Genethlialogia, or, The Doctrine of Nativities

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by John Gadbury

An astrologer, John Gadbury authored several pieces on astrology, incluiding a series of yearly "Ephemerides." "He started professional life as a thoroughly traditional judicial astrologer; his first book, Genethlialogia..., bore the imprimatur from Lilly." [1]

In 1658, [Gadbury] published a thoroughly traditional textbook of judicial astrology: Genethlialogia, or, The doctrine of nativities … together with the doctrine of horarie questions. Building on William Lilly's Christian Astrology of 1647, it appeared with that master's imprimatur. By the Restoration two years later, however, he had broken with the radicalism of Lilly, and set out his stall as a royalist and high Anglican. Indeed, he was frequently accused of being a Jacobite and crypto-Catholic, in whose opinion ‘the Coelestial Orbs disown all Anti-Monarchical, Disloyal and Rebellious Principles’ (Diary, 1689). Accordingly, in 1659 he attacked Lilly rancorously in The Novice-Astrologer Instructed and issued a regretful analysis of The Nativity of the Late King Charls, while Britain's Royal Star (1661) found promising portents in the planetary positions at the accession of Charles II. [2]

Bibliographic Information

Author: John Gadbury, (1627-1704)

Title: Genethlialogia, or, The Doctrine of Nativities: Containing the Whole Art of Directions and Annual Revolutions, Whereby Any Man (Even of an Ordinary Capacity) May Be Enabled To Discover The Most Remarkable And Occult Accidents Of His Life, As They Shall Occur Unto Him In The Whole Course Thereof, Either For Good Or Evil: Also Tables For Calculating The Planets Places For Any Time, Either Past, Present Or To Come, Together With The Doctrine Of Horarie Questions Which (In The Absence Of A Nativity) Is Sufficient To Inform Any One Of All Manner Of Contingencies Necessary To Be Known

Published: London: Printed by Ja. Cottrel for Giles Calvert, William Larnar, and Daniel White, 1658.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in eighteenth century calf decorated in blind with cover divided into 9 compartments, rebacked. Title on red morocco label, gilt, bookplate of Robert Russell Needham Baron and label of Elizabeth H. Frazer. Purchased from Krown & Spellman Booksellers.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.


  1. Patrick Curry, Prophecy And Power, 1989; Wing G84. Gardner, Astrologica, 432. Lowndes II, 883.
  2. Patrick Curry, ‘Gadbury, John (1627–1704)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2011 accessed 11 June 2013