William Backhouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

William Backhouse (17 January, 1593 – 30 May, 1662) was a renowned English Rosicrucian philosopher, alchemist, and astrologer. He was born on 17 January 1593 at Swallowfield Park, some 5 miles south of Reading in the county of Berkshire, a younger son of Samuel Backhouse. He entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1610, but left the university without taking a degree.[1][2] He learned some mathematics from John Blagrave.[3]

Backhouse married Anne Richards, the daughter of Brian Richards of Hartley Wespall in Hampshire, by whom he had two sons (who predeceased him), and a daughter, Flower Backhouse. Backhouse also adopted Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum, as his son, encouraging him in his studies. Backhouse died at Swallowfield Park, on 30 May 1662.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b "Berkshire History: Biographies: William Backhouse (1593-1662)". Nash Ford Publishing. 2002. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b  "Backhouse, William". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  3. ^ John David North; John James Roche (1985). The Light of nature: essays in the history and philosophy of science presented to A. C. Crombie. Springer Science & Business. p. 268. ISBN 978-90-247-3165-7. Retrieved 3 April 2012.