Edward Kelley (1555 – 1597) was an Englishman involved in both science and alchemy. He was the stepfather of Elizabeth Jane Weston and one of the few that had intensive contact with the Book of Abraham alongside his colleague John Dee.
Experimenting with the Book
- "You should not fiddle with this book, Kelley! You cannot imagine the evil it contains! It holds more than mere numbers! [...] The Book will destroy you."
- ―Dee telling Kelley to not use the book.[src]
In 1587, Edward Kelley and John Dee were living in Bohemia and working on several projects including the Book and a Crystal Ball. Their goal was to create gold but their work demanded a lot of their time and they were mostly secluded from the rest of their household. Also, they often left the small town they lived in to meet other alchemists. Kelley eventually managed to create a nugget of gold.
However, after working with the Book for two years, it began to consume him and he began to mutter in strange languages while working, which was noticed by his stepdaughter. Eventually, John Dee noticed it too and they started fighting. Dee wanted Kelley to stop working with the Book, and after a few fights, he decided to leave the household and take the Book with him.
Hiding from the Golem
Kelley, however, would not stop his efforts in alchemy, and tried to experiment with different techniques, having to do without the Book now. He and his family moved to Prague, and he was given a workshop in Prague Castle, now working for the Emperor Rudolf II.
After a while, rumors about a monster started to spread throughout the city, and it was said the monster targeted alchemists and noblemen. The Emperor called a meeting of his best alchemists, Edward Kelley and his stepdaughter included, to discuss the actions that had to be taken. It was then decided that the alchemists would be guarded by the city guards. On their way home, Elizabeth noticed something in an alley and went to check it out. In the alley she encountered the Golem, who told her she had saved her stepfather's life.
Imprisonment and death
- "Free me, Divine Messenger, free me! Heavenly Guardian, guide my fall!"
- ―Edward Kelley before jumping off the prison roof[src]
Edward Kelley was eventually locked up on orders of Rudolf II, who had gotten tired of waiting for the gold Kelley had promised him. He was released after three years of imprisonment, but only after he had promised to create gold for Rudolf II. His former status was restored, but Rudolf II had his house guarded to make sure he wouldn't leave it without anyone noticing.
The effects of the book on Edward Kelley's mind were getting worse as he ran out of the substances he needed for his experiments, and he was eventually taken back to the prison. However, he eventually escaped to the roof of the prison building, and jumped off. Laying in the arms of his stepdaughter, mortally wounded, he declared that John Dee had been a wise man to take the Book from him.