Thursday, July 23, 2009

John Dee & Edward Kelley & the Spirit World: Pt 8


I again rely heavily on Jane Dunn to get us to the point where my article about John Dee should come in. Hopefully it will be the next article after tonight's -not sure of the timeframe on it yet. This information is from pages 28 and 29 of Jane Dunn's Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens and begins talking about Mary Queen of Scots and her marriage to the short-lived Francis II of France and about Princess Claude's marriage to the Duc de Lorraine. "Across the English Channel cloth of gold was in similarly short supply. Mary was caught up in the flurry of preparations for another grand celebration at court. Only nine months after her own magnificent wedding, she was to be one of the leading guests at the wedding of the King's (Henri II's) second daughter, Princess Claude, with whom she had grown up. This girl was not yet twelve years old and was marrying the nominal head of the Guise family, Charles, Duc de Lorraine. This was yet another triumph for his uncle the Duc de Guise, "le Balafre," whose family consolidated further to its position at the heart of the French royal family."

Henry II (31 March 1519-10 July 1559) is the French King mentioned in this famous prophecy of Nostradamus-or so commentators say. I will provide a wikipedia link at the end of the article that talks about some controversy to the prophecy that I had never heard of before. If any readers have any thoughts of have also heard of this I would appreciate hearing from you as I thought this was one of Nostradamus' "slam dunk" prophecies. Here is the prophecy from Century 1 and Quatrain 35: The young lion shall overcome the older one/on the field of combat in single battle,/He shall pierce his eyes in a golden cage,/Two forces one, then he shall die a cruel death. I should mention that this is about Henri II's death days later from injuries he suffered in a jousting match.

Now back to Elizabeth and Mary this is the paragraph directly after the one quoted above: "Again no expense was to be spared. In a country still struggling under the levies of war, the young duke spent nearly 200,000 crowns, raised in taxes from his people, on the wedding and the week-long jousting and masquerades, which were traditional accompaniments to such regal nuptials. Part of his expenditure was on the livery of cloth of gold and silver for his team of twelve jousters and the matching eight to nine dresses of extravagant construction for the main female guests. Mary was presented with one of these creations, richly embroidered in gold and silver and lined with lynx's fur against the January weather. There were countless other beautiful gowns offered as gifts to ladies of the court."

"This display of ostentatious wealth and munificence was commented on even by the worldy-wise Venetian ambassador. Mary herself could not have been oblivious to the grandeur and self-confidence of her family inheritance exhibited at every possible occasion. United in her youthful person was the pride and valour of the Guises and the God-given pre-eminence as both a Stuart queen and-she hoped-a queen of the house of Tudor. This powerful dynastic mix was further enhanced through marriage with the mighty Valois, royal family of France. Born to all this, it was understandable if such a young queen had a share of the hubris of those she had grown up amongst. It made it difficult for her to recognize that even such certainty as her right to be the Queen of Scotland, the kingdom she valued least of all, was not immutable."

"Perhaps the same astrological phenomena Dr. Dee used were pored over by French diviners looking for auspicious signs, for this marriage was solemnised on 22 January, just a week after the coronation of Elizabeth as the new queen of England."

" Elizabeth's cornonation managed to be both a grand spectacle and yet intimately involving of her subjects. This ability to combine "a superb show" with a certain formality at great state occasions seems to have been a characterisitc peculiar to the English at the time, differentiating them from the Italian and French. A perceptive Italian observer in his eyewitness account commented on this, not entirely favorably: "the English having no Masters of the Ceremonies...and still less caring about formalities" seemed to rely less on pomp and ceremonial. He thought the cheery way Elizabeth answered back to the jocular crowds who clamoured for her after her coronation was equally deplorable. This informality and sensitivity to the popular mood was to appear to her Catholic observers to extend even into her attitude to religious worship and allow a fatal backsliding, they feared, to her brother's radicalism."

