The Private Diary of DR. John Dee - John Dee - E-Book

The Private Diary of DR. John Dee E-Book

John Dee

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The present volume contains two curious documents concerning Dr. Dee, the eminent philosopher of Mortlake, now for the first time published from the original manuscripts. I. His Private Diary, written in a very small illegible hand on the margins of old Almanacs, discovered a few years ago by Mr. W. H. Black, in the library of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. II. A Catalogue of his Library of Manuscripts, made by himself before his house was plundered by the populace, and now preserved in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. The publication of this Diary will tend perhaps to set Dee's character in its true light, more than any thing that has yet been printed.

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John Dee

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Published by BoD - Books on Demand, Norderstedt

ISBN: 9783748128830

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Table of contents





The history of western magic started about 4000 years ago. And since then it has been adding something to western magic. Originally, the Latin word magus nominated the followers of the spiritualist-priest class, and later originated to elect ‘clairvoyant, sorcerer’ and in a judgmental sense also ‘magician, trickster’. Thus, the initial meaning of the word ‘magic’ was the wisdoms of the Magi, that is the abilities of attaining supernatural powers and energy, while later it became practical critically to deceitful wizardry. The etymological descriptions specify three significant features in the expansion of the notion ‘magic’: 1) Magic as a discipline of celestial natural forces and in the course of formation 2) Magic as the exercise of such facts in divinations, visions and illusion 3) Fraudulent witchery. The latter belief played a significant part in the Christian demonization process. The growth of the western notion ‘magic’ directed to extensive assumptions in the demonological and astrophysical argument of the Neoplatonists. Their tactic was grounded on the philosophy of a hierarchically ordered outer space, where conferring to Plotinus (C205–C270 AD) a noetic ingredient was shaped as the outcome of eternal and countless radiation built on the ultimate opinion; this in its chance contributed to the rise of psychic constituent, which formed the basis of the factual world. Furthermore, these diverse phases of release came to be measured as convinced forces, which underneath the impact of innocent and evil views during late ancient times were embodied as humans. The hierarchical cosmos of Iamblichus simply demonstrates the legitimacy of this process. In his work, the Neoplatonic cosmology has initiated a channel through the syncretism distinctive of the late antiquity and in the essence of Greco-Oriental dualism. Superior productions are taken closer to inferior ones by various midway creatures. The higher the site of the mediators, the further they bear a resemblance to gods and whizzes; the minor they are, the nearer they stand to the psychic-spiritual part. The aforementioned group of intermediaries has been settled in order of series on the origin of cosmic gravity. Proclus (c410–485 AD) has described the system of magic origin conversed above in better aspect: in the hierarchical shackles of cosmic rudiments the power and nature of a firm star god disturbs everything mediocre, and with growing distance the impact slowly becomes weaker. The Humanists approached the Platonic notions from the outlook of the bequest of late antiquity, and were thus first familiarized to the Neoplatonic form of the doctrine. And since Ficino’s work has been inscribed in the spirit of emanation theory, and the author has been persuaded of the existence of the higher and lower spheres of magic and powers defined in Picatrix, he claims that planets and cosmic movements have much to do with power and magic spirit. Today’s occult marketplace also offers, in addition to books, multifarious paraphernalia for practicing magic: amulets, talismans, pendulums and magic rods. Though added with modern essentials and pseudoscientific advices to give some weight to the fundamentals, they are nothing but the leftovers of the western ethnicities of magic.


