Isaac Jevon Philomathes
(Manuscript of the Magic Science)
‘A Work of Seven Days’
M A G I C A L E L E M E N T S
With Twenty Seven Fortifications
An Adoration of the Horary Angel & his Seal
A Treatise of Necromancy &c
Being a unique manuscript of the magic art from the Alnwick Castle collection of General Charles Rainsford (1728-1809).
Limited to 180 copies large format copies
bound in black quarter kidskin with purple moire silk and black Ortiz endpapers.
Subsequently owned by the famous London occult bookseller John Denley
and inscribed on the reverse of the title page: ‘John Denley his book 1788’.
A total of 155 pages: full facsimile with transcription and a critical introduction.
Fortifications for the hours of Monday
i) Planets and their spirits, names of the magickal hours, seasons &c
ii) The benediction of perfumes, the Circle, the Exorcism of Fire, the Garment & Pentacle
iii) Conjurations & Considerations, the Perfumes, the forms familiar to the various Spirits
iv) Visions and apparitions
v) The Twenty Seven Fortifications
vi) Angels ruling the Heavens, the Patriarchs, Tables of Divine Names, Planets, Intelligences & Spirits
vii) Of the Sephiroth or Ten Divine Names
viii) Names Signifying Gods Presence
ix) Of Necromancy
x) A Book of Spirits
xi) Of Consecrations
xii) Concerning the Power of the various Suffumigations, the forms of the planets according to Hermes
xiii) The Olympic Spirits
xiv) Some precepts of this Secret of Magick
xv) The Elements of Geomancy
xvi) How to find the Character of a Good Genius
Portrait or Charles Rainsford by Gilbert Stuart
General Charles Rainsford (1728-1809) was the ‘commander-in-chief’ of Occult Masonry in late eighteenth-century England. Rainsford was also a highly successful professional soldier. Early in his career he saw action during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and in the War of the Austrian Succession, whilst in later years he played a key role in the suppression of the Gordon Riots and was responsible for the movement of German troops through the Dutch Republic for service in the American War of Independence. He went on to become the governor of Chester Castle and later of Tynemouth, commander of the garrison at Gibraltar, and deputy lieutenant of the Tower of London.
Rainsford had no great fortune but his social connections were impeccable: he was equerry to the Duke of Gloucester, King George III’s brother (one volume in the collection has a royal binding that presumably derives from Gloucester), and was a close friend of Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland. He served as an MP for constituencies in the gift of Gloucester and Northumberland but was not active in the Commons, however he was avidly reading, collecting, and writing on esoteric subjects throughout the latter part of his military career.
Alnwick Castle, seat of the Dukes of Northumberland
It seems, from dates and notes in the manuscripts, that the period of his service in Gibraltar (1793-95) was particularly fruitful, perhaps because it gave him easy access to Continental markets during the tumultuous years after the French Revolution.
Rainsford was a committed student of the esoteric tradition and his membership of numerous societies ensured that he was firmly embedded within contemporary networks of occult studies. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries, various philanthropic and charitable groups, was a very high-ranking Mason and member of a wide range of Masonic societies including the Rosy Crucians, the Grant Orient at Paris, the Order of Illuminati of Avignon, and the Grand Lodge of England, as well as the Swedenborgian Exegetical Society of Stockholm.