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HEYDON, Sir CHRISTOPHER (d. 1623), writer on astrology, eldest son of Sir William Heydon, knt., of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, and descended from Sir Henry Heydon [q. v.], was educated at Cambridge. In 1586 he was induced by the ‘immoderate brag’ of Thomas Farmor to oppose his candidature for the representation of Norfolk in parliament. The election, on account of the contested return, attracted some attention, but finally the House of Commons adjudged the seats to Farmor and Gresham. However, in the parliament of 1588 Heydon represented the county, but he soon afterwards travelled abroad, and in 1596 he was knighted at the sacking of Cadiz by the Earl of Essex. His younger brother John went with Essex to Ireland in 1599, and was knighted there. Both brothers were suspected of complicity in Essex's conspiracy, but received pardons (1601). Sir Christopher died in 1623, and was buried in the church at Baconsthorpe. He was twice married, first to Mirabel, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Rivet, knt., a London merchant; secondly to Anne, daughter and coheiress of John Dodge, esq., widow of Sir John Potts of Mannington, Norfolk. The first wife, by whom he had several sons, including Sir John Heydon [q. v.], was buried in Saxlingham Church; the second, by whom he had four daughters and a son, died in 1642, aged 75, and was buried beside her husband.

In 1601 John Chamber (1564–1604) [q. v.] published ‘A Treatise against Judicial Astrologie,’ London, 4to. To this Heydon replied in ‘A Defence of Judiciall Astrologie. In Answer to a Treatise lately published by M. John Chamber.’ Heydon was answered by Chamber in a treatise never published, and by George Carleton (1559–1628) [q. v.] in ‘Astrologomania, the Madnesse of Astrologers,’ 1624. ‘An Astrological Discourse … in Justification of the validity of Astrology … with an astrological judgement upon the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter,’ 1603, by Sir Christopher Heydon, was published in 1650. A pamphlet, called ‘A Recitall of the Caelestiall Apparititions of this present Trygon now in being,’ was written, but never published (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vii. 416). Many of Heydon's letters are preserved among the Gawdy MSS.

A curious account of a duel between Sir Christopher's brother John and Sir Robert Mansfield in 1599, in which Sir John lost his hand (still preserved in the Canterbury Museum), is given from original documents at Canterbury, transcribed by Mr. John Brent in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1853, pt. i. pp. 481–8. Another account is in Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 27961.

[Blomefield's Topogr. Hist. of Norfolk, vi. 508–510; Ret. of Memb. of Parl. i. 424; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), i. 745, ii. 347, 424; Gawdy MSS., Hist. MSS. Comm.; Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 23006 ff. 29, 30, 23024 f. 173, 27447 ff. 115, 120, 27959 f. 7.]

G. C.