Watson English

Julian Roberts and Andrew G Watson eds., John Dee’s Library Catalogue, London, The Bibliographical Society, 1990, p. 172-3

New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Lib. Ms Beinecke 408. A scientific or magical text (a treatise on the Elixir of Life?), in cipher (the Voynich ‘Roger Bacon’ manuscript). Parchment, s. xvi (?).

Dee has foliated the MS throughout: for his bold figures cf Bodleian Library MSS Ashmole 1790 fol. 9v and 847 passim… Dee, who owned a number of Bacon manuscripts, was in Prague from 1584 to 1586 and was much in contact with the Emperor. Dee records (TFR, 447) that in October 1586 he was in possession of 630 ducats; and his son Arthur, quoted by Sir Thomas Browne (Works, ed. G. Keynes, vi (1931), 325 (Browne to Ashmole, 1674, MS Ashmole 1788 fol. 15)), states that while in Bohemia Dee possessed ‘a booke.. containing nothing but Hieroglyphicks, which booke his father bestowed much time upon: but I could not heare that hee could make it out’.