Blomefield, Miles (DNB00)

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BLOMEFIELD, MILES (1525–1574?), alchemist, has recorded some particulars of his birth and parentage in a quaint note written by himself in a volume which is preserved in the library of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and which contains a unique copy of ‘the boke called the Informacyon for pylgrymes vnto the holy lande,’ printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1524: ‘I, Myles Blomefylde, of Burye Saynct Edmunde in Sulfolke, was borne ye yeare following after ye pryntyng of this boke, (that is to saye) in the yeare of our Lorde 1525, the 5 day of Apryll, betwene 10 & 11, in ye nyght, nyghest xi. my fathers name John, and my mothers name Anne.' He had a license from the university of Cambridge to practise physic in 1552, and he followed his profession in his native town, though he appears to have been at Venice in 1568. It is supposed that he was living in 1574. Blomefield was an adept in alchemy, a collector of old and curious books, and the author of: 1. ‘Blomfylds Quintaessens, or the Regiment of Life,’ manuscript in the Cambridge University Library, Dd. 3, 83, art. 6. Dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, and said to be hardly the production of a sane mind. 2. ‘Blomefield’s Blossoms, or the Campe of Philosophy.' Printed in Elias Ashmole's ‘Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum,’ 305-93. Tanner and Warton confound him with Wi11iam Blomefield, alias Rattlesden, sometime monk of Bury, and afterwards vicar of St. Simon and St. Jude at Norwich.

[Ashmole’s Theatrum Chemicum. 475; Baker MS. xxiv. 117; Cat. of Camb. Univ. MSS. i. 183; Cooper's Athenæ: Cantab. i. 327; Notes and Queries, lst ser. i. 60, 90; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.; Warton's Hist. of English Poetry (1840), iii. 83.]

T. C.