- cramp rings
- From the reign of Edward III to that of Mary Tudor, monarchs used to bless a plateful of gold and silver rings every *Good Friday at the altar of the Chapel Royal, rubbing them between their fingers; thanks to the royal healing touch (cf. *king's evil), they could cure epilepsy, cramp, or palsy, provided they were 'given without money or petition', as Andrew Borde noted in his Breviary of Health (1557, fo. 166).This royal ritual either developed from, or inspired, a less elitist one described in a manuscript of c.1400 (MS Arundel 275, fo. 23b). Five silver pennies must be taken from the Mass-offerings on Good Friday in five different churches; these 25 coins must be laid before a crucifix while five 'Our Fathers' are said in honour of the Five Wounds of Jesus, for five days running, and then hammered into a ring inscribed with 'Jesus of Nazareth' and the names of the Three Wise Men.After these customs had been abolished in the reign of Elizabeth, people took to making rings for themselves, to cure fits or rheumatism, out of metal that was in some way special. The most popular method was to collect 12 or 30 pennies, each from a different person, and ask a clergyman to exchange them for a shilling or a half-crown from the collection plate; this 'sacrament *silver' was then made into a ring. There are references to this in Hereford in the mid-17th century, in Berkshire in the 18th, and in several 19th-century regional collections. In Cheshire, the ring could be made from a shilling obtained by begging a penny each from twelve people of the sex opposite to the sufferer (Moss, 1898: 166); in Essex and Devon, from nine sixpences, and in Suffolk from twelve scraps of broken silver, all to be got in the same way (Radford, Radford, and Hole, 1961: 293-4; Opie and Tatem, 1989: 327-8). InYorkshire, pieces of lead cut from *coffins were used; in Shropshire and Devon, coffin nails - 'three nails taken from three coffins out of three several churchyards' (Burne, 1883: 193).
A Dictionary of English folklore. Jacqueline Simpson & Steve Roud. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
Cramp-ring — Cramp rings are rings anciently worn as a cure for cramp and falling sickness or epilepsy. The legend is that the first one was presented to Edward the Confessor by a pilgrim on his return from Jerusalem, its miraculous properties being… … Wikipedia
rings — Rings make excellent symbols of identity, authority, and obligations, being worn on the hand (itself a symbol of power), and visible both to the wearer and others. Hence they can indicate married status, personal pledges of love, legal… … A Dictionary of English folklore
cramp — Numerous cures for cramp have been recorded, some with an alleged physical basis, while others are purely magical. Forbes gives several examples of verbal *charms, including the following from a schoolboy Samuel Coleridge Taylor: The devil… … A Dictionary of English folklore
Good Friday — It is startling that this, the most mournful day in the Christian calendar, is a cheerful Bank Holiday, and a traditional date for various games such as *skipping and *marbles. Traditionally, it was the day for certain tasks in the vegetable… … A Dictionary of English folklore
medicine — Folk medicine is an accumulation of very diverse techniques and beliefs, on which many layers of cultural history have left a mark; it could never have been known in its entirety to any one community, let alone one individual. The two primary … A Dictionary of English folklore
White Stork — Two adults in Germany Conservation status … Wikipedia
Cuculus canorus — Dieser Artikel beschreibt den Kuckuck (Cuculus canorus), für weitere Bedeutungen des Begriffs siehe Kuckuck (Begriffsklärung) Kuckuck Kuckuck (Cuculus canorus) Systematik … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gemeiner Kuckuck — Dieser Artikel beschreibt den Kuckuck (Cuculus canorus), für weitere Bedeutungen des Begriffs siehe Kuckuck (Begriffsklärung) Kuckuck Kuckuck (Cuculus canorus) Systematik … Deutsch Wikipedia
Buteo buteo — Mäusebussard Mäusebussard (Buteo buteo), dunkle Morphe im Jugendkleid Systematik Klasse … Deutsch Wikipedia
coffins — One of the paradoxes of folk *medi cine is that objects connected with death are deemed curative. In several parts of England, from the late 18th century to the end of the 19th, there are references to *rings made out of the handles of decayed … A Dictionary of English folklore