1554. Aug. 25th, Barthilmew Hikman born at Shugborowh in Warwikshyre toward evening. My conjecture, uppon his own reporte of circumstances. Oct. 25th, D. Daniel Vander Meulen Antwerpiæ, mane hora quarta.a 1555. April 22nd, Jane Fromonds borne at Cheyham at none. Aug. 1st, Ed. Kelly natus hora quarta a meridieb ut annotatum reliquit pater ejus. Oct. 12th, the Lord Willughby born hora septima mane, ante meridiem, Lat. 51° 30', at Wesell in Gelderland. 1557. July 30th, Mr. Arundell of Cornwayle natus circa [horam] quartam a meridie. 1558. Dec. 14th, Mary Nevelle, alias Mary Lewknor, borne inter 11 et meridiem mane, by Chichester. 1560. July 8th, Margaret Russell, Cowntess of Cumberland, hora 2 min. 9 Exoniæ mane. 1561. Aug. 14th, Mr. Heydon, of Baconsthorp in Norfolk, hora noctis 11½ natus in comitatu Surrey. 1563. March 23rd, Mr. William Fennar a meridie inter horam undecimam et duodecimam nocte. June 23nd, Jane Cooper, now 2 Mystris Kelly, toward evening. Sept. 28th, Mr. John Ask ante meridiem, by York six myle on this syde; Elizabeth Mownson, circa horam 9 mane, soror magistri Thomæ Mownson et uxor magistri Brown. 1564. Mrs. Brigit Cooke borne about seven of the clok on Saynt David’s Day, which is the first day of March, being Wensday; but I cannot yet lerne whether it was before none or after. But she thinketh herself to be but 27 yeres old, anno 1593, Martii primo, but it cannot be so. June 20th, Mr. Hudson, hora septima ante meridiem. Aug. 21st, Wenefride Goose, inter 9 et 10 a meridie by Kingstone. 1565. Sept. 12th, John Pontoys, inter 9 et 10 ante meridiem prope Stony-Stratford; puto potius hora 8 min. 43. Oct. 17th, Thomas Kelleyc hora quarta a meridie at Wurceter. Dec. 21st, Mr. Thomas Mownson at 11 of the clok in the morning. 1568. July 14th, William Emery born at Danbery in Essex paulo post undecimam horam noctis. Sept. 24th, Margaret Anderson mane inter 7 et 8. 1571. Samuel Swallow borne at Thaxstede in Essex Feb. 15 ante meridiem, inter horam undecimam et duodecimam, forte hora media post undecimam. 1575. July 31st, Simeon Stuard natus ante diluculum per horam 11½ at Shinfelde; his grandfather by the mother was Dr. Huyck the Quene’s physicien. 1577. Jan. 16th, the Erle of Lecester, Mr. Phillip Sydney, Mr. Dyer, &c., came to my howse.d Jan. 22nd, The Erle of Bedford 3 cam to my howse. Feb. 19th, great wynde S.W., close, clowdy. March 11th, my fall uppon my right nuckul bone, hora 9 fere mane; wyth oyle of Hypericon in 24 howres eased above all hope: God be thanked for such his goodness of his creatures! March 24th, Alexander Simon the Ninivite came to me, and promised me his servise into Persia. May 1st, I received from M. William Harbert of St. Gillian his notes uppon my Monas.e May 2nd, I understode of one Vincent Murfyn his abhominable misusing me behinde my back; Mr. Thomas Besbich told me his father is one of the cokes of the Court. May 20th, I hyred the barber of Cheswik, Walter Hooper, to kepe my hedges and knots in as good order as he sed them than, and that to be done with twise cutting in the yere at the least and he to have yerely five shillings, [and] meat and drink. June 10th, circa 10, a shower of hayle and rayne. June 18th, borrowed £40 of John Hilton of Fulham. June 19th, I understode of more of Vincent Murfyn his knavery; borrowed £20 of Bartylmew Newsam. June 20th, borow £27 uppon the chayn of golde. June 26th, Elen Lyne gave me a quarter’s warning. June 27th, showrs of rayne and hayle. Aug. 19th, the Hexameron Brytanicumf put to printing. Nov. 3rd, William Rogers of Mortlak, abowt 7 of the clok in the morning, cut his own throte, by the fende his instigation. Nov. 6th, Sir Umfrey Gilbert cam to me to Mortlak. Nov. 18th, borowed of Mr. Edward Hynde of Mortlak £30 to be repayed at Hallowtyde next yere. Nov. 20th, two tydes in the forenone, 4 the first 2 or 3 howres to sone. Nov. 22nd, I rod to Windsor to the Q. Majestie. Nov. 25th, I spake with the Quene hora quinta. Nov. 28th, I spake with the Quene hora quinta; I spake with Mr. Secretary Walsingham.g I declared to the Quene her title to Greenland, Estetiland and Friseland. Dec. 1st, I spake with Sir Christofer Hatton; he was made knight that day. Dec. 1st, I went from the cowrte at Wyndsore. Dec. 30th, inexplissima illa calumnia de R. Edwardo, iniquissime aliqua ex parte in me denunciabatur: ante aliquos elapsos dies, sed ... sua sapientia me innocentem. 1578. Feb. 5th, sponsalia cum Jana Fromonds horam circiter primam. April 28th, I caused Sir Rowland Haywood to examyn Francys Baily of his sklandering me, which he denyed utterly. June 13th, rayn and in the afternone a little thunder. June 30th, I told Mr. Daniel Rogers,h Mr. Hackluyt of the Middle Temple being by, that Kyng Arthur and King Maty, both of them, did conquier Gelindia, lately called Friseland, which he so noted presently in his written copy of Monumethensis,i for he had no printed boke therof. July 14th, my sister Elizabeth Fromonds cam to me. July 27th, hora 9, min. 15 a meridie Francis Cowntess of Hertford. Aug. 5th, Mr. Raynolds of Bridewell tok his leave of me as he passed toward Darthmowth to go with Sir Umfry Gilbert toward Hocheleya. Aug. 15, I went toward Norwich with my work of Imperium Brytanicum.k Aug. 23rd, I cam to London from Norwich. Aug. 31st, I went to my father-in-law Mr. Fromonds to Cheyham. 5 Sept. 1st, I cam from Cheyham. Sept. 6th, Elen Lyne, my mayden, departed from this life immediately after the myd-day past, when she had lyne sik a month lacking one day. Sept. 12th, Jane Gaele cam to my servyce, and she must have four nobles by the yere, 26s. 8d. Sept. 25th, Her Majestie cam to Richemond from Grenwich. Sept. 26, the first rayn that came for many a day; all pasture abowt us was withered: rayn afternone like Aprill showres. Oct. 8th, the Quene’s Majestie had conference with me at Richemond inter 9 et 11. Oct. 16th, Dr. Bayly conferred of the Quene her disease. Oct. 22nd, Jane Fromonds went to the court at Richemond. Oct. 25th, a fit from 9 afternone to 1 after mydnight. Oct. 28, the Erle of Lecester and Sir Francys Walsingham, secretary, determined my going over for the Quene’s Majestie. Nov. 4th, I was directed to my voyage by the Erle of Lecester and Mr. Secretary Walsingham hora nona. Nov. 7th, I cam to Gravesende. Nov. 9th, I went from Lee to sea. Nov. 14th, I cam to Hamburgh hora tertia. Dec. 11th, to Franckfurt-uppon-Oder. Dec. 15th, newes of Turnifer’s comming hora octava mane, by a speciall mesenger. 1579. A moyst Marche and not wyndy. June 10th, I shewed to Mr. John Lewis and his sonne, the physition, the manner of drawing aromaticall oyles. At that tyme my cat got a fledge yong sparrow which had onely a right wyng naturally. June 15th, my mother surrendred Mortlak howses and land, and had state geven in plena curia ad terminum vitæ, and to me was also the reversion delivered per virgam, and to my wife Jane by me, and after to my heirs and assignes for ever, to understand, Mr. Bullok and Mr. Taylor, surveyor, at Wimbledon, under the tree by the church. June 22nd, Mr. Richard Hickman and Barthilmew his nephew cam to me with Mr. Flowr, commended by Mr. Vicechamberlayn Sir Christopher Hatton. July 6th, Mr. Hitchcok, who had travayled in the plat for fishing, made acquayntance with me, and offred me great curtesy. 6 July 13th, Arthurus Dee natusl puer mane hor. 4 min. 30 fere, vel potius min. 25, in ipso ortu solis, ut existimo. After 10 of the clock this night my wive’s father Mr. Fromonds was speechles, and died on Tuesday (July 14th) at 4 of the clock in the morning. July 16th, Arthur was christened at 3 of the clok afternone; Mr. Dyer and Mr. Doctor Lewys, judg of the Admiralty, were his godfathers; and Mistres Blanche Pary of the Privie Chamber his godmother. But Mr. John Harbert of Estshene was deputy for Dr. Lewys, and Mystres Awbrey was deputy for my cosen Mistres Blanche Pary. Aug. 8th, John Elmeston,m student of Oxford, cam to me for dialling. Aug. 9th, Jane Dee churched. Aug. 16th, Monsieur cam secretly to the court from Calays. Aug. 20th, wyndy, clowdy, rayny. Aug. 26, Monsieur went back agayn to France. Sept. 10th, my dream of being naked, and my skyn all overwrowght with work like some kinde of tuft mockado, with crosses blew and red; and on my left arme, abowt the arme, in a wreath, this word I red— sine me nihil potestis facere: and another the same night of Mr. Secretary Walsingham, Mr. Candish, and myself. Oct. 3rd, Sir Leonel Ducket his unkend letter for mony. Oct. 4th, goodman Hilton requested me for his ij. sonnes to resort to my howse. Oct. 5th, raging wynde at West and Southerly, in the night chefely. Oct. 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, great rayne for three or four dayes and nights. Oct. 13th, this day it broke up; the fote bote for the ferry at Kew was drowned and six persons, by the negligens of the ferryman overwhelming the boat uppon the roap set there to help, by reason of the vehement and high waters. Oct. 18th, Mr. Adrian Gilbert and John Davys reconcyled themselves to me, and disclosed some of Emery his most unhonest, 7 hypocriticall, and devilish dealings and devises agaynst me and other, and likewise of that errant strompet her abominable wordes and dedes; and John Davis sayd that he might curse the tyme that ever he knew Emery, and so much followed his wicked cownsayle and advyse. So just is God! Oct. 31st, payed xxs. fyne for me and Jane my wife to the Lord of Wimbleton (the Quene), by goodman Burton of Putney, for the surrender taken of my mother of all she hath in Mortlak to Jane and me, and than to my heyres and assynes, &c. Nov. 25th, the Lord Clinton cam to me and offred Skirbeck by Boston for Long Lednam. Nov. 29th, I receyved a letter from Mr. Thomas Jones. Dec. 9th, Θις νιγτ μι υυιφ δρεμιδ θατ ονε καμ το ἑρ ανδ τουχεδ ἑρ, σαιινγ, “Μιστρες Δεε, yου αρ κονκειυεδ οφ χιλδ, ὑος ναμε μυστ βε Ζαχαριας; βε οφ γυδ χερε, ἑ σαλ δο υυελ ας θις δοθ!”n Dec. 22nd, I payd Jane 13s. and 4d. for her wagys tyll Michelmas last, for the half yere, so that I owe her yet 6s. 8d. Dec. 28th, I reveled to Roger Cokeo the gret secret of the elixir of the salt οφ ακετελς ονε υππον α υνδρεδ. 1580. Jan. 13th, I gave my wife mony for the month. Jan. 16th, Arthur fell sick, stuffed with cold fleym, could not slepe, had no stomach to eat or drink as he had done before. Feb. 26th, this night the fyre all in flame cam into my maydens chamber agayne, betwene an eleven and twelve of the cloke; contynued half an howr terribly, so it did a yere before to the same maydens, Mary Cunstable and Jane Gele. May 17th, at the Moscovy howse for the Cathay voyage. June 3rd, Mr. A. Gilbert and J. Davys rod homward into Devonshire. June 7th, Mr. Skydmor and his wife 8 lay at my howse and Mr. Skydmor’s dowghter, and the Quene’s dwarf Mrs. Tomasin. June 8th, my wife went with Mistres Skydmor to the court. June 12th, Mr. Zackinson and Mr. Cater lay at my howse, having supped at my Lady Crofts. June 14th, Mr. Fosku of the Wardrip lay at my howse, and went the next day to London with Mr. Coweller. July 15th, the Lady Croft went from Mortlak to the court at Otlands. June 30th, payd Jane 20s. for thre quarters’ wages, so that all that is due is payd, and all other recknengs likewise is payd her 6s. 8d.; and Mary Constable was payd all old reknings 15s., and my wife had eleven pounds to dischardge all for thirteen wekes next, that is, till the 5th of November: I delivered Mr. Williams, the person of Tendring, a lettre of atturney agaynst one White of Colchester, for a sklaundre. Aug. 27th, Arthur was weaned this night first. Aug. 28th, my dealing with Sir Humfrey Gilbert for his graunt of discovery. Aug. 30th, Nurse Darant was discharged and had 10s. given her, which was the whole quarter’s wages due at a fortnight after Michelmas. Sept. 6th, the Quene’s Majestie cam to Richemond. Sept. 10th, Sir Humfry Gilbert graunted me my request to him, made by letter, for the royaltyes 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 thereuppon toke me by the hand with faithfull promises in his lodging of John Cooke’s howse in Wichcross strete, where wee dyned onely us three together, being Satterday. Sept. 13th, Mr. Lock browght Benjamyn his sonne to me: his eldest sonne also, called Zacharie, cam then with him. Sept. 17th, the Quene’s Majestie cam from Rychemond in her coach, the higher way of Mortlak felde, and whan she cam right against the church she turned down toward my howse: and when she was against my garden in the felde she stode there a good while, and than cam ynto the street at the great gate of the felde, where she espyed me at my doore making 9 obeysains to her Majestie; she beckend her hand for me; I cam to her coach side, she very speedily pulled off her glove and gave me her hand to kiss; and to be short, asked me to resort to her court, and to give her to wete when I cam ther; hor. 6¼ a meridie. Sept. 14th, I began against Vincent Murphyn. Sept. 15th, I wrote to the bishop of London. Sept. 22nd, my declaration against Vincent Murphin put into the court of Geldhall.