exactly who was the original 007 and dashing British secret agent
to her Majesty's secret service? Nope! If you guessed James Bond
or Sean Connery, the actor first portraying James Bond on the movie
screen - then you're not even in the right "ball park."
find the original British secret agent
to her Majesty's secret service, you must travel
with me all the way back in time to 16th century England and
to John Dee, a
scholar of St. John's College, Cambridge.
Dee (1527-1608) was an English mathematician, professor, astronomer,
and spy who gave it all up for the (at that time) more lucrative
occupation of being an astrologer. And it was John Dee who
original British secret agent
to her Majesty's secret service.
In 1552, the famous Italian astrologer and physician Jerome Cardan
briefly visited England. In Cardan's role as both astrologer and
physician, he'd been invited to cast an astrological chart and prescribe
for the young and deathly ill King Edward VI.
circles, in the know, felt certain that the young king was dying
from consumption. During the period of time Cardan that remained
in England, the younger John Dee - already no stranger to the royal
circles - briefly came under the older Cardan's tutelage, instruction,
performing the young King Edward VI's "geniture" (birth
chart interpretation), Cardan had forecasted an average length of
life and marriage for the young king.
shortly before the soon-to-be death of Edward VI, Jerome Cardan
wisely chose to depart England and return to his native Italy.
later writings, Cardan protested that his forecast for the young
king was incorrect due to a mistake on his part (a calculation he
had failed to perform). According to Cardan, his leaving was not
a matter of "getting out while the getting was good."
Royal Sisters - Mary and Elizabeth
According to one version of the story, shortly following the death
of Edward VI - the newly crowned Queen Mary invited John Dee to
her court for purposes of drawing up her horoscope.
it soon became apparent to everyone in court that the young
was much more interested in the Queen Mary's younger sister,
Elizabeth, who was at the time being held in semi-captivity.
The young Dee
drew up Elizabeth's chart and then reportedly made a grave
error in judgment by sharing with Elizabeth the differences
Lips Sink Ships
Soon after, John Dee was arrested on charges of treason
and suspected "enchantments" against Queen Mary's life.
Fortunately, he was eventually acquitted of these charges - and
in the short biography, John Dee - Elizabethan Mystic and Astrologer,
G.M. Hort reports that "the rest of Queen Mary's troubled reign,
passed for him peacefully enough."
to Benjamin Woolley's fascinating book, The Queen's Conjurer,
during this period of time Dee became part of Queen Mary's entourage
- and he (Dee) may have been secretly in the service of Elizabeth.
After Queen Mary's death in 1558, the younger Elizabeth remembered
John Dee and brought him back to court in order to calculate a favorable
day for her crowning.
that, Dee was reported to be "continually busied about one
thing and another at the fancy of the Queen."
make a very long story short, John Dee eventually got a wee bit
too caught up the politics and intrigue of the day and reportedly
briefly became a secret double-agent for Queen Elizabeth I in England's
bid to thwart Spain.
Dee's private communications with the Queen, the secret name identifying
him to Queen Elizabeth is believed to have been none other than
that of 007. In Hort's biography of Dee, it mentions only a "journey
on some unnamed business of the Queen's."
just as interesting, it has also been contended that the character
Prospero from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" was Shakespeare's
idealized portrait of John Dee.
Here's one final interesting gem of information passed onto me by
astrologer Rick Levine at StarIQ. One possibility, according to
astrologer Rob Hand, is that - rather than signing his letters to
the Queen with the numbers 007 - John Dee's secret signature may
have instead been a glyph word picture depicting a pair of handheld
eyeglasses that looked like the numbers 007.
such, Dee would have also been slyly passing on the message that
he was "the Queen's eyes."
having access to any original documents, here's an imaginative guess
as to what Dee's secret signature may have looked like.
or a pair of handheld eyeglasses... one can't help but wonder that
if subsequent historians hadn't had such blurry vision; then. perhaps,
the dashing secret agent James Bond would have been known as "four-eyes."
Call me a sentimental old fool, but it just doesn't seem to have
the same sense of panache and/or verve...