In 1676, Ezechiel Foxcroft died. He had grown up in Moorfields, London, and for many years had been an esotericist at the University of Cambridge. His family had been close to the philosopher Lady Anne Conway and the meetings of mystical minds that took place at Ragley Hall. It would be another 14 years until Foxcroft’s most famous work was published: the first translation into English of the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz.
The original, Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz, was published in Strasburg in 1616, and later attributed to the theologian Johannes Valentinus Andreae, who wrote the first draft in 1605 when he was a student in Tübingen, in south-west Germany.
Chymical Wedding is a fantastical romance with alchemy at its heart, and it is one of the publications that sparked the Rosicrucian furore. This complex phenomenon is best understood by reference to the political events that led to the Battle of White Mountain in Prague, and the pan-European devastation of the Thirty Years’ War. The best and most gripping explication is given in Frances Yates’s The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, first published in 1972.
Rich Cochrane has composed original music around Robert Kingham’s narration of the unabridged Chymical Wedding. It is the story of a very strange wedding, in a very strange castle, dripping with allegory, symbolism, and dazzling ceremony. Rich has written a bit about the music on his blog.
It’s available to stream or buy on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all the other major platforms.