Swyno'r 'ryri (charming The Shingles)


The shingles is a skin disease, which encircles the body like a girdle,

and the belief was that if it did so the patient died. However, there

was a charm for procuring its removal, which was generally resorted to

with success; but the last person who could charm this disease in

Montgomeryshire lies buried on the west side of the church at

Penybontfawr, and consequently there is no one now in those parts able to

charm the shingles. The inscription on his tombstone informs us that

Robert Davies, Glanhafon Fawr, died March 13th, 1864, aged 29, so that

faith in this charm has reached our days.

It was believed that the descendants of a person who had eaten eagle's

flesh to the ninth generation could charm for shingles.

The manner of proceeding can be seen from the following quotation taken

from The History of Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochnant, by Mr. T. W. Hancock,

which appears in vol. vi., pp. 327-8 of the Montgomeryshire