John Pordage, English rector, astrologer and mystic, c 1670s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Line engraving after an original work by William Faithorne, from the frontispiece to Pordage's 'Theologica Mystica' (1683). John Pordage (1617-1681) studied medicine at Pembroke College, Oxford and became rector of Bradfield Church, near Reading, Berkshire in 1647. He claimed to have visions and was very interested in the writings of the German mystic Jakob Bohme (1575-1624). He was denounced by the Anglican Orthodox Church as 'ignorant and insufficient' and ejected from his post in 1655, but later restored in 1660. Pordage published a number of astrological and devotional works and became one of the most influential Christian writers of the 17th century. Published by W Richardson of Leicester Square, London.