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Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as
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and as
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the in in the , nominally outranking the . The lord chancellor is appointed by the on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to their i ...
of
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. His works are seen as developing the
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
and remained influential through the
scientific revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in History of mathematics#Mathematics during the Scientific Revolution, mathematics, History of phys ...

scientific revolution
. Bacon has been called the father of
empiricism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all th ...
. He argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon
inductive reasoning Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning Reason is the capacity of Consciousness, consciously making sense of things, applying logic, and adapting or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It ...
and careful observation of events in
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. Most importantly, he argued science could be achieved by the use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. Although his most specific proposals about such a method, the
Baconian method The Baconian method is the investigative method developed by Sir Francis Bacon, one of the founders of modern science, and thus a first formulation of a modern scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method o ...
, did not have long-lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology makes Bacon the father of the scientific method. This method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, whose practical details are still central to debates on science and
methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices researchers
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make". It compris ...
. Francis Bacon was a patron of libraries and developed a system for cataloguing books under three categories –
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
,
poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popula ...

poetry
, and
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
 – which could further be divided into specific subjects and subheadings. About books he is credited with saying, "Some books are to be tasted; others swallowed; and some few to be chewed and digested." Bacon was educated at
Trinity College, Cambridge Trinity College is a constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education ...
, where he rigorously followed the medieval curriculum, largely in Latin. Bacon was the first recipient of the
Queen's counsel In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some pr ...
designation, conferred in 1597 when
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I of England
reserved him as her legal advisor. After the accession of
James VI and I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

James VI and I
in 1603, Bacon was
knighted A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some ...
, then created
Baron Verulam The title Baron Verulam was created in two separate and unrelated instances: *First as ''Baron Verulam'', of Verulam,After the ancient Roman settlement of ''Verulamium Verulamium was a town in Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in cl ...
in 1618 and Viscount St Alban in 1621. He had no heirs and so both titles became extinct on his death in 1626 at the age of 65. He died of
pneumonia Pneumonia is an inflammatory Inflammatory may refer to: * Inflammation, a biological response to harmful stimuli * The word ''inflammatory'' is also used to refer literally to fire and flammability, and figuratively in relation to comments t ...

pneumonia
, with one account by
John Aubrey John Aubrey (12 March 1626 – 7 June 1697) was an English antiquarian, antiquary, Natural philosophy, natural philosopher and writer. He is perhaps best known as the author of the ''Brief Lives'', his collection of short biographical pieces. ...

John Aubrey
stating that he had contracted it while studying the effects of freezing on meat preservation. He is buried at
St Michael's Church, St Albans St Michael's Church is a Church of England parish church in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. Much of the building is late 10th or early 11th century, making it the most significant surviving Anglo-Saxon architecture, Anglo-Saxon building in the ...
, Hertfordshire.


Biography


Early life

Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the
Strand Strand may refer to: Topography *The flat area of land bordering a body of water, a: ** Beach ** Shoreline *Strand swamp, a type of swamp habitat in Florida Places Africa *Strand, Western Cape, a seaside town in South Africa *Strand Street, ...
in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon (
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal File:Toilet Service at Weston Park, Staffs DSCF1061 10.jpg, Ceremonial purse at Weston Park, used by Sir Orlando as Lord Keeper and shown in his portrait above The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly a ...
) by his second wife, Anne (Cooke) Bacon, the daughter of the noted
Renaissance humanist Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity, at first Italian Renaissance, in Italy and then spreading across Western Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. During the period, the term ''humanist'' ( it, umanista ...
Anthony Cooke Sir Anthony Cooke (1504 – 11 June 1576) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Englan ...
. His mother's sister was married to
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (13 September 15204 August 1598) was an English statesman, the chief adviser of Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, ...
, making Burghley Bacon's uncle. Biographers believe that Bacon was educated at home in his early years owing to poor health, which would plague him throughout his life. He received tuition from John Walsall, a graduate of Oxford with a strong leaning toward
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...

Puritan
ism. He went up to
Trinity CollegeTrinity College may refer to: Australia * Trinity Anglican College, an Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican coeducational primary and secondary school in , New South Wales * Trinity Catholic College, Auburn, a coeducational school in the inner-we ...
at the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
on 5 April 1573 at the age of 12, living for three years there, together with his older brother Anthony Bacon under the personal tutelage of Dr John Whitgift, future
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
. Bacon's education was conducted largely in Latin and followed the medieval curriculum. It was at
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...

