Nicholas Culpeper's statement about John Dee's crystal, England, 1651-1658

Made:
1651-1658 in England
author:
Nicholas Culpeper
Digital copy of Statement about John Dee's crystal by Nicholas Culpepper, written on back of deed. Digital copy of reverse of statement about John Dee's crystal by Nicholas Culpepper, showing deed.

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Digital copy of Statement about John Dee's crystal by Nicholas Culpepper, written on back of deed.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Digital copy of reverse of statement about John Dee's crystal by Nicholas Culpepper, showing deed.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Statement about John Dee's crystal by Nicholas Culpeper, written on back of deed

Written on 7 March 1651 by Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), this Latin document describes the history of John Dee’s crystal and how Culpeper came to be its owner. John Dee (1527-1609), an English mathematician and astrologer, claimed he was given the crystal by the angel Uriel. Dee claimed to be able to see apparitions or ghosts in the stone. By 1608, Dee’s son, Arthur (1597-1651) was the Keeper of the Stone after the crystal spent twenty years in Continental Europe.

As a reward for curing Arthur Dee’s liver complaints, Culpeper, a physician and alchemist, was given the crystal. He used it to try and heal illnesses until 1651, when he believed a demonic ghost “which exercised itself to lewdness and other depravity with women and girls” appeared in it. The manuscript was bought at auction for the Wellcome collections in 1922.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A127916
type:
manuscript
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication