Miscellanies upon Various Subjects
John Aubrey

Part 1 out of 3

This etext was produced by Michael Coker.






LIFE of Aubrey
Dedication to the First Edition
Day-Fatality; or, Some Observations of Days Lucky and Unlucky
Day-Fatality of Rome
Of Fatalities of Families and Places
Ostenta; or, Portents
Blows invisible
Transportation by an invisible Power
Visions in a Beryl or Crystal
Visions without a Glass or Crystal
Converse with Angels and Spirits
Corps-candles in Wales
Glances of Love and Malice
An accurate account of Second-Sighted men in Scotland
Additaments of Second-Sight
Farther Additaments


JOHN AUBREY, the subject of this brief notice, was born at Easton
Pierse, (Parish of Kington,) in Wiltshire, on the 12th of March, 1626;
and not on the 3rd of November in that year, as stated by some of his
biographers. He was the eldest son of Richard Aubrey, Esq. of
Burleton, Herefordshire, and Broad Chalk, Wiltshire. Being, according
to his own statement, "very weak, and like to dye," he was baptized
on the day of his birth, as appears by the Register of Kington. At an
early age (1633) he was sent to the Grammar School at Yatton Keynel,
and in the following year he was placed under the tuition of Mr.
Robert Latimer, the preceptor of Hobbes, a man then far advanced in

On the 2nd of May, 1642, being then sixteen years of age, Aubrey was
entered a gentleman commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, where he
appears to have applied himself closely to study. He however cherished
a strong predilection for English History and Antiquities, which was
fostered and encouraged at this time by the appearance of the
"Monasticon Anglicanum", to which he contributed a plate of Osney
Abbey, an ancient ruin near Oxford, entirely destroyed in the Civil

On the 16th of April, 1646, Aubrey was admitted a student of the
Middle Temple, but the death of his father shortly after, leaving him
heir to estates in Wiltshire, Surrey, Herefordshire, Brecknockshire
and Monmouthshire, obliged him to relinquish his studies and look to
his inheritance, which was involved in several law suits.

Though separated from his associates in the University, he appears to
have kept up a correspondence with several of them, and among others,
Anthony Wood, whom he furnished with much valuable information. Wood
made an ungrateful return for this assistance, and in his
Autobiography thus speaks of him:-"An. 1667, John Aubrey of Easton
Piers in the parish of Kingston, Saint Michael in Wiltshire, was in
Oxon. with Edward Forest, a Bookseller, living against Alls. Coll. to
buy books. He then saw lying on the stall Notitiae Academiae
Oxoniensis, and asking who the author of that book was ? he [Edw.
Forest] answered, the report was that one Mr. Anth. Wood, of Merton
College was the author, but was not. Whereupon Mr. Aubrey, a pretender
to Antiquities, having been contemporary to A. Wood's elder brother in
Trin. Coll. and well acquainted with him, he thought, that he might be
as well acquainted with A. W. himself, Whereupon repairing to his
lodgings, and telling him who he was, he got into his acquaintance,
talked to him about his studies, and offered him what assistance he
could make, in order to the completion of the work that he was in hand
with. Mr. Aubrey was then in sparkish garb, came to town with his man
and two horses, spent high, and flung out A. W. in all his recknings.
But his estate of 70011 per an. being afterwards sold and he reserving
nothing of it to himself, liv'd afterwards in very sorry condition,
and at length made shift to rub out by hanging on Edm. Wyld, Esq.,
living in Blomesbury near London, on James Carle of Abendon, whose
first wife was related to him, and on Sr Joh. Aubrey his kinsman,
living sometimes in Glamorganshire and sometimes at Borstall near
Brill in Bucks. He was a shiftless person, roving and magotie-headed,
and sometimes little better than crased. And being exceedingly
credulous, would stuff his many letters sent to A. W. with folliries
and misinformations, which would sometimes guid him into the paths of
errour." This example of bad English, and worse taste, was written
after twenty-five years acquaintance! In singular contrast to it, is a
letter of Aubrey to Wood, charging him, it is true, with an abuse of
confidence and detraction, but urging his complaint in terms which
sufficiently evince the kindly and affectionate nature of the writer.

Malone, in his " Historical Account of the English Stage," has done
Aubrey justice; and his remarks may properly find a place here. " That
the greater part of his (Aubrey's) life was devoted to literary
pursuits, is ascertained by the works which he has published, the
correspondence which he held with many eminent men, and the
collections which he left in manuscript and which are now reposited in
the Ashmolean Museum. Among these collections is a curious account of
our English Poets, and many other writers. While Wood was preparing
his Athenae Oxonienses, this manuscript was lent to him, as appears
from many queries in his handwriting in the margin; and his account of
Milton, with whom Aubrey was intimately acquainted, is (as has been
observed by Mr. Warton) literally transcribed from thence." After
alluding to the quarrel between Wood and Aubrey, he continues, "But
whatever Wood in a peevish humour may have said or thought of Mr.
Aubrey, by whose labours he has highly profited, or however
fantastical Aubrey may have been on the subject of chemistry and
ghosts, his character for veracity has never been impeached, and as a
very diligent Antiquary, his testimony is worthy of attention. Mr.
Toland, who was well acquainted with him, and certainly a better judge
of men than Wood, gives this character of him: 'Though he was
extremely superstitious, or seemed to be so, yet he was a very honest
man, and most accurate in his account of matter of fact. But the facts
he knew, not the reflections he made, were what I wanted.'"

Aubrey preserved, amidst all his troubles, an intimacy with the men of
Science and Letters of his day, and with them formed the nucleus of
the Royal Society. Some of the principal incidents of his life are
briefly detailed in the following autobiographical memoranda, entitled


Born at Easton-Piers, March 1625,6, about sun-rising; very weak and
like to Dye, & therefore christned that morning before Prayer. I think
I have heard my mother say I had an Ague shortly after I was born.

1629. About three or four years old I had a grievous ague, I can
remember it. I got not health till eleven or twelve, but had sickness
of Vomiting for 12 hours every fortnight for years, then it came
monthly for then quarterly & then half yearly, the last was in June
1642. This sickness nipt my strength in the bud.

1633. At eight years old I had an issue (naturall) in the coronall
sutor of my head, which continued running till 21.

1634. October, I had a violent fevor, it was like to have carried me
off 'twas the most dangerous sickness that ever I had,

1639. About 1639 or 1643 I had the measills, but that was nothing, I
was hardly sick. Monday after Easter week my Uncle's Nag ranne away
with me & gave me a very dangerous fall.

1642 May 3. Entered at Trinity College.

1643 April and May, the Small Pox at Oxon; after left that ingeniouse
place & for three years led a sad life in the Country.

1646. April - Admitted of the M. Temple, but my fathers sickness and
business never permitted me to make any settlement to my study.

1651. About the 16 or 18 of April I saw that incomparable good
conditioned gentlewoman Mrs M. Wiseman, with whom at first sight I was
in love.

1652. October the 21. my father died.

1655. (I think) June 14. I had a fall at Epsam & brake one of my
ribbes, and was afraid it might cause an apostumation.

1656. Sept. 1655 or rather I think 1656 I began my chargeable &
tedious lawe Suite on the Entaile in Brecknockshire and Monmouthshire.
This yeare and the last was a strange yeare to me. Several love and
lawe suites.

1656 - Decemb {Astrological sign for conjunction} morb.

1657. Novemb 27. obiit Dna Kasker Ryves with whom I was to marry, to
my great losse.

1659. March or April like to break my neck in Ely Minster; and the
next day, riding a gallop there my horse tumbled over and over, and
yet I thank God no hurt.

1660. July. Aug. I accompanied A. Ettrick into Ireland for a month &
returning were like to be shipwrecked at Holyhead but no hurt done.

1661, 1662, 1663. About these yeares I sold my Estate in
Herefordshire. Janu. I had the honour to be elected Fellow of the
R. S.

1664. June 11 landed at Calais, in August following had a terrible fit
of the spleen and piles at Orleans. I returned in October.

1664 or 1665. Munday after Christmas was in danger to be spoiled by my
horse; and the same day received lasio in testiculo, which was like to
have been fatal. 0. R. Wiseman quod - I believe 1664.

1665. November 1. I made my first address (in an ill hour) to
Joane Sumner.

1666. This yeare all my business and affairs ran kim kam, nothing
tooke effect, as if I had been under an ill tongue. Treacheries and
enmities in abundance against me.

1667. December --- Arrested in Chancery Lane at Mrs Sumner's suite.

Feb. 24 A.M. about 8 or 9 Triall with her at Sarum; Victory and #600
damaged; through devilish opposition against me.

1668. July 6. was arrested by Peter Gale's malicious contrivance the
day before I was to go to Winton for my second triall; but it did not
retard me above two hours, but did not then go to triall.

1669. March 5 was my triall at Winton from eight to nine. The Judge
being exceedingly made against me by my Lady Hungerford but four of
the { } appearing and much adoe got the moiety of Sarum: Verdict
in #300.

1669 and 1670 I sold all my Estate in Wilts. From 1670 to this very
day (I thank God) I have enjoyed a happy delitescency.

1671. Danger of Arrests.

1677. Latter end of June an impostume brake in my head.
Mdm. St John's night 1673 in danger of being run through with a sword
by a young templer at M. Burges' chamber in the M. Temple.

I was in danger of being killed by William Earl of Pembroke then Lord
Herbert at the election of Sir William Salkeld for New Sarum. I have
been in danger of being drowned twice.

The year that I lay at M. Neve's (for a short time) I was in great
danger of being killed by a drunkard in the Street of Grays Inn Gate
by a Gentleman whom I never saw before but (Deo gratias) one of his
companions hindred his thrust.

[1754 June 11. transcribed from a MS. in M. Aubrey's own handwriting
in the possession of Dr. R. Rawlinson.]

These incidents are so curiously narrated, and afford such interesting
glimpses of the times to which they refer, that it is to be regretted
they exist in so brief a form.

Several of Aubrey's biographers have given a very loose and
unsatisfactory account of him, and it was left for Mr. Britton to
prepare a more authentic Life of one who had laboured long and
zealously to preserve the records of the past. To that gentleman we
owe many particulars regarding the close of Aubrey's career; among
others, the entry of his burial at Oxford, in the church of St. Mary
Magdalene- "1697. John Aubery a stranger was Buryed Jun. 7th."

To Mr. Britton we are also indebted for the fact that Aubrey was never
married; the statement that he had been united to Joan Sumner, resting
on no surer foundation than the allusion to that lady in the
"Accidents" above quoted. He died intestate, and Letters of
Administration were granted on the 18th December, 1697, to his
surviving brother William. In that license he is described as "late
of Broad Chalk in the County of Wilts, Batchelor."






