Biography of John Dee

This article contains a concise biographical timeline for John Dee (1527-1608). He is commonly credited with coining the term “British Empire”.

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1527 – He is born in Tower Ward, in London.

1535-1542 – He attends the Chelmsford Chantry School.

1542 – He enters St. John’s College, Cambridge.

1545 – He graduates from St. John’s College with a BA.

1546 – He becomes an original fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge on its founding.

1550s-1570s – He serves as an advisor to England’s voyages of discovery.

1552 – He meets Gerolamo Cardano in London.

1553 – He is Rector of Upton-upon-Severn.

1555 – He becomes a member of the Worshipful Company of Mercers. Also in this year, he is charged with having cast horoscopes of Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth. The charges expanded to treason against Queen Mary.

1556 – He presents Queen Mary with a visionary plan for the preservation of old books, manuscripts and records and the founding of a national library

1558 – He becomes Queen Elizabeth’s trusted advisor on astrological and scientific matters.

1564 – He writes the Hermetic work Monas Hieroglyphica.

1565 – He marries Katherine Constable.

1570 – He publishes a “Mathematical Preface” to Henry Billingsley’s English translation of Euclid’s Elements.

1574 – He sends a letter to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley seeking patronage.

1575 – He marries an unknown woman who dies a year later.

1576 – He publishes General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation.

1577-1601 – He keeps a diary.

1578 – He marries his last wife, Jane Fromond.

1580 – He publishes Title Royal.

1582 – He meets Edward Kelley. He also publishes On the Mystical Rule of the Seven Planets.

1583 – He meets Albert Łaski and joins him on a trip to Poland.

1589 – He returns to England.

1595 – He gets appointed Warden of Christ’s College, Manchester.

1605 – He leaves Manchester and returns to London.

1608 – He dies in Mortlake.

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