Thursday, June 9, 2011

William Lilly

The astrologer William Lilly died on June 9, 1681.  Lilly's career as an astrologer grew as a result of his work for a politician in 1643.   According to Lilly, in his "Christian Astrology":  'In 1643, I became familiarly known to Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, a Member of the House of Commons.  He being sick, his urine was brought unto me by Mrs. Lisle, afterwards one of the keepers of the Great Seal.  Having set my figure, I returned answer, the sick for that time would recover, but by means of a surfeit would dangerously relapse within one month; which he did, by eating of trouts at Mr. Sand's house, near Leatherhead in Surrey.  Then I went daily to visit him, Dr. Prideau despairing for his life; but I said there was no danger thereof, and that he would be sufficiently well in five or six weeks; and he was.'

Sir Walter Scott employed the work of astrologers in his work.  Guy Mannering, for example, casts a horoscope for the laird of Ellangowan.  Scott’s use of astrology has been noted in as unexpected a place as “A Naval Encyclopedia”: Sir Walter Scott has made ample use of Sir William Lilly, the noted astrologer, in his tales of this period; and it is certain that Lilly was consulted by Charles I. respecting his projected escape from Cariebrook Castle in 1647.’

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