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Detail of manuscript depicting Mary I

Detail from a sixteenth-century manuscript depicting Mary I touching a sufferer of scrofula (known as the ‘King’s evil’). It was believed in some parts of Europe that the royal touch was divine and held the power to cure ailments. Under Edward VI the tradition had been abandoned and some Protestants deemed the traditional as superstitious (although the practice was carried out in different forms under several Protestant monarchs including Charles I). Under Mary, the practice was revived.

 

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Uploaded on March 19, 2009