Henry IX was the fourth and final Jacobite to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. Henry was son of the ‘The Old Pretender’ and brother of the ‘The Young Pretender’, he was born in exile in Rome and whilst assisting his brother in the Jacobite rising of 1745 he did not attempt to seize the throne in his own name. His life’s focus was instead in the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church where he became the Dean of the College of Cardinals and Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and Velletri.
‘Touching for the King’s Evil’ was a ceremony to cure scrofula, a disease of the lymph glands. The ceremony was started in England by Edward III with its origins coming from France and it involved the monarch touching the sufferer of scrofula to cure them, each sufferer was also issued a pierced touchpiece to wear round the neck. After the death of Queen Anne the Hanoverian kings did not continue with the custom but those in the Jacobite line of succession did, hence these rare issues in the name of James III, Charles III and Henry IX occasionally come to market.