Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 14.djvu/277

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he forwarded to Laud a petition from an English gentleman, one John Fincham, who, having been sent to France on the king's service, had been imprisoned in the Bastile (Cal. of State Papers, s.a. 1629). In 1630 his name appears as one of the first of the 'assistants' in the foundation of Sion College (ib. s.a. 1630). He became dean of Chichester 30 April 1630. On an anticipated vacancy of the see of Gloucester in 1633 Dee was marked out for the preferment (ib. October 1633). The vacancy, however, did not take place, but on the promotion of Lindsell from Peterborough to Hereford in the following year he succeeded to the vacant see. He was consecrated at Lambeth by Archbishop Laud, assisted by Bishop Juxon, on 18 May 1634, and was enthroned by proxy on 28 May. He was esteemed, says Wood, 'a person of pious life and conversation, and of very affable behaviour' (Fasti, ii. 300). Dee's brief episcopate, lasting only four years, was uneventful. The enforcement of the order for placing the communion table altarwise at the east end of the chancel, and fencing it in with rails, produced the same amount of discontent among the puritanically disposed clergy as in other dioceses, and Dee received frequent instructions from the high court of commission to proceed against those who refused obedience (Cal. Of State Papers, 1635-8) . Dee died at Peterborough on 8 Oct. 1638 and was buried in his cathedral. If there was any memorial of him it was destroyed when the cathedral was wrecked by the parliamentary troops in 1643. By his will, dated 28 May 1638 (Baker MSS. xxvii. 19), he gave 100l. to the repair of his cathedral, and to St. John's College the impropriate rectory of Pagham for the foundation of two scholars and two fellows to be chosen from Peterborough grammar school. He also bequeathed to the college such of his works in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin as they were not already possessed of, and his chapel plate. He was twice married: first to Susan le Poreque, and secondly to Elizabeth, daughter of John Winter, canon of Canterbury, by whom he left an only daughter, who married Brian King, canon of Chichester. He is stated to have preached before the court in praise of virginity (Birch, Court and Times of Charles I, ii. 230).

[Browne Willis's Peterborough Cathedral, iii. 508; Wood's Fasti, ii. 300, 301; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 144, 255, 556; Mayor's Baker, 265, 677; Heylyn's Laud, 249; Calendar of State Papers.]

E. V.

DEE, JOHN (1527–1608), a mathematician and astrologer, was born in London, according to his own account, on 13 July 1527 (Compendious Rehearsal of John Dee, ch. i.) Dr. John David Rhys says that he was descended from the ancient family of the Dees of Nant-y-groes, Radnorshire (Cambrobrytannicæ Cymræcæve Linguæ Institutiones, 1592, p. 60), and he himself drew up an elaborate scheme of his genealogy, which he pretended to deduce from Roderick the Great, Prince of Wales. The Rev. Jonathan Williams asserts that Dee was a native of the parish of Bugaildu, near Knighton, Radnorshire, but cites no authority (Archæologia Cambrensis, 3rd ser. iv. 472). According to Wood he was the son of Rowland Dee, a vintner in London, but Strype (Annals, ii. 353, folio), probably with truth, describes the father as gentleman sewer to Henry VIII, adding that he had been indifferently treated at court—a circumstance which recommended his family to the king's descendants. Dee's mother was Johanna, daughter of William Wild. After some time spent in learning Latin in London and at Chelmsford, Essex, he was sent in November 1542 to St. John's College, Cambridge. He proceeded B.A. in 1544–5, and was admitted a foundation fellow of his college about 1545–6 (Baker, Hist. of St. John's, ed. Mayor, i. 284; Cooper, Athenæ Cantab. ii. 497). He says that in 1543, 1544, and 1545 he studied for eighteen hours daily, only allowing four hours for sleep and two for meals and recreation.

When Trinity College, Cambridge, was founded by Henry VIII, by patent dated 19 Dec. 1546, Dee was nominated one of the original fellows (Rymer, Fœdera, ed. 1713, xv. 107). He says that he was also ‘assigned there to be the under-reader of the Greek tongue. … Hereupon I did sett forth … a Greek comedy of Aristophanes, named in Greek Εἰρήνη, in Latin Pax; with the performance of the Scarabæus, his flying up to Jupiter's palace, with a man and his basket of victuals on her back: whereat was great wondring, and many vain reports spread abroad of the means how that was effected.’ This clever stage effect, in fact, procured for Dee an evil reputation as a conjuror and magician. The suspicion attached to him throughout the remainder of his life, in spite of his repeated excuses, apologies, and solemn obtestations.

In May 1547 he went into the Low Countries to confer with learned men. On his return home at the end of a few months he brought with him the first astronomer's staff of brass, devised by Gemma Frisius, the two great globes constructed by Gerard Mercator, and the astronomer's ring of brass, as Gemma Frisius had newly framed it. All these