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VMs: Alchemy in Czechia (2)
Additional articles on the subject, in the series by Eva Manethová:
and this one, suffering from slight textual plagiarism by another lady:
Some interesting notes in a
"In March 1583, a prince of Poland, the Count Palatine of Siradia, Adalbert
Alask, while visiting the Court of Queen Elizabeth, sought to meet with Dr.
Dee to discuss his experiments, of which he became so convinced that he
asked Dee and Kelly and their families to accompany him on his return to
Cracow. The prince took them from Cracow to Prague in anticipation of favors
at the hand of Emperor Rudolph II, but their attempt to get into touch with
Rudolph was unsuccessful. In Prague at that time there was a great interest
in alchemy, but in 1586, by reason of an edict of Pope Sixtus V, Dee and
Kelly were forced to flee the city. They finally found peace and plenty at
the Castle of Trebona in Bohemia as guests of Count Rosenberg, the Emperor's
Viceroy in that country. During that time Kelly made projection of one minim
on an ounce and a quarter of mercury and produced nearly an ounce of the
In February 1588, the two men parted ways, Dee making for England and Kelly
for Prague, where Rosenberg had persuaded the Emperor to quash the Papal
decree. Through the introduction of Rosenberg, Kelly was received and
honored by Rudolph as one in possession of the Great Secret of Alchemy. From
him he received besides a grant of land and the freedom of the city, a
position of state and apparently a title, since he was known from that time
forward as Sir Edward Kelly."
In fact this article goes on to offer one of two conflicting versions about
"These honors are evidence that Kelly had undoubtedly demonstrated to the
Emperor his knowledge of transmutation, but the powder of projection had now
diminished, and to the Emperor's command to produce it in ample quantities,
he failed to accede, being either unable or unwilling to do so. As a result,
Kelly was cast into prison at the Castle of Purglitz near Prague where he
remained until 1591 when he was restored to favor. He was interned a second
time, however, and in 1595, according to chronicles, and while attempting to
escape from his prison, fell from a considerable height and was killed at
the age of forty."
The other one being:
"Some [alchemists],such as Edward Kelley in the 16th century,were outrageous
fakers and phonies.According to one modern author,Kelley was a "charlatan
with severed ears,a secucer and medium."His ears had been removed as
punishment for forgery,forcing him to grow his hair long and lank afterward.
He was eventually imprisioned for killing a coutier and refused to yield up
the formula of the Philosopher's Stone even under torture.After two
unsuccessful escape attempts,he killed himself in 1597 by taking poison
smuggled to him in jail by his wife."
"Re-examining the dubious history of Alchemy"
Copyright(C)1998 Scripps Howard
LONDON(july21,1998 01:28 am EDT)
Last but not least, Ms quotes a slightly different version of the end:
"The neighbors of the New City of Prague followed with disgust and suspicion
Kelley's alchemical experiments. He was, besides, an arrogant man, and when
he killed a neighbor in a fight, all of his enemies used it as a pretext to
achieve Kelley's incarceration. He was imprisoned and tortured in the castle
"[Kelley] had been able to extract from Rudolph rather large sums, and by
means of torture, the monarch wanted to get from Kelley the secret of the
preparation of the philosopher's stone and the elixir of the eternal youth.
In an attempt to escape, the rope to which the alchemist was tied to broke
and he suffered a fracture."