Notes to Chapter VII

(1) Survey quoted Lysons, The Environs of London, Vol. I, p. 381. The Diaries show the estate to have been nominally the property of Dee's mother until June 1579 and Lysons states that Joanna Dee was residing there by 1568. (Mortlake was not entirely without previous learned associations; Peckham, whose Perspective was still a standard work, had died there in 1292.) Ashmole writes (Ashmole MS 1788 f 149) that Dee dwelt in a house near the waterside a little westward from the church, and that Sir Frances Crane erected his tapestry works (still in use in 1673) on the ground where Dee's laboratories and storehouses had stood (for further details see Brayley, Topographical History of Surrey, Vol. III, pp. 463-471).

(2) Lists of the contents drawn up in 1583 still survive: Harleian MS 1879. Trinity College Cambridge, MS O. IV. 20, both holograph and a transcript by Ashmole of the latter, Ashmole MS 1447. Dee valued this collection of 4,000 works, one quarter of which was composed of manuscripts, at £2,000 (C.R. Ch. VII, p. 27). On Dee's collections at Mortlake vide infra Ch. X, p. 861 et seq. The list of the MSS in his library has been printed by Halliwell--appended to his edition of the Diaries.

(3) Vide infra Ch. 10, p. 849.

(4) It is situated seven miles from Hyde Park Corner. Arthur Hopton (A Concordancy of Years, 1612, p. 252) gives a list of standard rates by water: "For a boat from London to Mortlake 12d. or else every person 2d....watermen rowing in great Barges wth Lords or other persons to have 8d. apiece by day and find themselves."

(5) E.g., Aug. 8, 1579: "John Elmeston for dialling"; on Sept. 13, 1580, Lok brought his son Benjamin--and also perhaps Zachary--who was still with Dee, on Aug. 31, 1582. He was, howver, perhaps taken by Dee as an act of friendship for in 1581 Lok was in the Fleet prison petitioning he had lost £5,000 in Frobisher's voyages (and Dee had been concerned also in these)--asking for relief and freedom from the debts of the "Black Stone" Company and a chance to work for the support of his fifteen children--Manhart, English Search for a N.W. Passage, p. 82.

(6) Thomas Moffet (Sydney's physician), Nobilis sive Vitae Mortisque Sydniadis Synopsis, ed. Heltzel and Hudson, f.xv "Tamen abhorrens a judicio [i.e., astrology] et captu communis sensus, oculo per universum naturam commeante penitissima causarum adyta pervasit eoque nomine chemiam (astrolem ilam Naturaeque aemulam scientiam) Deo Duce, Dio praeceptore, Diero socio addidicit." No exact date can be determined for this instruction not mentioned elsewhere: Sydney made the acquaintance of Dyer at Oxford where he went in 1568, and was out of England from 1572-1575 and again from 1576-1577. Fulke Greville testifies to Sydney's interest in such subjects as Dee was skilled in (Life of Sydney, p. 14) for, complaining that the Arcadia is an unworthy memorial of his talents he declares "if his purpose had been to leave his memory in books"; he could have displayed his "searching and judicious spirit" in works on "the right use of Logick, Philosophy, History and Poesie, nay even in the most ingenious of Mechanical Arts"; "his heart and capacity were so large" he declares "that there was not a skilful Painter, a skilfull Engenier, an excellent Musician, or any other Artificer of extraordinary fame, that made not himself known to this famous spirit."

(7) Ashmole MS 356, Item 5. It has been annotated after Sydney's death (by Francis Sydney?--into whose hands it passed). Despite Moffet's declaration of Sydney's views on the subject, Dee throughout addresses himself to Sydney's own person ("Nobilissime Juvenis")--for whom it would seem therefore prepared. It carries no date, but Sydney was already at, and may have left the University from internal references, but had not apparently yet been on his foreign travels. Dee predicts the course of Sydney's life up to the age of 68, but cautiously adds that the prognostications are conditional upon survival. Fortune, Glory and development of extraordinary talents, will occur especially from the age of 15 onwards to 31 years. At this latter time he will be in grave danger from violent injury from sword or gunshot. But this crisis surmounted will live to old age. Much advice is given on such subjects as the choice of a wife by planetary indications of temperamental sympathies and the most fortunate period for marriage. Dee especially notes Sydney's talent for mathematics which will reward the instruction Dee is giving him. (The study of mathematics Sydney recommends to Robert Sydney in a letter of advice 18th October, 1580--Works, Vol. III, p. 132, "Now (deere Brother) take delight in the mathematicalls, Mr. Savell is excellent in them...Arithmetick and geometry, I would wish you well seene in, so as both in matter of nomber and measure you might have a feeling, and active judgement. I would you did beare the mechanical instruments wherein the Dutch..." (blank in MS). As to astrology, Moffat's assertion seems belied by passages in Sydney's writings, which it seems unlikely are mere conventional metaphors, e.g., Sonnet XXVI, Astrophel and Stella, Works II, p. 253 (some variants from p. 374): "Though duskie wits doe scorne astrologie," in which the stars "promising wonders wonders doe invite," and in which Sydney declares:

"For me I do nature un-idle know

And know great causes great effects procure

And know those bodies high reign on the low...").

(8) Brief Lives, ed. Powell, p. 53.

(9) Gresham College Precursor of the Royal Society, p. 424-425 (J.H.I. Vol. I, 1940, pp. 413-438).

(10) Klibansky, Continuity of the Platonic Tradition, p. 36. Dee's, containing a Latin Meno and Phaedo with commentary is Corp. Christ. MS 243.

(11) Such as Dee's treatise on the Calendar, according to a note on the MS. Both Kenelm Digby 178--an astronomical collection; and Digby 192--Lull's Ars Demonstrativa from the signatures on them, belonged first to Dee and then to Allen. Dee left the strange mirror he describes in the Preface with Kelly on the continent (Diary, Dec. 4, 1588), but another he possessed perhaps came to Allen for in Selden MS 79 f 150 there is a diagram of a concave mirror with the anonymous note "This was a most curious glasse standinge in a frame. As farre as I could gett out of Mr. Allen (who was very sparinge to tell howe he came by it) it seemeth to have byn sometyme in Dr. Dee his custodie wch also he had showed to ye Emperour of Germany. and Mr. Allen was willing to leave it wth me for small consideration, betwixt him and me." But the writer "differed it so longe tyll at length it went awaye either wth his bookes to Sr. Kenhelm Digbie to whom he gave them at his death, or else to Sr. Tho. Aikesbury." (Aylesbury was a patron collaborator and finally executor of Harriot--and chiefly instrumental in the publication of his Algebra). (The notes was made by the antiquarian Brian Twyne. See Gibson, Brian Twyne, Oxoniensa V, 1940, who describes the mirror, p. 109.)

(12) Aubrey on Kenelm Digby, Brief Lives, p. 43. Digby was only five years old at the time of Dee's death, but the Dee-Allen, Allen-Digby intellectual intimacies indicate a certain continuity of thought stretching through a very lengthy period (Lyson's Environs, I, p. 371, says that Digby also resided at Mortlake for some time, a son of his, Everard, was buried there in 1629).

(13) Gul. Burtonus. Orat. funeb. Tho. Allen, London, 1632, quoted Wood. Art on Allen, Ath. Ox., Vol. II, p. 542.

(14) Worthies, ed. Nichols, Vol. II, p. 310. Fuller adds--referring to the "scandall" that it was "taken at both, but given I believe by neither." He goes on, and this reflection would apply equally in the case of Dee: "when once the repute of a conjuror is raised in vulgar esteem, it is not in the power of the greatest Innocence and Learning to allay it."

(15) Aubrey on Allen, Brief Lives, pp. 132-133.

(16) Ath. Ox., II, p. 541.

(17) 1641 ed., p. 71, from the expanded tract of 1585, Discours de la Vie Abominable...(de) my Lorde de Lecestre Machaveliste. An anonymous account (c. 1600 Sloane MS 1926 f 35r-43v) of the supposed fortunes of Leicester's soul after death, mentions neither Dee nor Allen, though it gives a list of attendants set to wait on him in hell, including Julio, Herle, Tarleton, etc. (f42r). Leiceters Ghost of Thomas Rogers of Oxford and the Middle Temple written 1604 (Add MS 12, 132, very much longer than the printed version appended to the Commonwealth of 1641, in which also no author's name is given) and which claims to be an assessment of Leicester independent in judgments and evidence of the Commonwealth though it follows closely (author's conclusion 27r after a profession of impartiality,

Nor do I think all written tales are true

That are inserted in his Commonwealth.

....I strive

To write the truth not wronging his estate")

has Leicester declare:

"At my command both Dee and Allen tended

By Magick Art my pleasures to fulfill,

These to my Service their best studies bended,

And why? they durst not disobey my will.

Yea whatsoever was of secret skill

In Oxford or in Cambridge to be sold,

I brought for love, for feares or else for gold"

(f last verse f.5v printed ed 1641 p. 6).

There follows a verse on the use in magic of Hieroglyphic Characters which, Leicester says, was studied by "the most renowned philosophers," i.e., Plato and Pythagoras. (A study of the authorship of this poem is F.B. Williams' Leicesters Ghost, Harvard Studies and notes in Philology and Literature Vol. 18, 1935, pp. 271-285.) Of the others mentioned in the Commonwealth passage Dee was certainly acquainted with Julio--the Diary notes Nov. 17, 1697 "I sent Ed. Arnold to London on foote [Dee was in Manchester at this time] with my letter to D. Julio"; and the mention of Lopez is interesting since Smith refers to Dee's acquaintance with this unfortunate physician recording the tradition that he interceded with Elizabeth on his behalf (a courageous and unpopular advocacy)--for "he would not have her put Lopez to death" (Smith MS 15 f 131r--Smith's notes collected for his life of Dee). On the other hand Aubrey reports--with more improbability--the tradition that Dee by his arts, was able to forewarn the Queen of Lopez' projected attempt on her life by poison (Ashmole MS 1755 f 50). A recent account of Lopez which accepts his guilt ("The treachery of Lopez was deliberate, systematic and long sustained") is Tennison, Elizabethan England, Vol. IX, 1950, p. 242 et seq. See also Vol. VII, 1940, p. 187 et seq. Philip Sydney's answer to Leicester's Commonwealth was printed by Arthur Collins in Letters and Memorials of State, London, 1740, Vol. I, pt. 1, pp. 62-63. Sydney describes the tract (p. 63) as "such a Bundle of Railinges, as if it came from the mouth of som half drunk skold in a Tavern," he does not make mention of Dee or seek to rebut the slanders made against other minor accessory figures in it. It has been conjectured recently that the author of the pamphlet may have been Henry Howard (Tennison, Elizabethan England, Vol. IX, 1950, p. xliv) who was drawing a secret pension from Spain. Howard had written A Defensative against supposed Prophecy (his own brother, the Duke of Norfolk, had been executed for treason in 1571 after being led into rebellion by his belief in certain false "prophecies") which was a particularly virulent attack on many of Dee's favourite subjects of speculation, such as the Cabala and Astrology. It should, for completeness, be mentioned that Dee does not figure in the continental "version" of Leicester's Commonwealth written by Julian Briegerus in his Flores Calvinistici (pp. 9-30) published at Naples with royal licence though it is full of charges of poisoning and magic.

(18) See Manhart, English Search for a N.W. Passage, p. 76. (On the Black Stone episode and Dee's connection with it vide infra n. 101.)

(19) Brief Lives, p. 133.

(20) Athenae Ox., Vol. I, p. 639.