John Pordage (
1607- 1681), Anglican priest, astrologer, alchemist and Christian mystic who founded the 17th century English Behmenist group which would later become known as the Philadelphian Societywhen it was led by his discipleand successor, Jane Leade.
John Pordage was the eldest son of Samuel Pordage (d. 1626), grocer, by his wife Elizabeth (Taylor), and was born in the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch,
London, and baptised on April 21, 1607. He was curatein charge of St. Lawrence's, Reading, Berkshire, in 1644, the vicarbeing Thomas Gilbert (1613-1694). By 1647 (after Nov. 9, 1646) he was rectorof Bradfield, Berkshire, a living in the gift of Elias Ashmole, who thought highly of his astrological knowledge. Richard Baxter, who describes Pordage as chief of the 'Behmenists', or English followers of Jakob Böhme, knew of him through a young man, probably Abiezer Coppe, who in 1649 was living under Pordage's roof in a 'family communion', the members 'aspiring after the highest spiritual state' through 'visible communion with angels'. Baxter thought they tried to carry too far 'the perfection of a monastical life'. Among themselves this family went by scripture names; Pordage was 'Father Abraham', his wife was 'Deborah'.cite web | last =Gordon | first =Alexander | title =Pordage, John (1607–1681), astrologer and mystic| work = Dictionary of National BiographyVol. XLVI | publisher =Smith, Elder & Co. | date =1896 | url =http://www.oxforddnb.com/templates/olddnb.jsp?articleid=22546 | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2007-10-23 ]
He was eventually charged before the committee for plundered ministers with heresies comprised in nine articles, accusing him of a sort of mystical pantheism. But on March 27, 1651, the committee acquitted him on all counts. On September 18, 1654, he was summoned to appear on October 5th before the county commissioners (known as 'expurgators') at the
Bear Inn, Speenhamland, Berkshire. The nine articles were revived against him at the instance of John Tickel, a Presbyterian divine at Abingdon, Berkshire. The inquiry was successively adjourned several times, fresh articles being from time to time brought forward against him, to the number of fifty-six, in addition to the original nine. Most of them dealt with unsubstantial matters of personal gossip; the accusation of intercourse with spirits was pressed (from October 19th) by Christopher Fowler. It was made a charge against him that he had sheltered Robert Everardand Thomas Totney. One of his maid-servants, while attesting some of the stories about spirits, bore witness to the purity and pietyof the family life. By November 30, Pordage was too ill to appear; the inquiry was adjourned to December 7th at the Bear Inn, Reading, Berkshire. On December 8th the commissioners ejected him as 'ignorant and very insufficient for the work of the ministry'. He was to leave the rectoryby February 2nd and clear out his barns by March 25, 1655.
At the Restoration Pordage was reinstated. In 1663, he became acquainted with
Jane Leade, and assisted her in the study of Jakob Böhme. In August 1673 or 1674 (there is a doubt about the year), Pordage and Mrs. Leade 'first agreed to wait together in prayer and pure dedication'. Francis Lee, Jane Leade's son-in-law, speaks warmly of Pordage's devoutness and sincerity, maintaining that 'his conversation was such as malice itself can hardly except against'. He was not, however, a man of robust intellect; his insight into Böhme's writings was feeble, and his theosophy was of the emotional order. In his will, he describes himself as 'doctor in physick.' It does not appear that he held the degree of M.D., though it was assigned to him by others, and he was commonly called Dr. Pordage.
He died in 1681, and was buried in St Andrew's, Holborn, on December 11th. His will, made on November 28, 1681, and proved January 17, 1682, was witnessed by
Jane Leade. His portrait was engraved by William Faithorne. His first wife Mary (Lane), of Tenbury, Worcestershire, was buried at Bradfield on August 25, 1668. His second wife was Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Faldoof London. His son Samuel Pordagewas a writerand poet; he had other sons: John, William, and Benjamin. His daughter Elizabeth was buried at Bradfield on December 23, 1663; other daughters were Mary, Sarah (married Stisted), and Abigail. His brother Francis, who survived him, was rectorof Stanford Dingley, Berkshire.
