- scrofula: so called because it was supposed to be curable by the touch of the reigning sovereign.
Origin of king's evil
- the king's evil pathol a former name for scrofula
Word Origin and History for king's evil
"scrofula," late 14c., translates Medieval Latin regius morbus; so called because the kings of England and France claimed to heal it by their touch. In England, the custom dates from Edward the Confessor and was continued through the Stuarts (Charles II touched 90,798 sufferers) but was ended by the Hanoverians (1714).