Pupils now began to resort to Dee. "John Elmeston, student of Oxford, cam to me for dialling." "Mr. Lock brought Benjamin his sonne to me: his eldest sonne also, called Zacharie, cam then with him." This was Michael Lock, the traveller. Zachary was the eldest of Lock's fifteen children; Benjamin afterwards wrote on alchemy - A Picklock for Ripley's Castle.
It was a stormy October, of continuous rains and floods for three or four days and nights, and a "raging wynde at west and southerly." Six persons were drowned in the Kew ferry boat, "by reason of the vehement and high waters overwhelming the boat aupon the roap, but the negligens of the ferryman set there to help." Mrs. Dee had a strange dream that "one cam to her and touched her, saying, `Mistress Dee, you are conceived of child, whose name must be Zacharias; be of good chere, he sal do well, as this doth.'" This, meaning Arthur, had a sharp illness soon after, however, and when the next child arrived, in two years' time, it chanced to be a girl, who was named Katherine. So the dream went by contraries after all. Arthur was weaned in August, and his nurse discharged, with her wages, ten shillings, for the quarter ending at Michaelmas, paid in full. Dee is an exact accountant as well as diarist, and enters every payment with precise care.
The Queen came riding down from Richmond in her coach, to see what her astrologer was doing, on Septermber 17, 1580, and put the household in a flutter. She took
"The higher way of Mortlake field, and when she came right
against the church, she turned down toward my house. And when
she was against my garden in the field, her Majestie stayed there
a good while, and then came into the field at the great gate of
the field, where her Majestie espied me at the door, making reverent
and dutiful obeysance unto her; and with her hand, her Majestie
beckoned for me to come to her, and I came to her coach side;
her Majesty then very speedily pulled off her glove and gave me
her hand to kiss; and to be short, her Majestie willed me to resort
oftener to her Court, and by some of her Privy Chamber to give
her to weete when I am there."
One can picture the gorgeously dressed and pearl-bedecked Queen, her auburn hair glistening in the sun, beckoning majestically to her astrologer, bidding him attend and swell the troops of courtiers and admirers, demanding imperiously to be let know when he came, and to be kept informed of all he did. Dee was a handsome man, tall and slender; he wore a beard, pointed and rather long. Among the crowd of personable courtiers in their rich and most becoming suits, he would be no inconspicuous figure.
It was perhaps the publication of the first volume of the "General
and Rare Memorials pertayning to the art of perfect Navigation"
that brought Dee into intimate relations with the navigators of
the time. Or it may have been his intimacy with them that suggested
the work. the Hexameron appeared in September, 1577, and
in November the diarist first records a visit from one of them:
"Sir Umfrey Gilbert cam to me at Mortlake." Gilbert
was then living at Limehouse, engaged in writing discourses on
naval strategy and discovery. A few months later, Dee mentions
a suggestion he gave to Richard Hakluyt, the author of the fascinating
histories of the voyages: "I told Mr. Daniel Rogers, Mr.
Hakluyt of the Middle Temple being by, that Kyng Arthur and King
Mary, both of them, did conquer Gelindia, lately called Friseland,
which he so noted presently in his written copy of Monumenthensis,
for he had no printed book thereof." On August 5, one of
Gilbert's company, "Mr. Reynolds of Bridewell, tok his leave
of me as he passed toward Dartmouth to go with Sir Umfrey Gilbert
toward Hochelaga." The expedition sailed from Dartmouth on
September 23, Sir Humphrey having obtained his long-coveted charter
to plant a colony in the New World in June. All his money was
sunk in this unfortunate expedition, which only met diasaster
at the hands of a Spanish fleet. Undaunted, however, Sir Humphrey
set to work to collect more funds and information to pursue his
end. With the first Dee could not help him much; with the last
he believed he could, and in return he exacted a stake in the
results: "1580, Aug. 28th. my dealing with Sir Humfrey Gilbert
graunted me my request to him made by letter, for the royalties
of discovery all to the north above the parallell of the 50 degree
of latitude, in the presence of Stoner, Sir John Gilbert his servant
or reteiner; and thereupon took me by the hand with faithful promises,
in his lodging of Cooke's house in Wichcross Streete, where we
dyned, onely us three together, being Satterday."
It was more than two years before Gilbert succeeded in getting
enough other persons to embark their capital in his project, and
then he set out on his final voyage, the second to Newfoundland
(the first having been assisted by Raleigh, his half-brother,
in 1578). We all know the end, how, after he had planted "his
raw colony of lazy landsmen, prison birds and sailors," he
set out in his little vessel, The Squirrel, to explore
the coast and sandbanks between Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland,
and then headed for England. In a storm off the Azores, the little
ship foundered and ws lost, its captain's last words being, "We
are as near Heaven by sea as by land."
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