Restorers of Alchemical Manuscripts Society Digital Library
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Authors

         

 

John Heydon (1629 - 1667)John Heydon (1629 - 1667)
A Rosicrucian apologists, who inscribes himself "A Servant of God, and a Secretary of Nature." The writings of John Heydon are considered a most important contribution to Rosicrucian literature. Heydon was educated in warwickshire and traveled extensively, visiting Arabia, Egypt, Persia, and various parts of Europe, as related in a biographical introduction to his work, "The Wise-Mans Crown, Set with Angels, Planets, Metals, etc.," or "The Glory of the Rosie Cross", a work declared by him to be a translation into English of the mysterious book M brought from Arabia by Christian Rosencreutz.
In 1664 Heydon complained that the revolutionary decades of the 1640s and '50s (that witnessed the publishing in 1647 of the first major astrological textbook to be written in English) "admitted stocking-weavers, shoemakers, millers, masons, carpenters, bricklayers, gunsmiths, porters, butlers, &c. to write and teach astrology and physic."
Heydon's published work, "‘Advice to a Daughter, in opposition to Advice to a Son", 1658, is a ridicule of Francis Osborn's "Advice To A Son", 1656 and the books misogynic character. Heydon’s venture produced a defence of Osborne, "Advice to Balaam’s Ass", by Thomas Pecke, whom Heydon castigated in a second edition of his "Advice to a Daughter", 1659.
In 1662, Heydon, published an extensive and curious work called "The Holy Guide" . He prefaces this book with an almost verbatim reprint of Bacon's New Atlantis, but does not credit the original author. Heydon inserts direct references to the Rosicrucians at appropriate points in the original text, wishing to convery the impression that the masters of Solomon's House were Rosicrucian adepts. In the same volume Heydon describes the Rosicrucians as a divine society inhabitating the suburbs of heaven and officers of the Generalissimo of the World. As it is inconceivable that the identity of the true author would not be known to most of his readers, it can only be assumed that Heydon's purpose was to tie Bacon's fable directly with the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross. He must also have known of the supplement by R. H. Esquire, but he makes no reference to it.
Heydon believed that eating solid food was the original sin into which Eve betrayed us. He urged his followers to rely upon the nourishment of the air, insisting that hunger pangs could be assuaged by placing a dish of cooked meat on the stomach and inhaling the aroma.

   
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