Medieval Alchemy – The Art and Science of Transmutation
Albert Harvey is a Tudor Alchemist who has mastered the Opus Magnum, or Great Work, of Transmutation (at least according to him). Accomplished in the Herbal and Mineral Works, Albert Harvey can demonstrate many of the processes of alchemy, such as calcination, distillation and sublimation, that are the basic techniques used in modern chemistry today.
The Art and Science of Alchemy is all about Transmutation. However, it is not just about turning base metals, such as lead, into gold. In the words of Paracelsus, alchemy is “to carry to its end something that has not been completed.” In other words, alchemy is the attempt to bring everything to its final, purest form, and fullest health. In nature all metals will, given enough time in the ground, eventually transform into gold, according to alchemical theory. By producing medicines in the laboratory alchemists hoped to speed this natural process along. The fabled Philosopher’s Stone wasn’t just able to transmute base metals into gold, it was also the ultimate remedy and could cure any disease or illness.
Albert Harvey, through demonstrations of alchemical procedures and explanations of alchemical theory, will show the history of alchemy and how it is part of the larger History of Science and Medicine.
With demonstrations including the transmutation of metals, production of various kinds of gold, production and purification of pigments and artificial gems, and such alchemical wonders such as The Peacocks Tail and The Tree of Diana, Albert Harvey will leave you amazed. However, also take care. Many alchemists were charlatans and mountebanks, and Albert has run rather short of money lately….
In common with Paracelsus, who he aims to emulate, Albert Harvey also practices medicine, specialising in the diagnosis of illness through examination of the patient’s urine. For a silver shilling he will collect a sample of urine and diagnose any possible ailments you might have, using the age old and well tested theory of the four humours, and furnish you with sufficient medicine to bring them once more into balance. So far nobody has returned to complain that his medicines were not effective.
Medieval Alchemy with Albert Harvey costs £350 per day for historical events and festivals, but a reduced price of £250 per day for schools and museums. Expenses are in line with our normal policies, which you can see on our Payments Page.