Broughton, Luke Dennis (1828–1898)
Luke Dennis Broughton, the leading astrologer in the United
States during the last decades of the nineteenth century, was
born April 20, 1828, in Leeds, England, and grew up in an astrologically-oriented
family. His grandfather had become a
devotee of the stars after reading the Complete Herbal, a medical
astrology text by Nicolas Culpepper and one of the few astrological
texts to have survived the combined attack of Protestantism
and the Enlightenment in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries. The elder Broughton inspired interest in
astrology in his physician son and through him to Luke
Broughton and his brothers. Luke Broughton’s older brother
Mark became the leader of an astrological society in England
and then moved to the United States to begin Broughton’s
Monthly Horoscope in 1849.
Luke Broughton began studying astrology during his teen
years, and he moved to the United States in the early 1840s to
study natural medicine at the Eclectic Medical College in PhilaEncyclopedia
of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Broughton, Luke Dennis
delphia. He began a public career in 1860 when he revived his
brother’s periodical as Broughton’s Monthly Planet Reader and Astrological
Journal (1860–69). After anti-astrology laws were
passed in Philadelphia, he moved his medical office to New
York City in 1863, his home for the rest of his life. He emphasized
astrological medicine and in 1866 began to teach astrology.
His initial teaching efforts became the foundation upon
which the nation’s major astrological center would be built. He
developed a distributorship of astrological literature, the great
majority of which came from England.
As astrology grew and became the center of renewed controversy,
Broughton assumed the dual role of astrology’s defender
from its enemies and protector from incompetent astrologers.
He wrote and at times appeared as a witness in court on astrology’s
behalf. He also attacked people such as Hiram Butler, Eleanor
Kirk, and C. W. Roback, astrologers who, he felt, had insufficient
training for their work. At the time of his death in
1898, he left his practice to his daughter, who carried on his
work and saw to the publication of his most substantive book,
The Elements of Astrology (1898).
Broughton, Luke D. The Elements of Astrology. New York The
Author, 1898.
———. Planetary Influence. New York The Author, 1893.

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