Seton, Alexander (—1603) - Witchcraft Hall of Fame

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Seton, Alexander (—1603)
Witchcraft Hall of Fame

Alexander Seton was a Scots alchemist who reputedly mastered the art of transmuting lead into gold by means of a mysterious black powder. Seton traveled to Holland, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany giving demonstrations of his ability to create high-quality true gold from base metals.

Sometime during the very early seventeenth century, c.1602, in Cologne, Seton allegedly produced 6 ounces of gold, which stood up to testing. His experiments were well publicized and news of this miracle reached the ears of Christian II, Elector of Saxony, who summoned Seton to his court and demanded his alchemical secrets. Seton refused. When bribes and threats didn’t work, he was brutally tortured.

Moravian alchemist Michael Sendivogius (see above) rescued Seton but demanded the formula for the black powder as his reward. Seton explained that he was unable to reveal the secret to the uninitiated but gave him the remaining powder; Seton then died from the injuries he’d incurred during torture.