Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 43.djvu/434

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Partridge

428

Partridge

set up the traytorous Bull on the Bishop of London's Gate. Who suffered before the same Gate for High-Treason against the Queenes Majestie, the 8 day of August 1579. With an Exhortation to the Papists to take heed of the like. By J. Partridge,’ London, 1570, 8vo, b.l. This is reprinted in Morgan's ‘Phœnix Britannicus’ (i. 415). 5. ‘The treasurie of commodious Conceites and hidden secrets. Commonly called the good Huswives Closet of provision for the health of her household. Meete and necessarie for the profitable use of all estates. Gathered out of sundry Experiments lately practised by men of great knowledge, and now the fourth tyme corrected and inlarged, with divers necessary and new editions. Printed by Richard Ihones,’ London, 1584. The first edition was in 1573, the second in 1580, and there was a fifth in 1586. Partridge dedicates it in a prose letter to ‘Master Richard Wistow, Gentleman, one of the Assistants of the Companie of the Barbers and Surgions,’ and he probably supplied the printer's fourteen-syllable verses to ‘good huswives;’ they mention fourpence as the price of the book.

[Collier's Biographical Account of Early English Literature, ii. 117–22; Corser's Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, ix. 128; Arber's Stationers' Registers, i. 308, 309, 331; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. ed. Herbert, pp. 1040, 1043, and the reprints of Collier and Gibbs.]

R. B.

PARTRIDGE, JOHN (1644–1715), astrologer and almanac-maker, was born at East Sheen on 18 Jan. 1644. Aubrey states that as soon as he had learned to read and write he was bound apprentice to a shoemaker. He had, however, an inquisitive mind, and when he was eighteen years of age he found means to procure a ‘Lilly's Grammar,’ a ‘Gouldman's Dictionary,’ ‘Ovid's Metamorphoses,’ and a Latin Bible. With the help of these books he acquired Latin enough to read the works of astrological authors. He next applied himself to master Greek and Hebrew, and also studied medicine. For any oral teaching he received he seems to have been indebted to John Gadbury [q. v.] the astrologer. He probably resigned his shoemaker's last in Covent Garden about 1678, when the first of his many publications made its appearance. This was ‘A Hebrew Calendar,’ and it was followed at short intervals by his ‘Mικροπαναστρων, or Astrological Vade Mecum,’ ‘Ecclesilegia: an Almanack,’ and ‘Vox Lunaris, being a philosophical and Astrological Discourse of two Moons which were seen in London on 11 June 1679.’ These were all published in the year last mentioned, and were followed in 1680 by ‘The Nativity of the most Valiant and Puissant Monarch Lewis the Fourteenth,’ and ‘Prodromus: or an Astrological Essay upon those Configurations of the Celestial Bodies … compared with the nativity of the late damnable Plot.’ In 1682 he translated Hadrianus a Mynsicht's ‘Treasury of Physic,’ on the title-page of which he is described as sworn physician to his majesty Charles II, though there appears to be no evidence that he ever attended court or received any salary.

Partridge commenced issuing a regular almanac, under the title of ‘Merlinus Liberatus,’ in 1680, and the protestant alarmist tone that he gave to his predictions soon established him in popular favour. The accession of James II found his zeal against popery unabated, so that after the suppression of the rising in the west he had to seek refuge in Holland. John Dunton the bookseller met him in Rotterdam in 1686, and subsequently he passed to Leyden, where he found means to continue his medical studies, and where, if his epitaph is to be trusted, he obtained the degree of M.D. In 1689 he returned to England, and married a certain Jane Kirkman, who was said to have been the widow of one of Monmouth's tailors, and who possessed a small fortune. ‘Merlinus Liberatus’ was now regularly resumed, and was supplemented by numerous pamphlets and ephemerides of astrological or other occult tendency, such as ‘Mene Tekel’ and ‘Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin’ (1689). Their avowed object was often subordinated to the abuse of adversaries and rivals and the advertisement of various quack medicines. In 1697 he issued ‘Nebulo Anglicanus, or the Black Life of John Gadbury,’ a most libellous account of his old preceptor, with whom, however, he appears to have been subsequently reconciled. A more embittered quarrel occurred in 1697 between Partridge and George Parker [q. v.] a rival astrologer, who had been at some pains in his ‘Almanack’ for that year to expose the ‘Errata Merlini Liberati.’ This elicited from Partridge his vivacious ‘Flagitiosus Mercurius flagellatus, or the Whipper whipped.’ In the same year he issued his chief work, ‘Defectio Geniturarum, being an Essay towards the reviving and proving the true Old Principles of Astrology, in four parts,’ which remains one of the most elaborate systematic treatises on the subject. By the end of the century Partridge had won a position at the head of his profession, and drew a substantial income from his almanacs, in which the phraseology of equivocation was carried to a pitch of rare perfection. His profits, however, were