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Elias Ashmole

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Elias Ashmole (1617-1692) English antiquary, alchemist and herald, born at Lichfield in 1617. He studied physics and mathematics at Oxford and practised first as a solicitor. Ashmole held various government appointments, including that of Windsor Herald. Throughout his life he collected antiquities . In 1667 he presented all his collections to the Oxford University, to which he also bequeathed his library the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.Throughout his life Ashmole studied astrology and alchemy.

In 1650 Ashmole translated and published Arthur Dee's alchemical anthology Fasciculus Chemicus under the annagrammatic name of James Hasholle (by substitution of the letter J for I in the Roman alphabet). In 1652 he published his most important work the Theatrum Chemicum Brittanicum a collection of British alchemical texts, including those of Canon Ripley. He corresponded with many of the leading antiquarians and scholars of his day, including Sir Thomas Browne who wrote to him of his friendship with Arthur Dee. Ashmole's memoirs were published in 1717.


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