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February 19, 1927

HEALING BY THE KING'S TOUCH

JAMA. 1927;88(8):568-569. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680340040013

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Abstract

Among the most ancient forms of faith healing is cure by touch or the laying on of hands. A French author, 1 with a prolixity more Teutonic than Gallic, has prepared a volume in which he traces the origin and development of this notion. The English aspects of the method were covered in a scholarly monograph by Crawfurd.2 In France, the endowing of royalty with mysterious curative powers seems to date from Philip I (1060-1108), although such early chroniclers as Grégoire de Tours grant a similar power to one of the Merovingian kings of the sixth century. Testimony is also presented to the effect that Philip's grandfather healed people, although not especially those suffering from scrofula. Bloch, the French investigator, makes short shrift of the evidence that any pre-Norman king of England, even Edward the Confessor, ever claimed this virtue. Henry II certainly exercised it, while there is a

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