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Category: Alchemy


All That Glisters …

This Hallowmas, as a time for remembering all the faithful departed, known and unknown, I salute John Colyns, Mercer and Bookseller of London, and the anonymous Mediӕval Artisan whose recipes for glues, dyes, and pigments he faithfully transcribed in Middle English during the early 16th century. While exploring his Commonplace Book in the Manuscripts Reading… Read more »

Minions of the Moon, part 2

Minions of the Moon, part 2 – read part 1 here My New Year’s Resolution was to hunt for my hapless alchemist within Chancery Certificates of Statute Merchant and Statute Staple during my first visit of 2019 to the Map and Large Document Reading Room of The National Archives at Kew, but work intervened —… Read more »

Minions of the Moon, part 1

To celebrate tonight’s Full “Red Moon”, I pre-ordered another alchemically themed document to view in the Map and Large Document Reading Room of The National Archives at Kew, which recounts the misfortunes of a Practitioner claiming to have made an elixir with the power to transform base materials into Silver. Filed within TNA’s Special Collections… Read more »

Inky Fingers, part 2

Inky Fingers, part 2 – read part 1 here Middle English Dictionaries confirm that context should provide the key to filling in the measure, which in this case must logically be a weight. Shifting to a microfilm reader in the Map and Large Document Reading Room at The National Archives, I transcribed a second recipe,… Read more »