Open main menu

Saunders, Richard (1613-1687?) (DNB00)

SAUNDERS or SANDERS, RICHARD (1613–1687?), astrologer, a native of Warwickshire, was born in 1613, commenced the study of hermeneutics about 1647, and practised astrology and cheiromancy during the golden age of the pseudo-sciences in England. Lilly referred to him in 1677 as an old and valued friend, and he was also a friend and admirer of Ashmole. His almanacs, of which copies are extant for 1681, 1684, and 1686 (all London 12mo), cease from the last-mentioned date. His portrait, engraved by Thomas Cross [q. v.], was prefixed to several of his works. These include: 1. ‘Phisiognomie, Chiromancie … and the Art of Memorie,’ London, 1653, fol., with cuts and portrait; a second edition, very much enlarged, and dealing with ‘Metoposcopie, the Symmetrical Proportions and Signal Moles of the Body,’ appeared in 1671, with a dedication to Elias Ashmole of the Middle Temple. 2. ‘Palmistry, the Secrets thereof disclosed,’ 2nd edit., London, 1664, 12mo. 3. ‘The Astrological Judgment and Practice of Physick, deduced from the Position of the Heavens at the Decumbiture of a Sick Person’ (with portrait, and a letter to the reader by William Lilly), London, 1677, 4to. This is a systematic exposition of astrological therapeutics, based largely upon examination of the urine, sputa, etc., by horoscopical methods. The author is held up as a ‘counterquack’ in commendatory verses by Henry Coley [q. v.], the mathematician, and others.

[Granger's Biogr. Hist. 1779, iv. 107; Colvile's Warwickshire Worthies, p. 633; Hazlitt's Bibl. Collect. 3rd ser. p. 92; Watt's Bibl. Britannica; Brit. Mus. Cat. s.v. ‘Sanders.’]

T. S.