From Lilly to Partridge: English Renaissance Astrology Texts 1598-1723

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From Lilly to Partridge:

English Renaissance Astrology Texts, 1598-1723

 

This DVD is the earliest in the series tracking the development of astrological texts in the English language, and is the direct chronological predecessor to ‘From Sibly to Simmonite’. It focuses chiefly on the major text-books on astrology published in English in the period from 1598 to 1723 inclusive. The gap between the closing date for this DVD and the opening date for ‘From Sibly to Simmonite’ is the result of astrological publishing, aside from almanacs, having entered a period of dormancy between the mid-1720s and early 1780s.

 

Although the earliest text is not by Lilly and the last is not by Partridge, our astrological community peer consultation supported the centering of the title around these two most famous of representatives of the flowering and last stand of the English-language Renaissance astrological text publishing movement.

 

A full bibliographical checklist of the works included on the DVD, in chronological order, follows. This order is reflected in the numerical order given to the file names. Numbered references to ‘Gardner’ refer to the identification of the work in question in F. Leigh Gardner’s 1911 classic bibliography of astrology ‘A Catalogue Raisonné of Works on the Occult Sciences Vol. II: Astrological Books’, which was especially strong on English-language titles and remains a useful point of reference to the more important portion of astrological books published before 1910, though in terms of comprehensiveness, especially in connection with Latin and foreign-language European works, it has been succeeded by Leandro Cantamessa’s recent ‘Astrologia Ins and Outs’, published exactly a century later in 2011.

 

1. Dariot, Claude ‘A Brief and Easie Introduction to the Astrological Judgement of the Starres’ bound (as issued) with G. C. ‘A Breef Treatise of Mathematical Phisicke’ Thomas Purfoot (printed by), 1598 [1] [2]Gardner 254

 

2. Lilly, William ‘Christian Astrology Modestly Treated of in three Books. The first containing the use of an Ephemeris, the erecting of a Scheam of Heaven; nature of the twelve Signs of the Zodiack, of the Planets; with a most easie Introduction to the whole Art of Astrology. The second, by a most Methodicall way, Instructeth the Student how to Judge or Resolve all manner of Questions contingent unto Man, viz. of Health, Sicknesse, Riches, Marriage, Preferment, Journies, &c. Severall Questions inserted and Judged. The third, containes an exact Method, whereby to Judge upon Nativities; severall ways how to rectifie them; How to judge the generall fate of the Native by the twelve Houses of Heaven, according to the naturall influence of the Stars; How his particular and Annuall Accidents, by the Art of Direction, and its exact measure of Time by Profections, Revolutions, Transits, a Nativity Judged by the Method preceding’ Printed for Tho. Budenell for John Partridge and Humph. Blunden, in Blackfriers at the Gate going into Carter-lane, and in Corhil, 1647. Gardner 680

 

3. Culpeper, Nicholas ‘Semeiotica Uranica, or an Astrological Judgment of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick; 1. From Aven Ezra by way of Introduction. 2. From Noel Duret by way of Direction. Wherein is layd down, The way and manner of finding out the Cause, Change and End of a Disease; Also whether the Sick be likely to live or dye, and the Time when Recovery or Death is to be Expected; To which is added The Signs of Life or Death by the Body of the Sick Party according to the judgment of Hippocrates’ Printed for Nathaniel Brookes at the golden Angel on Cornhill, near the Exchange, 1651. Gardner 243

 

4. Ramesey, William ‘Vox Stellarum. OR, The Voice of the Starres: Being a Short Introduction to the Judgement of Eclipses, and the Annuall Revolutions of the World: Wherein is handled Astrologically, The Ingresse of the Sun into the Tropick and AEquinoctiall signes 1652, Together with the Solar and two Lunar Eclipses in the same yeare, being a probable Judgement of that years affairs in generall; whether plenty or scarcity, wars or peace, health or sicknes may be expected’ Printed for T. H. and Jo. Collins, and are to be sold at his shop in Little Britain, neere the Church, London, 1652. Gardner 1061

