John Dee was the original 007?

(We doubt it.)

[There is a story out there, from author Richard Deacon (Donald McCormick) who apparently was in the war with Ian Fleming, that James Bond’s “007” came from John Dee’s signature. We imagine we’ve seen such a letter with the notation, but now can’t find it. If we can’t find it, it’s not true. We haven’t seen Richard Deacon’s book either.

Since there’s so much misinformation out there, we’re not taking this stuff as credible. For now, John Dee wasn’t the original Bond. For that matter, his formal occupation as a “spy” is unsubstantiated and disputed.

From a book on James Bond by Philip Gardiner that draws from the Deacon book, and is repeated throughout the Internet:]

The Bond Code

The code 007 (a sacred numerological code) was that of the magician and occultist Dr. John Dee from the 16th century—the infamous mystic and spy of the realm for Queen Elizabeth.

The queen herself signed her letters to Dee as “M.”

Dee was thrown out of university for creating a flying machine—and Fleming wrote the alchemical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We also know that he was reading a biography of Dee at the time of writing Casino Royale, the first Bond novel!

[And, from a footnote on the same page:]

According to the writer Donald McCormick (alias Richard Deacon), John Dee signed his memos “007,” or two eyes followed by the occult number 7, meaning he offered his physical sight and his occult sight—thus making Bond an occult agent. Ian Fleming worked with Donald McCormick in the secret service during the Second World War!

Pasted from: The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond:…. By Philip Gardiner.

[John Dee was tutor to Robert Dudley in his youth. Dudley was Elizabeth’s favourite and signed letters to her with two “eyes.” In Dee’s letters he (according to McCormick) signed with two “eyes” sheltered by a “7” – but we haven’t seen it (we think). While Dee may not have signed his letters so, the Queen’s boyfriend-in-waiting, Robert Dudley did sign his letters to her with two eyes:]

‘After the Armada the Earl was seen riding in splendour through London “as if he were a king”, and for the past few weeks he had usually dined with the Queen, a unique favour. On his way to Buxton in Derbyshire to take the baths, he died at Cornbury Park near Oxford on 4 September 1588. Leicester’s health had not been good for some time and historians have considered both malaria and stomach cancer as death causes. His death came unexpectedly, and only a week earlier he had said farewell to his Queen. Elizabeth was deeply affected and locked herself in her apartment for a few days until Lord Burghley had the door broken. Her nickname for Dudley had been “Eyes”, which was symbolised by the sign of ôô in their letters to each other. Elizabeth kept the letter he had sent her six days before his death in her bedside treasure box, endorsing it with “his last letter” on the outside. It was still there when she died 15 years later.’

Pasted from <,_1st_Earl_of_Leicester#Armada_and_death>

[Dee was only 5 or 6 years older than Dudley. Apparently Elizabeth had her own pet names for her crew (Memoirs of the Life and Times of Sir Christopher Hatton). It’s fun to imagine them all having their own codes and having sleepovers and stuff, but we doubt it’s true about Dee, though it’s possible. But the Internet is notorious for taking one piece of misinformation from a single source and blithely copying it without anyone checking the facts. When the references all trace back to a single un-referenced source, it’s a good indication it’s false. Such is the Internet’s lust for easy “content.”]


‘These appointments, together with the valuable grants with which the Queen showered him during these early years, prompted rumours that he was her lover, a charge specifically made in 1584 by Mary, Queen of Scots. There was undoubtedly a close personal relationship, In correspondence, the Queen called him her “Lyddes”, and he is said to have referred to himself in at least one letter as her “sheep.”‘

Pasted from <>

[And we attempt to conclude our assessment of the claim that Dee signed his letters to Elizabeth with “007” and that Fleming got 007 from Dee, with quotes from Wikipedia:]

….Wikipedia says:

Bond’s number—007—was assigned by Fleming in reference to one of British naval intelligence’s key achievements of World War I: the breaking of the German diplomatic code. One of the German documents cracked and read by the British was the Zimmermann Telegram, which was coded 0075, and which was one of the factors that led to the US entering the war.

Pasted from <>

…But Wikipedia also says:

Ian Fleming took James Bond’s code number, 007, from John Dee. Fleming was reading a memoir on the life of Dee during at the time he set off to write Casino Royale (1953).

Pasted from <>

So there. There doesn’t seem to be any actual evidence that Dee signed his letter as 007. Richard Deacon (Donald McCormick) may be relating the story correctly, and Fleming may be mistaken, or Deacon/McCormick got it wrong. We’ll leave it for the reader to determine. Let us know what you find out.

For more on the matter, also check out A Golden Storm: Attempting to Recreate the Context of John Dee and Edward Kelley’s Angelic Material (Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition No. 19, Vol. 2. Autumnal Equinox 2010) by Teresa Burns:

“Deacon’s biography seems the source of the persistent printed and Internet legend that John Dee signed his name “007.” Did Dee really sign his name this way? A painstaking search through many, many Dee signatures has convinced this writer that he did not. His real signature took many forms, but looks more like a whirlwind than a 007.”

John Dee had an unwanted and unwarranted reputation as a wizard

[John Dee had an unwanted and unwarranted reputation as a wizard.]

“While scholars would systematically soil Dee’s memory over the coming centuries, he became an underground legend—the archetypal cartoon image we inherit of the “wizard,” wearing a pointy hat and robe and wielding a crystal ball, is a survival of folk images of Dee. The eminent historian Francis Yates suggests that Dee’s actions on the Continent and writings are responsible for the Rosicrucian occult revolution in Europe that formed the cradle of the Enlightenment and modern science—and that, in a sense, Dee tricked Europe into having a scientific revolution. The Enochian scholar Stephen Skinner suggests a secret tradition in British high society kept the angelic magic alive—and Dee’s papers in the British Library are well documented as the catalyzing information behind the 19th and 20th century occult revival.”

/ Jason Louv / 2 am Thu, Feb 19 2015

In some minds John Dee is less of an historical

[In some minds John Dee is less of an historical figure than he should be. His “esoteric practices” affected his reputation and legacy. In our own times, we try to re-assesss and rehabilitate him by understanding his influence and his times.]

“Historiographically, Dee’s Protean interests have proved no easier to classify than his spectra of the mathematical arts. Dee’s esoteric pursuits were well known to his contemporary detractors, and continue to occupy the popular imagination today, yet the academy has struggled to reconcile his natural philosophical interests with those apparently antithetical to modern conceptions of science. In the absence of any single, outstanding contribution to support his inclusion in canonical histories of the Scientific Revolution, for much of the twentieth century Dee remained a marginal figure in broader histories of science.

His re-engineering as a hermetic magus in the 1960s and 70s offered a new narrative, in which Dee became the case study par excellence for the influence of Neoplatonic currents on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century developments in astronomy and natural philosophy.”

Jennifer M. Rampling, John Dee and the sciences: early modern networks of knowledge, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Volume 43, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 432-436, ISSN 0039-3681,


John Dee and his similarity with (and difference from) Faust

[John Dee and his similarity with (and difference from) Faust]

John Dee: Interdisciplinary Studies in English Renaissance Thought (2006).
Volume 193 of the series International Archives of the History of Ideas/Archives internationales d’histoire des idées pp 207-229
Contexts for John Dee’s Angel Magic

Pasted from <>

The angel Madimi castigating John Dee and Edward Kelley

[The angel Madimi castigating John Dee and Edward Kelley with Biblical threats for their reluctance to follow her instructions and for their Faustian ambition. From Dee’s diary:]

“Behold you are become free: Do that which most pleaseth you: For behold, your own reason riseth up against my wisdome.

Not content you are to be heires, but you would be Lords, yea Gods, yea the Judgers of the heavens: Wherefore do even as you list, but if you forsake the way taught you from above, behold evil shall enter into your senses, and abomination shall dwell before your eyes, as a recompense, unto such as you have done wrong unto: And your wives and children, shall be carried away before your face.”

Pasted from <;view=fulltext>

Dee identified himself by Δ

[Dee (who identified himself by Δ) records in his diary (as reported by Meric Casaubon) the presumed visions of Edward Kelley.]

Δ. Not long, lo, there appeared a great flame of fire in the principal Stone, (both standing on the Table before E. K.) which thing though he told me, I made no end of my Prayer to God. And behold, suddenly one seemed to come in at the south window of the Chappel, right against E. K. (But before that, the stone was heaved up an handful high, and set down again well, which thing E. K. thought did signifie some strange matter toward.) Then after, the man that came in at the window seemed to have his nether parts in a cloud, and with spred-abroad arms to come toward E. K. At which sight he shrinked back somewhat, and then that Creature took up between both his hands the stone and frame of gold, and mounted up away as he came.. E. K. catched at it, but he could not touch it. At which thing being so taken away, and at the sight thereof E. K. was in a great fear and trembling, and had tremorem cordis for a while. But I was very glad and well pleased.

A true & faithful relation of what passed for many yeers between Dr. John Dee … and some spirits tending … to a general alteration of most states and kingdomes in the world : his private conferences with Rodolphe, Emperor of Germany, Stephen, K. of Poland, and divers other princes about it … : as also the letters of sundry great men and princes … to the said D. Dee. Dee, John, 1527-1608., Casaubon, Meric, 1599-1671., Kelly, Edward, 1555-1595. Pasted from <;view=fulltext>

The spirits were urging the two couples to commit adultery…

[The spirits were urging the two couples to commit adultery, and Kelley wisely concluded that spirits advising sinning were unlikely to be angels. Following is the deposition Edward Kelley wrote at the time stating that he didn’t like or trust the spirits he contacted, and advised John Dee to consider his soul. Perhaps he was trying to protect himself from arrest for witchcraft and evade responsibility for sinning by pretending to be coerced.

This is from Isaac Casaubon’s 1659 “A true & faithful relation of what passed for many years between Dr. John Dee … and some spirits.” That first paragraph below is a 684 word single sentence. Expected reading time: 4 minutes. Good luck. Go!]

I Edward Kelly by good and provident (according to the Laws and ordinances of God) determination and consideration in these former Actions, that is to say, appearings, shows made, and voices uttered, by the within named in this Book, and the rest whatsoever Spirits have from the beginning thereof (which at large by the Records appeareth) not only doubted and disliked their insinuations and doctrine uttered, but also divers and sundry times (as coveting to eschew and avoid the danger and inconvenience that might either by them, their selves, or the drift of their doctrine ensue, or to my indamagement divers wayes, happen) sought to depart from the exercises thereof: and withal boldly (as the servant of the Son of God) inveighed against them: urging them to depart, or render better reason of their unknown and uncredible words and speeches delivered; and withall often and sundry times friendly exhorted the Right Worshipful Master JOHN DEE (the chief follower thereof) as also in the Records appeareth, to regard his souls health, the good proceeding of his wordly credit (which through Europe is great) the better maintenance to come of his wife and children, to beware of them, and withall to give them over: wherein although I friendly and brotherly laboured, my labour seemed to be lost and counsel of him despised, and withall was urged with replies to the contrary by him made, and promises, in that case, of the loss of his souls health, if they were not of God: Whereunto upon as it were some farther taste of them, or opinion grounded upon the frailty of zeal, he ceased not also to pawn unto me his soul, &c. which his persuasions were the chief and only cause of my this so long proceeding with them: And now also at this instant, and before a few dayes having manifest occasion to think they were the servants of Sathan, and the children of darkness; because they manifestly urged and commanded in the name of God a Doctrine Damnable, and contrary to the Laws of God, his Commandements, and Gospel by our Saviour Christ as a Touchstone to us left and delivered, did openly unto them dislike their proceeding, and brotherly admonished the said Worshipful, and my good friend Mr. JOHN DEE to beware of them: And now having just occasion to determine what they were, to consider all these things before mentioned by me, and wisely to leave them; and the rather because of themselves, they (as that by their own words appeareth) upon our not following that Doctrine delivered, gave unto us a Quietus est, or pasport of freedome: But the Books being brought forth *, after some discourse therein, after a day or two had, and their words perused spoken heretofore, did as it were (because of the possible verity thereof, Deo enim omnia sunt possibilia) gave us cause of further deliberation: so that thereby, I did partly of my self, and partly by the true meaning of the said Mr. DEE in the receiving of them, as from God; and after a sort by the zeal I saw him bear unto the true worship and glory of God to be (as that was by them, promised) by us promoted, descend from my self, and condescend unto his opinion and determination, giving over all reason, or whatsoever for the love of God: But the women disliked utterly this last Doctrine, * and consulting amongst themselves gave us this answer, the former actions did nothing offend them but much comforted them: and therefore this last, not agreeing with the rest (which they think to be according to the good will and wholesome Law of God) maketh them to fear, because it expresly is contrary to the Commandement of God: And thereupon desiring God not to be offended with their ignorance, required another action for better information herein; in the mean, vowing, fasting, and praying, Mrs. DEE hath covenanted with God to abstain from the eating of fish and flesh until * his Divine Majesty satisfies their minds according to his Laws established, and throughout all Christendome received.

To this their request of having an action, I absolutely answer, that my simplicity before the Highest is such as I trust will excuse me: And because the summe of this Doctrine, given in his name, doth require obedience which I have (as is before written) offered, I think my self discharged: And therefore have no farther cause to hazard my self any more in any action. Wherefore I answer that if it be lawful for them to call this Doctrine in question, it is more lawful for me to doubt of greater peril; considering that to come where we are absolutely answered were folly, and might redound unto my great inconvenience. Therefore beseeching God to have mercy upon me, and to satisfy their Petitions, doubts and vows, I finally answer, that I will from this day forward meddle no more herein. 22. of April, 1587.