:1. "Truth appearing through the Clouds of undeserved Scandal, &c.", 1655,:2. "Innocency appearing through the dark Mists of pretended Guilt, &c.", 1655:3. "A just Narrative of the Proceedings of the Commissioners of Berks ... against John Pordage, &c.", 1655,; reprinted in "Stat Trials" (Cobbett), 1810:4. "The Fruitful Wonder ... By J. P., Student in Physic, &c.", 1674, (account of four children at a birth, at
Kingston upon Thamesprobably by Pordage).
Posthumous were :5. "Theologia Mystica, or the Mystic Divinitie of the Eternal Indivisible ... By a Person of Qualitie, J. P., M.D. &c.", 1683 (prefaced by
Jane Leade, and edited by Dr. Edward Hooker) :6. "Em griindlich philosophischei Sendschreiben, &c.", Amsterdam, 1698, reprinted (1727) in F. Roth-Scholz's "Deut sches Theatrum Chemicum", 1728:7. "Vier Tractatlein, &c.", Amsterdam, 1704
A two-page advertisement in
Jane Leade's " A Fountain of Gardens", 1697, gives full titles of the following works of Pordage, unpublished in English: :8. "Philo sophia Mystica, &c.":9. " The Angelical World, &c.":10. "The Dark Fire World, &c.":11. "The Incarnation of Jesus Christ, &c.":12. "The Spirit of Eternity, &c." :13. " Sophia, &c." :14. " Experimental Discoveries, &c."
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pordage — (spr. Pordahsch), John, geb. um 1625, Arzt u. Prediger, st. 1698 in London. Ein Schwärmer, suchte er Jakob Böhms Ansichten, welche ihm durch göttliche Offenbarung bestätigt sein sollten, in ein System zu bringen. Er bediente sich dabei… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Pordage — (spr. pōrdëdsch), John, s. Leade … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Samuel Pordage — (1633 c.1691) was a 17th century English poet. He is best known by his Azaria and Hushai (1682), a reply to John Dryden s Absalom and Achitophel. Contents 1 Life 2 Works 3 References … Wikipedia
Dryden, John — (1631 1700) Poet, dramatist, and satirist, was b. at Aldwincle Rectory, Northamptonshire. His f., from whom he inherited a small estate, was Erasmus, 3rd s. of Sir Erasmus Driden; his mother was Mary Pickering, also of good family; both… … Short biographical dictionary of English literature
Jane Leade — (1624–1704) was a Christian mystic born in Norfolk, England. Her spiritual visions, recorded in a series of publications, were central in the founding and philosophy of the Philadelphian Society in London at the time.Early lifeJane Leade came… … Wikipedia
Christopher Fowler (minister) — Christopher Fowler (1610?–1678) was an English ejected minister. Life He was the son of John Fowler, and was born at Marlborough, Wiltshire, about 1610. He entered Magdalen College, Oxford, as a servitor in 1627, and graduated B.A. on 9 February… … Wikipedia
Philadelphians — The Philadelphians, or the Philadelphian Society, were a Protestant 17th century religious group in England. They were organized around John Pordage (1607 1681), an Anglican priest from Bradfield, Berkshire, who had been ejected from his parish… … Wikipedia
Jane Leade — Jane Ward Leade (1623 1704) est une mystique anglaise qui a animé avec John Pordage le mouvement des Philadelphes inspiré de Jakob Böhme. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Écrits 3 Notes … Wikipédia en Français
Edmund Brice — (fl. 1648 ndash; 1696) was an English translator and schoolmaster.LifeBrice, whose dates of birth and death are unknown, became a member of Jesus College, Oxford on or before 27 October 1648, matriculating on 12 March 1649 and obtaining his B.A.… … Wikipedia
List of Christian mystics — Not everyone listed here is Christian or a mystic, but all have contributed to the Christian understanding of, connection to and/or direct experience of God. 1st Century * John the Baptist; * Paul the Apostle (? –c. 66); * John the Apostle (?… … Wikipedia