William Lilly was born in 1602 in Leicestershire, England. As he grew older his family fell on difficult financial times forcing him to take work in London with an elderly couple. When he turned 17, he discovered horary astrology. His passion for the subject led him to read all that he could about it. He even had a large private library of books on astrology.
By the 1630s, he took his knowledge about astrology and began practicing it as a science. He also then began studying occult matters. After five years he had perfected his skills as an astrologer. He then began writing and publishing almanacs. These almanacs contained many predictions some of which actually came to pass.
In 1644 his first almanac accurately predicted that the King of England would be defeated in a battle in 1645. This led to his almanacs becoming ever more popular in England. By 1647 he completed and published a set of books called Christian Astrology. By the time of the famous London fire in September 1666 Lilly was the most famous astrologer in all of England.
It turns out that years earlier, he accurately predicted the London fire complete with illustrations in one of his almanacs. As a result he was suspected of having set the fire. He had to be called into court to prove his innocence. He proved this with the help of another occultist who was famous in England at the time.
One of his books is still thought of as the ultimate resource for horary astrology. It has yet to be out-of-print. His specialty in astrology was that of horary astrology. This is a form of astrology where charts are drawn based on questions that are asked. Those charts are specifically based on the location and time where those questions are being asked.
By the time the 1670s arrived, he was licensed to practice medicine. He used his abilities to serve the poor and disenfranchised. He very rarely charged patients for his services. The term that is still used today by physicians all over when referring to a patient chart for their medical records comes from the chart from astrology. A special astrology chart would be drawn for when the person feel ill to help the doctor diagnose the problem.
He continued publishing his yearly almanacs while practicing medicine. He had a so-called adopted son who, after Lilly fell ill later on in the 1670s, aided him in crossing over. He died on June 9, 1681, and is still considered to be one of the greatest astrologers of all time especially for his prediction regarding the Great Fire.