News | Published:

Thomas Norton and the “Ordinall of Alchimy”

Nature volume 131, page 520 (08 April 1933) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

AS one of the earliest alchemical books in English, the “Ordinall of Alehimy” is of much interest; Dr. M. Nierenstein and Mr. P. F. Chapman are therefore to be thanked for their exhaustive inquiry (Isis, 18, 290–321; 1932) into its authorship. Ashmole, in his “Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum”, is the chief authority for ascribing the “Ordinall” to Thomas Norton of Bristol, who was supposed to have flourished in the fifteenth century. Ashmole's evidence for the authorship of this anonymous poem was that “from the first word of this Proeme, and the Initiall letters of the six following Chapters [namely, ‘Tomais Norton of Briseto’] … we may collect the Authors Name and place of Residence”. As for the date of the book, there is the statement at the end of the seventh chapter: “In this yeare of Christ One thousand foure Hundred seaventy and seaven, This Warke was begun, Honour to God in Heaven”.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/131520a0

Authors

  1. Search for E. J. HOLMYARD in:

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing