Melton, John

Melton, John
(d. 1640)
   Author and politician, Sir John Melton is of particular interest to folklorists because of his work, Atrologaster, or, The Figure-Caster, published in London in 1620. John Melton lived at a time when judicial or prognostic astrology played a high-profile political role, with warring factions regularly using predictions against each other, while Puritans raged against its ungodliness and sceptics such as Melton poured scorn on people's gullibility and the crooks and swindlers who profited by it. Lower down the social scale, there was widespread faith in fortune-telling of all kinds, and thus numerous professional fortune-tellers, a trade which is also satirized in Ben Jonson's The Alchemist (1610). The Atrologaster is a highly readable attack on these fortune-tellers, prognostica-tors, astrologers, and purveyors of omens, and Melton's description provides a wealth of detail about their methods. But the most important section for our present purposes is his list of 33 *superstitions, which is one of the earliest attempt at a systematic listing. He blames the cunning-men and figure-casters for their invention and dissemination. He also includes the detail that some of these fortunetellers pretended to be Gypsies to further impress the country-folk. The list is reprinted in FLS News 31 (2000).
   ■ DNB: Facsimile reprint of Astrologaster, introduced by Hugh G. Dick, Augustan Reprint Society (William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, Los Angeles), 1975.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Melton Mowbray North railway station — Melton Mowbray North Location Place Melton Mowbray Area Leicestershire Grid reference …   Wikipedia

  • John Gordon Melton — (né le 19 septembre 1942) est un chercheur américain en études religieuses qui a fondé l’Institute for the Study of American Religion et qui est actuellement le spécialiste des religions et des nouveaux mouvements religieux à la section des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Melton Tuba Quartett — Das Melton Tuba Quartett ist das einzige professionelle Quartett Deutschlands, das ausschließlich mit Tubisten besetzt ist. Es spielt Originalkompositionen und Arrangements sowohl Klassischer Musik als auch aus den Bereichen Jazz, Unterhaltungs… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Melton Hill Dam — Melton Hill Lock and Dam. View is downriver to the west. The Tennessee Route 95 bridge can be seen downriver. Official name Melton Hill Dam Location Roa …   Wikipedia

  • Melton (Begriffsklärung) — Melton bezeichnet Melton, einen Bezirk in Leicestershire in England Melton (Suffolk), eine Ortschaft in Suffolk in England Melton Shire, ein Verwaltungsgebiet in der australischen Stadt Melbourne in den Vereinigten Staaten: Melton (Alabama)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Melton (UK Parliament constituency) — Melton Former County constituency for the House of Commons County Leicestershire Major settlements Melton Mowbray …   Wikipedia

  • John Henley — (August 3, 1692 – October 13, 1759), English clergyman, commonly known as Orator Henley, and one of the first entertainers and a precursor to the talk show hosts of today. The son of a vicar, John Henley was born in Melton Mowbray. After… …   Wikipedia

  • John Melton — (* vor 1609; † 1640) war ein englischer Händler, Schriftsteller und Politiker. Er wurde 1635 vom englischen König Karl I. (England) zum Mitglied des Council of the North berufen. In dieser Funktion wurde er Bewahrer des großen Siegels von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Cipollina — Nom Johnathan Cipollina Naissance 24 août 1943 Berkeley Californie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Knox — (* um 1514 in Gifford Gate bei Haddington, East Lothian; † 24. November 1572 in Edinburgh) war ein schottischer Reformator und Mitbegründer der Presbyterianischen Kirchen. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia