Notes to Chapter II

(1) Digges' Pref. letter to Dee's Parallacticæ Commentationes, 1573 Aijv.

(2) An Astrological Discourse, Aiijv.

(3) E.g., Allen: The Star Crossed Renaissance, p. 105, "Learned, unquestionably pious and an experimenter of immense callidity, Dee was nonetheless ready to be fed by the great for labours that were of a swindling nature." There seem no grounds for this assertion, since Dee was almost invariably one of the relatively larger financial losers in his unlucky speculations.

(4) Cp. Forman's Diaries. Typical entries are: 1585, "This yere I began to practise necromancy and to call angells and spirits"; 1590, "I wrote a book of Nigromancy....At Alhallowtide I entred the cirkell for nigromanticall spells" etc. (pp. 19, 21, ed. Halliwell, 1848).

(5) See Butler, The Myth of the Magus, p. 121 et seq.

(6) Faust Book, Ch. I (Thomas: Prose Romances, p. 188): "He could not abide to be called Doctor of Divinity"; Foxe declared Dee a B.D., which title he never used, and by implication repudiated, it was well known that although prepared to hold livings as an absentee pluralist, Dee would take no active position of whatever degree in the Church (vide infra. Ch. 4, p. 302-303, Ch. 6, p. 331).

(7) Preface Aijv, against his "Fond Frendes" who, "because he (Dee) knoweth more, than the common Student: (think) that therefore, he must needes be skilfull and a doer in such matter and manner, as you terme Conivring. Weening thereby, you advaunce his fame; and that you make other men, greet marveilers of your hap, to have such a learned friend. Cease to ascribe Impietie where you pretend Amitie."

(8) Lilly: Life and Times, p. 98, tells of one John a Winder, a club-fisted scrivener, and "a speculator" who "said he once visited Dr. Dee in Mortlak and out of a Book that lay in the Window he coppied out that Call which he used when he invocated." The entire absence of concealment and suspicion on Dee's part, that the anecdote reveals, would rather indicate the innocence of the "book" and Dee's interpretation of its contents. Many sought him out Dee told Burleigh, for aid in finding treasure by divination or interpreting dreams and omens (Ellis: Original letters, p. 36) vide infra Ch. 8.

(9) Works, vol. II, Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, p. 172. Very few explicit accusations of conjuring by Dee's contemporaries survive today, perhaps because as would seem to be the case in the rumour-mongering Nashe refers to, his superstitious traducers did not generally venture into print. Such accusations as are still to be found (e.g., in Foxe, Chamber, Carleton or in Leicester's Commonwealth) are cited or discussed later. But it may be mentioned now that there seems to be no evidence for the statement in William's History of Radnorshire (1859) in which Dee appears under the name "the learned John Du, Anglice Black Jack" and is said to hvae been "mathematical instructor" to Queen Elizabeth and "the counterpart of the celebrated Roger Bacon," that "Isaac Casaubon, prebendary of Canterbury, satirised John Du in a doggerell poem entitled `A Dialogue between John Du and the Devil,' which Du answered, and completely silenced his opponent" (p. 164).

(10) Thus Florimond de Raemond, discussing the liability of mathematicians to be thus falsely accused by popular prejudice, records, after a lengthy defence of Sylvester II (L'Antichrist, Lyons, 1597, Ch. 14, p. 204) "On scait que de nostre temps, Ioannes Denis excellent Mathematicien, a este contrainto se purger de pareille calomnie, comme on lut dans sa deffence qu'el fit imprimer l'an 1570 ayant luy meme plaide sa cause à Londres." The reference here is clearly to Dee's "Digression Apologeticall" in the Euclid Preface (Ajv et seq). The statement is repeated, Dee still disguised as John Denis, in Naudé's Apology (p. 33).

(11) The Historie of Magick by way of Apology for all the Wise Men who have unjustly been reputed Magicians from the Creation to the present Age, trans. J. Davies, 1657, Ch. V, p. 38. Also, Ch. XVII, p. 229. On Selden's citations of Dee vide infra Ch. 8.

(12) R. Hollingworth: Mancuniensis. Written in prison, last entry 1656, the year of his death, on Dee, p. 96 et seq. He tells of an incident with Roger Cooke taken verbatim from Dee's diary and his description of the Preface here quoted is Dee's own from the Compendious Rehearsall. Both were then in MS.

(13) Worthies, vol. II, p. 548. The books mentioned "De usu Globis," and "De Nubium, Solis, Lunae..." are known only through Dee's mention of them in the Compendious Rehearsall and his printed Aphorisms, 1558.

(14) On Arthur Dee. See Ch. III, pp. 285-292; on Kelly, I, pp. 639-643.

(15) In an effort to save Dee's scientific reputation, and quoting Dee's protestation to the Archbishop of Canterbury that he had never meddled with unlawful arts or deviated into practices unbecoming to a Christian, Hooke suggested to the Royal Society that this "Rhapsody of incoherent and unintelligible Whimsies of Prayers and Praises, Invocations and apparitions of Spirits, strange Characters, uncouth and unintelligible Names, Words and Sentences, the Relations of Incredible occurrences" should be looked upon as a "concealed history" of art, and nature and contemporary events, "designed to comprehend another Meaning than what is plainly legible in the Words of it." Trithemius' Steganographia he said, had been similarly misunderstood. Unfortunately, any concrete proposals - if indeed he made any - or clues towards its decoding, have not survived (Posthumous Works, p. 204 et seq). Disraeli in the nineteenth century mentions the intention of a contemporary to follow up Hooke's suggestion and "decipher" the Work, but is sceptical as to the possibility of success (Amenities of Literature, III, p. 228).

(16) A True and Faithful Relation, pp. 59, 25, 99.

(17) Hudibras, Canto 3. II.238-8; cp. II, 631-634.

"Kelly did all his feats upon

The Devil's looking-glass, a stone,

Where playing with him at bo-peep

He solved all problems ne'er so deep."

(18) Ibid II, 1553-1554.

(19) "They hold exact correspondence with devils and can give a perfect account of their civil and military discipline. All this they perform by virtue and dint of Number, which they will have to run through the three worlds, like a Ladder of Ropes, holding the same proportionin them all, and the universal privilege of the Great Secret, which they can prove to be the golden bough, that served Aeneas as a pass to go to Hell with" (Characters, p. 102).

(20) Vitae Quorundum Eruditissimorum et Illustrium Vivorum, 1707, Life of Dee, pp. 29, 38. (Some of Smith's notes for this life containing a little supplementary information still survive: Smith MS. 86, f. 97 et seq; Smith MS. 95 f. 131 et seq.) After Casaubon's publication it is rare to meet such expressions of merely moderate and qualified disapproval as Bishop Kennet (who was employed by Wood from about 1686 in collecting materials for the Athenae Oxoniensis) extends in his memorial of Dee. He merely says of him: "A very learned man and perfect Master of Mathematical Studies, doubtless he was a Man as Mr. Selden calls him `doctrina multijugi,' yet with all so addicted to some over curious and uncertain Arts," though Kennet seems to deplore the fact that despite Dee's "apologies" explicitly denying charges of conjuring he "yet was frequently insulted and disquieted in his studies, and glad to go beyond seas" (Landsdown MS. 983, f. 23). Smith's Life made Casaubon's interpretation familiar on the continent, for the Vitae were reviewed at length in the Acta Eruditorum 1707 (p. 145 et seq) which gave extracts from his account of Dee "aue Lectorem juvare possent & delectare" (p. 147). A similar article appeared in the Journal des Scarans, Aug. 1707, pp. 297-309. Dee it describes as only famous for "la vaine connaissance de l'Astrologie judiciare, pare les superstitions de la Cabale, & par la recherche de la Pierre Philosophale." (p. 304). In the Monas, "il debile toutes les reveries des Cabalistes" (p. 305). He hoped with the assistance of the spirits to become a second Mahomet (p. 307) etc.

(21) E.g., Lilly (Life and Times, p. 100) tells the story, which he had from a clergyman who had it from an old English merchant, that when Dee was living in the Empire, a friar came to his door, who after two refusals said: "Tell thy Master I came to speak with him to do him good because he is a great Scholar and Famous, but now tell him, he put forth a book and Dedicated it to the Emperor, its called Monas Hieroglyphicus. He understood it not, I wrote it myself, I came to instruct him therein and in some other more profound things, do thou Kelly come along with me, I will make thee more famous than thy Master Dee" - and Kelly obeying obtained the Great Elixir. Apocryphal though most of this almost certainly is, the "friar" probably did not lack historical prototypes. (At the same time a tempting speculation suggests itself. There is no record that Dee ever met Bruno, though Bruno was associated when in England with many of Dee's closest connections, and had lectured befored Laski; their respective journeyings on the continent frequently coincide in place and time; Bruno's works of this period have many close similarities with the Monas, which would have leant itself admiraby to his particular exposition of the symbol. Is there then possibly a kernel of truth in Lilly's story referring to some encounter of these two, and offering a hint as to what might be surmised to have passed at it?)

(22) Even Cooper in an admirable biographical account of Dee (in 1858) and one very carefully documented, can write that Dee believed he could commend spirits because he held "the same ideas as the then obscure sect of Rosicrucians some of whom he had perhaps encountered on his travels through Germany." (Athenae Cantab. II, p. 500). It has been a statement generally repeated by eighteenth century writers, e.g., Granger (Biographical History I, 272; 1775) says Dee was "strongly tinctured with the superstitions of the Rosicrucians, and as great a dreamer as any of that fraternity."

(23) See F. Leigh Gardiner's Catalogue Raisonné of Works on Occult Sciences, Vol. I. "Rosicrucianism," 1903.

(24) Ashmole: Theatrum Chemicum Brittanicum claims in his introduction (f. A2v) that in the sixteenth century the Fratres cured the Duke of Norfolk of leprosy, and one of them (a Dr. B.) twice "carried off the virulency of the small pox" from Queen Elizabeth. A correspondent of Ashmole's (Ashmole MS. 1446, f. 237), retailing gossip of Dee, says that Zieglerus who was at Oxford in 1620, and is himself one of the brotherhood, affirms, explicitly, Dee's membership.

(25) Add. MS. 6485. (It is of course a late copy even if not wholly an imposture; f1 is dated March 12, 1713.) There had been much interpolation if any of it is genuine, or else Dee has been confused with his son Arthur: a correspondence (f352 etc.) with Helvetius on transmutation is dated 1666 (Waite discusses this MS critically in the Biographical Preface to The Alchemical Writings of Edward Kelly, pp. lxii-lxvi).

A similar attribution serving to show how Dee was coming to be particularly regarded is that made by Lhuyd in 1697 in his Cat. Lib. Man. Ang. et. Hib., p. 349, no. 8103; where he says that Dee is the reputed author of a treatise Aurora Sapientiae (now Ashmole MS. 358 Item 2); a work "in which (according to its own title page) the ground and key of all wisdome is laid a new and true tri-une wisdome, Physisophie, Theologie and Theosophie: tending to the honour of God, the revelation of the true wisdome and to the service of the Sixt Church at Philadelphia."

(26) Posterity of course owes a considerable debt to Ashmole, whose assiduous collecting of materials concerning Dee and works by him, has preserved much that might otherwise have been irrevocably lost. He apparently intended a biographyof Dee, though there is no evidence remaining that he ever actually commenced it, for Sherburne in his Catalogue of Astronomers, Ancient and Modern (appended to his translation of The Sphere of Marcus Manilius 1675) concludes a brief notice of Dee - described as a "Doctor of Physick" (p. 62) "A farther Account of the Works and Writings of this Stupendious Person the Reader may happily e're long meet with in his Life, intended to be written (if Providence second his Design by my worthy Friend Elias Ashmole Esquire, whose singular Affection to Astronomical and Astrological Studies may justly entitle him to a Place in this Catalogue." (Cp. Aubrey, Brief Lives, ed. Clark, Vol. I, p. 33. A note of Ashmole's promise to write lives of Dee, Napier, Dugdale and Lilly, "as he told me formerly, but nowe he seems to falle".) It is nonetheless unfortunate that Ashmole's interest was chiefly directed towards Dee's spiritualistic activities, and to the mystical writings "communicated" at his conferences; these last Ashmole studied seriously and with great attention (e.g., vide a note he appends to one: "I found out the Composition of the Names of the Angells from these tables to be this..." etc. Ashmole MS. 1790 f. 48v, dated 16th Aug., 1673). Continuity of interest between Dee and his son Arthur in similar matters is evidenced by Sloane MS. 1902; a notebook which was used by each of them in turn. Its contents are largely directed to astrological medicine, and horoscope information, there is also a treatise in jargon: "Hermeticae Philosophiae Medulla" (14v-11v). A uniform tone prevails clearly throughout though many entries are later additions or supplementations by Arthur.

(27) Hearne: Johannis...Glastoniensis Chronica, vol. 2, p. 490 et seq. (reviewed with an account of Dee in Acta Eruditorum, 1729, p. 181 et seq). It is probably because Dee had become a relatively familiar figure as a result of Hearne's publication that Tanner, although listing selected titles from Dee's works, gives no biographical summary such as most other writers receive in his Bib. Brit.-Hib., 1748 (pp. 223-3).

(28) Letters written by Eminent Persons, Vol. II, pt. 1, pp. 91-92. Ballard to Hearne, 15 Nov. 1732.

(29) Biog. Brit., 2nd ed., 1793, Vol. 5, pp. 32, 37. The article is a revision of that which appeared in the first edition, Vol. III, 1750, pp. 1633-1645; the tone is unchanged.

(30) Environs of London, 1792, Vol. I, p. 383. Nash, following Granger's Biographical History, I, pp. 272-274, declares Dee "a man of extensive learning particularly in the mathematics, but vain, credulous and Enthusiastic; a great Astrologist and Rosicrucian...He appears to be by turns a dupe and a cheat" (Collections for the History of Worcestershire, 1781/1782, Vol. II, p. 446).

(31) Mémoires, 1729, Vol. I, p. 359.

(32) Geschichte der Menschlichen Narrheit, 1785/1786, Vol. 7, p. 73. (The Dee legend seems to have undergone some independent elaboration in Germany in this century; a fairly full, but not over accurate account - Arthur's Fasciculus Chemicus is ascribed to Dee for instance - of him in Jöcher's Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexican, Leipsig, 1750, Vol. II, cols. 64-65, declares "Sonst wurde er auch der Magie beschuldiget; wie man denn viel processus Magicos unter seinen Schrifften gefunden, er sich auch geruhmet haben soll, dass er allzeit seinen Genium vor sich gesehn, welcher in seiner Abwesenheit an seiner Stelle studirt; aber auch, wenn er ihn caressirt und auf die Achsel geklopft, wieder aufgestanden und ihm Platz gemacht."

(33) E.g., a black shewstone (Provenance and history given Cooper Ath. Cantab., II, p. 510), and a cabalistic bracelet, described in the prizewinning "note" in Connoisseur (vol. 60, 1924, July, pp. 161-163, Dr. Dee's Cabalistic Bracelet, Constance Russell, Lady Russell of Swallowfield), it has as pendants a dried nut and some brown pebbles, the authoress claims it was worn by Elizabeth, on Dee's prescription as a cure for rheumatism and that (p. 162) "These `toadstones' were given to Dee by his friend and fellow worker Albertus Magnus [sic!], the celebrated alchemist, who said that they always bore a figure resembling that of a toad on the surface at the time it [sic] was taken out of the toads head." (p. 162) Again Rawlinson despatched, as a considerable curio, to Mr. Oliver of the public library in Oxford in 1750, a marble table that Dee had used in conjurations, that had passed through the hand of the alchemist Lilly (Letter of Feb. 6th, 1749/1750, Rawlinson MS. C.989 f. 137v). Dee's original table had long been known, see Ashmole's note "The dimensions of Dr. Dee's Holy Table preserved in Sr. John Cotton's library" Ashmole MS. 1790 55r-v. Rawlinson's is perhaps therefore under some suspicion of being one of those conveniently "discovered" objects, which appear as though created by it, in the presence of a demand for them. V. infra A-47.

(34) Vol. 84 (2). July/Dec. 1814: Crepandia Literaria auctore V.C. no. 1, pp. 207-208.

(35) Godwin: Lives, p. 376 et seq. (Standard reference works of biography available to Godwin of course still largely exemplified the 18th century attitude, usually closely following Kippis' Biog. Britt., e.g., Robert Welt's Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824, on Dee: "a great mathematician and greater Enthusiast," Vol. I, col 296f-v.) Roby: Traditions, 2nd ed., 1830, Ser. 1, Vol. I, pp. 237-331. He professes to base himself on the original sources and authentic materials, and to rescue Dee's true character from his slanderers, "An enthusiast he undoubtedly was, but not the drivelling dotard that some of his biographers imagine." (p. 289) His moral is nonetheless identical with Casaubons; Dee was "prompted to unhallowed intercourse by pride and ambition," "His grasp was greater than his power and he fell like heroes and conquerors in all ages, overwhelmed with the vastness of his own conceptions," "He aimed at universal knowledge and exhaustless riches; but he died imbecile and a beggar" (pp. 289-290). This initial discussion is followed by a highly coloured story (pp. 299-331), in which copious extracts from the T.F.R. are converted into dialogue, to give an air of authenticity, but which in outline is frankly based on "tradition" ("It is not our intention to spoil a good story by rejecting what we cannot verify" p. 298) in which it is said Dee's "predictions at one period astonished Europe," and such descriptions abound as "his presence [was] like some portentous comet, threatening war and disaster, perplexing even emperors and princes and filling them with apprehension and dismay" (p. 300).

D'Israeli, Amenities, Vol. III, pp. 289-229 ("The Occult Philosopher Dr. Dee"). "The Magical part of The Tempest" Warton has observed, "is founded on that sort of philosophy which was peculiar to John Dee and his associates, and has been called the Rosicrucian" (p. 190), the account is in general not over accurate (Elizabeth "at all times promptly supplied the wants of her careless and dreamy sage" p. 191) and Dee's career is explained in terms of his age - of which it is said "At the dawn of philosophy its dreams were not yet dispersed, and philosophers were often in peril of being as imaginative as posts" (p. 189) - and a personal temperament, in which "wild enthusiasm" is said to be mingled with "an inextinguishable ambition to fix the admiration of the world" (p. 191). The account in Dibdin's Bibliomania (rev. ed. 1842), summarised from the materials printed by Hearne, is similar in tone. "The renowned Dr. JOHN DEE" declares Dibdin "...was really the weakest as well as the ablest scholar and philosopher of his day," and he pictures him "in his conjuring cap and robes...pronouncing himself with the most heartfelt complacency, the greatest genius of the age," with his distraught wife "beseeching him to burn his books and instruments, and reminding him that there was neither a silver spoon, nor a loaf of bread, in the cupboard." (pp. 261-265)

(36) Bentham, Works, ed. J. Bowring, Vol. 8, p. 78, Edinburgh, 1843.

(37) Original Letters of Eminent Men, Camden Soc. 1843, p. 5. Halliwell in his edition of the Diaries, seeking to refer his readers to a reliable account of Dee, praised D'Israeli as supplying "a correct and able view of his character" (Introduction p. VIII). I.G. Nichols (A Descriptive Catalogue of the Works of the Camden Society, 1862, pp. 16-17) classes Dee with Forman, and speaks of him as "this somewhat charlatanical philosopher," whose chief interest lies in the curious intercourse he was able to maintain with eminent persons at Elizabeth's court.

(38) Thus Wright's Narratives of Sorcery and Magic, 1851, entitles a chapter "The English Magicians: Dr. Dee and his followers" (Vol. I, ch. 12, p. 226) and Sir Samuel Meyrick in a note on Dee (Heraldic Visitations of Wales, 1846, Vol. I, p. 168) declared: "He did actually after this (1583) practice necromancy, and disgusted foreign courts, to which he travelled, with his absurdities, so that the Queen sent for him to return."

(39) Before this date, notices of Dee might occasionally be met with that do not contain any accusations of necromancy, charlatanry or folly - e.g., R.A. Davenport's brief account in A Dictionary of Biography, 1831, which merely pays tribute to Dee's "undoubted talents and learning" (p. 219), the massing mention of Dee in Scott's Demonology and Witchcraft, 1831, as "an excellent mathematician" who possessed a crystal, "and is said to have been imposed upon concerning the spirits attached to it." (p. 339) After 1840 it is difficult to find a single such instance.

(40) See his account of Dee in a section on "The Order of the Illuminati" in A New and Complete Illustrationof the Celestial Science of Astrology, Vol. II, pt. IV, p. 1099 et seq, 1810. (He declares for example, that Dee "wrote the mathematical preface to Euclid's Elements, and has left tables of the harmony and extent of numbers infinitely beyond the capacity of the present times though so much more learned and refined.")

(41) Of Dee's astrology it is said "So accurate were his calculations esteemed, that he was universally consulted as an oracle"; he boasts "I have a magic glass in which with due preparation you may behold exact representations of coming events," and makes good his words; he threatens Fawkes whom he has fastened to the spot with his powder, "Were it my pleasure, I could bury you twenty fathoms deep in the earth beneath our feet; or by invoking certain spirits, convey you to the summit of yon lofty tower," pointing to the church "and hurl you from it headlong." (Guy Fawkes, pp. 58, 56, 51.) It may be added that Kelly is of course a co-actor in all these events, he is the indispensable assistant for Dee presented as Wizard, though he had of course died many years before the period Ainsworth's novel described.

(42) Guy Fawkes, facing p. 50. It is inspired by a similar plate designed by Sibley (it is inscribed "Sibley del. Ames Sculp."), which appears in his New and Complete Illustration....p. 1106, though here Dee is not specifically identified as the figure accompanying Kelly. For the seventeenth century literary suggestions for this legend, and the later treatment of the illustration as an historical document vide infra. ch. II, n. 131.

(43) Vol. III, p. 120.

(44) This nonsensical fabrication informed the populace that "the measure of your sins is full," the city would fall ("perhaps you'll soon be stiff and cold"),

"In the year one eight and fourty two

Of the year that is so new,

In the third month, of that sixteen

It may be a day or two between," (!)

ending "The mighty kingly proud shall see/This comes to pass as my name's Dee." An anonymous contemporary description of the events that followed (The Earthquake in London, 1842, which is also the source of the text) records, "Some have actually given up valuable situations and left the city, others have departed only making the most hasty preparations for their future welfare, and numbers have made a temporary removal, having a slight hope that their habitations may pass uninjured among the general confusion, but not desiring to risk their life and persons upon the chance of being preserved, whether through the failure of the predictions, or by any providential means of escape which might be open to them upon the eventful crisis." (This report seems less incredible than at first might be judged in the light of several similar occurences in the nineteenth century, as, for example, the furore over the Mother Shipton prophecies, issued in 1862, as "strangely preserved amongst other writings belonging to an old monastery in Yorkshire," and which Charles Hindley confessed to forging in 1874 (see N.Q. Series IV, Vol. II, p. 365). These had predicted (N.Q. IV, 10, 450) along with much that could be seen to have been "fulfilled" since their supposed date of composition, the end of the world as due in 1881, and had been countenanced by such journals as the Christian Globe and Christian World; the editor of the latter professing to remember having heard as a child these same recently fabricated verses (see The Shield of Faith, No. 17, Vol. 2, May 1878, pp. 65-66).

(45) Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, May 1842, Vol. 51, pp. 626-629. "John Dee" No. 4 in series "Things of the Day." The article begins "The late intended earthquake, which has been put off for the purpose of giving precedence to Sir Robert Peel's income tax, a much more formidable shaker of the island than any blowing up of the central gasworks of the globe, has renewed the name and fame of Dr. Dee." Its considered verdict is that Dee "was really a very clever fellow, and if he had not adopted a trade in which cleverness and knavery always go together, he might have been one of the luminaries of England." (p. 626)

(46) The Predicted Plague, 1900, compiled by "Hippocrates Junior." This very silly book informs us that Dee possessed a mechanical owl, jay and raven all four times as large as life (p. 316), and credits (?) him with an intimacy with Simon Forman, who it affirms resided at Mortlake, and used to go by boat down the river with Dee to witness Shakespeare's plays (p. 403). There is, it is perhaps needless to add, no evidence of any association of Dee and this sinister quack.

