Crophill, John (DNB00)

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CROPHILL, JOHN (fl. 1420), an astrologer who flourished in Suffolk about 1420, is described by Ritson, in his ‘Bibliographia Poetica’ (London, 1802, 8vo, p. 53), as ‘a cunning man, conjurer, and astrological quack.’ Among the Harleian MSS. (British Museum, 1735) is a volume written on paper and parchment, which contains several pieces in his handwriting, including fragments of a brochure upon physic and astrology, a private register, compiled for his own use, of persons cured by him in and around the parish of Nayland in Suffolk, with accounts of money due from some of them, and a schedule of oracular answers, prearranged by him, to be given to young people who consulted him on the subject of matrimony, prepared for both sexes. There are also some strange records of experiments and medical recipes, and some verses (which are referred to by Ritson) purporting to have been spoken at an entertainment of ‘Frere Thomas,’ which was attended by ‘fjve ladyes of qualitye,’ chiefly relating the exploits of two famous goblets christened ‘Mersy and Scharyte’ (Mercy and Charity), which circulated as a kind of loving-cup.

[Davy's Athenæ Suffolcenses, i. 55 (Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS.); Harleian MS. 1735, Brit. Mus.]

E. H.-A.