English antiquarian, historian, alchemist, astrologer and Freemason, founder of the what is now the Ashmolean Collection of the British Museum at Oxford, founding member of the Royal Society, and author of Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum (1652) and The Institution, Laws and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1672).
Ashmole was a late but ardent student of John Dee, whose manuscripts he possessed, and an apologist for Rosicrucianism. Some historians believe that Ashmole was the actual founder of Speculative Freemasonry, and that he based the fraternity on ideas from Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis."
Mackey, Albert G.; Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Masonic History Co., NY 1909
McIntosh, Christopher; The Rosicrucians, the History and Mythology of an Occult Order, Crucible, Wellingborough 1987
Yates, Frances; The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, ARK, London 1972/1986
Rola, Stanislas Klossowski de; The Golden Game, Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century, George Braziller, Inc., NY 1988
Originally published in Red Flame No. 2 -- Mystery of Mystery: A Primer of Thelemic Ecclesiastical Gnosticism by Tau Apiryon and Helena; Berkeley, CA 1995 e.v.