It is to be deplored that Tennison has recently accepted the claims of this work and quoted from its contents as a genuine work of Dee's (Elizabethan England, Vol. VIII, 1947, pp. 233-235, the additional reference to Archaeologia XIII here is somewhat misleading as the sixteenth century dietary there reprinted does not even pretend to have any connection with Dee).

(47) But Barret had stated as early as 1801 (The Celestial Intelligencer, p. 196) that "although Dee's manuscripts and his Magic Crystall are to be seen at the Museum there are six or seven individuals in London who assert they have the stone in their possession; thereby wishing to deceive the incredulous and to tempt them to purchase at an enormous price."

On Morrison see account in N.Q. 1874, 5th Ser. Vol. II, pp. 86, 376. He gained a favourable verdict in an action for libel he brought against an Admiral Belcher who had merely described him as an imposter. During this cause celebre of 1874 "Dee's crystal" was produced, and it was claimed that by its means Dee had revealed the gunpowder plot to James - an incident it was said commemorated in an illustration in a prayer book issued by Baskett in 1737. Actually the engraving in question (included in several editions of the Book of Common Prayer issued by this licensed printer) is purely allegorical - it shows God revealing treason in a mirror - but the claim is perhaps an echo of that tradition, already recorded by Aubrey, that Dee, by his secret arts, had forewarned Elizabeth of Lopez' projected attempt on her life (Ashmole MS. 1788 f.50). The immediate source for the story and perhaps only one in which this incident explicitly occurs was Ainsworth's Guy Fawkes in which Dee is made to declare (p. 318), "The conspiracy was first revealed to me by the Earl of Salisbury, though for his own purposes he kept it secret to the last. He owes me a heavy debt...." This seems to be Ainsworth's invention probably developed from a vague anecdote in Sibley that Dee "having by means of his confederacy with spirits foretold and detected a fatal conspiracy, he was then as much honoured and caressed as he had before been stigmatised and abused by the hasty multitude." (A New and Complete Illustration, 4, p. 1099.)

(48) Thus Brayley (in A Topographical History of Surrey, 1850, Vol. 3, p. 470) though describing him as "one of the most celebrated cultivators of Natural Philosophy inthe sixteenth century," continues "but he lived extravagantly...It is to be lamented that on many occasions Dr. Dee stooped to arts of imposture and deceit in order to increase his fame and obtain money." It is difficult to find any much more indulgent comment than Dugdale's, to whom Dee was "distinguished for his pretensions to magic and astrology," but who admits "Dee unlike Kelly did not seek to amass wealth. He was rather ostentatious than covetous and there was a spice of honesty in his composition" (England and Wales Delineated, 1858, Vol. 2, p. 1218).

(49) "Modern Magic" in All the Year Round, July 28th, 1860, Vol. III, pp. 370-374. The article sets out to stress the contemporary dresses, diction and opinions of Dee's "angels" to justify the ironic conclusion (p. 471): "We should not have such a spirit now; neither would our little Madimi say that she would be beaten. Earthly times and manners have changed; consequently the spiritual and heavenly times and manners have changed with them." (The article is anonymous, but the tone is that of Dickens, he was much occupied with the subject of spiritualism at this period, he was conducting, All the Year Round himself and several pieces of information here are said to have been supplied to the writer by the son of the conductor of this journal.")

(50) Scientific Studies, or Practical in contrast with Chimerical Pursuits...Preface IV. French critics of the period follow the same line Brunet merely calls him "visionnaire et alchimiste"; commenting of his work "L'exaltation de sa tête et la volenté d'acquévir de la réputation le menèrent à étudier avec ardear l'astrologie et la cabale" (Nouvelle Biog. Gen., 1855, Vol. XII, p. 347). Delaulnaye declared that Dee "peut être rangé dans la même classe que Borri et Cagliostro," and speaks of Kelly's six MS volumes called "Conferences avec Bélzebuth" surviving at Oxford. Biog. Universelle, 1852, Vol. X, pp. 267.

