The Earl of Derby gave him letters of introduction, and he was soon in correspondence with Oliver Carter, one of the Fellows; with Thomas Williams, another; and with Mr. Goodier, lessee of the tithes belonging to the Warden and Fellows. Carter and Williams were already at law with each other, and soon were both to be at loggerheads with Dee and his laudable desires to set the tangled affairs of the college straight. Carter was one of the moderators of the monthly lecture in Manchester, had great influence, and seems to have been unprepared to welcome a Warden of Dee's reputation.

"July 31st. The Countess of Warwick did this evening thank her Majestie in my name, and for me, for her gift of the Wardenship of Manchester. She toke it gratiously and was sorry that it was so far from hense, but that some better thing neer hand shall be fownd for me; if opportunitie of time would serve, her Majestie wold speak with me herself. I had a bill made by Mr. Wood, one of the clerks of the signet, for the first frutes forgiving by her Majestie."

So at length there was something tangible in prospect. Things had to be settled up at Mortlake and preparations made for the journey northward. We may be sure that Dee's gratification at receiving a post of some sort, after a lifetime of waiting, was mixed with regret at quitting the place that had been his home for so long. His "yong coosen, John Aubrey, came in May to recreate himself for a while," and stayed nearly a month.

On August 14, Jane's youngest child, a girl, was born. She was baptised at Mortlake as Margaret Dee on the afternoon of August 27; godfather, the Lord Keeper; godmothers, the Countesses of Cumberland and Essex, all three represented by deputy. The Countess of Essex was Walsingham's only daughter and heir. She had been Sidney's widow, and was now married to Essex.

Dee was now entertained often by Lord Derby at Russell House, once to meet some German guests. On October 9 he dined with Sir Walter Raleigh at Durham Place. This palace in the Strand had seen many vicissitudes before it had been given to Raleigh by the Queen. Originally the residence of the northern bishops, it had been seized by an earlier king. Lady Jane Grey had been wedded there. Her too ambitious father-in-law had gone thence to the Tower and the scaffold. Catholic plots against Elizabeth had been hatched by Spaniards in this, her own house, and now the great seaman, fresh from far Guiana, was housed in a little turret, overlooking the river and the ships.

Dee was anxious to reclaim, before going to his new home, an Arabic book lent to some friend in Oxford. He had written to Mr. Harding and Mr. Abbott several times for its return about a year and a half before. Now, on October 20, he sent his man Richard Walkden to Oxford to find and bring it. The man returned from a fruitless errand, but on November 19 "my Arabic book was restored by God's favour." His gratitude expressed itself in a practical manner to the trusted Richard:

"I delivered unto Richard Walkedyne my man, Mr. Robert Thomas his fustian dubblet, for 10 shillings of his wages. I gave him more when he was to ride down with my wife: 10s., whereof 6s. 4d. was due to him that he had layd out for me. The other 3s. 6d. was of his wages."

A portion of goods and furniture had already been despatched towards Manchester by a carrier named Percivall, and on the 26th Jane and her children all set of by coach towards Coventry, a usual half-way halting place on the high-road to Lancashire. A last piece of business was transacted on December 23 with John Norton, stationer, to whom Dee owed money, perhaps for printing: "I payd him ten pownds in hand and was bound in a recognisance before Doctor Hone for the payment of the rest, £10 yearly, at Christmas, and Midsummer £5, tyll £53 14s. 8d. more were paid." The same day he received £30 in part payment of £100 for the house at Mortlake, which he had lent to Mr. Paget.

Previous page Table of Contents Ch. 21