Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: the King’s-Evil

  • Scrofula or the king’s evil

    Scrofula, the old name for tuberculous lymphadenitis of neck, was once a common condition. The name was derived from the ancient Latin scrofa for sow, possibly because the affected nodes were shaped like the swollen neck of a sow or because pigs were particularly prone to the disease. The disease was also called struma, reflecting…

  • The King’s-Evil and sensory experience in Richard Wiseman’s Severall Chirurgicall Treatises

    Adam KomorowskiSang SongIreland Throughout many centuries, the monarchs of England maintained as royal prerogative the ability to heal the sick by virtue of their miraculous touch alone. William of Malmesbury (c.1090-c.1143) first described the use of the thaumaturgic touch by King Edward the Confessor (1003-66), who healed a woman afflicted with scrofula.1,2,3 While this power…