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Bomelius, Eliseus (d. 1579), physician and astrologer, born in Wesel, Westphalia, was probably the son of Henry Bomelius (d. 1570), a native of Bommel (now Zaltbommel) in the Netherlands, who from 1540 to 1559 was Lutheran preacher at Wesel, and the author of several religious and historical books of wide repute. The ...

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Bretnor, Thomas (1570/71–1618), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born in Bakewell, Derbyshire, and went to London about 1604, settling in the parish of St Sepulchre. Though he appears not to have attended university, he was fluent in Latin, French, and Spanish, and became a well-known figure in Jacobean ...

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Edward Heron-Allen

revised by Anita McConnell

Case, John (c. 1660–1700), astrologer and quack, was born at Lyme, Dorset, about 1660, judging from the statement in his book, The wards of the key to Helmont proved unfit for the lock, or, The principles of Mr Wm Bacon examined and refuted...

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Coelson [Colson], Lancelot (1627–1687?), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born on 25 March 1627 at Colchester. His astrological ‘accidents’ record that he married in 1645 (at the age of eighteen), but his wife's name is unknown. He was wounded fighting in Cromwell's Scottish campaign in 1650. By the mid-1650s he had settled in ...

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Coxe, Francis [Fraunces Cox] (fl. 1560–1575), astrologer and medical practitioner, is known by three ephemeral publications. Nothing is known of his life before his magical practices attracted attention in 1561, when he was summoned before the privy council on a charge of sorcery. He was severely punished and he made a public confession of his 'employment of certayne sinistral and divelysh artes' at the pillory in ...

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Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654) by Thomas Cross, pubd 1649 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Culpeper, Nicholas (1616–1654), physician and astrologer, the son of Nicholas Culpeper and his wife, Mary Attersole, was born a little after noon on 18 October 1616, probably at Ockley, Surrey, where he was baptized in St Margaret's Church on 24 October. His father, the rector of ...

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Evans, John (b. 1594/5?, d. in or after 1659), astrologer and medical practitioner, was of Welsh origin. He was well educated and had obtained an MA degree by 1621. He was probably the John Evans of Flint who matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford...

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Fiske, Nicholas (1579–1659), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born on 22 July 1579 at Stadhaugh, in the parish of Laxfield, Suffolk, the oldest surviving son of Matthew and Elizabeth Fiske and from a long-established landed family. Though well educated, he chose to study astrology and physic at home instead of going to university. He was described as a 'licentiate in physick' and he practised medicine at ...

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Forman, Simon (1552–1611), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born in Quidhampton, Wiltshire, on 31 December 1552, the fifth of the eight children of William Forman (1524–1564) and his wife, Mary (c.1505–1602), daughter of John Ratewe and Marion Hallam. His grandfather Richard Forman...

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Gregory, William (1803–1858), chemist and psychic investigator, was born at St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh, on 25 December 1803, the fourth son of James Gregory (1753–1821), professor of medicine in the University of Edinburgh, and his second wife, Miss McLeod. He was descended from a long line of 'academic ...

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Edmund Gurney (1847–1888) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gurney, Edmund (1847–1888), psychical researcher and psychologist, was born on 23 March 1847 at Hersham, Surrey, the third son and fifth child of the Reverend John Hampden Gurney (1802–1862) and his wife, Mary Grey (d. c.1857). He had eight brothers and sisters. From 1861 to 1863 he attended a private boarding-school at ...

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Harries, John (c. 1785–1839), astrologer and physician, was born possibly at Pant-Coi, Cwrtycadno, Carmarthenshire, the eldest son of Henry Jones Harries (1739–1805), and his wife, Mary Wilkins. He was educated until he was ten years old at The Cowings, Commercial Private Academy, Caeo...

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Jinner, Sarah (fl. 1658–1664), compiler of almanacs and medical practitioner, has left no trace of her family or background and is known only through the pioneering series of almanacs she published from 1658 to 1664, aimed mainly at women. Her woodcut portrait depicts an elegantly dressed figure, and her style indicates that she was well educated and aiming at a respectable audience. The almanacs are distinctive for their spirited assertion of women's abilities, their frank treatment of female medical problems, and their combative observations on contemporary politics. Acknowledging in her first edition that readers 'may wonder to see one of our Sex in print, especially in the Celestial Sciences' (...

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Kingsford [née Bonus], Anna [Annie] (1846–1888), physician and spiritualist, was born on 16 September 1846 at Maryland Point, Stratford, Essex. She was a sickly child, the youngest daughter of twelve children born to Elizabeth Ann Schröder and her husband, John Bonus (...

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Kirby, Richard (1649–1693?), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born on 13 July 1649 of unknown parentage. In an early work he apologized for his mean education. Henry Coley (1633–1704), a close friend, was probably his astrological teacher. His early works, ephemerides for 1681 and 1682 and an almanac for 1684, were uncontroversial but ...

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Le Neve [Neve], Jeffrey (1579–1653), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born on 15 April 1579, the son of John Le Neve, and became a merchant and alderman of Great Yarmouth. He was also in the king's customs service as a ‘quarter waiter’, and in November 1626 he was nominated deputy water bailiff of ...

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Moore, Francis (1657–1714?), astrologer and medical practitioner, was born on 29 January 1657 in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. He may have been a student of the astrologer John Partridge (1644–1715). His first practice in 1698 was at the sign of 'Dr. Lilly's Head'—undoubtedly named after the late famous astrologer—in ...

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Richard Napier (1559–1634) by unknown artist, c. 1630 Ashmolean Museum, Oxford