"This ability to unite grandeur with a genuine common touch was memorably displayed in Elizabeth's state entry into London on the Saturday afternoon, the day before her cornonation. The sky was dull with heavy snow clouds; in fact some snow even fell on the waiting crowds, some of whom had been out all night "their untired patience never spent, eyther with long expecting (some of them from a good part of the night before) or with unsatiable beholding of the Ceremonies of that day." There was thick mud everywhere, brought on by the rain and churned up by the increased traffic of carts and horses, and each house-holder had taken it upon themselves to strew sand and gravel in front of their houses to make the going less difficult. The whole court was present and so brilliantly arrayed the weather hardly mattered. They "so sparkled with jewels and gold collars that they cleared the air." Again, all of the previous material, unless otherwise noted is from the Jane Dunn book. I thought her writing and knowledge of the era would add greatly to this series. Next I would like to just state some more things about Dr. John Dee that I had put on tape recorder. I hope none of this is going back over old stuff. I just wanted to have a good background for the next-and maybe last-maybe not article in this series.

From the 1550s through the 1570s, Dee served as an adviser to the Crown on England's voyages of discovery. Providing technical assistance on navigation and ideological backing for the "British Empire," a term that John Dee was the first man to use. Dee wrote a letter to Willliam Cecil, First Baron Burghley in October 1574 seeking patronage. He claimed to have occult knowledge of treasure on the Welsh Marshes. This area is an imprecisely defined border between England and Wales. Dee also claimed to have knowledge of valuable ancient manuscripts at Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire. Dee knew that the Lord Treasurer's ancestors came from this area. In 1577 Dee published "General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation," a work that set out his vision of a maritime empire and asserted English territorial claims on the New World. Dee was acquainted with Humphrey Gilbert and was close to Sir Phillip Sidney and his circle. Sidney was one of the Elizabethan ages most prominent figures. He was famous for being a poet, courtier and soldier. In 1564 wrote the Hermetic work Monas Hieroglyphica (the Hieroglyphic Monad) an exhaustive Cabbalistic work of the interpretation of a glyph of his own design.

Meant to express to express the mystical unity of all creation. He travelled to Hungary to present a copy to Maximillian II, Holy Roman Emperor. His work was highly valued by his contemporaries but the loss of a secret oral tradition of Dee's milieu makes the work hard to interpret. Dee also published a mathematical preface to Henry Billingsley's English translation of Euclid's Elements in 1570 arguing the central importance of mathematics and outlining mathematics influence on the other arts and sciences. Dee''s work for the audience outside of the university setting was his most published an reprinted. In 1570 Dee argued in Brittanicae republicae synopsis for England's expansion into the New World. In this work he talked about the state of the Elizabethan realm and was also concerned with trade, ethics and national strength. His 1576 work on navigation, mentioned previously also argued for English imperialism and expansion. On the highly suggestive cover of this book, Brittania is seen kneeling and beseeching Elizabeth I to keep England safe by strengthening her navy. Dee used Geoffrey's inclusion of Ireland in Arthur's imperial conquests to argue that Arthur had established a British Empire abroad. John Dee also proposed that England exploit new lands through colonization. Dee posited a British claim to North America on the back of a map drawn 1577 to 1580.

In his Title Royal he invented the claim that the Madog ab Owain Gwynedd had discovered America with the intention of strengthening his claim that England's claim to North America was stronger than that of Spain. By the early 1580s Dee was growing dissatisfied with his progress in learning the secrets of Nature. And with his own lack of influence and recognition he turned to the supernatural as a means to acquire knowledge. Specifically he sought to contact angels through the means of a scryer or a crystal gazer who would act as an intermediary between Dee and the angelic realm. In 1582 Dee met Edward Kelley (then going by the name Edward Talbot) who impressed him greatly with his abilities. Dee took Kelley into his service and began to devote all his energies to his supernatural pursuits. These "spititual conferences" or "actions" were undertaken with an intense air of Christian piety with purification through fasting and prayer before. Dee was convinced of the benefits to mankind from these "communications." The character of Kelley is more difficult to assess. Some claim he acted with complete cynicism, but delusion or self-deception is not out of the question. The sheer volume of Kelley's output is amazing for its intricacy and vividness.

