Charm For Clefyd Y Galon_ _or Heart Disease

: Welsh Folk-lore

The Rev. J. Felix, vicar of Cilcen, near Mold, when a young man lodged in

Eglwysfach, near Glandovey. His landlady, noticing that he looked pale

and thin, suggested that he was suffering from Clefyd y galon, which may

be translated as above, or love sickness, a complaint common enough among

young people, and she suggested that he should call in David Jenkins, a

respectable farmer and a local preacher with the Wesleyans, to cure hi

Jenkins came, and asked the supposed sufferer whether he believed in

charms, and was answered in the negative. However, he proceeded with his

patient as if he had answered in the affirmative. Mr Felix was told to

take his coat off, he did so, and then he was bidden to tuck up his shirt

above his elbow. Mr. Jenkins then took a yarn thread and placing one

end on the elbow measured to the tip of Felix's middle finger, then he

told his patient to take hold of the yarn at one end, the other end

resting the while on the elbow, and he was to take fast hold of it, and

stretch it. This he did, and the yarn lengthened, and this was a sign

that he was actually sick of heart disease. Then the charmer tied this

yarn around the patient's left arm above the elbow, and there it was

left, and on the next visit measured again, and he was pronounced cured.

The above information I received from Mr. Felix, who is still alive and


There were various ways of proceeding in this charm. Yarn was always

used and the measurement as above made, and sometimes the person was

named and his age, and the Trinity was invoked, then the thread was put

around the neck of the sick person, and left there for three nights, and

afterwards buried in the name of the Trinity under ashes. If the thread

shortened above the second joint of the middle finger there was little

hope of recovery; should it lengthen that was a sign of recovery.