 

5. Ramesey, William ‘Astrologia Restaurata; or, Astrologie Restored: being an Introduction to the General and Chief part of the Language of the Stars’ By Authority; printed for Robert White, 1654.[3] Gardner 1063

 

6. Culpeper, Nicholas ‘Semiotica Uranica, or Culpepper’s Judgement of Diseases Much Enlarged; Abraham Avenezra, of Critical Days’ (running title from first main page), publisher and date not apparent[4],  bound with ‘Urinalia: or, a Treatise of the Crisis Hapning to the Urine: Through default either of the Reins, Bladder, Yard, Conduits, or Passages, with their Causes, Signs, and Cures’ printed for Nath. Brook, at the Angel in Cornhil, London, 1658. Gardner 248

 

7. Gadbury, John ‘Genethlialogia, or the Doctrine of Nativities, or the Whole Art of Directions and Annual Revolutions,… with the Doctrine of Horary Questions’ Printed by J. Cottrel for Giles Calvert, William Larner and Daniel White, 1658. Gardner 432

 

8. Gadbury, John ‘Collectio Geniturarum, or a Collection of Nativities in CL Genitures’ James Cottrel (printed by), 1662.[5] Gardner 440

 

9. Lilly, William ‘Anima Astrologiae: or, a Guide for Astrologers. Being the Considerations of the Famous Guido Bonatus Faithfully Rendred into English. As also the Choicest Aphorisms of Cardans Seven Seagments, Translated, and Methodically Digested under their Proper Heads. With a New Table of the fixed Stars, Rectified for several years to come, and divers other necessary Illustrations’ Printed for B. Harris at the Stationer’s Arms in Sweethings-Rents near the Royal-Exchange, London, 1676[6]Gardner 687

 

10. Coley, Henry ‘Clavis Astrologiae Elimata, or Key to the Whole Art of Astrology’ Benj. Tooke / Tho. Sawbridge, 1676. Gardner 232

 

11. Saunders, Richard ‘The Astrological Judgment and Practice of Physick’ L.C., 1677. Gardner 1134

 

12. Middleton, John ‘Practical Astrology in Two Parts’ Richard Preston, 1679[7]Gardner 797

 

13. Partridge, John ‘Mikropanastron, or an Astrological Vade Mecum Briefly Teaching the whole Art of Astrology, Viz., Questions, Nativities, with all its Parts, and the whole Doctrine of Elections, never so Comprised, nor Compiled before…’ Printed for William Bromwich, at the Sign of the Three Bibles in Ludgate Street, 1679. Gardner 909

 

14. Salmon, William ‘Horae Mathematicae, or the Soul of Astrology’ Tho. Dawks (printed by), 1679. Gardner 1131

 

15. Blagrave, Joseph ‘Blagrave’s Astrological Practice of Physick, Discovering the true way to Cure all Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities which are Naturally incident to the Body of Man’ [Second edition] – Printed for Obadiah Blagrave at the Bear and Star in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1680. Gardner 134 (though he gives a later printing date)

 

16. Blagrave, Joseph ‘Blagrave’s Introduction to Astrology in Three Parts’ Obadiah Blagrave, 1682. Gardner 133

 

17. Wharton, George, ed. Gadbury, John ‘The Works of that Most Excellent Philosopher George Wharton’ John Leigh, 1683. Gardner 454

 

18. Gadbury, John ‘Cardines Coeli: Or, an Appeal to the Learned and Experienced Observers of Sublunars and their Vicissitudes, whether the Cardinal Signs of Heaven are not most Influential upon Men and Things; Proved by X. Remarkable Genitures, &c., in a Reply to the Learned Author of Cometomantia: Wherein the Character of Gassendus is Defended; And Sundry other Starry Truths are Justified’ No Publisher Stated, London, 1684. Gardner 455

 

19. Goad, John ‘Astro-Meteorologica, or Aphorisms and Discourses of the Bodies Coelestial’ Obadiah Blagrave, 1686. Gardner 512

