English Geomancers

These two 'royal' geomantic manuscripts are amongst the most visually striking in existence. The interest of kings reflected an upsurge of interest by commoners, and under Richard's successor, Henry IV, a practitioner of medicine in Suffolk kept a notebook26 record of details of methods for obtaining: 'oracular answers prepared beforehand by this great Doctor for those of both Sexes who shall come to consult him', which included the 'names of the 12 signs with such marks as shew that this John Crophill was a dabbler in Geomancy'.

Crophill was not alone amongst a wide range of professional men and clerics who consulted geomancy. In a manuscript27 of this period is a detailed description of the technique of 'astrological geomancy' broken down very conveniently into 125 chapters by [Walter] Cato who probably translated the work direct from Arabic, as it shows strong signs of Arabic influence and is less likely to have been a recension of an earlier Latin work. The preceding treatise bound with it is also a manuscript on geomancy.

Other contemporaneous matter included references to the art in the Apollogy for Lollard Doctrines (1400) from which it appears that a number of Lollard sympathizers were also village 'cunning men' and practitioners of geomancy. In fact interest in England was so rife oo oo 00 o o oo 0«? oo. o o

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