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RE: Edward Kelley...?
I agree there is some resemblance between Kelley's handwriting and the
foliation numbering in VM, but the numeral shapes are very common for the
1500's. I agree Kelley's 8's appear to begin and end in the middle, while
VM at the bottom. Also, Kelley's 2's look more rounded to me, but there is
a lot of variation in both manuscripts. Note Dee's handwriting varies so
much you might suspect him of having multiple personalities!
Here's what Dee's Mysteriorum Libri say about the Book of Dunstan (all
quotes and translatins from my forthcoming edition):
Kelley, along with John Blokley found the Book of Dunstan, along with a
scroll (treasure map), and a "red congeled thing in the hollow stone" also
referred to as "the red powder" on March 12, 1583, long after had entered
Dee's service. This is mentioned in the first "action" (scrying session)
recorded in Liber Mysteriorum Quintus, the first such action after a long
hiatus (the previous action is dated Nov 21, 1582.)
"Anno 1583 Martij 23. Saterday a meridie.
D: EK being come, with Mr John Husey of Blokley. (on the 22 day of marche)
and EK being desirous to understand somwhat of our spirituall frendes as
concerning such matter as had falln out very strange to him and Mr Husey:
abowt a certayne moniment of a boke and a skroll fownd in Northwik hill [In
marg: The boke fownd in Northwik hill.] by the direction and leading of such
a spirituall Creature, as when they had gotten the same, and they endeuored
by art to haue some exposition of the skroll, written in strange characters,
they wer willed to repayre to me, and there they shold be answered: &c.
which thing now they did."
This is referred to as the "Book of Saint Dunstan" in a footnote to the
following day's action:
"Vide sup. Lib. 4: Ao. 1587. Circa Maiu: Quidam Ben, (spiritualis Creatura)
dixit ipi EK, se custodinisse illum pulverem et librum Dunstani, &c. -D."
("See above in book 4. Around May 1587 one Ben (a spiritual creature) said
to EK that he himself had guarded that powder and Book of Dunstan.") See
TFR Actio Tertia, May 23, page 27 (pages separately numbered).
And this appears in an action dated Mar 28:
"EK: Now is the Skroll with the Characters browght in, which was fownd by
spirituall direction this month, the 12 day, abowt 10 ? after none by Mr
Kelly and Master Husy [In marg: The finding of the skroll, of the
He semeth now as like our good frende, as may be. Our frende cam with a
sponge and annoynted the wicked spirit his lipps.
A voyce: -- Els could I not speak.
D: Seing now thow canst speak, answer me.
The wicked, sayd: -- Ask quickly.
D: What is thy Name? -- The wicked answered, Gargat.
D: What is the sentence of that skroll? -- Gar: I know not.
D: In the name of Jesus, I charge thee to tell me the truth as concerning
That roll here shewed. -- Gar: I haue cownterfeted this roll, and browght
it: for it is not the true roll.
D: After many words betwene him and me, and the more, bycause he denyed
that he knew of any Glorie belonging to God, I urged him so, at length with
short and euident argument, that he answered, he must confess the powre and
glorie of god: and sayd, that he was damned for euer: and did wish
damnation to me. And I requested God to use his Justice on him, for the
glory of his name. Then he entreated me somwhile, and somwhile derided me,
saying, Art thow so lusty? &c.
D: All the Cumpany fell on him, and hewed him in peces: and digged a hole
in the earth, with theyr swords, and he fell in, and after that was a myghty
A voyce: -- Sic soleo iniustis ["So I am accustomed to unrighteous
Beteen these two actions the "angels" through Kelley reveal the so-called
angelic characters, the alphabet that the Angelic Book (aka Liber Loagaeth)
appeared in. This is the same book the bulk of which appears in Sl. 3189.
Kelley seems to have kept it secret from Dee as seen from the following
passage (April 18):
"He advised EK to comunicate to me the boke, and the powder, and so all the
rest of the roll , which was there fownd: saying, True frends use not to
hide any thing eche from other.
D: An old proverb it is. Amicorum omnia comunia.
unde, Deo soli omnis exhibeatur laus honor et gloria ["Everything is
shared between friends; therefore, to God alone are offered all praise,
honor, and glory"]."
Is it possible Kelley used it as the basis for his "angelic tables?" Jim:
didn't you do a comparison of Sl. 3189 vs. VM?
Note that much of Dee's vast library was obtained by rescuing old books from
From: Nick Pelling [mailto:incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 4:42 AM
Subject: Edward Kelley...?
Given my surprise at possibly identifying Edward Kelley as the VMS'
foliator, I've been reading up on him.
His links with Rudolph seem many times stronger than John Dee's - Kelley
was made an "eques auratus" (baron of the kingdom of Bohemia) by Rudolph,
and worked in Praha as an alchemist for some time.
So: why is it certain that the VMS isn't Kelley's "The Book of St Dunstan"
(or a copy of it)?
The story goes that Kelley bought the book (and some alchemical white
powder and red powder, which he spent the rest of his life researching /
living off) for next to nothing from an innkeeper while travelling to
Wales: and that the items had been looted from the tomb of a Catholic
bishop, supposedly in the grounds of the former Glastonbury Abbey (it
wasn't so long after Henry VIII).
According to what I've seen on the Net, the book was in Kelley's possession
before he met John Dee (1581), it contained strange images, and Kelley
couldn't understand a word of it, despite trying to decipher it all his
life. So: it would seem to be a reasonable match for the VMS - or have I
Also: does anyone know what happened to Kelley's possessions when he died?
Perhaps the 1988 Christopher Whitby book "John Dee's Actions With
Spirits..." (referred to in Jim Reeds' VMS bibliography) has something to
say on this? (I haven't yet seen a copy)
Thanks, .....Nick Pelling.....