Tuesday 13th June. 11.30 AM – ‘B’ Stage, Shepperton Studios. Back in Dr. Dee’s study where the Queen again consults him as the threat from Spain escalates.
Whilst Elizabeth often made use of Dee’s services she did not always reward him for his efforts. Following the death of his associate Edward Kelley whilst they were both at the court of the insane Emperor Rudolph II in Prague, Dee begged Elizabeth for leave to return to England. The queen received him at Richmond and awarded him a pension of two hundred pounds a year and appointed him warden of Christ’s College in Manchester. However the money from the Queen, as in so many cases, was not forthcoming. In response to an appeal for help his friends then raised £500 for him to live on but that soon dwindled. Dee’s last, sad days were described by his biographer, John Aubry. He says he was:
“a beaten old man with ‘a long beard as white as milke, tall and slender, who wore a gowne with hanging sleves”.
He earned a pittance telling penny fortunes on the street and even sold his precious books, one by one, in order to buy food. Dee died in 1608 in Mortlake, Surrey. He was 81 years old.