WHEN I enjoyed the contentment of Solitude in your pleasant walks and
gardens at Lavington the last summer, I reviewed several scattered
papers which had lain by me for several years; and then presumed to
think, that if they were put together, they might be somewhat
entertaining: I therefore digested them there in this order, in which
I now present them to your Lordship.

The matter of this collection is beyond human reach: we being
miserably in the dark, as to the economy of the invisible world, which
knows what we do, or incline to, and works upon our passions and
sometimes is so kind as to afford us a glimpse of its prescience.


It was my intention to have finished my Description of Wiltshire*
(half finished already) and to have dedicated it to your Lordship: but
my age is now too far spent for such undertakings: I have therefore
devolved that task on my country man, Mr. Thomas Tanner, - who hath
youth to go through with it, and a genius proper for such an

* In the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, - Afterwards Bishop of St. Asaph.

Wherefore, I humbly beseech your Lordship to accept of this small
offering, as a grateful memorial of the profound respect which I have
for you, who have for many years taken me into your favour and


May the blessed Angels be your careful guardians:
such are the prayers of

Your Lordship's Most obliged
And humble Servant,




LUC. xix. 43.
"In hoc die tuo": In this thy day.

That there be good and evil times, not only the sacred scriptures, but
prophane authors mention: see 1 Sam. 25, 8. Esther 8, 17. and 9, 19,
22. Ecclus. 14. 14.

The fourteenth day of the first month was a memorable and blessed day
amongst the children of Israel: see Exod. 12, 18, 40, 41, 42, 51.
Levit. 23, 5. Numb. 28, 16. Four hundred and thirty years being
expired of their dwelling in Egypt, even in the self same day departed
they thence.

A thing something parallel to this we read in the Roman histories:
that, that very day four years, that the civil wars were begun by
Pompey the father, Caesar made an end of them with his sons; Cneius
Pompeius being then slain, and it being also the last battle Caesar was
ever in. (Heylin in the kingdom of Corduba.) The calendar to Ovid's
Fastorum, says, "Aprilis erat mensis Grcecis auspicatisimus", a most
auspicious month among the Graecians.

As to evil days and times; see Amos 5, 13. and 6, 3. Eccles. 9, 12.
Psal. 37, 19. Obad. 12. Jer. 46, 21. And Job hints it, in cursing his
birthday. Cap. 3, v. 1,10, 11. See Weever, p.458.

Early in a morning
In an evil tyming,
Went they from Dunbar.

Horace, lib. 2. Ode 13. Cursing the tree that had like to have fallen
upon him, says, 'Ille nefasto te posuit die'; intimating that it was
planted in an unlucky day.

The Romans counted Feb. 13, an unlucky day, and therefore then never
attempted any business of importance; for on that day they were
overthrown at Allia by the Gauls; and the Fabii attacking the city of
the Veii, were all slain, save one. (Heylin, speaking of St. Peter's
patrimony.) And see the calendar annext to Ovid's "Fastorum", as to
the last circumstance.

The Jews accounted August 10, an unfortunate day; for on that day the
Temple was destroyed by Titus, the son of Vespasian; on which day also
the first Temple was consumed with fire by Nebuchadnezzar. (Heylin.)
The treasury of the times says the eighth of Loyon (August) the very
same day 679 years one after another.

And not only among the Romans and Jews, but also among Christians,
a like custom of observing such days is used, especially Childermas
or Innocent's day. Comines tells us, that Lewis XI. used not to debate
any matter, but accounted it a sign of great misfortune towards him,
if any man communed with him of his affairs; and would be very angry
with those about him, if they troubled him with any matter whatsoever
upon that day.

But I will descend to more particular instances of lucky and
unlucky days.

Upon the sixth of April, Alexander the Great was born. Upon the same
day he conquered Darius, won a great victory at sea, and died the
same day.

Neither was this day less fortunate to his father Philip; for on the
same day he took Potidea; Parmenio, his General, gave a great
overthrow to the Illyrians; and his horse was victor at the Olympic
Games. Therefore, his prophets foretold to him, "Filium cujus
natalis", &c. That a son whose birth-day was accompanied with three
victories, should prove invincible. "Pezelius in melificio historico".

Upon the thirtieth of September, Pompey the Great was born: upon that
day he triumphed for his Asian conquest, and on that day he died.

The nineteenth of August was the day of Augustus his adoption: on the
same day he began his consulship: he conquered the Triumviri, and on
the same day he died. Hitherto out of the memories of King Charles
I's. heroes.

If Solomon counts the day of one's death better than the day of one's
birth, there can be no objection why that also may not be reckoned
amongst one's remarkable and happy days. And therefore I will insert
here, that the eleventh of February was the noted day of Elizabeth,
wife to Henry VII. who was born and died that day. Weever, p. 476.
Brooke, in Henry VII. marriage. Stow, in Anno 1466, 1503.

As also that the twenty-third of November was the observable day of
Francis, Duke of Lunenburgh, who was born on that day, and died upon
the same, 1549, as says the French author of the Journal History, who
adds upon particular remark and observable curiosity.

"Ipsa dies vitam contulit, ipsa necem".

The same day life did give,
And made him cease to live.

Sir Kenelm Digby, that renowned knight, great linguist, and magazine
of arts, was born and died on the eleventh of June, and also fought
fortunately at Scanderoon the same day. Here his epitaph, composed
by Mr. Ferrar, and recited in the aforesaid Memoirs:

Under this stone the matchless Digby lies,
Digby the great, the valiant and the wise:
This age's wonder for his noble parts;
Skill'd in six tongues, and learn'd in all the arts.
Born on the day he died, th' eleventh of June,
On which he bravely fought at Scanderoon.
'Tis rare that one and self-same day should be
His day of birth, of death, of victory.

I had a maternal uncle, that died the third of March,1678, which was
the anniversary day of his birth; and (which is a truth exceeding
strange) many years ago he foretold the day of his death to be that of
his birth; and he also averred the same but about the week before his

The third of March is the day of St. Eutropius; and as to my uncle it
was significative; it turned well to him, according to that of
Rev. 14, 13. Blessed are the dead, &e. and that of Ovid Metam. lib. 3.

"---Dicique beatus",
"Ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.-----"

--None happy call
Before their death, and final funeral.

The sixth of January was five times auspicious to Charles, Duke of
Anjou. Ibid. in the life of the Earl of Sunderland.

The twenty-fourth of February was happy to Charles V. four times.
(Ibid.) Heylin, speaking of the Temple of Jerusalem, hints three of
these four; his birth, taking of Francis, King of France, prisoner;
his receiving the Imperial crown at Bononia. And so doth also the
Journal History before mentioned.

Of the family of the Trevors, six successive principal branches have
been born the sixth of July. Same memoirs.

Sir Humphrey Davenport was born the 7th of July; and on that day
anniversary, his father and mother died, within a quarter of an hour
one of another. Same memoirs.

I have seen an old Romish MSS. prayer-book, (and shewed the same to
that general scholar, and great astrologer, Elias Ashmole, Esq.;) at
the beginning whereof was a Calendar wherein were inserted the unlucky
days of each month, set out in verse. I will recite them just as they
are, sometimes infringing the rule of grammar, sometimes of Prosodia;
a matter of which the old monkish rhymers were no way scrupulous.
It was as ancient as Henry the sixth, or Edward the fourth's time.

January "Prima dies mensis, & septima truncat ut ensis".
February "Quarta subit mortem, prostemit tertia fortem."
March. "Primus mandentem, disrumpit quarto, bibentem".
April "Denus & undenus est mortis vulnere plenus".
May "Tertius occidit, & Septimus ora relidit".*
June "Denus pallescit, quindenus feeders nescit".
July. "Ter-decimus mactat, Julij denus labefactat."
August. "Prima necat fortem, prostemit secunda cohortem".
September "Tertia Septembris & denus fert mala membris".
October. "Tertius & denus est, sicut, mors alienus".
November. "Scorpius est quintus, & tertius e nece cinctus".
December. "Septimus exanguis, virosus denus & anguis".
* Ex re & ledo.

The tenth verse is intolerable, and might be mended thus.

"Tertia cum dena sit sicut mors aliena".

If any object and say, "Deni" is only the plural; I excuse my self by
that admirable chronogram upon King Charles the martyr.

"Ter deno, Jani, Lunae, Rex (Sole cadente)"
"Carolus euxtus Solio, Sceptroque, secure".

Neither will I have recourse for refuge to that old tetrastich,

"Intrat Avaloniam duodena Caterva virorum
"Flos Arimathioe Joseph, &c."

because I have even now blamed the liberty of the ancient rhymers. He
means by "Mors aliena", some strange kind of death; though "aliena",
signifies in quite another sense than there used.

I shall take particular notice here of the third of November, both
because 'tis my own birth day, and also for that I have observed some
remarkable accidents to have happened thereupon.

Constantius, the Emperor, son of Constantine the Great, little inferior
to his father, a worthy warrior, and good man, died the third of
November: "Ex veteri Calendario penes me".

Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, that great man, and famous
commander under Henry IV. V. and VI. Died this day, by a wound of a
cannon-shot he received at Orleans, E MSS. quodam, & Glovero.

So, also Cardinal Borromeo, famous for his sanctity of life, and
therefore canonized, (Heylin in his "Prcognita", says, he made Milan
memorable, by his residence there) died 1584, this day, as Possevinus
in his life.

Sir John Perrot, (Stow corruptly calls him Parrat) a man very
remarkable in his time, Lord Deputy of Ireland, son to Henry VIII. And
extremely like him, died in the tower, the third of November, 1592 (as
Stow says). Grief, and the fatality of. this day, killed him. See
Naunton's "Fragmenta Regalia", concerning this man.

Stow, in his Annals, says, Anno 1099, November 3, as well in Scotland
as England, the sea broke in, over the banks of many rivers, drowning
divers towns, and much people; with an innumerable number of oxen and
sheep, at which time the lands in Kent, sometimes belonging to Earl
Godwin, were covered with sands, and drowned, and to this day are
called Godwin's Sands.

I had an estate left me in Kent, of which between thirty and forty
acres was marsh-land, very conveniently flanking its up-land; and in
those days this marsh-land was usually let for four nobles an acre. My
father died, 1643. Within a year and half after his decease, such
charges and water-schots came upon this marsh-land, by the influence
of the sea, that it was never worth one farthing to me, but very often
eat into the rents of the up-land: so that I often think, this day
being my birth-day, hath the same influence upon me, that it had 580
years since upon Earl Godwin, and others concerned in low-lands.

The Parliament, so fatal to Rome's concerns here, in Henry VIII's.
time, began the third of November (26 of his reign;) in which the
Pope, with all his authority, was clean banished the realm; he no more
to be called otherwise than Bishop of Rome; the King to be taken and
reputed as supreme head of the church of England, having full
authority to reform all errors, heresies and abuses of the same: also
the first-fruits and tenths of all spiritual promotions and dignities
were granted to the King. See Stow's Annals, and Weever, page 80.

Not long after which, followed the visitation of abbies, priories, and
nunneries; and after that, their final suppression: this Parliament
being the door, or entrance thereto.

The third of November 1640, began that Parliament so direfully fatal
to England, in its peace, its wealth, its religion, its gentry, its
nobility; nay, its King. So verifying the former verse of the calendar.

"Scorpius est quintus, & tertius e nece cinctus, "

A killing day to some or other.

On the third of November 1703, was the remarkable storm.
The third of September was a remarkable day to the English Attila,
Oliver, 1650. He obtained a memorable victory at Dunbar; another at
Worcester, 1651, and that day he died, 1658.

The first two occurrences wonderfully accord to the preceding verses.

"Tertia Septembris, & denus fert mala membris."

Being fatal to the two members of great Britain, Scotland and England.
The third, as happy to them both, as the same day, 1666, was dismal
and unhappy to the city of London, and consequently to the whole
kingdom, with its immediate preceding and two succeeding days, viz.
the second, fourth, and fifth of September.

I come now to the days of the week.

Tuesday ("Dies Martis") was a most remarkable day with Thomas Becket,
Arch Bishop of Canterbury, as Weever, 201, observes from Mat. Paris:
"Mars Secundum Poetas, Deus Belli nuncupatur. Vita Sancti Thomae
(secundum illud Job, Vita hominis militia est super terram) tota fuit
contra hostem bellicosa, &c". The life of St. Thomas (according to
that of Job, the life of a man is a warfare upon earth) was a
continual conflict against the enemy. Upon a Tuesday he suffered; upon
Tuesday he was translated; upon Tuesday the Peers of the land sat
against him at Northampton; upon Tuesday he was banished; upon Tuesday
the Lord appeared to him at Pontiniac, saying, Thomas, Thomas, my
church shall be glorified in thy blood; upon Tuesday he returned from
exile, upon Tuesday he got the palm or reward of martyrdom; upon
Tuesday 1220, his venerable body received the glory and renown of
translation, fifty years after his passion. Thus my author.

One thing I make bold to gloss upon. His translation is here mentioned

Note, this is no tautology of the historian; but the latter paragraph
is a mere recitation of the first, viz. reference to the time when he
was translated into the number of Saints and Martyrs: "quando in
divorum numerum relatus", as Camden.

Wednesday is said to have been the fortunate day of Sixtus Quintus,
that Pope of renowned merit, that did so great and excellent things in
the time of his government. See the just weight of the scarlet robe,
(page 101, his desired praises.) On a Wednesday he was born; on that
day he was made Monk; on the same he was made General of his order;
on that also, was he successively created Cardinal, elected Pope, and
also inaugurated. See Heylin, speaking of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Friday was observed to be very fortunate to the great renowned Captain
Gonsalvo, he having on that day given the French many memorable
defeats. Saturday was a lucky day to Henry VII. upon that day he
atchieved the victory upon Richard III. being August 22, 1485. On that
day he entered the city, being August 29 (correct Stow, who mistakes
the day) and he himself always acknowledged, he had experienced it
fortunate. See Bacon in his Life.

Thursday was a fatal day to Henry VIII. (as Stow, 812); and so also to
his posterity. He died on Thursday, Jan. 28. King Edward VI. on
Thursday, July 6. Queen Mary on Thursday, November 17. Queen Elizabeth
on Thursday, March 24.

Saturday (or the Jewish Sabbath) was fatal to Jerusalem Temple; for on
that day it was taken by Pompey, Herod and Titus, successively.

Hitherto by way of prologue. And be pleased to take notice, as to the
days of the month, I have taken such care, that all are according to
the Julian or old account, used by us here in England. (See
Partridge's almanack, preface to the reader) Pope Gregory XIII.
brought in his new stile (generally used beyond sea) anno 1585, in
October, as asserts the Journal History before recited.

An old proverb.

When Easter falls in our lady's lap,
Then let England beware a rap.

Easter falls on March 25, when the Sunday letter is G, and the golden
number 5, 13, or 16. As in the late years, 1459,1638,1649.

1459, King Henry VI. was deposed and murdered.
1638, The Scottish troubles began, on which ensued the great
1648-9, King Charles I. murdered.

I think it will not happen so again till the year 1991.

Now for epilogue and remarkable reflection.

Turning over our annals, I chanced upon a two-fold circumstance: I
will not say, that none else hath observed the same; but I protest,
("Ita, me Deus amet, ut verum loquor") I do not know of any that have;
and therefore must justly claim to be acquitted from the least
suspicion of plagiarism, or plowing with others heifers.

The first is, of William the Conqueror. The second, of Edward III.
(I need not say any thing of the eminency of these two; every one
knows what great things they did.) And making reflection upon the
auspicious birth-day of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, I
adventured upon the following composure. (I cannot be proud of my
poetry; but I cannot but be glad of my Bon Heur, "d'avoir (en lisant)
tombe si fortuement sur les evenements d'un si Bon Jour".)

Ad Illustrissimum & Celsissimum Principem, Jacobum Ducem Eboracensem,
de Natali suo Auspicatissimo Octobris XIV. Anno 1633.

Anna nefasto te posuit die?" Hor. lib. 2. ode 13.

Oct. "Decimo quarto Normannus Haraldum
Dux superavit, & Hinc Regia sceptra tulit.
Tertius Edwardus, capto pernice Caleto,
(Gallica quo Regna sunt resarata sibi)
Ire domum tentans, diris turbinibus actus
In pelago, Vitae magna pericla subit."
Oct. Decimo quarto, tamen appulit Oras
Nativas. (His quam prosperus ille dies !)
Natali laetare tuo, guam Maxime Princeps;
Fausta velut sunt haec, Omnia semper habe."

October's fourteenth gave the Norman Duke
That victory, whence he Englands sceptre took.*
Third Edward, after he had Calais won,
(The mean whereby he France did over-run)
Returning home, by raging tempests tost,
(And near his life (so fortunes) to have lost)**
Arrived safe on shore the self-same date.
(This day to them afforded so fair fate.)
Great Duke, rejoice in this your day of birth;
And may such omens still encrease your mirth.

* Stow, in anno 1066.
** Stow, in anno 1347.

The Verses I presented in anno 1672, to a most honourable Peer of the
land, and of great place near his Royal Highness.

Since which time, old Fabian's chronicle coming into my hands, from
him I got knowledge, that that advantagious peace, mentioned by Stow,
anno 1360, (concluded between the forementioned King Edward III. And
the French King) was acted upon the fourteenth of October, with grand

The two former circumstances must needs fall out providentially:
whether this last of anno 1360, was designed by Edward III. or no, (as
remembering his former good hap) may be some question: I am of
opinion not. Where things are under a man's peculiar concern, he may
fix a time; but here was the French King concerned equally with the
English, and many other great personages interested. To have tied them
up to his own auspicious conceit of the day, had been an unkind
oppression, and would have brought the judgment of so wise a Prince
into question; we may conclude then, it was meerly fortuitous.
And therefore to the former observation concerning this famous Edward,
give me leave to add,

"Insuper hoc ipso die (sibi commoda) Grandis
Rex cum Galligenis, foedera fecit idem",

An advantageous peace, on day self-same,
This mighty Prince did with the Frenchmen frame.

A memorable peace (foretold by Nostradamus) much conducing to the
saving of Christian blood, was made upon the fourteenth of October
1557, between Pope Paul IV. Henry II. of France, and Philip II. of
Spain. Nostradamus says, these great Princes were "frappez du ciel",
moved from Heaven to make this peace. See Garencier's Comment on
Nostradamus, p. 76.

A lucky day this, not only to the Princes of England, but auspicious
to the welfare of Europe. John Gibbon, 1678.

Thus far Mr. John Gibbon. The Latin verses of the twelve months quoted
by him out of an old manuscript, I have seen in several mass-books;
and they are printed in the calendar to the works of the Venerable
Bede. 'Tis to be presumed, that they were grounded upon experience;
but we have no instances left us of the memorables of those days. As
for the third and tenth of September, I have here set down some
extractions from a little book called The Historian's Guide: or,
Britain's Remembrancer; which was carefully collected by a club. It
begins at the year 1600, and is continued to 1690. There cannot be
found in all the time aforesaid, the like instances.

"Tertia Septembris, & denus fere mala membris".

September 3,1641. The Parliament adjourned to the 20th of October
next, and the Irish rebellion broke out, where were 20,000 persons
barbarously murdered.

September 3, 1643. Biddeford, Appleford, and Barnstable surrendered to
the King.

September 3, 1650. Dunbar fight.

September 3, 1651. Worcester fight.

September 3, 1651. Earl of Derby defeated at Preston.

September 3,1654. A third Parliament at Westminster.

September 3, 1658. Oliver, Protector died.

September 3, 1675. The town of Northampton near burnt down to the
ground by accidental fire.

September 3, 1662. William Lenthal, Speaker of the House of Commons,

September 3, 4, 1665. Four Dutch men of war, two East-India ships, and
several merchant-men taken by the Earl of Sandwich, with the loss only
of the Hector.

September 2, 1644. The Earl of Essex fled to Plymouth, and the army
submitted to the King.

September 2, 1645. The Scots raised the siege from before Hereford.

September 2, 1653. The Londoners petition the Parliament to continue

September 2, 1685. The Lady Lisle beheaded at Winchester, for
harbouring Hicks, a rebel..

September 4, 1643. Exeter taken by Prince Maurice.

September 4, 1653. General Blake buried at Westminster.

September 5, 1652. The French fleet beaten by the English.

**Memorables on September the tenth.

September 10, 1643. The siege of Gloucester raised. I remember over
that gate which leads to Nymphs-field was this following inscription
in free-stone: the walls are now pulled down.

Always remember,
The tenth of September,
One thousand six hundred forty three,
And give God the glory.

September 10, 1645. Bristol surrendered to the Parliament.

September 10, 1649. Drogheda taken, as appears by Cromwell's letter to
the Speaker Lenthal.

September 10, 1660. Peace with Spain proclaimed.

September 10, 1670. Peace concluded between England and Spain in
America, was this day ratified at Madrid.

19 September 10, 1673. This day his majesty commanded the Earl of
Ossory to take the command of the fleet at the Buoy in the Nore, in
the absence of Prince Rupert.

September 12, 1679. The King takes from the Duke of Monmouth his
commission of General.

September 12, 1680. Mrs. Cellier tried at the Old Bailey, for
publishing a book called Malice Defeated, &c. and found guilty.

September 12, 1683. The siege of Vienna raised (after the besieged had
lost 10,000 men, and the besiegers 70,000) by the King of Poland, and
the Duke of Lorrain.

May 29, 1630. King Charles II. born.

May 29, 1660. Restored.

May 29, 1672. The fleet beaten by the Dutch.

May 29, 1679. A rebellion broke out in the west of Scotland, where
they proclaimed the covenant, and put forth a declaration.

The Emperor Charles V. was born on February 24, 1500.

He won the battle of Pavia, February 24, 1525.

Clement VII. crowned him Emperor, February 24, 1530.

Raphael d'Urbino (the famous painter) was born on Good-Friday, and
died on Good-Friday. At Feltwell in Norfolk (which lies east and west)
a fire happened to break out at the west end, which the west wind blew
and burned all the street: on that day twenty years, another fire
happened there, which began at the east end, and burned it to the
ground again. This I had from a reverend divine. Quaere de hoc.

Colonel Hugh Grove of Wiltshire, was beheaded at Exeter (together with
Colonel John Penruddock) on the ninth day of May 1655. On that very
day three years, his son and heir died at London of a malignant fever,
and about the same hour of the day.

A very good friend of mine and old acquaintance was born on the 15th
of November: his eldest son was born on the 15th of November, and his
second son's first son on the 15th of November.

At thee hour of prime, April 6, 1327, Petrarch first saw his mistress
Laura in the Church of Saint Clara in Avignon. In the same city, same
month, same hour, 1348, she died. 'Tis his own remark. Petrarcha
Redivivus, 242.

**Written by Mr. JOHN PELL, D.D. from whom I had it.

THEY that called the city of Rome, "Urbs AEterna", seemed to believe
that Rome could never be destroyed. But there have been great numbers
of men, that did verily believe, that it shall have an irrecoverable
over-throw. Writers have proceeded so far, as to foretell the time of
Rome's final ruin. Some said that Rome's perdition should happen in
the year of Christ 1670, they have now been decried nine whole years:
so that few take care to know what reasons moved them to pitch upon
that number.

A Lutheran historian, anno 1656, wrote thus, "Finem Jubileorum
Ecclesiasticorum omniumque temporum in Scriptura revelatorum, desinere
in Annum Christi Millesimum sexcentesimum & septuagesimum, antehac
observavit Beatus Gerhardus cum Philippo Nicolao". But all men are not
of Dr. Gerhard's opinion. Many men believe, that some of the
prophecies in the Revelations do reach far beyond our times, and that
the events of future times will unclasp and unseal a considerable
portion of the Apocalypse. One of the reasons, that recommended the
number of 1670, was because it is the sum of 410, and 1260.

Historians agree, that in the year of Christ 410, in the month of
August, Rome was trampled under foot, and her heathen inhabitants were
miserably slaughtered by the victorious army of Alaric, a Christian
King of the Goths. Paulus Diaconus saith, August the 24th was the day
of King Alaric's taking Rome. Kedrenus saith, it was August the 26th,
perhaps the army first entered the 24th, and the King followed not
till two days after.

As for the other number 1260. It is twice found
in the Revelations of St. John, ch. 11, 3. "My two witnesses shall
prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days." And chap. 12, 6. "
Should feed the woman in the Wilderness, a thousand two hundred and
threescore days. "And it is there expressed in another form, (42 times
30) chap. 11, 2. "The Gentiles shall tread the holy city under foot
forty and two months." Chap. 13, 5. "Power was given to the
blasphemous beast to continue forty and two months." Chap. 12, 14.
"The woman is nourished in the Wilderness for ({Greek text: Kairon kai
kaironos kai hemisu kairon}) a season and seasons, and half a season."
See Act. 1, 7. 360 and 720, and 180 are equal to 1260. So it seems
every {Greek text: kaipo} hath 360 days, or twelve months at thirty
days to a month. No doubt Daniel had given occasion to this
expression, chap. 7, 25. " A time, and times, and the dividing of
time." No man can ground any distinct reasoning upon such general
words. But yet it is not tied to a just number of days, (as 360) but
is capable of various interpretations in several prophecies. Daniel
useth a plural in both places, and not a dual, (two times and two
seasons) nor doth John say, two seasons: but by his Numeral
Illustration, he teaches us to understand him, as if he had said,
(chap. 12, 14). " For three seasons and half a season:" I say Numeral
Illustration. For I take it to be no other than an easy example (12
and 24 and 6 are 42) to direct the sons of the prophets not yet
arrived to the skill of dealing with difficult supputations of numbers
not then discoverable. As Revel. 13, 18. "Here is wisdom, let him that
hath understanding count the number of the beast."

By 1260 days, almost all the interpreters understand so many years,
but not a year of 360 days; because they find no nation that hath so
short a year. The Egyptians had a year of just 365 days; but before
St. John was born, the Romans had forced them to allow 365 1/4 as
we use now in England.

In an enquiry concerning Rome, it is fit to consider the
length of a Roman year. (I may justly say a Roman-Moyed; for no city
ever had their year's length and form of a calendar determined,
settled, and commanded with so much absolute authority as Rome had)
Julius Caesar by an edict commanded that number of 365 1/4
to be observed, and therefore it is called a Julian year. Three
Julians and an half have days 1278 3/8, but Julian years 1378 3/8
are 1278 Julian years, and days 136 31/32; or almost 137 days.

Almost 100 years ago, Pope Gregory the XIII by a papal bull introduced
a calendar wherein the year's length is supposed to have days 365
97/500 Then three Gregorian years and an half have days 1278 279/800
But Gregorian years 1278 279/800 are 1278 Julian years, and days
almost 118. Wherefore instead of adding 1260, add 1278, add 137 days
to the year of our Lord 410, August 26. The sum shews the year of our
Lord 1688, August 163, that is, ten days after the end of December
1688 old stile. This is the utmost, or farthest day, beyond which no
Apocalypse account (reckoning from Alaric) can point out a time for
the final destruction of the city of Rome.

Again (instead of adding 1260) add 1278 years, and days 118 to the
year of our Lord 410, August 24. The sum shews the year of our Lord
1688, August 142, that is, eleven days before the end of December 1688
old stile. This (December 20) is the nearest or soonest day that can
be gathered by Apocalyptic account (reckoning from Alaric) to point
out the time of Rome's final ruin. But if it happens not before the
eleventh of January, men will make no more reckoning of Alaric; but
begin a new account from Attila, in the year of Christ, 453.

Calculation to a day (when we can do it) may be defended by a great
example. Exod. 12, 41. "At the end of 430 years, even the self-same
day, &c." John Pell.

Dr. Pell told me, that St. Augustin writes
somewhere, to this purpose, viz. "That it were to be wished, that
some skilful mathematician would take the pains to examine and
consider the mathematical parts of the holy scripture."


THE Lord Chancellor Bacon says,* " As for nobility in particular
persons, it is a reverend thing to see an antient castle or building
not in decay: or to see a fair timber tree sound and perfect; how much
more to behold an antient noble family, which hath stood against the
waves and weathers of time: for new nobility is but the act of power;
but antient nobility is the act of time."

*Essay XIV. of Nobility.

But "Omnium rerum est vicissitudo": families and places have their
fatalities, according to that of Ovid.

"Fors sua cuique loco est". Fast. lib. 4.

This piece of a verse puts me in mind of several places in Wiltshire,
and elsewhere, that are, or have been fortunate to their owners: and
e contra.

Stourton, (the seat of the Lord Stourton) was belonging to this family
before the conquest. They say, that after the victory at Battaile,
William the Conqueror came in person into the west, to receive their
rendition; that the Lord Abbot of Glastonbury, and the rest of the
Lords and Grandees of the western parts waited upon the Conqueror at
Stourton-house; where the family continue to this day.

The honourable family of the Hungerfords, is probably of as great
antiquity as any in the county of Wilts. Hungerford, (the place of the
barony) was sold but lately by Sir Edward Hungerford, Knight of the
Bath; as also the noble and ancient seat of Farleigh-Castle, about
anno 167-. But that this estate should so long continue is not very
strange; for it being so vast, 'twas able to make several
withstandings against the shock of fortune.

The family of Gawen, have been long at Norington, in the parish of
Alvideston in Wiltshire. It was sold by --- Gawen, Esq. to Sir Wadham
Wyndham, one of the Judges of the King's Bench, about 1665. They
continued in this place four hundred fifty and odd years. Then also
was sold their estate in Broad-Chalk, which they had as long, or
perhaps longer. On the south down of the farm of Broad-Chalk, is a
little barrow, called Gawen's Barrow (which must be before
ecclesiastical canons were constituted; for since, burials are only
in consecrated ground). King Edgar gave the manor and farm of Broad-
Chalk to the nuns of Wilton-Abby, which is 900 years ago.

Mr. Thynne, in his explanation of the hard words in Chaucer, writes
thus, Gawen, fol. 23, p. 1. This Gawyn was sisters son to Arthur the
Great, King of the Britains, a famous man in war, and in all manner
of civility; as in the acts of the Britains we may read. In the year
1082, in a province of Wales, called Rose, was his sepulchre found.
Chaucer, in the Squire's Tale.

This straunger night that came thus sodenly
All armed, save his head, full royally
Salued the King, and Queen, and Lordes all
By order as they sitten in the Hall
With so high Reverence and Obeisaunce
As well in Speech as in Countenaunce,
That Gawain with his old Courtesie,
Though he came again out of Fairie,
He could him not amend of no word.

Sir William Button of Tockenham, Baronet, (the father) told me that
his ancestors had the lease of Alton-farm (400. per annum) in Wilts,
(which anciently belonged to Hyde-Abby juxta Winton) four hundred
years. Sir William's lease expired about 1652, and so fell into the
hands of the Earl of Pembroke.

Clavel, of Smedmore, in the Isle of Purbec, in the county of Dorset,
was in that place before the conquest, as appears by Dooms-day book.
The like is said of Hampden, of Hampden in Bucks: their pedigree says,
that one of that family had the conduct of that county in two
invasions of the Danes. Also Pen of Pen, in that county, was before
the conquest, as by Dooms-day book.

Contrariwise, there are several places unlucky to their possessors,
e. g. Charter-house, on Mendip in Somersetshire, never passed yet to
the third generation. The manor of Butleigh near Glastonbury, never
went yet to the third generation.

Bletchington, in Oxfordshire, continued in the family of the Panures,
for about 300 years: it was alienated by --- Panure, to Sir John
Lenthal, about the year 1630, who sold it again to Sir Thomas Coghill,
about 1635. He sold it to William Lewis, Esq. whose relict made it
over to the Duke of Richmond and Lenox, about the year 166-. His Grace
sold it to Arthur, Earl of Anglesey, about the year 166-.

Fatality of proper names of Princes, e. g. Augustus, the first Roman
Emperor, and Augustulus the last. Constantine, the first Grecian
Emperor, and Constantine the last. The like is observed of the first
and last Mexican Emperors. And the Turks have a prophesy that the last
Emperor will be a Mahomet.

John hath been an unfortunate name to Kings. All the second Kings
since the conquest have been unfortunate.

London-Derry was the first town in Ireland that declared for the
Parliament against King Charles I. and for the Prince of Orange
against King James II. It was closely besieged both times without
effect. The King's party were once masters of all the kingdom, except
London-Derry and Dublin, and King James had all in his power but
London-Derry and Inniskilling. One Taylor, a minister, was as famous
for his martial feats in the first siege, as Walker in the last.

'Tis certain, that there are some houses unlucky to their inhabitants,
which the reverend and pious Dr. Nepier could acknowledge. See Tobit,
chap. 3, v. 8. "That she had been married to seven husbands, whom
Asmodasus, the evil spirit, had killed, before they had lain with her."

The Fleece-tavern, in Covent-garden, (in York-street) was very
unfortunate for Homicides:* there have been several killed, three in
my time. It is now (1692) a private house.

"Clifton the master of the house, hanged himself, having perjured
himself." MS. Note in a copy of the Miscellanies in the Library of the
Royal Society.

A handsome brick house on the south side of Clerkenwell church-yard
had been so unlucky for at least forty years, that it was seldom
tenanted; and at last, no body would adventure to take it. Also a
handsome house in Holborn, that looked towards the fields; the tenants
of it did not prosper, several, about six.

At the sign of--- over against Northumberland house, near Charing-
Cross, died the Lady Baynton, (eldest daughter of Sir John Danvers of
Dansey.) Some years after in the same house, died my Lady Hobbey (her
sister) of the small-pox, and about twenty years after, died their
nephew Henry Danvers, Esq. of the small-pox, aged twenty-one, wanting
two weeks. He was nephew and heir to the Right Honourable Henry
Danvers, Earl of Danby.

Edmund Wild, Esq. hath had more Deodands from his manor of Totham in
Essex, than from all his estate besides: two mischiefs happened in
one ground there. Disinheriting the eldest son is forbid in the holy
scripture, and estates disinherited are observed to be unfortunate;
of which one might make a large catalogue. See Dr. Saunderson's
Sermon, where he discourses of this subject.

**Periodical Small-Poxes.

The small-pox is usually in all great towns:* but it is observed at
Taunton in Somersetshire, and at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, that at one
of them at every seventh year, and at the other at every ninth year
comes a small-pox, which the physicians cannot master, e. g.

* This account, I had from Mr. Thomas Ax.

Small-pox in Sherborne ** during the year 1626.

And during the year 1634.

>From Michaelmas 1642, to Mich. 1643.

>From Michaelmas 1649, to Mich. 1650.

>From Michaelmas 1657, to Midi. 1658.

In the year 1667, from Jan. to Sept. 1667.

Mr. Ax promised me to enquire the years it happened there after
1670, and 1680; but death prevented him.

** Extracted out of the register-book.

Small-pox in Taunton all the year 1658.*

Likewise in the year 1670.

Again in the year 1677.

Again very mortal in the year 1684.

* Out of the register-book.

Mr. Ax also promised me to enquire at Taunton the years it happened
there after 1660.

It were to be wished that more such observations were made in other
great towns.

Platerus makes the like observations in the second book of his
Practice, p. 323. He practised at Basil, fifty six years, and did
observe, that every tenth year they died of the plague there.

See Captain J. Graunt's observations on the bills of mortality at
London, (indeed written by Sir William Petty, which in a late
transaction he confessed) for the periodical plagues at London, which
(as I remember) are every twenty-fifth year.


"HOW it comes to pass, I know not;* but by ancient and modern example
it is evident, that no great accident befalls a city or province, but
it is presaged by divination, or prodigy, or astrology, or some way or
other. I shall here set down a few instances."

* Discourses of Nicholas Machiavel, book 1. Chap 56.

A Rainbow appeared about the sun before the battle of Pharsalia. See.
Appian, and Mr. T. May's 5th book of his Continuation of Lucan.

" Ex Chronico Saxonico, p. 112, Anno 1104, fuit primus Pentecostes
dies Nonis Junii, & die Martis sequnte, conjuncti sunt quatuor Circuli
circa Solem, aibi coloris, & quisque sub alio collocatus, quasi picti
essent. Omnes qui videbant obstupuerunt, propterea quod nunquam ante
tales meminerant. Post haec facta est Pax inter Comitem, Robertum de
Normannia, & Robertum de Boeloesme i, e."

In the year 1104, on the first day of Pentecost, the sixth of June,
and on the day following being Tuesday, four circles of a white
colour, were seen to roll in conjunction round the sun, each under the
other regularly placed, as if they had been drawn by the hand of a
painter. All who beheld it were struck with astonishment, because they
could not learn that any such spectacles had ever happened in the
memory of man. After these things it is remarkable, that a peace was
immediately set on foot, and concluded between Robert, Earl of
Normandy, and Robert de Baelaesme.

The Duke of York (afterwards Edward IV.) met with his enemies near to
Mortimer's Cross, on Candlemas day in the morning, at which time the
Sun (as some write) appeared to him like three Suns, and suddenly
joined altogether in one, and that upon the sight thereof, he took
such courage, that he fiercely set on his enemies, and them shortly
discomfited: for which cause, men imagined that he gave Sun in his
full brightness for his cognisance or badge. Halle, F. 183, b. 4.

Our Chronicles tell us, that Anno Secundo Reginae Mariae, 15th of
February, two suns appeared, and a rainbow reversed: see the bow
turned downwards, and the two ends standing upwards, before the
coining in of King Philip.

The phaenomenon, fig. 1, was seen at Broad-Chalk in Wiltshire, on the
first day of May, 1647. It continued from about eleven o'clock
(or before) till twelve. It was a very clear day; but few did take
notice of it, because it was so near the sun-beams. My mother happened
to espy it, going to see what o'clock it was by an horizontal dial;
and then all the servants saw it. Upon the like occasion, Mr. J.
Sloper, B.D. vicar there, saw it, and all his family; and the servants
of Sir George Vaughan, (then of Falston) who were hunting on the downs,
saw it. The circles were of rainbow colour; the two filots, which cross
the greater circle, (I presume they were segments of a third circle)
were of a pale colour. The sun was within the intersections of the

The next remarkable thing that followed was, that on the third of June
following;* Cornet Joyce carried King Charles I. prisoner from
Holdenby to the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight lieth directly from
Broad-Chalk, at the 10 o'clock point.

* See Sir W. Dugdale's hist. of the Civil Wars.

The phaenomenon, fig. 2, was seen in the north side of the church-yard
of Bishop-Lavington in Wiltshire, about the latter end of September
1688, about three o'clock in the afternoon. This was more than a
semicircle. B. B. two balls of light. They were about eleven degrees
above the Horizon by the quadrant; observed by Mr. Robert Blea, one of
the Earl of Abingdon's gentlemen.

Cicero de Natura Deorum, lib. 2. "Multa praeterea Ostentis, multa ex
eis admonemur, multisque rebus aliis, quas diuturnus usus ita notarit,
ut artem Divinationis efficeret". i. e.

Besides, we learn a world of things from these Portents and Prodigies,
and many are the warnings and admonitions we receive from them, and
not only from them indeed, but from a number of extraordinary
accidents, upon which daily use and constant observation has fixed
such marks, that from thence the whole art of divination has been


BEFORE the battle at Philippi began, two eagles fought in the air
between the two armies: both the armies stood still and beheld them,
and the army was beaten that was under the vanquished eagle.
See Appian's Hist. part 2, lib. 4, g. 2.

It is worthy of notice, that, at the time the cities of Jerusalem and
Antioch were taken from the Pagans, the Pope that then was, was called
Urban, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem was called Eraclius, and the
Roman Emperor was called Frederick; in like manner when Jerusalem was
taken from the Christians by the siege of Saladin, the Pope was called
Urban; the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Eraclius; and the Emperor,
Frederick: and it is remarkable, that fourscore and seven years
passed between these two events. Hoveden, f. 363.

Mathew Parker, seventieth Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, in the seventieth
year of his age, feasted Queen Elizabeth on her birth day, 1559, in
his palace at Canterbury. Parker. Vitae, 556.

It is a matter of notable consideration, says a Spanish historian,
that the royal throne of the Morish Kings of Granada, began and ended
in the times of the Fernandos of Castille: beginning in the time of
Saint Fernando, the third of that name, and ending in that of the
Catholic King, Don Fernando the fifth, his successor in the ninth
descent. In the same manner, it is observable that the first Morish
King was called Mahomad, and the last had the same name of Mahomad:
which resembles what passed in the empire of Constantinople, where the
first and last Emperors were called Constantines.
Garibay, 1. 40, c. 43.

The same author mentions it as an extraordinary circumstance that, at
one time lived in Castille, Arragon, and Portugal, three Kings called
Pedros, and whose fathers were named Alonsos, who were also Kings at
the same time. L. 14, c. 35.

While Edward, Duke of York,* was declaring his title, in the Chamber
of the Peers, there happened a strange chance, in the very same time,
amongst the Commons in the nether house, then there assembled: for a
Crown, which did hang in the middle of the same, to garnish a branch
to set lights upon, without touch of any creature, or rigor of wind,
suddenly fell down, and at the same time also, fell down the Crown,
which stood on the top of the Castle of Dover: as a sign and
prognostication, that the Crown of the realm should be divided and
changed from one line to another. Halle's Chronicle, H. 6. F. 181.

* Father of Edward IV.

Anno 1506. Through great tempest of wind in January, Philip, King of
Castille and his wife, were weather-driven and landed at Falmouth.
This tempest blew down the Eagle of Brass from the spire of St. Paul's
church in London, and in the falling, the same eagle broke and
battered the black Eagle* which hung for a sign in St. Paul's Church-
yard. Stow's Annals, 484.

* The black Eagle is the cognizance of the house of Austria,
of which Philip was head.

The silver cross that was wont to be carried before Cardinal Wolsey,
fell out of its socket, and was like to have knocked out the brains of
one of the Bishop's servants. A very little while after, came in a
messenger, and arrested the Cardinal, before he could get out of the
house. See Stow's Chronicle.

'Tis commonly reported, that before an heir of the Cliftons, of
Clifton in Nottinghamshire, dies, that a Sturgeon is taken in the
river Trent, by that place.

Thomas Flud, Esq. in Kent, told me that it is an old observation which
was pressed earnestly to King James I. that he should not remove the
Queen of Scots body from Northamptonshire, where she was beheaded and
interred: for that it always bodes ill to the family when bodies are
removed from their graves. For some of the family will die shortly
after, as did Prince Henry, and I think Queen Ann.

A little before the death of Oliver, the Protector, a Whale came into
the river Thames, and was taken at Greenwich, --- feet long. 'Tis said
Oliver was troubled at it.

When I was a freshman at Oxford, 1642, I was wont to go to Christ
Church, to see King Charles I. at supper; where I once heard him say,
" That as he was hawking in Scotland, he rode into the quarry, and
found the covey of partridges falling upon the hawk; and I do remember
this expression further, viz. and I will swear upon the book 'tis
true." When I came to my chamber, I told this story to my tutor; said
he, that covey was London.

The bust of King Charles I. carved by Bernini, as it was brought in a
boat upon the Thames, a strange bird (the like whereof the bargemen
had never seen) dropped a drop of blood, or blood-like, upon it; which
left a stain not to be wiped off. This bust was carved from a picture
of Sir Anthony Van Dyke's drawing: the sculptor found great fault with
the fore-head as most unfortunate. There was a seam in the middle of
his fore-head, (downwards) which is a very ill sign in Metoposcopie.

Colenel Sharington Talbot was at Nottingham, when King Charles I. did
set up his standard upon the top of the tower there. He told me, that
the first night, the wind blew it so, that it hung down almost
horizontal; which some did take to be an ill omen.

The day that the long Parliament began, 1641, the Sceptre fell out of
the figure of King Charles in wood, in Sir Thomas Trenchard's hall at
Wullich, in Dorset, as they were at dinner in the parlour: Justice
Hunt then dined there.

The picture of Arch-Bishop Laud, in his closet, fell down (the string
broke) the day of the sitting of that Parliament. This is mentioned in
Canterbury's doom by W. Prynne.

The psalms for the eleventh day of the month, are 56, 57, 58, &c. On
the eleventh day of one of the months in the summer time, the citizens
came tumultuously in great numbers in boats and barges over against
Whitehall, to shew they would take the Parliament's part. The psalms
aforesaid, both for morning and evening service, are as prophecies of
the troubles that did ensue.

When the high court of justice was voted in the parliament house, as
Berkenhead (the mace bearer) took up the mace to carry it before the
Speaker, the top of the mace fell off. This was avowed to me by an eye
witness then in the house.

The head of King Charles I's. staff did fall off at his trial: that is
commonly known.

The second lesson for the 30th of January in the calendar before the
common prayer, is concerning the trial of Christ: which, when Bishop
Duppa read, the King was displeased with him, thinking he had done it
of choice; but the Bishop cleared himself by the calendar, as is to be

King Charles II. was crowned at the very conjunction of the sun and
Mercury; Mercury being then in "Corde Solis". As the King was at
dinner in Westminster Hall, it thundered and lightened extremely. The
cannons and the thunder played together.

King Charles II. went by long sea to Portsmouth or Plymouth, or both;
an extraordinary storm arose, which carried him almost to France. Sir
Jonas Moor (who was then with his Majesty) gave me this account, and
said, that when they came to Portsmouth to refresh themselves, they
had not been there above half an hour, but the weather was calm, and
the sun shone: his Majesty put to sea again, and in a little time
they had the like tempestuous weather as before.

Not long before the death of King Charles II. a Sparrow-hawk escaped
from the perch, and pitched on one of the iron crowns of the white
tower, and entangling its string in the crown, hung by the heels and
died. Not long after, another hawk pitched on one of the crowns. From
Sir Edward Sherborne, Knight.

The Gloucester frigate cast away at the Lemanore, and most of the men
in it; the Duke of York escaping in a cock boat, anno 1682, May the
5th, on a Friday.

When King James II. was crowned, (according to the ancient custom, the
Peers go to the throne, and kiss the king) the Crown was almost kissed
off his head. An Earl did set it right; and as he came from the Abbey
to Westminster Hall, the Crown tottered extremely.

The canopy (of cloth of gold) carried over the head of King James II.
by the Wardens of the Cinque Ports, was torn by a puff of wind as he
came to Westminster Hull; it hung down very lamentably: I saw it.

When King James II. was crowned, a signal was given from Westminster
Abbey to the Tower, where it was Sir Edward Sherborne's post to stand
to give order for firing the cannons, and to hoist up the great flag
with the King's arms. It was a windy day, and the wind presently took
the flag half off, and carried it away into the Thames. From Sir
Edward Sherborne.

The top of his sceptre (Flower de Lys) did then fall.

Upon Saint Mark's Day, after the coronation of King James II. were
prepared stately fire works on the Thames: it hapened, that they took
fire all together, and it was so dreadful, that several spectators
leaped into the river, choosing rather to be drowned than burned. In a
yard by the Thames, was my Lord Powys's coach and horses; the horses
were so frightened by the fire works, that the coachman was not able
to stop them, but ran away over one, who with great difficulty

When King James II. was at Salisbury, anno 1688, the Iron Crown upon
the turret of the council house, was blown off.- This has often been
confidently asserted by persons who were then living.

In February, March, and April, two ravens built their nests on the
weather cock of the high steeple at Bakewell in Derbyshire.

I did see Mr. Christopher Love beheaded on Tower Hill, in a delicate
clear day about half an hour after his head was struck off, the
clouds gathered blacker and blacker; and such terrible claps of
thunder came that I never heard greater.

'Tis reported, that the like happened after the execution of Alderman
Cornish, in Cheapside, October 23, 1685.

Anno 1643. As Major John Morgan of Wells, was marching with the King's
army into the west, he fell sick of a malignant fever at Salisbury,
and was brought dangerously ill to my father's at Broad-Chalk, where
he was lodged secretly in a garret. There came a sparrow to the
chamber window, which pecked the lead of a certain pannel only, and
only one side of the lead of the lozenge, and made one small hole in
it. He continued this pecking and biting the lead, during the whole
time of his sickness; (which was not less than a month) when the major
went away, the sparrow desisted, and came thither no more. Two of the
servants that attended the Major, and sober persons, declared this for
a certainty.

Sir Walter Long's (of Draycot in Wilts) widow, did make a solemn
promise to him on his death-bed, that she would not marry after his
decease, but not long after, one Sir --- Fox, a very beautiful young
gentleman, did win her love; so that notwithstanding her promise
aforesaid, she married him: she married at South-Wraxhall, where the
picture of Sir Walter hung over the parlour door, as it doth now at
Draycot. As Sir --Fox led his bride by the hand from the church,
(which is near to the house) into the parlour, the string of the
picture broke, and the picture fell on her shoulder, and cracked in
the fall. (It was painted on wood, as the fashion was in those days.)
This made her ladyship reflect on her promise, and drew some tears
from her eyes.*

*This story may be true in all its details, except the name of the
lady, who was a daughter of Sir W. Long; she married Somerset Fox,
Esq. See Sandford's Geneal. Hist, of the Kings of England, p. 344.

See Sir Walter Raleigh's history, book 4, chap. 2, sec. 7. The dogs of
the French army, the night before the battle of Novara, ran all to the
Swisses army: the next day, the Swisses obtained a glorious victory
of the French. Sir Walter Raleigh affirms it to be certainly true.

The last battle fought in the north of Ireland, between the
Protestants and the Papists, was in Glinsuly near Letterkenny in the
county of Donegall. Veneras, the Bishop of Clogher, was General of the
Irish army; and that of the Parliament army, Sir Charles Coot. They
pitched their tents on each side the river Suly, and the Papists
constantly persist in it to this very day, that the night before the
action,* a woman of uncommon stature, all in white, appearing to the
said Bishop, admonished him not to cross the river first, to assault
the enemy, but suffer them to do it, whereby he should obtain the
victory. That if the Irish took the water first to move towards the
English, they should be put to a total rout, which came to pass.
Ocahan, and Sir Henry O'Neal, who were both killed there, saw
severally the same apparition, and dissuaded the Bishop from giving
the first onset, but could not prevail upon him. In the mean time, I
find nothing in this revelation, that any common soldier might not
conclude without extraordinary means.

*So an apparition of a woman greater than ordinary, beckoned to
Julius Caesar to pass over the Rubicon, L. Flor. lib. 4. Satyres
appeared to Alexander when he besieged Tyrus; Alexander asked the
divines, what was the signification of it; they told him the meaning
is plain, {Greek Text: Sa Turos} (i.e.) Tyre is thine. Alexander took
the town. Q. Curtius.

Near the same place, a party of the Protestants had been surprized
sleeping by the Popish Irish, were it not for several wrens that just
wakened them by dancing and pecking on the drums as the enemy were
approaching. For this reason the wild Irish mortally hate these birds,
to this day, calling them the Devil's servants, and killing them
wherever they catch them; they teach their Children to thrust them
full of thorns: you will see sometimes on holidays, a whole parish
running like mad men from hedge to hedge a wren-hunting.

Anno 1679. After the discovery of the Popish plot, the penal laws were
put in execution against the Roman Catholics; so that, if they did not
receive the sacrament according to the church of England, in their
parish church, they were to be severely proceeded against according to
law: Mr. Ployden, to avoid the penalty, went to his parish church at
Lasham, near Alton, in Hampshire: when Mr. Laurence (the minister)
had put the chalice into Mr. Ployden's hand, the cup of it (wherein
the wine was) fell off. 'Tis true, it was out of order before; and he
had a tremor in his hand. The communion was stopt by this accident.
This was attested to me by two neighbouring ministers, as also
by several gentlemen of the neighbourhood.

When King James II. first entered Dublin, after his arrival from
France, 1689, one of the gentlemen that bore the mace before him,
stumbled without any rub in his way, or other visible occasion. The
mace fell out of his hands, and the little cross upon the crown
thereof stuck fast between two stones in the street. This is very well
known all over Ireland, and did much trouble King James himself, with
many of his chief attendants.

The first Moors that were expelled Spain, were in number five thousand
five hundred and fifty-five. They sailed from Denia, October 2, 1609.
H. Bleda. "Expulsion de Moriscos", p. 1000.


{Greek Text: --'Onar kai Dios esi}. Homer Iliad A.


HE that has a mind to read of dreams, may peruse Cicero "de
Divinatione", Hier. Cardani "Somniorum Synesiorum", lib. 4, and
Moldinarius "de Insomniis", &c. I shall here mention but little out of
them, my purpose being chiefly to set down some remarkable and divine
dreams of some that I have had the honour to be intimately acquainted
with, persons worthy of belief.

Cicero "de Divinatione", lib. 1. "Hannibalem, Caslius scribit, cum
Columnam auream, quae esset in fano Junonis Laciniae, auferre vellet,
dubitaretque utrum ea solida esset, an extrinsecus inaurata,
perterebravisse; cumque solidam invenisset, statuissetque tollere:
secundum quietem visam esse ei Junonem praedicere, ne id faceret;
minarique, si id fecisset se curaturam, ut eum quoque oculum, quo bene
videret, amitteret; idque ab homine acuto non esse neglectum; itaque
ex eo auro quod exterebratum esset, buculam curasse faciendum, & eam
in summa columna collocavisse."

i. e.

Coelius writes, that Hannibal, when he had a mighty mind to take away a
gold pillar, that was in the Temple of Juno Lacinia, being in doubt
with himself, whether it was solid massive gold, or only gilt, or
thinly plated over on the out side, bored it through. When he had
found it to be solid, and fully designed to have it carried off; Juno
appeared to him in his sleep, and forewarned him against what he was
about, threatening him withal, that if he persisted and did it, she
would take care that he should lose the eye, that he saw perfectly
well with, as he had done the other.

The great man, it seems, was too wise to slight and neglect this
warning; nay, he even took care to have a ring made of the very gold,
that had been bored out of it, and placed it on the top of the pillar.

"--- Cum duo quidam Arcades familiares iter una, facerent, & Megaram
venissent, alterum ad cauponem divertisse; ad hospitem alterum. Qui,
ut coenati quiescerent, concubia nocte visum esse in somnis ei qui erat
in hospitio, ilium alterum orare ut subveniret, quod sibi a caupone
interitus pararetur; eum primo perterritum somnio surrexisse; deinde
cum se colligisset, idque visum pro nihilo habendum esse duxisset,
recubuisse; tum, ei dormienti eundem ilium visum esse rogare, ut
quoniam sibi vivo non subvenisset, mortem suam ne inultam esse
pateretur; se interfectum in plaustrum a caupone esse conjectum, &
supra stercus injectum; petere, ut mani ad portum adesset, priusquam
plaustrum ex oppido exiret. Hoc vero somnio commotum mano bubulco
presto ad portam fuisse, quaesisse ex eo, quid esset in plaustro;
ilium perterritum fugisse, mortuum erutum esse, cauponem re patefacta
poenas dedisse. Quid hoc somnio dici divinius potest ?" i. e.

As two certain Arcadians, intimate companions, were travelling
together, it so happened, that, when they came to Megara, one of them
went to an inn, and the other to a friend's house. Both had supped at
their respective places, and were gone to bed; when lo! he, that was
at his friend's house, dreamt, that his companion came to him, and
begged of him for Heaven's sake to assist him, for that the inn-keeper
had contrived a way to murder him: frightened at first out of his
sleep, he rose up; but soon afterward coming a little better to
himself, he thought, upon recollection, there was no heed to be given
to the vision, and went very quietly to bed again. But as soon as he
was got into his second sleep, the same vision repeated the visit, but
the form of his petition was quite altered. He beseeched him, that,
since he had not come to his assistance, while he was among the
living, he would not suffer his death, however, to go unrevenged. Told
him that as soon as he was murdered, he was tossed by the inn- keeper
into a waggon, and had a little straw thrown over his corpse. He
entreated him to be ready very early at the door before the waggon was
to go out of town. This dream truly disturbed him it seems very much,
and made him get up very early: he nicked the time, and met with the
waggoner just at the very door, and asked him what he had in his cart.
The fellow run away frightened and confounded. The dead body was
pulled out of it, and the whole matter coming plainly to light, the
inn-keeper suffered for the crime.--What is there that one can call
more divine than a dream like this ?"

"---Somnium de Simonide, qui, cum ignotum quendam projectum mortuum
vidisset, eumque humavisset, haberetque in animo navem conscendere,
moneri visus est, ne id faceret, ab eo, quem sepultum affecerat: si
navigasset, cum naufragio esse perituram: itaque Simonidem rediisse
periisse caeeteros, qui tum navigassent."

---The dream of Simonides. This person, when he saw a certain body
thrown dead upon the shore, though a stranger, caused him to be
buried. Much about that time he had it in his head to go on ship-
board, but dreamt that he had warning given him by the man he had got
to be interred, not to go; that if he went, the ship would
infallibly be cast away. Upon this Simonides returned, and every soul of
them besides that went on board was lost.

Cicero "de Divinatione", lib. 2. "Somnium, Alexandri. Qui, cum
Ptolomaeus familiaris ejus, in proelio, telo venenato ictus esset, eoque
vulnere summo cum dolore moreretur, Alexander assidens somno est
consopitus; tum secundum quietem visus ei dicitur draco is, quem
mater Olympias alebat, radiculam ore ferre & simul dicere quo illa
loci nasceretur neque is longe aberat ab eo loco: ejus autem esse vim
tantam, ut Ptolomaeum facile sanaret. Cum Alexander experrectus
narrasset amicis somnium, emisisse qui illam radiculam quaererent. Qua,
inventa, & Ptolomaeus sanatus dicitur, & multi milites, qui erant eodem
genere teli vulnerati."

(i. e.) The dream of Alexander, when his friend Ptolemy was wounded
in battle, by an envenomed dart, and died of the wound, in all the
extremities of pain and anguish; Alexander sitting by him, and
wearied out and quite fatigued, fell into a profound sleep. In this
sleep, that dragon is reported to have appeared to him, which was bred
up by his mother Olympias, carrying a little root in his mouth and to
have told him in what spot of ground it grew, (nor was it far from
that very place) and told him withal it seems, that such was the
force, efficacy, and virtue of it, that it would work an easy cure
upon Ptolomy. When Alexander waked, he told his friends the dream, and
sent some out in quest of this little root. The root (as story says)
was found, and Ptolemy was healed, so were many soldiers likewise,
that had been wounded with the same kind of darts.

Cardanus "Somniorum Synesiorum", lib. 4, chap. 2. "Narrat Plinius 35
lib. Nat. Hist, vir ab omnia superstitione alienissimus, Historiam
hujusmodi. 'Nuper cujusdam militantis in Praetorio mater vidit in
quiete, ut radicem sylvestris Rosae (quam Cynorrhodon vocant) blanditam
sibi aspectu pridie in Fruteto, mitteret filio bibendam: In Lusitania
res gerebatur, Hispaniae, proxima parte: casuque accidit, ut milite a
morsu Canis incipiente aquas expavescere superveniret epistola orantis
ut paretet religioni; servatusque est ex insperato, & postea
quisquis auxilium simile tentavit.' "

i. e. In his natural history, Pliny, a man the most averse to
superstition, relates to us the following passage. Lately, the mother
of one of the guards, who attended upon the General, was admonished by
a vision in her sleep, to send her son a draught composed of the
decoction of the root of a wild rose, (which they call Cynorrhodon)
with the agreeable look whereof she had been mightily taken the day
before, as she was passing through a coppice. The seat of the war at
that time lay in Portugal, in that part of it next adjoining to Spain,
that a soldier, beginning to apprehend mighty dangerous consequences
from the bite of a dog, the letter came unexpectedly from her,
entreating him to pay a blind obedience to this superstition. He did
so, and was preserved beyond all expectation; and everybody
afterwards had recourse to the same remedy.

Ibid. Galeni "tria Somnia".--- "Tertium magis dignum miraculo, cum bis
per somnium admonitus, ut arteriam secaret, quae inter pollicem &
indicem est, idque agens liberatus sit a diuturno dolore, quo
infestabatur ea in parte, qua septo transverso jecur jungitur, idque
in libri de sectione venae fine testatus est. Magno certe exemplo, quod
tantus vir in medicina eam adhibuerit somnio fidem, ut in seipso
periculum vitae subierit, in arte propria. Deinde probitatem admiror,
ut quo potuerit solertia ingenii sibi inventum ascribere, Deo cui
debebatur, rediderit. Dignus vel hoc solo vir immortalitate nominis, &
librorum suorum."

Galen's three dreams. The third more worthy of being called a miracle,
was, when being twice admonished in his sleep, to cut the artery that
lies between the fore finger and the thumb, and doing it accordingly,
he was freed from a continual daily pain with which he was afflicted
in that part where the liver is joined to the midriff; and this he has
testified at the end of his book of Venesection. 'Tis certainly a very
great example, when a man so great as he was in the medicinal art, put
so much confidence in a dream as to try experiments upon himself;
where he was to run the risque of his life, in his own very art. I
cannot help but admire his probity in the next place, that where he
might have arrogated the merit of the invention to himself, and placed
it wholly to the account of the subtility and penetration of his own
genius, he attributed it to God, to whom it was due. In this alone did
the man well deserve to purchase an immortality to his name and his

In his fourth book, chap. 4. "De Exemplis propriis", he owns the
solution of some difficult problems in Algebra to his dreams.

Plinii, Nat. Hist. lib. 22, chap. 17. "Verna carus Pericli
Atheniensium Principi, cum is in arce templum aedificaret,
repsissetque super altitudinem fastigii, & inde cecidisset, hac herba
(Parthenio) dicitur sanatus, monstrata Pericli somnio a Minerva. Quare
Parthenium vocari coepta est, assignaturque ei Deae."

Pliny's Natural History, book 22, chap. 17. "A little Home-bred Slave,
that was a darling favourite to Pericles, Prince of the Athenians, and
who, while a temple was building in the Prince's palace, had climbed
up to the very top of the pinnacle, and tumbled down from that
prodigious height; is said to have been cured of his fall by the herb
Parthenium, or mug-wort, which was shown to Pericles in a dream, by
Minerva. From hence it originally took the name of Parthenium, and is
attributed to that Goddess.

"Augustinus, Cui etiam praeter sanctitatem, plena fides adhiberi
potest, duo narrat inter reliqua somnia admiranda. Primum, quod cum
quidam mortuo nuper patre venaretur tanquam de pecunia quam pater illi
ex chirographo debuisset, dum incastus viveret, hac causa nocte quadam
umbram patris videt, quae illum admonuit de persoluta pecunia & ubi
chirographum esset repositum. Cum surrexisset, invenit chirographum
loco eo quem umbra paterna docuerat, liberatusque est ab injusto

Saint Austin, to whom even, besides his sanctity, we owe an entire
credit, tells among others, two very wonderful dreams. The first is,
when a person was arrested by one, as for a certain sum of money,
which his father had owed him by a note under his own hand, while he
led a lewd debauched life, saw the ghost of his father one night, upon
this very account, which told him of the money being paid, and where
the acquittance lay. When he got up in the morning, he went and found
the acquittance in that very place that his father's ghost had
directed him to, and so was freed from the litigious suit of one that
made unjust demands upon him.

"Alterum adhuc magis mirum".

"Praestantius, vir quidam a Philosopho petierat dubitationem quandam
solvi; quod ille pernegavit. Nocte sequente, tametsi vigilaret
Prsestantius, vidit sibi Philosophum assistere, ac dubitationem
solvere, moxque abire. Cum die sequenti obviam Praestantius eundem
habuisset Philosophum, rogat, Cur cum pridie rogatus nolluisset
solvere illam questionem, intempesta nocte, non rogatus, & venisset ad
se & dubitationem aperuisset. Cui Philosophus. Non quidem ego adveni
sed somnians visus sum tibi hoc Officium praestare."

The other is much more wonderful still.

A certain gentleman named Praestantius, had been entreating a
Philosopher to solve him a doubt, which he absolutely refused to do.
The night following, although Praestantius was broad awake, he saw the
Philosopher standing full before him, who just explained his doubts to
him, and went away the moment after he had done. When Praestantius met
the Philosopher the next day, he asks him why, since no entreaties
could prevail with him the day before, to answer his question, he came
to him unasked, and at an unseasonable time of night, and opened every
point to his satisfaction. To whom thus the Philosopher. " Upon my
word it was not me that came to you; but in a dream I thought my own
self that I was doing you such a service."

The plague raging in the army of the Emperor Charles V. he dreamt that
the decoction of the root of the dwarf-thistle (a mountain plant since
called the Caroline thistle) would cure that disease. See Gerrard's
Herbal, who tells us this.

In Queen Mary's time, there was only one congregation of Protestants
in London, to the number of about three- hundred, one was the deacon
to them, and kept the list of their names: one of that congregation
did dream, that a messenger, (Queen's Officer) had seized on this
deacon, and taken his list; the fright of the dream awaked him: he
fell asleep and dreamt the same perfect dream again. In the morning
before he went out of his chamber, the deacon came to him and then he
told him his dream, and said, 'twas a warning from God; the deacon
slighted his advice, as savouring of superstition; but --- was so
urgent with him that he prevailed with him to deposite the list in
some other hand, which he did that day. The next day, the Queen's
officer attacked him, and searched (in vain) for the list, which had
it been found, would have brought them all to the flame.
Foxe's Martyrology.

When Arch Bishop Abbot's mother (a poor clothworker's wife in
Guilford) was with child of him, she did long for a Jack, and she
dreamt that if she should eat a Jack, her son in her belly should be a
great man. She arose early the next morning and went with her pail to
the river-side (which runneth by the house, now an ale-house, the sign
of the three mariners) to take up some water, and in the water in the
pail she found a good jack, which she dressed, and eat it all, or very
near. Several of the best inhabitants of Guilford were invited (or
invited themselves) to the christening of the child; it was bred up a
scholar in the town, and by degrees, came to be Arch Bishop of

In the life of Monsieur Periesk, writ by Gassendus, it is said, that
Monsieur Periesk, who had never been at London, did dream that he was
there, and as he was walking in a great street there, espied in a
goldsmith's glass desk, an antique coin, he could never meet with. (I
think an Otho.) When he came to London, walking in (I think) Cheap-
side, he saw such a shop, and remembered the countenance of the
goldsmith in his dream, and found the coin desired, in his desk. See
his life.

When Doctor Hamey (one of the physicians college in London) being a
young man, went to travel towards Padoa, he went to Dover (with
several others) and shewed his pass, as the rest did, to the Governor
there. The Governor told him, that he must not go, but must keep him
prisoner. The Doctor desired to know for what reason ? how he had
transgrest ? well it was his will to have it so. The pacquet-boat
hoisted sail in the evening (which was very clear), and the Doctor's
companions in it. There ensued a terrible storm, and the pacquet-boat
and all the passengers were drowned: the next day the sad news was
brought to Dover. The Doctor was unknown to the Governor, both by name
and face; but the night before, the Governor had the perfect vision in
a dream, of Doctor Hamey, who carne to pass over to Calais; and that
he had a warning to stop him. This the Governor told the Doctor the
next day. The Doctor was a pious, good man, and has several times
related this story to some of my acquaintance.

My Lady Seymour dreamt, that she found a nest, with nine finches in
it. And so many children she had by the Earl of Winchelsea, whose name
is Finch.

The Countess of Cork (now Burlington) being at Dublin, dreamt, that
her father, (the Earl of Cumberland) who was then at York, was dead.
He died at that time.

'Tis certain, that several had monitory dreams of the conflagration of

Sir Christopher Wren, being at his father's house, anno 1651, at
Knahill in Wilts (a young Oxford scholar) dreamt, that he saw a fight
in a great market-place, which he knew not; where some were flying,
and others pursuing; and among those that fled, he saw a kinsman of
his, who went into Scotland to the King's army. They heard in the
country, that the King was come into England, but whereabouts he was
they could not tell. The next night his kinsman came to his father at
Knahill, and was the first that brought the news of the fight at

When Sir Christopher Wren was at Paris, about 1671, he was ill and
feverish, made but little water, and had a pain in his reins. He sent
for a physician, who advised him to be let blood, thinking he had a
plurisy: but bleeding much disagreeing with his constitution, he
would defer it a day longer: that night he dreamt, that he was in a
place where palm-trees grew, (suppose AEgypt) and that a woman in a
romantic habit, reached him dates. The next day he sent for dates,
which cured him of the pain of his reins.

Since, I have learned that dates are an admirable medicine for the
stone, from old Captain Tooke of K--. Take six or ten date-stones, dry
them in an oven, pulverize and searce them; take as much as will lie
on a six-pence, in a quarter of a pint of white wine fasting, and at
four in the afternoon: walk or ride an hour after: in a week's time
it will give ease, and in a month cure. If you are at the Bath, the
Bath water is better than white wine to take it in.

Sir John Hoskin's Lady, when she lay in of her eldest son, had a
swelling on one side of her belly, the third day when the milk came,
and obstructions: she dreamt that syrup of elderberries and distilled
water of wormwood would do her good, and it did so; she found ease in
a quarter of an hour after she had taken it. I had this account from
her Ladyship's own mouth.

Captain --- Wingate told me, that Mr. Edmund Gunter, of Gresham
College, did cast his nativity, when about seventeen or eighteen years
old; by which he did prognosticate that he should be in danger to lose
his life for treason. Several years before the civil wars broke out,
he had dreamt that he was to be put to death before a great castle,
which he had never seen; which made a strong impression in his memory.
In anno 1642, he did oppose the church ceremonies, and was chosen a
member of Parliament, then was made a Captain, and was taken prisoner
at Edge Hill, by Prince Rupert, and carried to Kenilworth Castle,
where he was tried by a council of war, and condemned to die: but they
did better consider of it, and spared his life; for that he being so
considerable a person, might make an exchange for some of the King's
party-:* and he was exchanged for the right Honourable Montague, Earl of
Lindsey (heir of the General.) Since the restoration, he was made
one of the commissioners of the excise office in London. He did
protest that Kenilworth castle was the very castle he saw in his

*Captain Wingate was a prisoner in Oxford, after
Edgehill fight, 1642.

Sir Roger L'Estrange was wont to divertise himself with cocking in his
father's (Sir Hammond L'Estrange's) park; he dreamt that there came to
him in such a place of the park, a servant, who brought him news, that
his father was taken very ill. The next day going to his usual
recreation, he was resolved for his dream sake to avoid that way; but
his game led him to it, and in that very place the servant came and
brought him the ill news according to his dream.

Mr. Edmund Halley, R. S. S. was carried on with a strong impulse to
take a voyage to St. Hellens, to make observations of the southern
constellations, being then about twenty-four years old. Before he
undertook his voyage, he dreamt that he was at sea, sailing towards
that place, and saw the prospect of it from the ship in his dream,
which he declared to the Royal Society, to be the perfect
representation of that island, even as he had it really when he
approached to it.

A Gentlewoman dreamt that a pultess of blew corants would cure her
sore throat; and it did so. She was a pious woman, and affirmed it to
be true.

Anno 1690. One, in Ireland, dreamed of a brother or near relation of
his, (who lived at Amesbury in Wiltshire) that he saw him riding on
the downs, and that two thieves robbed him and murdered him. The dream
awaked him, he fell asleep again and had the like dream. He wrote to
his relation an account of it, and described the thieves complexion,
stature and cloaths; and advised him to take care of himself. Not long
after he had received this monitory letter, he rode towards Salisbury,
and was robbed and murdered; and the murderers were discovered by this
very letter, and were executed. They hang in chains on the road to

'Twas revealed to a King of Scots, that if he drank of the water of
Muswell, he would be cured. After great enquiry they heard of such a
place, not far from Hornsey in Middlesex. See Weever's Funeral
Monuments of the Well. John Norden's Description of Middlesex. Here
was afterwards founded a religious house for Austin Monks: since it
belonged to Sir Thomas Row, and in 1677, was pulled down and the
materials sold. Anciently the Kings of Scotland were feudatory to the
Kings of England, and did their homage every Christmas day. They had
several lodges belonging to them for their reception in their
journey; as at Huntingdon, &c. See Caxton's Chronicle concerning

The water of this spring is drank for some distempers still.

"Somnium ex Eubernea porta."

Mrs. Cl---, of S---, in the county of S---, had a beloved daughter,
who had been a long time ill, and received no benefit from her
physicians. She dreamed that a friend of hers deceased, told her, that
if she gave her daughter a drench of yew pounded, that she would
recover; she gave her the drench, and it killed her. Whereupon she
grew almost distracted: her chamber maid to complement her, and
mitigate her grief, said surely that could not kill her, she would
adventure to take the same herself; she did so, and died also. This
was about the year 1670, or 1671. I knew the family.

A Gentlewoman, of my acquaintance, dreamed, that if she slept again,
the house would be in danger to be robbed. She kept awake, and anon
thieves came to break open the house, but were prevented.

J. H. Esq.* being at West-Lavington with the Earl of Abbingdon,
dreamed, December the 9th, his mother rose up in mourning: and anon
the Queen appeared in mourning. He told his dream the next morning to
my Lord, and his Lordship imparted it to me (then there) Tuesday,
December 11. In the evening came a messenger, post from London, to
acquaint Mr. H. that his mother was dangerously ill: he went to London
the next day; his mother lived but about eight days longer. On
Saturday, December 15, the Queen was taken ill, which turned to the
small pox, of which she died, December 28, about two o'clock in the

J. H. Against these initials there is a note in the copy of the
first edition already referred to, in these words,-" James Herbert: He
saies he was never there."

Sir Thomas White, Alderman of London, was a very rich man, charitable
and public spirited. He dreamt that he had founded a college at a
place where three elms grow out of one root. He went to Oxford,
probably with that intention, and discovering some such tree near
Gloucester Hall, he began to repair it, with a design to endow it. But
walking afterwards by the Convent where the Bcrnardines formerly
lived, he plainly saw an elm with three large bodies rising out of the
same root: he forthwith purchased the ground, and endowed his college
there, as it is at this day, except the additions which Arch-bishop
Laud made, near the outside of which building in the garden belonging
to the president, the tree is still to be seen. He made this discovery
about the year 1557.

There are millions of such dreams too little taken notice of, but they
have the truest dreams whose IXth house is well dignified, which mine
is not: but must have some monitory dreams. The Germans are great
observers of them. It is said in the life of Vavasor Powell, that he
was a great observer of dreams, (p. 17 and 114, of his life) that he
had many warnings from them, that God had spoken to himself and others
by them; for warning, instruction, or reproof. And it is also there
averred, that Angels had appeared to him. See p. 8, of his life.

In Mr. Walton's life of Sir Hen. Wotton, there is a remarkable story
of the discovery of stolen plate in Oxford, by a dream which his
father had at Bocton-Malherbe, in Kent. See in Ath. & Fasti. Oxon.
vol. 1, p. 351,

William Penn, proprietor of Pensylvania, told me, that he went with
his mother on a visit to Admiral Dean's wife, who lived then in Petty-


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