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John Dee
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Astrologer
    (July 13, 1527-circa 1608)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Astrologer, astronomer, mathematician and occultist
    Advisor to Queen Elizabeth I
    Wrote 'The Hieroglyphic Monad' (1564) and 'The Perfect Arte of Navigation' (1576)
    He was secretive.
    He was imprisoned for treason against Queen Mary I (1555).
    He tried to learn the secrets of nature by contacting spirits using a crystal ball.
    When he was unsuccessful, he hooked up with medium Edward Kelley, who put him in touch with angels.
    When Kelley announced that the angels had ordered him and Dee to swap wives, Dee complied.
    His second wife, Jane, was less than half his age.
    He underwent a major reversal of fortune when anti-occult King James I took the English throne.
    He died in such obscurity that his date of death is unknown. (It is generally thought to be between December, 1608, and March, 1609.)
    He allegedly predicted the world would end on St. Patrick's Day of 1842. (Although the prediction may have been a later forgery.)
    He managed to talk his way out of the treason charge during an appearance before the Star Chamber.
    He chose the date for Elizabeth's coronation.
    He had the largest private library in England.
    He was a founding fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge.
    Explorers such as Humphrey Gilbert and Martin Frobisher consulted with him for his expertise in navigation.
    He is the first person known to have used the term 'British Empire.'
    His second wife and several of their children died in a plague epidemic (1604).
    Shakespeare probably based the character Prospero in 'The Tempest' on him.

Credit: C. Fishel


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