Person: Coley, Henry
Henry Coley was an English 17th century astrologer and mathematician who published a famous astrology text Clavis astrologiae and taught mathematics at his house in London.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Before we go any further with Coley's biography, let us record that he became a famous astrologer.
- We know only a little about Coley's life.
- Some of what is known was recorded by Coley himself as astrological accidents.
- The epidemic spread quickly to the people around Oxford, and Coley was one of the many who contracted the disease.
- In 1663 Coley moved to a house in Baldwin's Gardens, Baldwin's Court, off Gray's Inn Lane, where he taught mathematics and astrology.
- Coley's mathematical skills were well known and he was consulted by many including Edmond Halley who asked Coley to assist him in calculating the moon's parallax.
- He also assisted his friend Joseph Moxon (1627-1691) who acknowledged Coley's contributions to his book Mathematicks made easy, or, A mathematical dictionary explaining the terms of art and difficult phrases used in arithmetick, geometry, astronomy, astrology, and other mathematical sciences wherein the true meaning of the word is rendered, the nature of things signified discussed, and (where need requires) illustrated with apt figures and diagrams: with an appendix exactly containing the quantities of all sorts of weights and measures, the characters and meaning of the marks, symbols, or abbreviations commonly used in algebra and sundry other observables (1679).
- We noted above that Coley began publishing an annual almanac in 1672.
- In the late 1690s Coley drew attention to the still bolder predictions of his former pupil John Holwell and others that a millennial age was at hand: a messianic emperor arising in the north would crush France and bring about the ruin of Rome and conversion of the Turks and Jews.
- Characteristically Coley remained noncommittal, observing cautiously, 'let our own Experience confirm or contradict'.
- An astrologer who gained considerable fame a few years before Coley was William Lilly (1602-1681).
- His judgments and observations for the succeeding years, till his death, (so also for the year 1682,) were all composed by his directions, Mr Coley coming to Hersham the beginning of every summer, and stayed there, till, by conference with him, he had dispatched them for the press; to whom, at these opportunities, he communicated his way of judgment, and other astrological arcanas.
Born 18 October 1633, Oxford, England. Died 30 April 1704, London, England.
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Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin England
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive