Simmonite, William Joseph (ca. 1800–ca.
1862)
Prominent leader of the nineteenth-century astrology revival
in England. Little is known of Simmonite’s life prior to his
appearance as a schoolteacher in Sheffield, England, in the
1830s. He knew several languages and was a mathematician. It
appears he also practiced herbal medicine. His first book, The
Practical Self-teaching Grammar of the English Language, appeared
in 1841.
Simmonite emerged as an astrologer in the mid-1840s with
the publication of his first astrological text, Prognostications on
Revolutions, or Solar Figures (1845). He continued to write
through the remainder of his life, greatly expanding the minuscule
number of books available to would-be astrologers of
the era. His books went through many editions and were republished
in the United States at the end of the century as the
American phase of the astrology revival commenced. His work
was noted for its erudite cast. Simmonite is also credited with
simplifying the nature of the calculations required to construct
a horoscope chart.
Simmonite lived into the early 1860s, but the date and place
of his death are unknown.
Sources
Holden, James H., and Robert A. Hughes. Astrological Pioneers
of America. Tempe, Ariz. American Federation of Astrologers,
1988.
Simmonite, W. J. The Celestial Philosopher. 2d ed. London
Simpkin, Marshall, 1847.
———. Medical Botany, or Herbal Guide to Health. London
Simpkin, Marshall, [1848].
———. The Prognostic Astronomer, or Horary Astrology. London
Simpkin, Marshall, 1851.
———. Prognostications on Revolutions or Solar Figures. London
Simpkin, Marshall, 1845.

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