What Would Bond Do?
Thursday March 23rd 2017

The First 007

Before there was a James Bond or even an Ian Fleming novel there was John Dee(1527-1608) The original 007. Dee was a fascinating genius, considered a master spy for Elizabeth I as well as philosopher and cipher who captured the attention of the royal courts. John Dee originated the 007 insignia number for himself  and Elizabeth and was to be  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 and lucky number.

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.

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.

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