Nothing seems to have resulted from this letter at the time; later he did receive a grant of royalties from a mine.
in 1575 Dee married. He seems to have had no time for such an event before. He was now in his forty-eighth year, and did not execute the fatal folly (which, in his Court life, he had seen many times exemplified) of commiting the indiscretion first and informing the Queen after. He duly laid before her his intention, and received in return a "very gracious letter of credit for my marriage." He also had congratulatory epistles from Leicester and from Christopher Hatton.
The Queen, when out riding in Richmond Park with her lords and ladies, would sometimes pass through the East Sheen Gate, down the hill towards the river, and would stop at the house between Mortlake Church and the Thames, desiring to be shown the latest invention of her astrologer, or the newest acquisition of his library. On the afternoon of one such windy day in march, 1576, she arrived at a slightly unlucky moment, for Dee's young wife, after a year of marriage, had just died, and not four hours earlier had been carried out of the house for burial in the churchyard opposite. Hearing this, Elizabeth refused to enter, but bade Dee fetch his famous glass and explain its properties to her outside in the field. Summoning Leicester to her assistance, she alighted from her horse by the church wall, was shown the wonderful convex mirror, admired the distorted image of herself, and finally rode away amused and merry, leaving the philosopher's distress at his recent bereavement assuaged for the moment by such gracious marks of royal interest and favour. And so this wraith of Dee's first wife fades away in the courtly picture, and we do not even know her name.
He turned more than ever to literary work and followed up the scholastic books dedicated to the young King Edward VI. and the studies of astrological hieroglyphs with books of another kind. To this year of historical labours, perhaps, belongs a letter from Dee to his "loving friend," Stow, the historian. Contrary to Dee's careful practice, it is undated, save for day and month, "this 5th of December." He has evidently been the means of introducing a fellow-author in influential quarters, for he says, "My friend, Mr. Dyer, did deliver your books to the two Earls, who took them thankfully, but, as he noted, there was no reward commanded of them. What shall be hereafter, God knoweth. So could not I have done." Then he adjures Stow to "hope as well as I," and turns from considering fruits to the sources of their toil. He sends a list of the varius ports, including the Cinque Ports, that have a mayor or bailey, all except Gravesend, which has a portreeve. Stow may get fuller information, "the very true plat," from Lord Cobham's secretary. He returns a manuscript of Asser's Saxon Chronicle; "it is not of the best and perfectest copy. I had done iwth it in an hour. If you have Floriacensis Wigornensis [the Chronicle of Florence of Worcester] I would gladly see him a little."
Stow, like Dee, was a Londoner and, within a year or two, of the same age. He had already published his Annals of England, which had then gone through four editions.
Dee now began to keep a diary of his doings, written in the pages
and margins of three fat quarto almanacs, bound in sheepskin and
clasped. Quotations have perhaps already shown that his style,
his spelling, his use of words, is that we expect from a man of
his wide culture and reading. He was of the new learning, though
before Shakespeare and Bacon. He had also two or more distinct
handwritings, a roman hand with neat printed letters, and a scribbling
hand. In the former all his manuscript works and his letters are
written; his diary is in the last. This diary was quite unnoticed
until about 1835, when the almanacs were discovered at Oxford
in the Ashmolean Library, having been acquired by Elias Ashmole,
a devout believer in hermetic philosophy and collector of all
alchemical writings. They were transcribed (very inaccurately)
by J.O. Halliwell and printed by the Camden Society in 1842.
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