Backhouse, William

, a younger son of Samuel Backhouse of Swallowfield in Berkshire, esq. (who died in 1626), was born in that county in 1593, became a commoner of Christ church, Oxford, in 1610, in his seventeenth year, left it without a degree, and attached himself to the study of chemistry and astrology then so much in vogue. He adopted the celebrated Ash mole as his son, and imparted to him those absurd secrets which were to produce wonders. Mr, Backhouse died May 30, 1662, and was buried in Swallowfield church. He published a translation from the French of “The pleasant Fountain of Knowledge,1644-, 8vo this was written by John de la Fountainein 1413; “The Complaint of Nature,” and “The Golden Fleece,” a translation from Solomon Trismosin, master to Paracelsus. Mr. Aubrey speaks of this gentleman in his Collection of Hermetic Philosophy, chap. XII. 2


Ath. Ox. vol. II.