Cambridge
that Bacon first met Queen Elizabeth, who was impressed by his precocious intellect, and was accustomed to calling him "The young lord keeper". His studies brought him to the belief that the methods and results of science as then practised were erroneous. His reverence for
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
conflicted with his rejection of
Aristotelian philosophy Aristotelianism ( ) is a philosophical tradition inspired by the work of Aristotle, usually characterized by Prior Analytics, deductive logic and an posterior analytics, analytic inductive method in the study of nature and Natural_law#Aristotle, na ...
, which seemed to him barren, argumentative and wrong in its objectives. On 27 June 1576, he and Anthony entered ''de societate magistrorum'' at
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
. A few months later, Francis went abroad with Sir
Amias Paulet Sir Amias Paulet (1532 – 26 September 1588) of Hinton St. George, Somerset, was an English diplomat, Governor of Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, label=Jèrriais (french: Jersiais, also known as the Jersey Language, Jersey French an ...
, the English ambassador at Paris, while Anthony continued his studies at home. The state of government and society in France under
Henry IIIHenry III may refer to: * Henry III, Duke of Bavaria (940–989) * Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1017–1056) * Henry III, Count of Louvain (died 1095) * Henry III, Count of Luxembourg (died 1096) * Henry III, Duke of Carinthia (1050–1122) * Henr ...
afforded him valuable political instruction. For the next three years he visited
Blois Blois ( ; ) is a city and the capital of Loir-et-Cher Loir-et-Cher (, ) is a Departments of France, department in the Centre-Val de Loire Regions of France, region of France. Its name is originated from two rivers which cross it, the Loir in it ...

Blois
,
Poitiers Poitiers (, , , ; Poitevin: ''Poetàe'') is a city on the Clain river in west-central France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ext ...

Poitiers
,
Tours Tours ( , ) is one of the largest cities in the Centre-Val de Loire Centre-Val de Loire (, , ,In isolation, ''Centre'' is pronounced . ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) ...

Tours
, Italy, and Spain.
Stephen Gaukroger Stephen Gaukroger, (born 9 July 1950) is a British/Australian historian of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, E ...
(2001). ''Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy''. Cambridge University Press, p. 46.
There is no evidence that he studied at the
University of Poitiers The University of Poitiers (UP; french: Université de Poitiers) is a public university A public university or public college is a university or college that is in state ownership or receives significant Government spending, public funds throug ...
. During his travels, Bacon studied language, statecraft, and civil law while performing routine diplomatic tasks. On at least one occasion he delivered diplomatic letters to England for
Walsingham Walsingham is a village in North Norfolk North Norfolk is a local government district in Norfolk Norfolk () is a Counties of England, county in East Anglia in England. It borders Lincolnshire to the northwest, Cambridgeshire to the ...
, Burghley,
Leicester Leicester is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routled ...

Leicester
, and for the queen. The sudden death of his father in February 1579 prompted Bacon to return to England. Sir Nicholas had laid up a considerable sum of money to purchase an estate for his youngest son, but he died before doing so, and Francis was left with only a fifth of that money. Having borrowed money, Bacon got into debt. To support himself, he took up his residence in law at Gray's Inn in 1579, his income being supplemented by a grant from his mother Lady Anne of the manor of
Marks Marks may refer to: Business * Mark's, a Canadian retail chain * Marks & Spencer, a British retail chain * Collective trade marks, trademarks owned by an organisation for the benefit of its members * Marks & Co, the inspiration for the novel ''8 ...
near
Romford Romford is a large town in East London and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Havering. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan. Historically, Romford w ...
in Essex, which generated a rent of £46.


Parliamentarian

Bacon stated that he had three goals: to uncover truth, to serve his country, and to serve his church. He sought achieve these goals by seeking a prestigious post. In 1580, through his uncle,
Lord Burghley William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (13 September 15204 August 1598) was an English statesman, the chief adviser of Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éi ...
, he applied for a post at court that might enable him to pursue a life of learning, but his application failed. For two years he worked quietly at
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
, until he was admitted as an outer barrister in 1582. His parliamentary career began when he was elected MP for Bossiney, Cornwall, in a
by-election A by-election (also spelled bye-election), also known as a special election in the United States and the Philippines, or a bypoll (India), is an election used to fill an office that has become vacant between general elections. In most cases these ...
in 1581. In 1584 he took his seat in
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
for Melcombe in Dorset, and in 1586 for
Taunton Taunton () is the county town of Somerset, England, with a 2011 population of 69,570. Its thousand-year history includes a 10th-century monastic foundation, Taunton Castle, which later became a priory. The Normans built a castle owned by the Bi ...
. At this time, he began to write on the condition of parties in the church, as well as on the topic of philosophical reform in the lost tract ''Temporis Partus Maximus''. Yet he failed to gain a position that he thought would lead him to success. He showed signs of sympathy to Puritanism, attending the sermons of the Puritan chaplain of Gray's Inn and accompanying his mother to the
Temple Church The Temple Church is a Royal peculiar church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It was consecrated on 10 February 1185 by Patriarch Heraclius of Je ...
to hear
Walter Travers Walter Travers (1548? – 1635) was an English Puritan theologian. He was at one time chaplain to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and tutor to his son Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury. He is remembered mostly as an opponent of the teaching of ...
. This led to the publication of his earliest surviving tract, which criticized the English church's suppression of the Puritan clergy. In the Parliament of 1586, he openly urged execution for the Catholic
Mary, Queen of Scots Mary, Queen of Scots (8 December 1542 – 8 February 1587), also known as Mary Stuart, was List of Scottish monarchs, Queen of Scotland from 14 December 1542 until her forced abdication in 1567. Mary, the only surviving legitimate child of King ...

Mary, Queen of Scots
. About this time, he again approached his powerful uncle for help; this move was followed by his rapid progress at the bar. He became a
bencher Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. A bencher or Master of the Bench is a senior member of an Inns of Court, Inn of Court in England and Wales or the Bar of No ...
in 1586 and was elected a Reader in 1587, delivering his first set of lectures in Lent the following year. In 1589, he received the valuable appointment of reversion to the Clerkship of the
Star Chamber The Star Chamber (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in r ...
, although he did not formally take office until 1608; the post was worth £1,600 a year. In 1588 he became MP for
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, tenth largest English district by population, and its ...
and then for
Middlesex Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is a Historic counties of England, historic county in South East England, southeast England. Its area is almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London and mostly within the Ceremonial counties of En ...
in 1593. He later sat three times for
Ipswich Ipswich () is a large port town and borough in Suffolk Suffolk () is a ceremonial Counties of England, county of England in East Anglia. It borders Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lie ...
(1597, 1601, 1604) and once for
Cambridge University The University of Cambridge is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest ...
(1614). He became known as a liberal-minded reformer, eager to amend and simplify the law. Though a friend of the crown, he opposed feudal privileges and dictatorial powers. He spoke against religious persecution. He struck at the House of Lords in its usurpation of the Money Bills. He advocated for the union of England and Scotland, which made him a significant influence toward the consolidation of the United Kingdom; and he later would advocate for the integration of Ireland into the Union. Closer constitutional ties, he believed, would bring greater peace and strength to these countries.


Final years of the Queen's reign

Bacon soon became acquainted with , Queen Elizabeth's favourite. By 1591 he acted as the earl's confidential adviser.Paul E. J. Hammer (1999). "The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, 1585–1597". p. 141. Cambridge University Press In 1592 he was commissioned to write a tract in response to the
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
Robert Parson's anti-government polemic, which he titled ''Certain Observations Made upon a Libel'', identifying England with the ideals of democratic
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...
against the belligerence of Spain. Bacon took his third parliamentary seat for
Middlesex Middlesex (; abbreviation: Middx) is a Historic counties of England, historic county in South East England, southeast England. Its area is almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London and mostly within the Ceremonial counties of En ...

Middlesex
when in February 1593 Elizabeth summoned Parliament to investigate a Roman Catholic plot against her. Bacon's opposition to a bill that would levy triple subsidies in half the usual time offended the Queen: opponents accused him of seeking popularity, and for a time the Court excluded him from favour. When the office of
Attorney General #REDIRECT Attorney general In most common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinio ...
fell vacant in 1594, Lord Essex's influence was not enough to secure the position for Bacon and it was given to Sir
Edward Coke Sir Edward Coke ( "cook", formerly ; 1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634) was an English , judge, and politician who is considered the greatest jurist of the and eras. Born into an upper-class family, Coke was educated at , before leavin ...

Edward Coke
. Likewise, Bacon failed to secure the lesser office of
Solicitor General A solicitor general or solicitor-general, in common law countries, is usually a legal officer who is the chief representative of a regional or national government in courtroom proceedings. In systems that have an Attorney general, attorney-general ...
in 1595, the Queen pointedly snubbing him by appointing Sir Thomas Fleming instead. To console him for these disappointments, Essex presented him with a property at
Twickenham Twickenham in southwest London, England, is on the River Thames southwest of Charing Cross, southeast of Hounslow, and northwest of Kingston upon Thames. Twickenham is the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Richmond upon ...

Twickenham
, which Bacon subsequently sold for £1,800. In 1597 Bacon became the first
Queen's Counsel In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some pr ...
designate, when Queen Elizabeth reserved him as her legal counsel. In 1597, he was also given a patent, giving him precedence at the Bar. Despite his designations, he was unable to gain the status and notoriety of others. In a plan to revive his position he unsuccessfully courted the wealthy young widow Lady
Elizabeth Hatton Elizabeth, Lady Coke (née Cecil, 1578 – 3 January 1646), was an English court office holder. She served as lady-in-waiting to the queen consort of England, Anne of Denmark. She was the daughter of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, and Dorothy Nev ...
. His courtship failed after she broke off their relationship upon accepting marriage to Sir Edward Coke, a further spark of enmity between the men. In 1598 Bacon was arrested for debt. Afterward, however, his standing in the Queen's eyes improved. Gradually, Bacon earned the standing of one of the learned counsels. His relationship with the Queen further improved when he severed ties with Essex—a shrewd move, as Essex would be executed for treason in 1601. With others, Bacon was appointed to investigate the charges against Essex. A number of Essex's followers confessed that Essex had planned a rebellion against the Queen.Nieves Matthews, ''Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination'' (Yale University Press, 1996) Bacon was subsequently a part of the legal team headed by the
Attorney General In most common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionar ...
Sir Edward Coke at Essex's treason trial. After the execution, the Queen ordered Bacon to write the official government account of the trial, which was later published as ''A DECLARATION of the Practices and Treasons attempted and committed by Robert late Earle of Essex and his Complices, against her Majestie and her Kingdoms ...'' after Bacon's first draft was heavily edited by the Queen and her ministers. According to his personal secretary and chaplain, William Rawley, as a judge Bacon was always tender-hearted, "looking upon the examples with the eye of severity, but upon the person with the eye of pity and compassion". And also that "he was free from malice", "no revenger of injuries", and "no defamer of any man".


James I comes to the throne

The succession of
James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and En ...

James I
brought Bacon into greater favour. He was
knighted A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some ...
in 1603. In another shrewd move, Bacon wrote his ''Apologies'' in defense of his proceedings in the case of Essex, as Essex had favoured James to succeed to the throne. The following year, during the course of the uneventful first parliament session, Bacon married
Alice Barnham Alice Barnham, Viscountess St Albans (14 May 1592 – 1650) was the wife of English scientific philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon. Family She was born 14 May 1592, to Benedict Barnham and his wife, Dorothy Smith (Lady Pakington), Dorothy, n ...

Alice Barnham
. In June 1607 he was at last rewarded with the office of solicitor general and in 1608 he began working as the Clerkship of the
Star Chamber The Star Chamber (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in r ...
. Despite a generous income, old debts still could not be paid. He sought further promotion and wealth by supporting King James and his arbitrary policies. In 1610 the fourth session of James's first
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
met. Despite Bacon's advice to him, James and the Commons found themselves at odds over royal prerogatives and the king's embarrassing extravagance. The House was finally dissolved in February 1611. Throughout this period Bacon managed to stay in the favor of the king while retaining the confidence of the Commons. In 1613 Bacon was finally appointed
attorney general #REDIRECT Attorney general In most common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinio ...
, after advising the king to shuffle judicial appointments. As attorney general, Bacon, by his zealous efforts—which included torture—to obtain the conviction of Edmund Peacham for treason, raised legal controversies of high constitutional importance; and successfully prosecuted
Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset The name Robert is an ancient Germanic given nameGermanic given names are traditionally dithematic; that is, they are formed from two elements, by joining a prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it ...
, and his wife, Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset, for murder in 1616. The so-called Prince's Parliament of April 1614 objected to Bacon's presence in the seat for
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
and to the various royal plans that Bacon had supported. Although he was allowed to stay, parliament passed a law that forbade the attorney general to sit in parliament. His influence over the king had evidently inspired resentment or apprehension in many of his peers. Bacon, however, continued to receive the King's favour, which led to his appointment in March 1617 as temporary Regent of England (for a period of a month), and in 1618 as
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the in in the , nominally outranking the . The lord chancellor is appointed by the on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to their i ...
. On 12 July 1618 the king created Bacon
Baron Verulam The title Baron Verulam was created in two separate and unrelated instances: *First as ''Baron Verulam'', of Verulam,After the ancient Roman settlement of ''Verulamium Verulamium was a town in Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in cl ...
, of Verulam, in the
Peerage of England The Peerage of England comprises all peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary title Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately b ...
; he then became known as Francis, Lord Verulam. Bacon continued to use his influence with the king to mediate between the throne and Parliament, and in this capacity he was further elevated in the same peerage, as Viscount St Alban, on 27 January 1621.


Lord Chancellor and public disgrace

Bacon's public career ended in disgrace in 1621. After he fell into debt, a parliamentary committee on the administration of the law charged him with 23 separate counts of corruption. His lifelong enemy, Sir
Edward Coke Sir Edward Coke ( "cook", formerly ; 1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634) was an English , judge, and politician who is considered the greatest jurist of the and eras. Born into an upper-class family, Coke was educated at , before leavin ...

Edward Coke
, who had instigated these accusations, was one of those appointed to prepare the charges against the chancellor. To the lords, who sent a committee to enquire whether a confession was really his, he replied, "My lords, it is my act, my hand, and my heart; I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed." He was sentenced to a fine of £40,000 and committed to the
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle A castle is a type of structure built during the predominantly by the or royalty and by . Scholars debate the sc ...

Tower of London
at the king's pleasure; the imprisonment lasted only a few days and the fine was remitted by the king. More seriously, parliament declared Bacon incapable of holding future office or sitting in parliament. He narrowly escaped undergoing
degradation Degradation may refer to: Science * Degradation (geology), lowering of a fluvial surface by erosion * Degradation (telecommunications), of an electronic signal * Biodegradation of organic substances by living organisms * Environmental degradation i ...
, which would have stripped him of his titles of nobility. Subsequently, the disgraced viscount devoted himself to study and writing. There seems little doubt that Bacon had accepted gifts from litigants, but this was an accepted custom of the time and not necessarily evidence of deeply corrupt behaviour. While acknowledging that his conduct had been lax, he countered that he had never allowed gifts to influence his judgement and, indeed, he had on occasion given a verdict against those who had paid him. He even had an interview with King James in which he assured: He also wrote the following to Buckingham: The true reason for his acknowledgement of guilt is the subject of debate, but some authors speculate that it may have been prompted by his sickness, or by a view that through his fame and the greatness of his office he would be spared harsh punishment. He may even have been blackmailed, with a threat to charge him with
sodomy Sodomy () or buggery (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
, into confession. The British jurist
Basil Montagu Basil Montagu (24 April 1770 – 27 November 1851) was a British jurist, barrister, writer and philanthropist. He was educated at Charterhouse School, Charterhouse and studied law at University of Cambridge, Cambridge. He was significantly involved ...
wrote in Bacon's defense, concerning the episode of his public disgrace:


Personal life


Religious beliefs

Bacon was a devout
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
. He believed that philosophy and the natural world must be studied inductively, but argued that we can only study arguments for the existence of God. Information on his attributes (such as nature, action, and purposes) can only come from special revelation. Bacon also held that knowledge was cumulative, that study encompassed more than a simple preservation of the past. "Knowledge is the rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man's estate," he wrote. In his Essays, he affirms that "a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." Bacon's idea of
idols of the mind The Baconian method is the investigative method developed by Francis Bacon, Sir Francis Bacon, one of the founders of modern science, and thus a first formulation of a modern scientific method. The method was put forward in Bacon's book ''Novum Orga ...
may have self-consciously represented an attempt to Christianize science at the same time as developing a new, reliable scientific method; Bacon gave worship of Neptune as an example of the idola tribus fallacy, hinting at the religious dimensions of his critique of the idols.


Marriage to Alice Barnham

When he was 36, Bacon courted
Elizabeth Hatton Elizabeth, Lady Coke (née Cecil, 1578 – 3 January 1646), was an English court office holder. She served as lady-in-waiting to the queen consort of England, Anne of Denmark. She was the daughter of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, and Dorothy Nev ...
, a young widow of 20. Reportedly, she broke off their relationship upon accepting marriage to a wealthier man, Bacon's rival, Sir
Edward Coke Sir Edward Coke ( "cook", formerly ; 1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634) was an English , judge, and politician who is considered the greatest jurist of the and eras. Born into an upper-class family, Coke was educated at , before leavin ...

Edward Coke
. Years later, Bacon still wrote of his regret that the marriage to Hatton had not taken place.Alfred Dodd, ''Francis Bacon's Personal Life Story', Volume 2 – The Age of James'', England: Rider & Co., 1949, 1986. pp. 157–158, 425, 502–503, 518–532 At the age of 45, Bacon married
Alice Barnham Alice Barnham, Viscountess St Albans (14 May 1592 – 1650) was the wife of English scientific philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon. Family She was born 14 May 1592, to Benedict Barnham and his wife, Dorothy Smith (Lady Pakington), Dorothy, n ...

Alice Barnham
, the 13-year-old daughter of a well-connected London alderman and MP. Bacon wrote two sonnets proclaiming his love for Alice. The first was written during his courtship and the second on his wedding day, 10 May 1606. When Bacon was appointed lord chancellor, "by special Warrant of the King", Lady Bacon was given precedence over all other Court ladies. Bacon's personal secretary and chaplain, William Rawley, wrote in his biography of Bacon that his marriage was one of "much conjugal love and respect", mentioning a robe of honour that he gave to Alice and which "she wore unto her dying day, being twenty years and more after his death". However, an increasing number of reports circulated about friction in the marriage, with speculation that this may have been due to Alice's making do with less money than she had once been accustomed to. It was said that she was strongly interested in fame and fortune, and when household finances dwindled, she complained bitterly. Bunten wrote in her ''Life of Alice Barnham''  that, upon their descent into debt, she went on trips to ask for financial favours and assistance from their circle of friends. Bacon disinherited her upon discovering her secret romantic relationship with Sir John Underhill. He subsequently rewrote his will, which had previously been very generous—leaving her lands, goods, and income—and instead revoked it all.


Sexuality

Several authors believe that, despite his marriage, Bacon was primarily attracted to men. Forker, for example, has explored the "historically documentable sexual preferences" of both Francis Bacon and King James I and concluded they were both oriented to "masculine love", a contemporary term that "seems to have been used exclusively to refer to the sexual preference of men for members of their own gender." The well-connected antiquary
John Aubrey John Aubrey (12 March 1626 – 7 June 1697) was an English antiquarian, antiquary, Natural philosophy, natural philosopher and writer. He is perhaps best known as the author of the ''Brief Lives'', his collection of short biographical pieces. ...

John Aubrey
noted in his ''Brief Lives'' concerning Bacon, "He was a Pederast. His Ganymede (mythology), Ganimeds and Favourites tooke Bribes". ("Pederast" in Renaissance diction meant generally "homosexual" rather than specifically a lover of minors; "ganimed" derives from the mythical prince abducted by Zeus to be his cup-bearer and bed warmer.) The Jacobean antiquarian, Sir Simonds D'Ewes (Bacon's fellow Member of Parliament) implied there had been a question of bringing him to trial for buggery, which his brother Anthony Bacon had also been charged with. In his ''Autobiography and Correspondence'', in the diary entry for 3 May 1621, the date of Bacon's censure by Parliament, D'Ewes describes Bacon's love for his Welsh serving-men, in particular Godrick, a "very effeminate-faced youth" whom he calls "his catamite and bedfellow". This conclusion has been disputed by others, who point to lack of consistent evidence, and consider the sources to be more open to interpretation.Bryan Bevan, ''The Real Francis Bacon'', England: Centaur Press, 1960 Publicly, at least, Bacon distanced himself from the idea of homosexuality. In his ''New Atlantis'', he described his utopian island as being "the chastest nation under heaven", and "as for masculine love, they have no touch of it".Bacon, Francis. ''The New Atlantis''. 1627


Death

On 9 April 1626, Francis Bacon died of
pneumonia Pneumonia is an inflammatory Inflammatory may refer to: * Inflammation, a biological response to harmful stimuli * The word ''inflammatory'' is also used to refer literally to fire and flammability, and figuratively in relation to comments t ...

pneumonia
while at Arundel mansion at Highgate outside London. An influential account of the circumstances of his death was given by John Aubrey's ''Brief Lives''. Aubrey's vivid account, which portrays Bacon as a martyr to experimental scientific method, had him journeying to High-gate through the snow with the King's physician when he is suddenly inspired by the possibility of using the snow to preserve meat:
They were resolved they would try the experiment presently. They alighted out of the coach and went into a poor woman's house at the bottom of Highgate hill, and bought a fowl, and made the woman wiktionary:exenterate, exenterate it.
After stuffing the fowl with snow, Bacon contracted a fatal case of
pneumonia Pneumonia is an inflammatory Inflammatory may refer to: * Inflammation, a biological response to harmful stimuli * The word ''inflammatory'' is also used to refer literally to fire and flammability, and figuratively in relation to comments t ...

pneumonia
. Some people, including Aubrey, consider these two contiguous, possibly coincidental events as related and causative of his death:
The Snow so chilled him that he immediately fell so extremely ill, that he could not return to his Lodging … but went to the Earle of Arundel's house at Highgate, where they put him into … a damp bed that had not been layn-in … which gave him such a cold that in 2 or 3 days as I remember Mr Hobbes told me, he died of Suffocation.
Aubrey has been criticized for his evident credulousness in this and other works; on the other hand, he knew Thomas Hobbes, Bacon's fellow-philosopher and friend. Being unwittingly on his deathbed, the philosopher dictated his last letter to his absent host and friend Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, Lord Arundel:
My very good Lord,—I was likely to have had the fortune of Pliny the Elder, Caius Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an experiment about the burning of Mount Vesuvius; for I was also desirous to try an experiment or two touching the conservation and in-duration of bodies. As for the experiment itself, it succeeded excellently well; but in the journey between London and High-gate, I was taken with such a fit of Cough, casting as I know not whether it were the Stone, or some surfeit or cold, or indeed a touch of them all three. But when I came to your Lordship's House, I was not able to go back, and therefore was forced to take up my lodging here, where your housekeeper is very careful and diligent about me, which I assure myself your Lordship will not only pardon towards him, but think the better of him for it. For indeed your Lordship's House was happy to me, and I kiss your noble hands for the welcome which I am sure you give me to it. I know how unfit it is for me to write with any other hand than mine own, but by my troth my fingers are so disjointed with sickness that I cannot steadily hold a pen.
Another account appears in a biography by William Rawley, Bacon's personal secretary and chaplain:
He died on the ninth day of April in the year 1626, in the early morning of the day then celebrated for our Savior's resurrection, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, at the Earl of Arundel's house in Highgate, near London, to which place he casually repaired about a week before; God so ordaining that he should die there of a gentle fever, accidentally accompanied with a great cold, whereby the defluxion of rheum fell so plentifully upon his breast, that he died by suffocation.
He was buried in St. Michael's Church, St. Albans, St Michael's church in St Albans. At the news of his death, over 30 great minds collected together their eulogies of him, which were then later published in Latin. He left personal assets of about £7,000 and lands that realised £6,000 when sold. His debts amounted to more than £23,000, equivalent to more than £4m at current value.


Philosophy and works

Francis Bacon's philosophy is displayed in the vast and varied writings he left, which might be divided into three great branches: *''Works by Francis Bacon#Scientific works, Scientific works'' – in which his ideas for a universal reform of knowledge into scientific methodology and the improvement of mankind's state using the Scientific method are presented. *''Works by Francis Bacon#Religious and literary works, Religious and literary works'' – in which he presents his moral philosophy and theological meditations. *''Works by Francis Bacon#Juridical works, Juridical works'' – in which his reforms in English Law are proposed.


