28 June 2010

William Lilly and Diseworth, Leicestershire

Hilda Lawson's booklet on the very unusual life of William Lilly (1602-81) is an amazing read. Lilly was born in Diseworth the son of a farmer of modest means, and after a village school education went to the grammar school in Ashby de la Zouch, where, according to his autobiography, he learned to speak Latin as well as he could English. In 1620 Lilly walked to London to work as a kind of secretary to Gilbert Wright, and after his master's death Lilly married Wright's widow, who was 25 years older than Lilly, and the first of his three wives.

By 1632 he had become a consultant astrologer in London, working for both the Roundheads and the Royalists. His most noted work is Christian Astrology Treated in Three Books, and he amassed a large amount of money. Toward the end of his life he became a physician.

Lilly's cottage stands in a prominent position in Diseworth, on the other side of the road from the parish church.

ADDENDUM: In a comment below, Quentin Field-Boden very helpfully provides a link to a YouTube video he's made, containing a number of old photos of the cottage. Here's the link:

William Lilly's Cottage, Diseworth

1 comment:

Quentin Field-Boden said...


I stumbled upon your website when I was looking for some information about William Lilly.

My great aunt and uncle owned Lilly’s Cottage many years ago and performed extensive renovation on the property. I have had some old photographs of the cottage for years taken during and after the renovation and I have just pulled together a YouTube video with them which might be of interest.