Institute of Historical Research



Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published


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'LEVERETT, James', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=17620 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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Primary occupationmedical empiric (Empiric. Gardener. Faith-healer)
Period of medical practice1627-1647
Date of birthc.1577
AddressChelsea 1637
Other notesClaims to cure by touch tested 1637. Failure. College informed Privy Council.

Known London address


Censorial hearings

3 Nov 1637
EntryL, a gardener of Chelsea, who claimed to cure the King's Evil & other diseases, was taken before the Star Chamber on the 20 Oct by Mr Sergeant Clowes. His medicines were thought to be impostures and the College was called in. His cured patients arrived at the College to testify, but were put off. L appeared, 60 years old, a 7th son. Said he had cured by touching and speaking words, and now did 30-40 a day, which was exhausting. Claimed to have cured 300. Had given up gardening and was taking money for cures - King's Evil, dropsies, fevers, agues, sores, &c. Said that God wrought the cures.
Attitude of the accuseddenied
Action takenCollege decided to give him a trial.
8 Nov 1637
EntryL retracted his previous claim that a virtue went out of him when he cured. At the College he touched Richard George (knee tumour), Eliz. Appleton (King's Evil).
Action takenExperiment begun to see if he could cure by touching.
10 Nov 1637
EntryL retouched George and Appleton and touched Judith True (sore breast), Easter Fisher (ulcerated fingers), Sara Anderson (ditto) and Henry Welch (pain in hand and rib). L repeated his charm in threes.
Action takenExperiment continued.
14 Nov 1637
EntryGeorge's knee was worse, but L would continue the treatment. L retouched George, Appleton, True, Fisher, Anderson and Welch, and touched Thomas Scamodye (foot tumour).
Action takenExperiment continued.
17 Nov 1637
EntryWelch asked not to be touched again as he had been dazed for 5 hours after the last time. L did not appear, anyway.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenL did not appear to continue the experiment.
21 Nov 1637
EntryL came, but was not disposed to touch.
Action takenL would not continue the experiment.
25 Nov 1637
EntryL appeared with some of his cured patients: Robert Monday (8), with Richard his father and Eliz his mother as witnesses; Eliz. Maye (11), with Martin her father, cook of Soper Lane, as witness; Peter Norris (6), who 'saieth, yt is not yet well, and yt so appeared unto us'.
Action taken?College unimpressed (see next).
28 Nov 1637
EntryA certificate was brought from Clowes saying that L claimed to be the 7th son of a 7th son & that he was guilty of blasphemy, lèse majesté and juggling. Other certificates were brought from Edward Pate, Samuel Turner, Robert South. An extract from the parish register of St Clement's Eastcheap appeared to show that L was actually the 4th son of his parents.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenColl wrote to Privy Council: tests negative, L an impostor.
SentenceReferred to the Privy Council

LEVERET, William