Crowds of visitors came to Mortlake to dine. Mr. Beale (who was a borrower of books from Dee - his own Famous and Rich Discoveries, and the Chronica Hollandiae Magnae), and his wife; Francis Blount, uncle of Sir Charles, who had been in Constantinople; Mistress Banister; Mr. Redhead, one of the Queen's gentlemen ushers, and his wife; the mother of John Pontoys, about whom we shall hear more; Mr. Gubbens, book-binder, and Mrs. Gubbens, and many others. Hospitable as ever, Dee had offered shelter for two months to Antony Ashley, Clerk of the Council, his wife and family, "who used me worshipfully and bountifully for our friendship. They had my mother's chamber, the mayde's chamber, and all the other house."
Not only books were lent, but instruments also. "On Thursday, Mr. Saunders of Ewell, sent home my great sea cumpass, but without a needle. It came in the night by water."
In August he is much in train with the Lord Keeper, Sir JOhn Eckford, at Kew. On the 8th he dined there, again on the 17th, this time taking Mrs. Dee and Katherine, who at twelve was sufficiently grown up to dine out. On the 28th he was all day with the Lord Keeper. The entries we have here, "Mr. Web and the philosopher came as I was with the Lord Keeper," and "Mr. Web and the philosopher cam again," pique one's curiosity.
At the end of the month, Dee notes the departure from his service "uppon no due cause known to me," of Elizabeth Kyrton, a servant who had been with him twelve years, had passed through the vicissitudes of travel-life in Bohemia, as Rowland's nurse; left in charge of him, as we have seen, in Cracow when the others went on to Prague. She had served five years on apprenticeship and seven for wages: five at four and two at five nobles a year. Of her wages there was now four pounds four shillings due. Dee in paying her, presented a new half-angel; Jane Dee gave her another; Arthur half-a-crown for him and his brother (Rowland), and Katherine the like sum for herself and Madinia. Elizabeth's going seems to have upset the domestic arrangements for a month or so later Dee makes an unusual entry about his wife: "Jane most desperately angry in respect of her maydes." Margery Thornton, Elizabeth's successor, left next day, and Dorothy Legg came for 30s. yearly.
A messenger from Laski arrived, Mr. Cornelio Camaiere, and stayed a week. These constant communications do not by any means support the contention that Laski parted with Dee in anger, ruined by his costly experiments. It is more probable that Laski was urging him to return and continue Kelly's work.
The Countess of Cumberland, Lord Willoughby and his sister, the Countess of Kent, came to visit Dee. Willoughby dined and next day sent him £20. Dee was annoyed by "Mr. Gray, the Lady Cumberland's preacher, his wrangling and denying and despising alchemicall philosopher." A New Year's gift of 20 angels, in a new red velvet purse, came to Jane Dee from the Lord Keeper.
Michael Peiser, doctor to the Duke of Brandenburg, visited Dee,
also Walter Van der Laen, "an astronomer of great promise."
Mr. John Aske sent as a present two little doubtle gilt bowls,
weighing thirteen ounces and a half. "Sir Thomas Willes offer
philosophical cam to my hands, by Mr. Morrice Kiffen." The
children, Madinia and Theodore, were not very well. Several visits
were paid to Mr. Webbe, who had been inthe Marshalsea prison since
the days before Christmas. His chests and boxes were sealed up.
It is possible he was the Mr. Webbe who was employed by the Queen
to visit and report on Dyer and Kelly at Prague. He may even have
been suspected of bringing some of Kelly's manufactured gold to
Dee. Bartholomew Hickman and his brother were a good deal to and
fro; Bartholomew was first brought to Dee as a lad by his uncle,
in 1578, with an introduction from Sir Christopher Hatton. Now,
his daughter Jane was taken into service. Dee gave him a nag that
the Lord Keeper had presented, and he rode frequently "homeward,"
to Shugborough in Warwickshire. In December 1594, Dee "preferred"
him to Lord Willoughby's service at the Barbican, and there is
a whole history about his livery, which was ordered from a Fleet
Street tailor, Mr. Jonson.
|Previous page||Table of Contents||Next page|