Dee maintained that the angels laboriously dictated the content of several books to him this way-some in a special angelic or Enochian language. In 1583 Dee met visiting Polish nobleman Albert Laski who persuaded Dee, Kelley and their families to accompany him to the continent in September 1583-the "angels" also prompted Dee to undertake the journey. But Laski proved to be bankrupt and out of favor in his own country. Dee and Kelley began a nomadic life in central Europe but they continued their "spiritual conferences" which Dee kept meticulous notes of. Dee also had an audience with Rudolf II (Holy Roman Emperor 1576-1612) and King Stephen of Poland in which he chided them for their ungodliness and attempted to convince them of the importance of his angelic communications. Neither monarch took him under their wings. During a spiritual conference in Bohemia in 1587, Kelley claimed that the angel Uriel had told him that he and Dee should share their wives. This caused Dee great anguish but he did not doubt its genuineness and apparently allowed it to go forward. Kelley, who was becoming a noted alchemist by this time and was much more sought after than Dee may have used this as a way to end the spiritual conferences. However, after this took place Dee ended the spiritual conferences and did not see Kelley again. Dee returned to England in 1589.

Dee returned to Mortlake to find his library ruined and many of his prized instruments and books stolen. He sought support from Queen Elizabeth who finally made him Warden of Christ's College in Manchester in 1592. This former college of priests has been reestablished as a Protestant institution by a royal charter of 1578. However, he could not exert much control over the Fellows who despised or cheated him. Early in his tenure he was consulted over the demonic possession of seven children, but took little interest in the matter. He did allow those involved to consult his still extensive library. He left Manchester in 1605 to return to London. By that time Elizabeth was dead and her successor, James I, was unsympathetic to anything related to the supernatural and provided no help. Dee spent his final years in poverty at Mortlake. He was forced to sell off various of his possessions to support himself and his daughter Katherine who cared from him until the end in late 1608 or early 1609 aged 82. There are no extant records or the exact date as both the parish registers and Dee's gravestone are missing. Dee was married twice and had eight children. Details of his first marriage are sketchy but is likely to have been from 1565 until his wife's death around 1576. From 1577 to 1601 he kept a meticulous diary. He married the twenty- three year old Jane Fromond in 1578. This was the wife that Kelley claimed Uriel had said they should share. Jane died during the plague in Manchester in 1605 along with a number of his children. Dee's son, Arthur, was also an alchemist and Hermetic author.

The antiquary, John Aubrey gives a detailed description of Dee, "He was tall and slender. He wore a gown like an artist's gown with hanging sleeves and a slit. A very fair, clear sanguine complexion...a long beard as white as milk. A very handsome man." John Dee was an intensely pious Christian, but his Christianity was heavily influenced by the Hermetic, Platonic and Pythagorean doctrines that were pervasive during the Renaissance. He believed that number was the basis of all things and the key to all knowledge and the key to God's creation was the act of numbering. From Hermeticism, he believed that human beings could have divine power. And he believed this divine power could be excercised through mathematics. His Cabbalistic angel magic was heavily numerological and his work on practical mathematics, navigation for example, were simply the exalted mundane ends of the same spectrum, not the antithetical activities many would see them as today. I will give a couple of links for this article this morning and hope to come back with more soon. I have been at this almost three hours I think and have to stop for now! I hope to be online tomorrow but if not-I definitely want to be Saturday. Here is a LINK about Francis, Duke of Guise and a LINK about the short-lived husband of Mary and king of France. With any luck many more links on the way! The Dee information was largely from wikipedia in this article. Thanks so very much for your great comments and be well all of you! The image is of a rose of the Tudor dynasty. Forgot the Henry II LINK the part about the Nostradamus prophecy is logically under the "prophecy" label in the wikipedia article.

10 comments:

stevo said...

Hey Devin, hope all is well. Have added some new Danny Nunez for you:-)

Devin said...

stevo can't tell you how much I appreciate that-just now saw it and left a comment! I would have seen it earlier but have been typing this article for three hours or more-with all the mistakes I was making I should have called it quits for tonight already! thanks so much again-I can never get enough Danny Nunez!! all the best to you!!

Justin Russell said...

Edward Kelly eh? Total bounder. "The angel Uriel told me that I need to sleep with your wife!" What a line!

Good piece Devin.

Devin said...

Thanks so much Justin!! Like I say this series-especially if it continues owes an awful lot to you with your great links and thoughts! I am making a promise in this comment to have just one more history related post before the original "Dee" post I was working on-and after that who knows could continue for a time-i have no idea when either will be here but i hope fairly soon and in the meantime when i am online here and there i can see friends updates -donctcha just love it "Uriel says we need to swap wives" hehe:) thanks as always for your thoughts my friend and i cant wait for your next article!!all the best!!

Aggie said...

Another good piece Devin.

Michael Skaggs said...

Am coming back to read through this entire series!!

Great work bro!

X. Dell said...

Interesting.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Dees also present to Elizabeth what would later be known as the Voynich Manuscript? Or is this an urban legend?


Strange that the headstone is missing, or that no othr church record recorded his date of death.

Justin Russell said...

Hey Devin,

I saw your comment over at the Anti New World Order blog earlier. Just wanted to say watch you don't get recruited for the cult of Glen Kealey over there! Gwap, who runs that blog, is a follower of the conspiraloon otherwise known as the Kealey Khrist. He (Kealey) believes he is a 100,000 year old (other times its 80,000 years old) cloned messiah who was created by the Essenes to save the earth from the "Jubal Troglodytes" who reside in the inner earth and are planning to destroy most of the known world to reach the Oort Cloud just outside the solar system. As I imagine RAW would say, its quite the reality tunnel. Absolutely bonkers in fact.

I link there coz I like the truly bizarre, weird, and wonderful. Which is why its in my right-brain "Shine on you crazy diamonds" blog list. Fun ideas to play with, like toys.

If you visit there I advise caution. I believe that Kealey is trying to build a cult. I've talked to the guy on the phone, read a lot of his rambling writings, and I strongly believe that is what he is doing. Watch out if Gwap invites you to visit the Kealey Khrist at his farm!

Just a heads-up for ya. I wouldn't want to suddenly hear that you had shot up to the Kealey homestead to learn how to negotiate with psychopathic neanderthals.

Devin said...

Aggie-so great to see you here again!! I hope you have had (almost put are having:( a splendid weekend-all the best to you!!

Michael thanks so much for stopping by! no rush whatsoever to read this - i have 17 (both sides) pages of notes on Dee-and I can start posting them after i do the research for a final 'history' type post before big article-so no rush I will be with this awhile:) all the best to you my friend!!

Xdell great question -as I do my other research I will try to look up on Voynich manuscript-i have read about Voynich before but don't remember Elizabethan connection (altho with my memory that is saying absolutely nothing!) i agree about the record of Dee's death-by then in England you would have thought such a famous person-altho at the time not famous in a good way necessarily-death would be absolutely noted-will search on that today also if I have time-it is interesting you mentioned urban legends-since folktales,story telling urban legends-is where i might go for a few articles next month-just for a few posts -all the best to you as always!!

Justin thanks so much for the heads up!! I will try to get time today to go to your blog and give you the address of a blogger I have been trying to figure out for a long time (kind of a survivalist-bad news blog) it will be a dead link since i dont know how to do live links in comments -but should be easy to find-all the best to you my friend and thanks so much for stopping by!!

Devin said...

Haha:) Justin as I was re-reading thru comments I thought being recruited into a cult might actually be a step up the ladder for me with the way things have been lately:)!