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Tudor Minute August 1: Happy Birthday Edward Kelley

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for August 1.

Today is the birthday of Edward Kelley, a close associate to John Dee. A few weeks ago when we talked about Dee we discussed how this period saw the merger of what we would call “real” science and the occult. Similarly to his associate Dee, Edward Kelley took his work very seriously, working as an apothecary and chemist, as well as a magician who supposedly could turn metals into gold, communicate with Angels, and who possessed the Philosopher’s Stone.

Kelley’s main claim to fame, though, was his supposed ability to talk with Angels. He grew up in Ireland, and became associated with Dee, and traveled with him throughout Europe communicating with angels in a special language he developed called Enochian. Kelley would get the message, and translate it to Dee. It’s not clear whether Dee was fooled, or if he was in on the plans. Either way, it was all quite serious because Kelley claimed that the language was the original language originally spoken by Adam and Eve, and a predecessor to Hebrew.

Edward Kelley, born today in 1555.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at

John Dee: Brilliant Scientist and Occult Philosopher