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The Zennor Charmers

 

 
 

Popular Romances of the West of England
Collected and Edited by Robert Hunt

 

 

 

BOTH men and women in this parish possessed this power to a remarkable degree. They could stop blood, however freely it might be flowing. "Even should a pig be sticked in tie very place, if a charmer was present, and thought of his charm at the time, the pig would not bleed." This statement, made by a Zennor man, shows a tolerably large amount of faith in their power. The charmers are very cautious about communicating their charms. A man would not on any account tell his charm to a woman, or a woman communicate hers to a man. People will travel many miles to have themselves or their children charmed for "wildfires" (erysipelas), ringworms, pains in the limbs or teeth, "kennels" on the eyes (ulcerations). A correspondent writes me :-- "Near this lives a lady charmer, on whom I called. I found her to be a really clever, sensible woman. She was reading a learned treatise on ancient history. She told me there were but three charmers left in the west,--one at New Mill, one in Morva, and herself." Their charm for stopping blood is but another version of one given on another page.

"Christ was born in Bethlehem;
Baptized in the river Jordan.
The river stood,-- 
So shall thy blood,

Mary Jane Polgrain [or whatever the person may be called],

In the name of the Father," &c.

 

 

 

 
 
This, and other Cornish Folk-Tales, can be found at Sacred Texts