John Dee, English astrologer

John Dee, English astrologer

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Dee (1527-1608), English astrologer, alchemist, and mathematician. Dee was educated at Cambridge University and was an original Fellow of Trinity College. He gained Queen Elizabeth I's favour by successfully selecting an astrologically favourable day for her coronation. As a member of the royal court he gained a reputation as a sorcerer and alchemist. In 1582 he was joined by Kelly, and after various travels around Europe, they brought back many astronomical instruments and claimed to have found the 'philosopher's stone' which could transmute common metals into gold. His obsessive search for the North-West passage to Asia ruined him.

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