the same place ; which seems to prove its having had some more ancient and peculiar designation than that of having been a Roman milliary, even if it ever were used for that purpose afterwards. It was fixed deep in the ground, and is mentioned so early as the time of Ethelstan, King of the West Saxons, without any particular reference to its having been considered as a Roman milliary stone. There are some curious observations with regard to this stone, in the «Gentleman's Magazine,' vol. xlii. p. 126. See also Pennant's “ London,' p. 4, and the ‘Parentalia,' p. 265, in which it appears that Sir Christopher Wren, in consequence of the depth and largeness of its, foundation, was convinced that it must have been some more considerable monument than a mere milliary stone."
In “Pasquill and Marforius,” 4to. Lond. 1589, signat. D 3 b, we read : “ Set up this bill at LONDON STONE." “ Let it be doone
sollemnly, with drum and trumpet, and looke you advance my cullours on the top of the steeple right over against it.” Also: “ If it please them, these dark winter nights, to sticke uppe their papers uppon LONDON Stone."
Of The Stone of Scone, Mr. King observes (“Munimenta Antiqua," vol. i. p. 118): · The famous Stone of Scone, formerly in Scotland, on which the kings of England and Scotland are still crowned, though now removed to Westminster, and enclosed in a chair of wood, is yet well known to have been an ancient stone of record and most solemn designation, even long before it was first placed at Score.
Buchanan tells us it formerly stool in Argyleshire, and that King Kenneth, in the ninth century, transferred it from thence to Scone, and enclosed it in a wooden chair. It was believed by some to have been that which Jacob used for a pillow, and to have travelled into Scotland from Ireland and from Spain: But, whatever may be thought of such a monkish tradition, it is clear enough that before the time of Kenneth, that is, before the year 834, it had been placed simply, and plainly, as a stone of great import, and of great notoriety, in Argylesiıire; and on account of the reverence paid to it was removed by Kenneth.
It would not be just to omit mentioning that a curious investigation of the history of this stone may be seen in the “ Gentleman's Magazine," vol. li. p. 452, vol. lii. p.
23. (14) In vol. ii. p. 230, of the present work an account of the superstitions practised at the Pool of St. Fillan has been already given from Heron's “ Journey.” Some further particulars are noticed in p. 152 of this volumo, and others more immediately to our present purpose are here given from Sir John Sinclair's “Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. xvii. p. 377, in the account of Killin parish, county of Perth, given by the Rev. Mr. Patrick Stuart, the minister:
“ There is a Bell,” he says, “belonging to the Chapel of St. Fillan, that was in high reputation among the votaries of that saint in old times. It seems to be of some mixed metal. It is about a foot high, and of an oblong form. It usually lay on a gravestone in the churchyard. When mad people were brought to be dipped in the saint's pool, it was necessary to perform certain ceremonies, in
which there was a mixture of Druidism and night bound to the holy stone, in confidence Popery. After remaining all night in the that the saint would cure and unloose them chapel, bound with ropes, the Bell was set before morning." upon their head with great solemnity. It was (15) Coles, in his “ Art of Simpling,” &c., the, popular opinion that, if stolen, it would p. 69, says : “ It hath been observed that, if extricate itself out of the thief's hands, and re a woman with childe eate Quinces much, and turn home, ringing all the
Coriander seed (the nature of both which is “For some years past this bell has been to represse and stay vapours that ascend to the locked up, to prevent its being used for super- braive), it will make the Childe ingenious; stitious purposes.
and, if the mother eate much onyons or “ It is but justice to the Highlanders to say beanes, or such vaponrous food, it endangereth that the dipping of mad people in St. Fillan's the childe to become lunaticke, or of imperfect Pool, and using the other ceremonies, (C) was memory.” Ibid. p. 70: "Boemus relates, common to them with the Lowlanders."
that in Darien, in America, the women eate an Sir Walter Scott, in the Notes to “ Mar herb when they are great with childe, which mion,” 4to. Edinb. 1808, p. xxxi. informs us makes them to bring forth without paine.' that “ There are in Perthshire several wells Ibid.
71: “If a man gather vervaine the and springs dedicated to St. Fillan, which are first day of the New Moou, before sunrising, still places of pilgrimage and offerings, even and drinke the juice thereof, it will make him among the Protestants. They are held power
to avoid lust for seven yeares." Ibid. p. 88: ful in cases of Madness, and in cases of very “ If Asses chaunce to feed much upon hemlate occurrence lunatics have been left all lock, they will fall so fast asleep that they will
seeme to be dead ; insomuch that some, think(C) “ The origin of the Bell,” says Mr. Stuart, ing them to be dead indeed, have flayed off " is to be referred to the remote ages of the Celtic
their skins, yet, after the hemlock had done churches, whose ministers spoke a dialect of that language. Ara Trode, one of the most ancient Ice operating, they have stirred and wakened out landic historians, tells us, in his second chapter, of their sleep, to the griefe and amazement of that when the Norwegians first planted a colony in the owners, and to the laughter of others.” Ireland, abont the year 870, Eo tempore erat
“ Wood night-shade, or bitter sweet, being Islandia silvis concreta, in medio montium et litto. rum : tum erant hic viri Christiani, quos Norwegihung about the neck of Cattell that have the Papas appellant: et illi peregre profecti sunt, ex eo Staggers, helpeth them.” quod nollent esse hic cum viris Ethnicis, et relin
Iu Buttes's “ Dyetts Dry Dinner," 12mo. quebant post se Nolas et Baculos : ex illo poterat discerni quod essent viri Christiani.' Nola and Lond. 1599, signat. C 7, it is asserted that Bajula both signify hand. bills. See Du Cange. “If one eate three small Pomegranate-flowers Giraldus Cambrensis, who visited Ireland about the
(they say) for an whole yeare, he shall be safe end of the 12th century, speaks thus of these relicts
from all maner of Eyesore.” As it is, ibid. G of superstition : 'Hoc non prætereundum puro, quod com panas, bajulas, baculosque sanctorum ex supe
3, that “ It hath bene and yet is a thing which riore parte recurvos, auro et argento aut ære con superstition hath beleeved, that the body fectos, tam Hiberniæ et Scotiæ quam et Givalliæ anoynted with the Juyce of Chicory is very populus et clerus in magna reverentia habere solet;
availeable to obtaine the favour of great perita ut juramenta supra hæc, longe magis quam super Evangelia, et præstare vereantur et perjurare. Ex vi enim quodam occulta, et iis quasi divinitus “ Homer relates how Autolycus's sons insita, nec non et vindicta (cujus praecipue sancti
staunched Ulysses' blood, flowing from a illi appetibiles esse videntur) plerumque puniuntur
wound he received in hunting a wild boar, contemptores.' He elsewhere speaks of a bell in Ireland, endowed with the same locomotive powers by a Charm; the same is observed by Pliny, as that of St. Fillan. Topog. Hiber. l. iii. c. 33, and who adds further that 'sic Theophrastus is1. ii. c. 23. For, in the 18th century, it is curious
chidiacos sanari, Cato prodidit luxatis memto meet with things which astonished Giraldus, the most credulous of mortals in the 12th. St. Fil bris carmen auxiliari, Marcus Varro podagris.' lan is said to have died in 649. In the 10th year of It was reported by Theophrastus that the hip his reign Robert the Bruce granted the church of
gout was cured in the same manner; by Cato, Killin, in Glendochart, to the abbey of Inchaffray,
that a Charm would relieve any member out on condition that one of the canons should officiate in the kirk of Strathfillan.”
of joint; and by Marcus Varro, that it would
cure the gout in the feet. Chiron, in Pindar, is said to use the same remedy in some distempers, but not in all.” See Potter's “Greek Antiquities," vol. i. p. 355.
(16) In a most curious and rare book, entitled, “ A Werke for Householders," &c. by a professed brother of Syon, Richard Whitforde, Svo. Lond. 1537, signat. C, mention is made of a Charm then in use, as follows : 6- The Charmer taketh a piece of whyt brede, and sayth over that breade the Pater Noster, and maketh a crosse upon the breade; then doth he ley that pece of breade unto the toth that aketh, or unto any sore; tournynge the crosse unto the sore or dysease, and so is the persone healed.” Whitforde inveighs against this as “evill and damnable.”
(7) In Pope's “ Memoirs of P. P., Clerk of the Parish,” Works, vol. vi. p. 246, is the following: “ The next chapter relates how he discovered a thief with a Bible and Key, and experimented verses of the Psalms that had cured Agues."
(18) Lupton, in his second book of “Notable Things,” edit. 8vo. 1660, p. 40, says: “ Three Nails made in the vigil of the nativity of St. John Baptist, called Midsommer Eve, and driven in so deep that they cannot be seen, in the place where the party doth fail that hath the Falling Sicknesse, and naming the said partie's name while it is doing, doth drive away the disease quite. Mizaldus." He says in the same page, “ The Root of Vervain hanged at the neck of such as have the King's evil, it brings a marvellous and unhoped help."
The late Rev. George Ashby, in some notes on Bourne and Brand's “ Antiquities,” communicated to the editor of this work by Mr. Nichols, says: “Squire Morley of Essex used to say a prayer which he hoped would do no harm when he hung a bit of Vervain-root from a scrophulous person's neck. My aunt Freeman had a very high opinion of a baked Toad in a silk bag, hung round the neck. For live toads thus used, see Pennant's · British Zoology.'' (19) See vol. i. pp. 86, 87. Mr. Douce's MS.