 

20. Bishop, John (attrib.) ‘The Marrow of Astrology in Two Books, Wherein is contained the Natures of the Sines and Planets, with their several Governing Angels, according to their Respective Hierarchies. And the Method of Directions according to the AEgyptians and Chaldeans, with several other useful Examples’ – Printed for William Fisher, and Richard Mount, at the Postern on Tower-Hill, London, 1689.[8] [after Gardner 127]

 

21. Partridge, John ‘Opus Reformatum: Or, a Treatise of Astrology, in which the Common Errors of that Art are Modestly Exposed and Rejected; with an Essay Serving towards the Reviving the True and Ancient Method Laid Down for our Direction by the Great Ptolomy; and More Agreeable  to the True Principles of Motion and Nature, than that Commonly Practised and Taught’ Awnsham and John Churchill at the Black Swan in Pater-Noster Row, 1693. Gardner 913 

 

22. Manilius, tr. Creech, Thomas ‘The Five Books of M. Manilius’ Jacob Tonson, London, 1697. Gardner 770

 

23. Partridge, John ‘Defectio Geniturarum: being an essay toward the reviving and proving the true old principles of astrology, hitherto neglected, or, at leastwise, not observed or understood. In four parts’ bound with  ‘Flagitiosus Mercurius flagellatus, or The whipper whipp’d; being an answer to a scurrilous invective written by George Parker in his Almanack for 1697’ Printed for Benj. Tooke at the Middle-Temple-gate in Fleet Street, 1697. Gardner 914

 

24. Eland (William), ed. Parker, George ‘Eland’s Tutor to Astrology: or, Astrology Made Easie’ [Stated] Tenth Edition – G. Conyers / J. Sprint / T. Ballard, 1704[9]Gardner 297

 

25. Gadbury, John ‘Nauticum Astrologicum; or, the Astrological Seaman; Directing Merchants, Mariners, Captains of Ships, Ensurers, &c. How (by God’s Blessing) they may escape divers Dangers which commonly happen in the Ocean. Unto which is added a Diary of the Weather for XXI Years together, Exactly observed in London, with Sundry Observations thereon’ [Second Edition] – Printed for George Sawbridge, at the Three Golden Flower-de-luces in Little Britain, London, 1710. [After Gardner 460]

 

26. Lilly, William ‘Mr. Lilly’s History of his Life and Times’ bound with ‘Observations on the Life and Death of King Charles I’ Second edition – E. Curll / J. Pemberton / W. Taylor, 1721.[10] [After Gardner 693 and 683]

 

27. Ball, Richard ‘Astrology Improv’d’ A. Bettesworth, 1723[11]Gardner 89

 

 


 

[1] The source copy used for Astrolearn’s reproduction of this text lacks the folding table of ‘planetary howers’ towards the end of G. C. book, in common with about 50% of others observed on the used book marketplace these past ten years. A pre-existing monochrome scan of the same book for Early English Books Online contains most but not all of the missing table: the top row and a half of data is missing, as are the headings, and a separate key to the planetary rulers of each hour of each day of the week. To further Astrolearn’s reproduction of the text, the missing table has been retyped from the data presented in the incomplete E.E.B.O. scan, and then completed by rational inference with the missing rows of data at the top, as well as logical column headings for the hours. [NB: The original printed table features a glaring ten-day disparity in the correspondances drawn between calendar date and solar degree compared with the equivalent correspondances in modern times; but it has been pointed out to me by a friend, astrologer Wade Caves, that the calendar dates followed in the late 16th century were indeed ten days off from the equivalent ones in more recent centuries, this difference presumably accounting for the observed disparity. Further, several faulty figures were spotted in assorted individual cells in the original printed table. These errors are plain to see and have not been corrected, instead being carried across unaltered for the historical record.] But without knowing the format in which the separate key was presented, it did not seem appropriate to guess and attempt to reconstruct this too. We would refer readers to the equivalent instructions for calculating the planetary hours in the scan of Lilly’s ‘Christian Astrology’.

