Herdson, Henry (DNB00)


HERDSON, HENRY (fl. 1651), writer on mnemonics, probably received part of his education at Cambridge, as he terms that university his ‘dearest mother.’ He styled himself professor of the art of memory by public authority in the university of Cambridge. Afterwards he taught his art in London at the Green Dragon, against St. Antholin's Church. In or about 1649, when Dr. Thomas Fuller [q. v.] came out of the pulpit of St. Dunstan's-in-the-East, Herdson told him in the vestry, before credible people, that he, in Sidney College, Cambridge, had taught him the art of memory, but the doctor denied that he had seen Herdson before.

He wrote: 1. ‘Ars Mnemonica, sive Herdsonus Bruxiatus; vel Bruxus Herdsoniatus,’ London, 1651, 8vo. 2. ‘Ars Memoriæ: The Art of Memory made plaine,’ London, 1651, 8vo. These works are usually bound up together. The first is a republication of a portion of Brux's ‘Simonides Redivivus;’ the second, which is reprinted in Feinaigle's ‘Art of Memory’ (ed. 1813, pp. 297–317), consists of a meagre epitome of the principles of the mnemonic art.

[Addit. MS. 5871, f. 195; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iii. 383; Bailey's Life of Fuller, p. 413.]

T. C.