Agrippa was born in Cologne in 1486. In 1512, he taught at the University of Dole in France, lecturing on Johann Reuchlin's De verbo mirifico; as a result, Agrippa was denounced, behind his back, as a "Judaizing heretic." Agrippa's vitriolic response many months later did not endear him to the University.
In 1510, he studied briefly with Johannes Trithemius, and Agrippa sent him an early draft of his masterpiece, De occulta philosophia libri tres,a kind of summa of early modern occult thought. Trithemius was guardedly approving, but suggested that Agrippa keep the work more or less secret; Agrippa chose not to publish, perhaps for this reason, but continued to revise and rethink the book for twenty years.
During his wandering life in Germany, France and Italy he worked as a theologian, physician, legal expert and soldier.
He was for some time in the service of Maximilian I, probably as a soldier in Italy, but devoted his time mainly to the study of the occult sciences and to problematic theological legal questions, which exposed him to various persecutions through life, usually in the mode described above: He would be privately denounced for one sort of heresy or another. He would only reply with venom considerably later. (Nauert demonstrates this pattern effectively.)
There is no evidence that Agrippa was seriously accused, much less persecuted, for his interest in or practice of magical or occult arts during his lifetime, apart from losing several positions. It is impossible of course to cite negatively, but Nauert, the best bio-bibliographical study to date, shows no indication of such persecution, and van der Poel's careful examination of the various attacks suggest that they were founded on quite other theological grounds.
It is important to mention that, according to some scholarship, "As early as 1525 and again as late as 1533 (two years before his death) Agrippa clearly and unequivocally rejected magic in its totality, from its sources in imagined antiquity to contemporary practice." Some aspects remain unclear, but there are those who believe it was sincere (not out of fear, as a parody, or otherwise).Recent scholarship (see Further Reading below, in Lehrich, Nauert, and van der Poel) generally agrees that this rejection or repudiation of magic is not what it seems: Agrippa never rejected magic in its totality, but he did retract his early manuscript of the Occult Philosophy -- to be replaced by the later form.
According to his student Johann Weyer, in the book De praestigiis daemonum, Agrippa died in Grenoble, in 1535.
Of Occult Philosophy 4
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Of Occult Philosophy or of Magical Ceremonies, Book 4
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - On Geomancy
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 1
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 2
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 3
Skinner, Stephen - The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy