67 Facts About John Dee


John Dee was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, teacher, occultist, and alchemist.


John Dee was the court astronomer for, and advisor to, Elizabeth I, and spent much of his time on alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy.


John Dee eventually returned to the Queen's service, but was turned away when she was succeeded by James I John Dee died in poverty in London and his gravesite is unknown.


John Dee was born in Tower Ward, London, to Rowland John Dee, of Welsh descent, and Johanna, daughter of William Wild.


John Dee's grandfather was Bedo Ddu of Nant-y-groes, Pilleth, Radnorshire; John retained his connection with the locality.


John Dee's father Roland was a mercer and gentleman courtier to Henry VIII.


John Dee claimed descent from Rhodri the Great, 9th century ruler of Gwynedd, and constructed a pedigree accordingly.


John Dee's family had arrived in London with Henry Tudor's coronation as Henry VII.


John Dee attended Chelmsford Chantry School from 1535 to 1542.


John Dee's abilities recognised, he became an original fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge on its foundation by Henry VIII in 1546.


John Dee studied under Gemma Frisius and became friends with the cartographers Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius.


John Dee met, worked and learnt from other continental mathematicians, such as Federico Commandino in Italy.


John Dee returned to England with a major collection of mathematical and astronomical instruments.


John Dee was busy with writing and perhaps hoped for a better position at court.


In 1555, John Dee joined the Worshipful Company of Mercers, as his father had, through its system of patrimony.


In that same year John Dee was arrested and charged with the crime of "calculating", because he had cast horoscopes of Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth.


John Dee appeared in the Star Chamber and exonerated himself, but was turned over to the Catholic bishop Edmund Bonner for religious examination.


John Dee presented Queen Mary in 1556 with a visionary plan for preserving old books, manuscripts and records and founding a national library, but it was not taken up.


When Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1558, John Dee became her astrological and scientific advisor.


John Dee chose her coronation date and even became a Protestant.


In 1564, John Dee wrote the Hermetic work Monas Hieroglyphica, an exhaustive Cabalistic interpretation of a glyph of his own design, meant to express the mystical unity of all creation.


John Dee was acquainted with Humphrey Gilbert and close to Sir Philip Sidney and his circle.


John Dee subsequently began to turn energetically towards the supernatural as a means to acquire knowledge.


John Dee sought to contact spirits through the use of a "scryer" or crystal-gazer, which he thought would act as an intermediary between himself and the angels.


John Dee took Kelley into his service and began to devote all his energies to his supernatural pursuits.


John Dee was convinced of the benefits they could bring to mankind.


John Dee was more interested in communicating with angels, who he believed would help him solve the mysteries of the heavens through mathematics, optics, astrology, science and navigation.


John Dee returned to England in 1589, while Kelley went on to be the alchemist to Emperor Rudolf II.


John Dee returned to Mortlake after six years abroad to find his home vandalised, his library ruined and many of his prized books and instruments stolen.


John Dee sought support from Elizabeth, who hoped he could persuade Kelley to return and ease England's economic burdens through alchemy.


John Dee finally appointed Dee Warden of Christ's College, Manchester, in 1595.


John Dee left Manchester in 1605 to return to London, but remained Warden until his death.


John Dee spent his final years in poverty at Mortlake, forced to sell off various possessions to support himself and his daughter, Katherine, who cared for him until his death in Mortlake late in 1608 or early in 1609 aged 81.


In 2013 a memorial plaque to John Dee was placed on the south wall of the present church.


John Dee married his first wife, Katherine Constable in 1565.


John Dee married his second wife, whose name is unknown, in 1575.


John Dee referred to Thomas Jones, who is the likely loose inspiration for Welsh folkloric outlaw Twm Sion Cati, as his cousin; the pair corresponded, and Jones visited John Dee several times.


From 1577 to 1601, John Dee kept a sporadic diary, from which most of what we know of his life in that time has been gleaned.


Theodore John Dee, born nine months later, could have been fathered by Kelley, and not John Dee.


John Dee went on to become an alchemist and Hermetic author, whose works were published by Elias Ashmole.


John Dee wore a gown like an artist's gown, with hanging sleeves, and a slit.


John Dee was an intense Christian, but his religiosity was influenced by Hermetic and Platonic-Pythagorean doctrines pervasive in the Renaissance.


John Dee believed that numbers were the basis of all things and key to knowledge.


John Dee's goal was to help bring forth a unified world religion through the healing of the breach of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches and the recapture of the pure theology of the ancients.


From 1570 John Dee advocated a policy of political and economic strengthening of England and establishment of colonies in the New World.


John Dee used Geoffrey's inclusion of Ireland in King Arthur's conquests to argue that Arthur had established a "British empire" abroad.


John Dee argued that the establishment of new colonies would benefit England economically, with said colonies being protected by a strong navy.


John Dee has been credited with coining the term British Empire, but Humphrey Llwyd has been credited with the first use in his Commentarioli Britannicae Descriptionis Fragmentum, published eight years earlier in 1568.


John Dee asserted that Brutus of Britain and King Arthur, as well as Madog, had conquered lands in the Americas, so that their heir, Elizabeth I of England, had a prior claim there.


John Dee found several manuscripts, mainly records of Dee's angelic communications.


Casaubon, who believed in the reality of spirits, argued in his introduction that John Dee was acting as the unwitting tool of evil spirits when he believed he was communicating with angels.


John Dee studied closely with Gerardus Mercator and owned an important collection of maps, globes and astronomical instruments.


John Dee developed new instruments and special navigational techniques for use in polar regions.


John Dee served as an advisor to English voyages of discovery, and personally selected pilots and trained them in navigation.


John Dee believed that mathematics was central to human learning.


For most of his writings, John Dee chose English, rather than Latin, to make them accessible to the public.


John Dee's preface includes demonstrations of mathematical principles that readers could perform themselves without special education or training.


John Dee was a friend of Tycho Brahe and familiar with the work of Nicolaus Copernicus.


John Dee applied Copernican theory to the problem of calendar reform.


John Dee advised that England accept it, albeit with seven specific amendments.


Wilfrid Michael Voynich, who bought the manuscript in 1912, suggested that John Dee may have owned it and sold it to Rudolph II.


The British Museum holds several items once allegedly owned by John Dee and associated with the spiritual conferences:.


John Dee was invited to lecture on Euclidean geometry at the University of Paris while still in his early twenties.


John Dee was an ardent promoter of mathematics, a respected astronomer and a leading expert in navigation, who trained many who would conduct England's voyages of discovery.


John Dee tutored and patronised Sir Philip Sidney; his uncle Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester; Edward Dyer; and Sir Christopher Hatton.


John Dee was a popular figure in literary works by his contemporaries and he has continued to feature in popular culture, particularly in fiction or fantasy set during his lifetime or dealing with magic or the occult.


The film Elizabeth: The Golden Age has two scenes in which Queen Elizabeth consults Dr John Dee, played by David Threlfall.