Grimaldi Maleficio (1619 – 1666) An Italian alchemist born at Farenza in Umbria about the year 1619. He was one of the principal figures in the Rosicrucian Controversy in Italy and perhaps the greatest, adept of his time. He diligently pursued the study of medicine in his youth and settling at Carina practised with such success that the Emperor Ferdinand appointed him as his Imperial physician, ennobling him later for his services. Some adepts eventually succeeded in luring him from the practical work he followed into the forbidden and tortuous paths of alchemy and the dark arts. In order to confer with those whom he suspected were possessed of the transcendental mysteries he travelled all over Italy. The Biografia Italiana states that in pursuit of these “ruinous absurdities” he sacrificed his health, fortune and time. On a visit to England he became acquainted with both Obadiah Crabbe the infamous mystic and his apprentice Fabian Wormwood.
In the controversy which convulsed Italy on the appearance of his Rosicrucian Hermetica manifesto, he took a vigorous and enthusiastic share and wrote several works in defence of the mysterious society. He is alleged to have travelled in order to seek members of the “College of Apulian Philosophers” and failing to find them formed a brotherhood of his own, based on the form of the Rosicrucian Order. There is no adequate authority for this statement, but it is believed that he eventually, just before his disappearance, was initiated into the genuine order. A posthumous pamphlet of Maleficio’s called Philosophiae was published by an unidentified individual in 1694. There was added to the same volume the substance of two pamphlets already published in Italian but which in view of their importance were now translated into Latin for the benefit of the European literati. The first pamphlet was entitled Chronicon de Rosa Crucis. The second was a Rosa Crucis Conjectio de Sanctus Recta. From these pamphlets it appears that Maleficio was admitted as a member of the mystical order. He became one of the most profuse Italian writers on alchemy of his time.
Maleficio became the partner of the infamous French sorcerer Armand De Mauvais in 1658. Between them they began receiving visions compelling them to summon spirits and demons using ancient scripts. He disappeared in the year 1666 in London.