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Kelley, Edward (1555 - 1593/95/97)


Edward Kelley Occultist . . .  —  Buy this art print at


An English alchemist, scryer and lawyer, who gained fame solely through his association with John Dee, an adviser to
Queen Elizabeth I on occult matters.

As a lawyer, Kelley had been convicted for forging land deals, fraud and coining. In the 1570s he acquired an old parchment dealing with the transmutation of metals. He bought the document, along with two vials of powder, from a lowlife innkeeper who said they had come from the grave of a rich bishop.

Although Kelley was educated enough to read the parchment’s Old Gaelic text, he lacked the knowledge of alchemy that would allow him to make use of it. In a burst of bravura, Kelley decided that the eminent John Dee, known to have an interest in the occult, would be just the man to help him with the alchemy and also to lend credibility to his schemes. A rogue of persuasive charm, Kelley got Dee interested in his manuscript and coaxed him into the laboratory to attempt a transmutation.


Edward Kelly and John Dee practice Sciomancy, a form of Necromancy . . .  —  Buy this art print at



To Dee’s intense surprise and delight, so the story goes, the experiment worked. In December 1579, they reportedly turned a pound of lead into a pound of gold. This well-publicized success with furnace and crucible brought the pair to the attention of a certain Prince Albertus Alasco, a Polish nobleman who was a guest at Elizabeth’s court. By then, the unscrupulous Kelley had tricked the honest philosopher into an iniquitous collaboration. Before ever meeting Kelley, Dee had experienced what he believed to be an encounter with the angel Uriel, during which the angel gave him the power to communicate with beings on other astral planes.

When Kelley claimed that angels were speaking to him, Dee apparently did not doubt him. The two presented a seance for the benefit of Alasco and convinced him that angels said the prince was destined to become the king of Poland. With telepathic exuberance, they further informed Alasco that he would live forever. Pleased with what he had been told, and hoping to profit from the pair’s alchemical pursuits, the grateful prince invited the conspirators to his native Poland.


Dr. John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley. . .  —  Buy this art print at

In 1583, the unlikely pair accepted Alasco’s offer and with their families set up housekeeping in the prince’s castle in Cracow.

There, financed by the gullible Alasco, the alchemical duo experimented without regard for cost, producing plenty of smoke but offering Alasco no gold in return.


John Dee and Edward Kelly Summoning the Dead, 19th Century . . .  —  Buy this art print at

Not until he had paid over a goodly share of his fortune did the prince realize he was being swindled. Then, in 1585, he packed the unwanted house guests out of his life. Kelley and Dee and their families made their way to Prague, at that time one of two capitals of the Holy Roman Empire.

The mystically inclined emperor Rudolf II was widely known to give a generous welcome to alchemists but soon after the Englishmen arrived, they were alarmed to hear gossip alleging that they were involved in fraud an necromancy.

They prudently left town in May 1586 an three weeks later learned that the papal nuncio had ordered Rudolf to deport them. They took refuge with a powerful nobleman, Count Rosenberg of Bohemia, who obtained official permission for them to take up residence in his castle for as long as they liked.


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Despite their difficulties, Dee seems to have remained enthralled by Kelley — but not without exception. In 1587 Kelley claimed that the angel Uriel told him that henceforth he and Dee were to share "their two wives in common." Dee, whose wife was prettier and younger than Kelley’s, is said to have drawn the line at this proposal. These differences precipitated a temporary disruption of his relationship with Kelley.




By 1589, a dispirited and discredited Dee returned to England, where he was promptly visited by Elizabeth I and awarded a license to practice alchemy. But there was to be no end to his misfortune. Some years later, his superb library and cherished laboratory were destroyed by a mob that had become convinced he was in league with the devil. He died in poverty at the age of eighty-one.

Kelley’s fate is not so certain. One story says he was imprisoned somewhere on the Continent and fell to his death in 1593 (some say 1595 or 1597), while trying to escape from a window on a rope twisted from bed linen.

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Queen Elizabeth's Magician - John Dee

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-- Videos and DVDs Bibliography --
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-- Suggested Reading Additional Online Info --


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-- Dark Mirror of Magick DVD.

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Suggested Art prints and Posters:

Frontispiece to "A Little Book of Love" by John Dee
Frontispiece to "A Little Book of Love" by John Dee Giclee Print
Buy this Art Print
  Dr John Dee and His Assistant Edward Kelley (With
Dr John Dee and His Assistant Edward Kelley (With Giclee Print
Buy this Art Print
Jack Adams, Astrologer of Clerkenwell London Prepares a Horoscope for a Woman
Jack Adams, Astrologer of Clerkenwell London Prepares a Horoscope for a Woman Giclee Print
Buy this Art Print
Melancholia Giclee Print
Dόrer, Albrecht
Buy this Art Print

-- Click HERE for more related art prints and posters.
-- Click HERE for related magazines and periodicals.

Suggested Books:

-- Dr. John Dee: Elizabethan Mystic and Astrologer.

-- Enochian Magic: A Practical Manual.

-- Enochian Magic for Beginners: The Original System of Angel Magic.

-- Enochian Tarot (Llewellyn's High Magick).

-- Enochian Temples.

-- Enochian World of Aleister Crowley: Enochian Sex Magick.

-- Golden Dawn Enochian Magic.

-- Hieroglyphic Monad.

-- John Dee: Essential Readings.

-- John Dee: The Limits of the British Empire.

-- John Dee: The Politics of Reading and Writing in the English Renaissance.

-- John Dee's Five Books of Mystery: Original Sourcebook of Enochian Magic.

-- Mathematicall Praeface to the Elements of Geometrie of Euclid of Megara (1570).

-- Private Diary of Dr. John Dee & the Catalogue of His Library of Manuscripts.

-- Secrets of Doctor John Dee: Being His Alchemical, Astrological, Qabalistic & Rosicrucian Arcana: Together with the Trees of the Planets.

-- Talking With Angels: John Dee and the End of Nature.

-- Tarot of Ceremonial Magick: A Pictorial Synthesis of Three Great Pillars of Magick: Enochian, Goetia, Astrology.

-- The Angels' Message to Humanity: Ascension to Divine Union Powerful Enochian Magick (Llewellyn's High Magick Series).

-- The Complete Enochian Dictionary: A Dictionary of the Angelic Language As Revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley.

-- The Enochian Experiments of the Golden Dawn (Golden Dawn Studies, Vol. 7).

-- The Enochian Magick of Dr John Dee: The Most Powerful System of Magick in Its Original, Unexpurgated Form.

-- The Life of John Dee (First Impressions Series).

-- The Private Diary of Dr. John Dee.

-- The Truth About the Enochian Tarot (Truth About Series).

-- Three Famous Occultists: Dr. John Dee, Franz Anton Mesmer & Thomas Lake Harris.

-- True & Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits (1659).

-- Click HERE for more related books.

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Further info:

-- Angelical Stone.
-- Dr. John Dee.
-- Edward Kelley.
-- Scrying.
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