He is teeming with all these projects and activities in spite of his sixty-five years. He was a born librarian; and still had a national library of books and manuscripts at heart as much as when, nearly forty years before, he had tried in vain to induce Queen Mary to found one.
Dee's eloquent persuasions so far prevailed with the Queen that a draft was prepared before the end of May, granting to Lord Cobham the next advowson of "Holyrood," or St. Cross, at Winchester, in the Queen's gift, to present to John Dee, M.A., on the death or resignation of Dr. Robert Bennett, the present incumbent.
Having drawn up this very full account of his doings and writings, to present to the Commissioners, Dee was naturally anxious that the appeal should be as widespread and far-reaching as possible. Archbishop Whitgift had shown himself favourably inclined, and Dee determined to approach him with a copy of that part of the Rehearsall in which he recited the titles of the books he had written. He prepared a Letter containing a brief Discourse apologeticall with a plaine Demonstration and fervent protestation for the lawful sincere and very faithful and christian course of the philosophicall studies and exercises of a certaine studious gentleman, an ancient servant to her most excellent Majesty Royall, addressed to the Archbishop; he probably presented it himself during this summer of 1595. It is a protest and an appeal, and emphatically states that from his youth he has used good honest lawful and Christian means to attain such knowledge as shall honour God, his country and his Queen. It ends with a prayer that he may be found of the Archbishop, and undoubtedly acknowledged by the wise and just, to have been a zealous and faithful student in the school of Verity and an ancient Graduate in the school of Charity.
On June 3, Dee and Jane, accompanied by all their seven children, four boys and three girls, their ages ranging from Arthur, the Westminster boy of fifteen, to Frances, the baby of two and a half, presented themselves before the Queen at Sion House, Isleworth. Jane was permitted to kiss her hand. Evidently this was an expression of thanks for the official preliminaries of the grant of St. Cross. The Archbishop was present, and Dee humbly requested him to come to his "cottage." The invitation was repeated on the 6th, when Dee supped with the Primate. Things were not, however, settled so quickly. Dr. Robert Bennett had to be provided with a better position before he would resign; some hitch occurred, and on June 29, after a visit to the Archbishop, at Croydon, the poor man writes distractedly of his broken hopes: -
"After I had hard the Archbishop his answers and discourses, and after that he had byn the last Sonday at Tybalds with the Quene and Lord Threasorer, I take myself confounded for all suing or hoping for anything that ever was. And so adiew to court and courting tyll God direct me otherwise! The Archbishop gave me a payre of sufferings [sic] to drinke. God be my help as he is my refuge. Amen."
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