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A Token Reminder:

Charms and incantations have been in use for thousands of years to ward off evil and cure disease in both humans and animals. The West Highland Museum has a significant collection of these charms, including stones to ward of witches and cure nightmares, and brooches used to ward off evil from children.

The hussif (men’s sewing kit) pictured contained a letter saying:

“I send a small bag, if you should chance to go to Battle, or an affair of honour, it will be of no great trouble to put it Round your Neck, I trust it will save you from your Enemy ‚Ķ”

Stitched into the letter was a small square of satin and pebbles, seeds and pieces of stalk, as well as a tiny padlock. The seeds were identified as the fruits of either Germander or Mountain Speedwell.  Unfortunately, this particular charm proved of little benefit to its recipient. It was sent by Unity Matthews to Colonel John Cameron of Fassifern who fell at Quatre Bras, Belgium, on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo.