On this day in 1527, John Dee, astrologer, mathematician, alchemist, antiquary, spy, philosopher, geographer and adviser to Elizabeth I and various influential statesmen during her reign, was born in London.
Dee was the son of Rowland Dee, a gentleman server at the court of Henry VIII, and was educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, and Louvain. In the early 1550s, he returned to England with various navigational instruments and began work under the patronage of the Earl of Pembroke, the Duke of Northumberland and the Grey family. He also acted as tutor to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Edward VI.
Dee’s career highlights include:
- Drawing up an electional chart to determine the most auspicious date for Elizabeth I’s coronation.
- Undertaking secret foreign missions for Elizabeth I and William Cecil, Lord Burghley.
- Presenting his mathematical and astronomical work, Propaedeumata Aphoristica, to the Queen.
- Being consulted by famous explorers and navigators.
- Working with Edward Kelley and communicating with angels.
He was one of the most learned men of the Elizabethan age, and was known for his huge library. He died in 1609.
You can find out more about him in Robert Parry’s “John Dee – A Biographical Sketch” over at The Elizabeth Files.
John Dee is one of the main characters of Robert Parry’s historical novel, “Virgin and the Crab”, so Robert is celebrating Dee’s birthday by offering the Kindle version of his 500 page novel for just $0.99 or £0.99 on Amazon US – click here and Amazon UK – click here.
If you don’t have a Kindle, Robert is offering a 30% discount off the paperback at his website – see http://robertparry.wordpress.com/210-discount/.
Robert is also celebrating by sharing links to various articles and Q&A sessions he’s done over the years, as well as reviews and extracts of “Virgin and the Crab”, at his blog – see Dee Day – A Celebration for more details.