(51) Romantic Biography, 1842, Vol. I, p. 379. The tone is clear as he goes on to declare Dee to have been the son of "a respectable vintner," yet to have pretended to be descended from Roderick the Great, while "perhaps from some fancied connection with the rulers of Algiers; he for a time, wrote himself Dey instead of Dee." Nevertheless this work was taken very seriously and Canon Raines cites it several times as authoritative in his account of Dee in The Rectors of Manchester (Chetham, Soc. N.S. 6, 1885, Vol. 2, p. 101-112).

(52) G.M. Hort's: Dr. John Dee Elizabethan Mystic and Astrologer, 1922 ("Mystics and Occultists" series) belongs to this tradition, though more factually reliable and critically intelligent than others of the kind. In France, Grillot de Giury issued a translation of Dee's Monas from this standpoint, and translated passages of the T.F.R. for his "Anthologie de l'Occultism," he treats Dee as magician and cabalist in La Museé des Sorciers, 1920 (174 et seq, 220 et seq). A. Poisson, a student of similar matters, also had apparently considerable interest in Dee. (An MS biography by him in French, in the possession of the Welcome Library, turns out on examination to be however, only a translation of Thomas Smith's Latin Life, with some extracts from Casaubon appended.) In Germany Dee has been made the protagonist of a lengthy occult novel by Gustav Meyrink (Der Engel des Westlichen Fenster, Leipzig, 1927) in which he is entitled Sir John Dee, Baronet of Gladhall, and his secret life is reconstructed with the aid of a trunk full of old papers, and much crystal gazingg by a narrator who is at once Dee's descendant and reincarnation!

(53) In Tycho Brahe: Opera Omnia, ed. J.L.E. Dreyer, Vol. 111 (1916), p. 400 note.

(54) Charlotte Fell Smith, John Dee, London, 1909. The material in it is very largely taken from the printed biographical tracts and diaries, and Casaubon's True and Faithful Relation. Dee's life and writings to the beginningof his occult period (1528-1581) receive 59 pages, this period until his return to England in 1589 extends from p. 59 to p. 225. From then to his death in 1608, a period in which he produced little or nothing but which is covered by the diaries etc., occupied the rest of the book (up to p. 307).

The groundwork for such a biography had been laid in 1858 by Cooper in his admirable account of Dee in Athenae Cantabrigiensis, which gathered together most of the information then available concerning him, with an extensive bibliography. Indeed, Miss Fell Smith's biography adds very little to what may be found there.

(55) Edward Thompson, Sir Walter Raleigh, 1935, p. 68 (which is a scholarly, comprehensively documented study in other respects).

Again, an article of K. Maynard's (Science in Early English Literature, Isis XVII, 1932, pp. 94-127) accepting uncritically information in de Morgan's article in the Companion to the Almanac, 1837, declares that Dee "who in advance of his time could rise to the demands of the new astronomy is said to have persuaded himself and others that he dealt with evil spirits. Certain it is that he made his livelihood as a necromancer, magician and astrologer." (p. 107)

Similarly, the only mention of Dee in F. Smith's extensive History of Modern Culture, Vol. I (1543-1687), 1930 is (after some jokes have already been made at Cardan's expense, apropos of his astrological interests): "Another famous stargazer, John Dee, enjoyed a high reputation, until his discovery that the stars ordained one of his disciples to change wives with him cast some doubts on his good faith." (p. 427) The tone prevailing in standard popular directories is therefore not surprising (e.g., the entry in The Concise Universal Biography, ed. Hammerton, 1934, I, p. 490, which though of some length, Dee receives more than three times as much space as J.W.R. Dedekind, who here immediately precedes him - categorises him as "English Necromancer" and continues in the same vein: "He experimented in alchemy and astrology and was generally denounced for holding intercourse with the devil. He was imprisoned for bewitching Queen Mary" etc., etc.). Again, the most recent notice of Dee, apart from abounding inaccuracies - mistakes in copying from secondary sources? - is chiefly a retelling of his occult adventures from the T.F.R. - Luigi Firpo's John Dee, Scienzioto, Negromonz et Avuenutiero, 1952, pp. 25-84.

(56) Especially Johnson, Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England, 1937, p. 135 et seq; and passim.

Taylor, Tudor Geography, 1930, pp. 75-140.