Rings made from coffin hinges are supposed to prevent the cramp. See Grose's · Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,'v.
Scower. The ceremonies of blessing cramprings on Good Friday will be found in Waldron's · Literary Museum.'”
From the Minute Book of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Nov. 12, 1772, I learn that “ Dr. Morell communicated from a gentleman who was present as a visitor (Mr. Penneck, the following extract of a letter, copied from the Harleian Manuscripts, which shews the great prevalence of superstition in those days, even among the most exalted characters, with regard to the prevention or cure of diseases by Charms only. The letter is from Lord Chancellor Hatton to Sir Thomas Smith, dated Sept. 11th, 158-, and relates to an epidemical disorder, at that time very alarming. The extract runs thus: "I am likewise bold to recommend my most humble duty to our dear mistress (Queen Elizabeth) by this letter and Ring, which hath the virtue to expell infectious airs, and is (as it telleth me) io be worn betwixt the sweet duggs, the chaste nest of pure constancy. I trust, sir, when the virtue is known, it shall not be refused for the value.'"
Also, March 11, 1773 : “ Mr. Wright presented an engraving from a Sardonyx,which formerly belonged to the Monastery of St. Albans; the use of it, we are told, was to procure easy births to labouring women, by being laid, in the time of travail, inter mam
A transcript of the MS. describing it will be inserted in Latin, and explained in English, in the History of St. Albans,' intended to be published by Mr. Wright.”
(20) Touching for the Evil continued in France at least till 1657. The “ Publick Intelligencer," January 5 to 12, 1657, says: “ The other day the King touched a great number of people that were sick of the Evill, in the great gallerie at the Louvre."
(2) In Bulwer's “ Chirologia," 8vo. Lond. 1644, p. 149, we read : “ This miraculous imposition of the hand in curing the disease called the Struma, which, from the constant effect of that sovereign salve, is called the King's evil, his sacred majesty that now is hath practised with as good successe as any of his royal progenitours."
(22) In the “Gent. Mag." for 1751, vol. xxi. p. 415, we read: “The solemn words,
Notes say :
I touch, but God healeth,'() were those our (23) Gough's edit. of Camden, 1789, vol. former kings always pronounced when they iii. p. 668. touched for the Evil; but this was never done
In Dr. Jorden's “ Briefe Discourse of a but in the presence of a bishop or priest, who
Disease called the Suffocation of the Mother, introduced the patient to the royal presence written upon occasion which hath beene of for that salutary intention. Then also, a form late taken thereby, to suspect possession of an of prayer for the divine blessing was used, evill Spirit, or some such like supernatural and the king hung a small piece of silver Power :” 4to. Lond. 1603, p. 24 b, we have about the person's neck, which he was re the following on the subject of Physical quired to wear during his life.”
Charms: “If we cannot moderate these perFor a proclamation concerning the cure of turbations of the minde, by reason and perswathe king's evil, see Rushworth's “Collections," sions, or by alluring their (the patients) mindes part II. vol. i. p. 47. The small piece of another way, we may politikely confirme silver noticed in the quotation from “Gent. them in their fantasies, that wee may the betMag." appears erroneous : As often as the ter fasten some cure upon them; as Constanking putteth the angel about their necks, re tinus Affriccanus (if it be his booke whiche is peat these words : "That Light was the true inserted among Galen's works,“ de Incantatione, Light which lighteth every man into the Adjuratione,' &c.) affirmeth, and practised world.' After this the Lord's Prayer is said, with good successe, upon one who was impoand another prayer on the behalf of the dis tens ad venerem, and thought himself bewitched eased, that they, receiving health, may give therewith, by reading unto him a foolish methanks to God," &c.
dicine out of Cleopatra, made with a crowe's In the “Statistical Account of Scotland,” gall and oyle; whereof the patient tooke so vol. vii, p. 560, parishes of Kirkwall and St. great conceit, that, upon the use of it, he preOla, we read : “In the time of sickness or sently recovered his strength and abilitie danger, they often make vows to this or the againe. The like opinion is to bee helde of other favourite saint, at whose church or cha all those superstitious remedies which have pel in the place they lodge a piece of money, crept into our profession, of charmes, exorcismes, as a reward for their protection; and they constellations, characters, periapis, amulets, inimagine that if any person steals or carries cense, holie-water, clouts crossed and folded off that money, he will instantly fall into the superstitiously, repeating of a certaine number same danger from which they, by their pious and forme of prayers or Ave Maries, offering offering, had been so lately delivered.” to certaine saints, ******* through the
wedding ring, and a hundred such like toyes () In the “ Statistical Account of Scotland,” vol. and gambols; which when they prevaile in xiv. 8vo. Edinb. 1795, p. 210, parishes of Kilfynichen the cure of diseases, it is not for any supernaand Kilviceuen, co. of Argyll, we read: 'A man in I. of the name of Mr. Innis, touches for the
turall vertue in them, either from God or the king's evil. He is the seventh son; and it is firmly Divell, (although perhaps the Divell may believed, in the country that he has this gift of have a collaterall intent or worke therein, curing. He touches or rubs over the sore with his hand, two Thursdays and two Sundays successively,
namely, to drawe us unto superstition,] but in the name of the Trinity, and says • It is God that by reason of the confident perswasion which cures.' He asks nothing for his trouble. It is be melancholike and passionate people may have lieved if he did, there would be no cure. He is often sent for out of the country; and though he
in them; according to the saying of Avicen, asks nothing, yet the patients, or their friends,
that the confidence of the patient in the meanes make him presents. He is perfectly illiterate, and used is oftentimes more available to cure dissays he does not know how the cure is effected, but eases than all other remedies whatsoever.” that God is pleased to work it in consequence of his touch.” The same supposed quality of curing
In Osbourne's “ Advice to a Son," also, 8vo. the king's evil by touch in a seventh male child, Oxf. 1656, p. 125, we read : " Be not therefore has been before noticed among the Charms in ODD hasty to register all you understand not in the NUMBERS, in p. 144, note ().
black calendar of hell, as some have done the See an account of Mr. Valentine Greatrakes' stroking for different Disorders, in the “ Gent.
Weapon Salve, passing by the cure of the Mag." for Jan. 1779, vol. xlix. p. 22.
king's evill altogether, as improbable to sense; VOL. III.
lest you resemble the pope, who anathematized the Bishop of Saltzburge for maintaining Antipodes; or the Consistory for decreeing against the probable opinion of the earth's motion."
Werenfels, p. 8, says : “ If the superstitious person be wounded by any chance, he applies the salve, not to the wound, but, what is more effectual, to the weapon by which he received it. By a new kind of art, he will transplant his disease, like a scion, and graft it into what tree he pleases. The fever he will not drive away by Medicines, but what is a more certain remedy, having paired his nails, and tied them to a cray-fish, he will turn his back, and, as
Deucalion did the stones from which a new progeny of men arose, throw them behind him into the next river."
In Warner's “Topographical Remarks relating to the South-western Parts of Hampshire,” 8vo. Lond. 1793, vol. ii. p. 131, speaking of the old register of Christ Church, that author tells us: “ The same register affords, also, several very curious receipts, or modes of cure, in some singular cases of indisposition: they are apparently of the beginning of the seventeenth century, and couched in the uncouth phraseology of that time. I forbear, however, to insert them, from motives of delicacy."
SOME years ago, says the “ Connoisseur," No. 56, there was publicly advertised among the other extraordinary medicines whose wonderful qualities are daily related in the last page of a newspaper, a most efficacious Love Powder, by which a despairing lover might create affection in the bosom of the most cruel mistress. Lovers indeed have always been fond of enchantment. Shakspeare has represented Othello as accused of winning his Desdemona “by conjuration and mighty magic;"(-) and Theocritus and Virgil have both introduced women into their pastorals, using charms and incantations to recover the affections of their sweethearts.
Thus also in Gay’s “Shepherd's Week :" 66 Strait to the 'pothecary's shop I went,
And in Love Powder all my money spent;
glow." () An early instance of the use of Love Powder may be read in one of the chapters of Froissart's “Chronicle,” in his account of Gaston Phæbus, Count of Foix, whose son Gaston received a bag of powder from his uncle, Charles the Bad, with direction to sprinkle a small quantity over anything which his fa
ther might eat, the effect of which would be to restore his father's affection for Gaston's mother, who was at that time parted from her husband, and resident at Charles the Bad's court. Charles the Bad intended to have poisoned Gaston. Werenfels, p. 6, says:
“ Whenever the superstitious person is in love, he will complain that tempting powder has been given him.”
The unfortunate Miss Blandy, who was executed many years ago for poisoning her father, persisted to the last in affirming that she thought the powder which her villanous lover, Cranston, sent her to administer to him was a Love powder which was to conciliate her father's affection to the captain. She met her death with this asseveration; and I presume that those who have considered the wonderful power of superstition, added to the fascination of Love, will be half persuaded to believe that she did not go out of the world with a lie in her mouth. Her dying request, too, to be buried close to her father, appears to me a corroborating proof that though she was certainly the cause of his premature death, and underwent the judgment of the law for the same, (which can take no cognizance of such excuses for so horrid a crime as parricide,) yet she was not, in the blackest sense of the word, his wilful murderess.(3)
Andrews, in his Continuation of Dr. Hen