Sibly, Ebenezer (1757-1799)

  • Sibly, Ebenezer, 1757-1799
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The Dumb made to speak, or Secret Things manifested in Hirogliphics, or the Grand Arcanum of the Adepts: with notes, observations, and experiments extracted from various Authors. On the second leaf are pen-drawn horoscopes of the 'Possessors of this book, of which 5 out of 8 have been filled in by Frederick Hockley [1808-1885]. Illustrated by water-colour copies of the symbolic plates and figures from the various works listed below, and also by engravings pasted in. The text and letter-press to the illustrations have been translated into English by Sibly, except in respect of those of the first work, where the translation has been scribbled in pencil perhaps by Bertram Keightley, the last owner of the book, as noted in the horoscopes. Contents: (1) Welling (G. von). Copies of 14 symbolic plates, and one Table from his 'Opus mago-cabbalisticum', 1735. (2) Khunrath (H.). Six engravings from the 'Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae', 1602: cut down, and pasted in. (3) Barchusen (J. C.). 19 engraved symbolical plates from 'Elementa chemiae', 1718: cut down, and pasted in. (4) Norton (T.). Engraved plate of astrological schemes from 'The Ordinall of Alchimy' printed in Ashmole's 'Theatrum chemicum Britannicum', 1652: cut down, and pasted in. (5) Altus. Mutus liber. La Rochelle, 1677: a complete copy, cut down, and pasted in. (6) Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer, 1785-1788. Copies of 13 of the plates, in water-colour, with English translations of the titles, etc. (7) Mynsicht (H. à). Extract, with one water-colour copy of a symbolic figure, from 'Aureum seculum redivivum', 1621. The five horoscopic figures of the 'Possessors of this Book' are those of Sibly himself; John Denley, Bibliopola [1764-1842]; J. S. Stevens, 'Hermetico' [1780-1848]; Frederick Hockley [1808-1885]; Bertram Keightley, Theosophist, of whom no dates are given, but he was born in 1860 and was living in London in 1944. The contents of this MS. seem to have been used by Sibly for his 'Key to Physic and Occult Sciences', published in 1794. Sibly's death is dated 1800 in the D.N.B., but is given as 30 Oct. 1799 in the horoscopic figure mentioned above.



Physical description

1 volume 17 ll. + 11 bl. ll. + 12 ll. + 5 bl. ll. + 5 ll. + 2 bl. ll. + 9 ll. + 7 ll. + 32 ll. + 14 bl. ll. folio. 361/2 × 231/2 cm. Original calf binding, defective: with two metal clasps. Title within decorated pen-drawn borders in red and black. Boards are detached.

Acquisition note

Purchased 1929.

Finding aids

Database description transcribed from S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).


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Accession number

  • 51524