"Doctor Forman, the famous old conjurer"
Simon Forman (1900)
Creative Commons AttributionSimon Forman (1900) - Credit: Wellcome Library, London

Simon Forman (1552-1611) — astrologer, quack doctor and alleged wizard — was another shady figure implicated in the Overbury case. Anne Turner sought his help in securing love philtres not only to gain the affections of her own paramour but also to ensure the bond between Frances Howard and Robert Carr. Forman also assisted with potions that would make Howard’s husband Robert Devereux impotent and thereby give her grounds for annulling the marriage. After Forman’s death — an incident which he accurately prophesied — obscene wax figures of the concerned parties were found by his widow. These, together with a highly incriminating letter from Howard to Forman, were key evidence in the Overbury trial.

The University of Cambridge is in the process of building an online repository of the insalubrious doctor’s writings, here. You can also listen to Dr. Lauren Kassell's informative podcast, “The Notorious Simon Forman,” here.