Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Facial disfigurement, madness, and the royal touch in early modern Britain: reconsidering Arise Evans

Cock, Emily ORCID: 2023. Facial disfigurement, madness, and the royal touch in early modern Britain: reconsidering Arise Evans. Disability Studies Quarterly 42 (3-4)

[thumbnail of Cock_Arise Evans_as published.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (559kB) | Preview


This article uses a historicised study of Arise Evans’ (c.1607–c.1665) to understand the disabling potential of mental and facial differences in early modern Britain, and to argue for the immense scholarly potential of recuperative readings of disabled historical witnesses. Evans published prophetic visions during the Civil Wars that led some people to dismiss him as mad. In 1660, he sought out the recently restored Charles II in St James’ Park in order to be touched for a large swelling in his nose, which he was convinced the king could cure. Evans’ informal approach to the king was partially caused by his history of madness, as he was denied access to the official touching ceremony. The episode thus demonstrates the importance of analysing intersecting physical and mental states. Evans published an account of his cure in order to emphasise the power of the king at this crucial political moment, and to gain himself financial support since he was ‘old, weak, sick, past labour’. Evans thus participates in the disabling of his body when to do so means that his impaired body stands in flattering juxtaposition to that of the monarch, and shows an important role for disabled subjects in early modern Britain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Publisher: The Ohio State University: University Libraries
ISSN: 1041-5718
Funders: leverhulme trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 October 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 May 2022
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2024 09:48

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics