|There has been more written about Francis Bacon’s life from the age of sixteen, when he left England and travelled to the continent during the late 1570′s meeting up with the leading thinkers of the cultural revolution in France, than his other formative years and the elders who also shaped his mind.
Alfred Dodd in his book Francis Bacon’s Personal Life -Story quotes Bacon’s biographer and chaplain, Dr.Rawley, “I shall not tread too near upon the heels of truth”, letting us know that this biography of Bacon would not be too exact in it’s details. Dodd’s book speculates that Queen Elizabeth secretly supervised the education of young Francis. There are only brief accounts of his early days at York House and Gorhambury with his adoptive parents Sir Nicholas and Lady Anne Bacon.
The Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley (the Queen’s favorite), was the first man, according to Dodd to license a band of players for dramatic purposes. Without a license, acting was illegal in Elizabeth’s England. It was through Leicester’s sphere of influence, that a young Francis Bacon had developed interest in drama and the theater while getting the opportunity to know James Burbage, the first man to build a theater in England. Bacon would also get to meet in the Court circles the man who had tutored Leicester and advised Elizabeth on matters of state -the man whom Ian Fleming modeled his 007 James Bond character on, the first and perhaps the best secret agent of the crown, Dr.John Dee.
John Dee(1527-1608) was a fascinating genius, considered a magus, philosopher and alchemist who captured the attention of the royal courts and best minds throughout Europe. You were either intimidated by his ideas and reputation or you wished to be influenced by them. It has only been in the last century that we’ve had a more sober approach to Dee, thanks to such authors as Peter French, Francis Yates, Gerald Shuster and Richard Deacon who have rescued this “man of grand design” from obscurity and have realized how significant a thinker he was.
Dr. Dee’s learning was far and wide, a brilliant mathematician, whose study ranged from geo-cartography and calculus which was vital in navigating the New World for explorers, to astrology, alchemy, the Cabala, cypher writing, religion, architecture, and science. In short, Dee’s metaphysics were a ‘red’ cross of the Hermetic tradition with a strong dose of mathematics. His library at the riverside village of Mortlake was considered the finest private collection in Europe containing thousands of bound books and handwritten manuscripts devoted to philosophy, science and esoterica. In comparison the University of Cambridge at the time had a mere 451 total books and manuscripts in their possession.
Noel Fermor in the journal Baconiana wrote that, “The Earl of Leicester’s father, the Duke of Northmberland, employed Dee as a tutor to his children so that they would have a sound scientific upbringing. Northumberland became a notable scientist with a strong leaning toward mathematics and magnetism. Anthony Wood in his Athenae Oxoniensis, wrote “that no one knew Robert Dudley better than Dee.” So it was quite natural for Leicester to introduce Dee to Elizabeth as she was to become the new Queen and it wasn’t long before Dee advanced to become the court astrologer.
(Leicester signed his letters to Elizabeth with two circles containing dots symbolising he was her “Eyes”)
Elizabeth was very much interested in the occult. Dee was responsible for choosing the most auspicious date for Elizabeth’s coronation which was on January 15th, 1559. The Queen was so impressed by Dee that she eventually travelled with her court to Mortlake, for the purpose of seeing his great library.
Dee has been defamed through the centuries as a necromancer, but it’s the opinion of many writers that his angelic-cabalistic- alchemical work, his Philosophers Stone, the“Monad Hieroglyphica”(1564) may have been a cover for covert operations carried on in the name of her majesty. The 007 was the insignia number that Elizabeth was to use for private communiques between her Court and Dee.
Dee signed his letters with two circles symbolising his own two eyes and indicating that he was the secret eyes of the Queen.The two circles are guarded by what may be considered a square root sign or an elongated seven. For Dee, seven was a sacred cabbalistic and lucky number.(Richard Deacon)