[The evil deed was done May 3 1587.]

Writing in his 1564 Monas Hieroglyphica

[Writing in his 1564 Monas Hieroglyphica, Dee has a sudden anxiety he is sinning by giving away too many of God’s secrets. The Monas was Dee’s magnum opus, his alchemical meditation on the cosmos. He needn’t have worried: apparently the Monas is incomplete without an accompanying explanation or because too many years have passed, and we’ve lost the context of the 15th century. ]

…Thus it is demonstrated that it must not be divided. All the parts of a line are lines. This is a point, and this confirms our hypothesis. Therefore, the point does not form part of our Binary and yet it forms part of the integral form of the Binary. It follows that we must take notice of all that is hidden within this hypostatic form and understand that there is nothing superfluous in the linear dimension of our Binary. But because we see that these dimensions are common to both lines, they are considered to receive a certain secret image from this Binary. By this we demonstrate here that the Quaternary is concealed within the Ternary. 0 God! pardon me if I have sinned against Thy Majesty in revealing such a great mystery in my writings which all may read, but I believe that only those who are truly worthy will understand.

[The Monas Hieroglyphica is also the symbol – an amalgamation of symbols – he designed which encompasses the cosmos:]

From Wikipedia on Rosicrucianism:

It is evident that the first Rosicrucian manifesto was influenced by the work of the respected hermetic philosopher Heinrich Khunrath, of Hamburg, author of the Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (1609), who was in turn influenced by John Dee, author of the Monas Hieroglyphica (1564). The invitation to the royal wedding in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz opens with Dee’s philosophical key, the Monas Hieroglyphica symbol. The writer also claimed the brotherhood possessed a book that resembled the works of Paracelsus.

Pasted from <>

[Links go to Wikipedia.]

John Dee wrote the preface to a text on Euclid….

[John Dee wrote the preface to a text on Euclid. After describing many of the great virtues of mathematics, Dee takes an aside to complain about the superstitious and ignorant attitudes of many people toward learned men (such as himself) who have benefited the population through their “Skill, will, Industry, and Hability”, while the people repay them poorly by thinking them magicians]


And for these and such like marvellous Acts and Feats, naturally, mathematically and mechanically wrought and contrived, ought any honest student and modest Christian Philosopher be counted and called a CONJURER? Shall the folly of idiots and the malice of the scornful so much prevail that he who seeks no worldly gain or glory at their hands but only of God the treasure of heavenly wisdom and knowledge of pure hands: shall he (I say) in the mean space be robbed and spoiled of his honest name and fame.

He that seeks (by St Paul’s advertisement) in the Creatures, Properties and wonderful Virtues to find just cause to glorify the Eternal and Almighty Creator: shall that man be (in hugger mugger) condemned as a companion of hell-hounds and a caller and Conjurer of wicked and damned spirits? He that bewails his great want of time sufficiently (to his Contention) for learning of Godly wisdom and Godly verities and only therein sets all his delight: will that man waste and abuse his time in dealing with the chief Enemy of Christ our Redeemer; the deadly foe of all mankind; the subtle and impudent perverter of Godly Verity; the hypocritical crocodile, the envious basilisk, continually desirous in the twinkling of an eye to destroy all mankind both in body and soul eternally?

Surely (for my part, somewhat to say herein) I have not learned to make so brutish and so wicked a bargain. Should I for my twenty or twenty-five years study for two or three thousand marks spending; seven or eight thousand miles going; and travelling only for good learning’s sake, and that in all manner of weathers, in all manner of ways and passages; both early and late; in danger of violence by man; in danger of destruction by wild beasts; in hunger and thirst; in perilous heats by day, with toil on foot; in dangerous damps of cold by night, almost bereaving life (as God knows; with lodgings, oft times, of small ease and sometimes of less security; and for much more (than all this) done and suffered for Learning and attaining of Wisdom: should one (I pray you) for all this, not otherwise, nor mere warily or (by God’s Mercy) no more luckily have fished, with so large and costly a net, for so long a time in drawing, and that with the help and advice of Lady Philosophy and Queen Theology, but at length to have caught and drawn up a Frog? Nay, a Devil?

For so does the common peevish prattler imagine and jangle. And so does the malicious scorner secretly and bravely and boldly face down behind my back. Ah, what a miserable thing is this kind of man. How great is the blindness and boldness of the multitude in things above their capacity!

What a Land! What a people! What manners! What times are these? Are they become Devils themselves? And by false witness bearing against their neighbour, would they also become Murderers? Does God so long give them respite to reclaim themselves in from this horrible slandering of the guiltless, contrary to their own consciences, and yet will they not cease? Doth the innocent forbear the calling of them juridically to answer him according to the rigour of the Law? And will they despise his charitable patience?
As they, against him, by name do forge, fable, rage and raise slander by word and print: will they provoke him by word and print likewise to note their names to the world? With their particular devices, fables, beastly imaginings and unchristianlike slanders?

Well, well, (you such) my unkind Countrymen! 0 unnatural Countrymen! 0 unthankful Countrymen! 0 brainsick, rash, spiteful, and disdainful Countrymen! Why do you oppress me thus violently with your slandering of me, contrary to verity and contrary to your own consciences? And I, to this hour, neither by word, deed or thought have been in any way hurtful, damaging or injurious to you or yours? Have I so long, so dearly, so far, so carefully, so painfully, so dangerously fought and travelled for the learning of Wisdom and attaining of virtue, and in the end (in your judgement), am I become worse than when I began? A dangerous member of the Commonwealth — and no member of the Church of Christ? Call you this to be learned? Call you this to be a Philosopher and a lover of Wisdom? To forsake the straight, heavenly way and to wallow in the broad way of damnation. To forsake the light of heavenly wisdom and to lurk in the dungeon of the Prince of Darkness? To forsake the verity of God and His Creatures and to fawn upon the impudent, crafty, obstinate Liar and continual disgracer of God’s Verity to the uttermost of his power? To forsake the Life and Eternal Bliss and to cleave unto the Author of Death everlasting? that murderous Tyrant, most greedily awaiting the Prey of Man’s Soul.

Well: I thank God and Our Lord Jesus Christ for the comfort which I have by the examples of other men before my time; to whom neither in godliness of life nor in perfection of learning am I worthy to be compared; and yet they sustained the verie like injuries that I do: or rather greater. Patient SOCRATES, his Apology will testify to it: Apuleius, his Apologies will declare the brutishness of the multitude:
Joannes Picus, Earl of Mirandola, his Apologie will teach you of the raging slander of the malicious ignorant against him: joannes Trithemius, his Apologie will specify how he had occasion to make public Protestations, as well by reason of the rude, simple folk, as also in respect of such as were counted to be of the wisest sort of men.

Many could I recite. But I defer the precise and determined handling of this matter, being loth to detect the folly and malice of my Native Countrymen, who can hardly digest or like any extraordinary course of Philosophical studies not falling within the compass of their capacity, or where they are not made privy to the true and secret cause of such wonderful Philosophical Feats. These men are of four sorts chiefly:


To each of these (briefly and in charity) I will say a word or two, and so return to my Preface.

VAIN PRATING BUSYBODIES: use your idle assemblies and conference otherwise than in talk of matter either above your capacities for hardness, or contrary to your consciences in truth.

FOND FRIENDS, leave off to commend your unacquainted friend upon blind affection. As, because he knows more than the common student, he must needs be skilful and a doer in such manner and matter as you term CONJURING. Weening thereby, you advance his fame; and you make for other men great marvels of yourselves to have such a learned friend. Cease to ascribe Impiety where you pretend Amity. For, if your tongues were true, then were your friend Untrue, both to God and his Sovereign. Such FRIENDS and FONDLINGS I shake off and renounce. Shake you off your Folly.

IMPERFECTLY zealous, to you do I say that (perhaps) you do mean well. But you miss the mark if you will kill a lamb to feed the flock with his blood. Sheep with lambs’ blood have no natural sustenance. No more is Christ’s rock duly edified with horrible slanders. Nor is your fair presence, by such rash, ragged Rhetoric, any whit well graced. But such as seek to use me, will find a foul crack in their credit. Speak of what you know. And know as you ought. Know not but hearsay when ilk lies in danger. Search to the quick and let charity be your guide.


Though your tongues be sharpned, Serpent like, & Adders poison lie on your lips: [Psalm. 140] yet take heed, and think, betimes, with your self, Vir linguosus non stabilietur in terra. Virum violentum venabitur malum, donec præcipitetur [
Violent men devise evil plans until thrown down. (-? See Psalm 140.)]. For, sure I am, Quia faciet Dominus Iudicium afflicti: & vindictam pauperum [That the Lord secures justice for the afflicted, and will revenge the poor].

Pasted from <>