 

[2] Astrolearn’s antiquarian source copy also lacks the preface to the G.C. book entitled ‘To the courteous Reader’; and the illustration ‘On the Anatomie of Man’s Body’ on the reverse of that sheet. The missing illustration is ostensibly of no astrological significance, and was impossible to reproduce without access to an original source copy containing it. We have, however, reproduced in hand-typed text the address to the reader. Most of it was sourced in the incomplete scan of the same page included in the existingly published Early English Books Online scan edition. The final few lines of this page were unfortunately (once again) missing from the E.E.B.O. scan, but have graciously been provided by a British antiquarian book-dealer by transcription on request from their original copy.

 

[3] Astrolearn’s antiquarian source copy lacks the occasionally-present frontispiece portrait of Ramesey, which has noticeably also been absent from at least 80% of copies of this book to have appeared for sale these past ten years, strongly suggesting that it was not issued in the first place in most copies.

 

[4] Astrolearn’s antiquarian original lacks the title page and some prefatory pages. It could be the 1658 or 1671 edition, the library records for both of which match its features. It was deemed worth including despite the missing title page and prefatory pages because the main content is significantly extended with new material from that of the first edition, aside from the added short treatise ‘Urinalia’ that was bound in with the editions from 1658 and onwards.

 

[5] Some original copies of this book are thought to contain a portrait, lacking from Astrolearn’s source, but it does not seem to be found commonly.

 

[6] Our copy lacks the portrait leaf, but includes the sometimes-missing fold-out table of fixed stars.

 

[7] The two leaves comprising pp. 277-280 were lacking in original print in our copy, but their text content had been rendered as typescript and bound in by an early owner. Thus, the reproduction of the text is complete.

 

[8] This was the second complete edition following the first attributed jointly to Richard Kirby and John Bishop; yet all Kirby’s content is believed to have been retained from the first: he was simply (and ostensibly unjustly) written out of the credits when the book was reissued. Some damage was noted on our original to the leaf comprising A Table of Twilight for the Latitude of 50 and 51 Degrees, fortunately not a significant page. Gardner does not list the present edition, but notes another of the previous year, 1688, which was substantially truncated from the original.

 

[9] Library records record a 1st edition of 1657, a stated 5th edition undated but believed approx. 1665, a 6th edition of 1670; a 7th edition of 1694; and this, the stated 10th edition of 1704, which is the only one to have been heavily expanded into a lengthy book by George Parker.  A copy of a stated 9th edition of 1696, long unsold on the used book market at the time of writing, is said to run to just 90 pages. It is not clear from the lack of library or online sale records whether 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 8th editions ever existed in print, but until and unless firm evidence emerges, the suspicion will remain that the edition count was inflated. For now we can say with certainty only that there were six editions, of which five containing only Eland’s work, and the last that of both Eland and Parker.

 

[10] Our original of this, the 2nd edition of Lilly’s autobiography after the first of 1715, was slightly damaged by an early owner’s small burn hole through one leaf, with loss of several words of text on pp. 27 and 28. The affected sections have been retyped from a scan copy of the 1822 edition, since the text is unaltered from that of the edition of 1721 in this section, although it has been stylistically reformatted and reset. We have included the retyped lines in the original format of the 1721 edition on a leaf inserted between these pages in our reproduction, so the text as presented is complete. The 1721 edition, unlike that of 1715, was bound in with a reprint of Lilly’s ‘Several Observations on the Life and Death of King Charles’, first published under a fuller title in 1651 according to Gardner. This is included in our scan.

 

[11] In common with Eland’s Tutor to Astrology (see above), this was an early 18th century reworking and major expansion by George Parker of a relatively short 17th century astrological text. The original work in this case was Ball’s much shorter ‘Astrolo-Physical Compendium; or a Brief Introduction to Astrology’ of 1697, which had half the page count.

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