1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Ramesey

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 4:67.



William Ramesey was the author of a chimerical book in vindication of astrology. Then man did not look upon darkness as a privation of light, but as a real substance. He asserted that it is an emanation from dark stars, as light is from the sun. He even thought this absurdity supported by Scripture, where he read of "darkness over the land of Egypt, which may be felt;" not distinguishing betwixt the stated laws of nature, and the extraordinary agency of divine Providence; or, in other words, between natural and supernatural darkness. The author of number 582 of the Spectator, has made himself very merry with this profound writer, who thought himself far more sagacious than the rest of his astrological brethren. He appears to me to be the same person with Dr. William Ramesey, who was, perhaps, the most credulous and confident of all astrologers. He was mad by the rules of his art, and promised himself great affluence of fortune, and much conjugal felicity; but died poor in a gaol, and had such a termagant for his wife as provoked him to write, Conjugam Conjurgium, which appears to have been written from his feelings.