Influence and legacy


Science

Bacon's seminal work ''Novum Organum'' was influential in the 1630s and 1650s among scholars, in particular Sir Thomas Browne, who in his encyclopedia ''Pseudodoxia Epidemica'' (1646–72) frequently adheres to a Baconian approach to his scientific enquiries. This book entails the basis of the Scientific Method as a means of observation and induction. According to Francis Bacon, learning and knowledge all derive from the basis of inductive reasoning. Through his belief of experimental encounters, he theorized that all the knowledge that was necessary to fully understand a concept could be attained using induction. In order to get to the point of an inductive conclusion, one must consider the importance of observing the particulars (specific parts of nature). "Once these particulars have been gathered together, the interpretation of Nature proceeds by sorting them into a formal arrangement so that they may be presented to the understanding." Experimentation is essential to discovering the truths of Nature. When an experiment happens, parts of the tested hypothesis are started to be pieced together, forming a result and conclusion. Through this conclusion of particulars, an understanding of Nature can be formed. Now that an understanding of Nature has been arrived at, an inductive conclusion can be drawn. "For no one successfully investigates the nature of a thing in the thing itself; the inquiry must be enlarged to things that have more in common with it." Francis Bacon explains how we come to this understanding and knowledge because of this process in comprehending the complexities of nature. "Bacon sees nature as an extremely subtle complexity, which affords all the energy of the natural philosopher to disclose her secrets." Bacon described the evidence and proof revealed through taking a specific example from nature and expanding that example into a general, substantial claim of nature. Once we understand the particulars in nature, we can learn more about it and become surer of things occurring in nature, gaining knowledge and obtaining new information all the while. "It is nothing less than a revival of Bacon's supremely confident belief that inductive methods can provide us with ultimate and infallible answers concerning the laws and nature of the universe." Bacon states that when we come to understand parts of nature, we can eventually understand nature better as a whole because of induction. Because of this, Bacon concludes that all learning and knowledge must be drawn from inductive reasoning. During the English Restoration, Restoration, Bacon was commonly invoked as a guiding spirit of the Royal Society founded under Charles II in 1660. During the 18th-century French Enlightenment, Bacon's non-metaphysical approach to science became more influential than the dualism of his French contemporary René Descartes, Descartes, and was associated with criticism of the ''Ancien Régime''. In 1733 Voltaire introduced him to a French audience as the "father" of the
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
, an understanding which had become widespread by the 1750s. In the 19th century his emphasis on Induction (philosophy), induction was revived and developed by William Whewell, among others. He has been reputed as the "Father of Experimental Philosophy". He also wrote a long treatise on Medicine, ''History of Life and Death'', with natural and experimental observations for the prolongation of life. One of his biographers, the historian William Hepworth Dixon, states: "Bacon's influence in the modern world is so great that every man who rides in a train, sends a telegram, follows a steam plough, sits in an easy chair, crosses the channel or the Atlantic, eats a good dinner, enjoys a beautiful garden, or undergoes a painless surgical operation, owes him something." In 1902 Hugo von Hofmannsthal published a fictional letter, known as ''The Lord Chandos Letter'', addressed to Bacon and dated 1603, about a writer who is experiencing a crisis of language. Although Bacon's works are extremely instrumental, his argument falls short because observation and the scientific method are not completely necessary for everything. Bacon takes the inductive method too far, as seen through one of his aphorisms which says, "Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything." As humans, we are capable of more than pure observation and can use deduction to form theories. In fact, we must use deduction because Bacon's pure inductive method is incomplete. Thus, it is not Bacon's ideas alone that form the scientific method we use today. If that were the case, we would not be able to fully understand the observations we make and deduce new theories. Author Ernst Mayr states, "Inductivism had a great vogue in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, but it is now clear that a purely inductive approach is quite sterile." Mayr points out that an inductive approach on its own just doesn't work. One could observe an experiment multiple times, but still be unable to make generalizations and correctly understand the knowledge. Bacon's inductive method is beneficial, but incomplete and leaves gaps. However, when combined with the ideas of Descartes, the gaps are filled in Bacon's inductive method. The "anticipation of nature" as Bacon puts it, connects the information gained from observation, enabling hypotheses and theories to become more effective. Bacon's inductive ideas now have more value. Jurgen Klein, who researched Bacon and analyzed his works, says, "The inductive method helps the human mind to find a way to ascertain truthful knowledge." Klein shows the value that Bacon's method truly brings. It is not a value that stands on its own, for it has holes, but it is a value that supports and strengthens. The inductive method can be seen as a tool used alongside other ideas, such as deduction, which now creates a method which is most effective and used today: the scientific method. The inductive method is more prominent in the scientific method than other ideas, which leads to misconception, but the takeaway is that it has supporting ideas. Francis Bacon's scientific method is extremely influential, but has been developed for its own good, as all great ideas are.


North America

Bacon played a leading role in establishing the British colonies in North America, especially in Virginia, the Carolinas and Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland in northeastern Canada. His government report on "The Virginia Colony" was submitted in 1609. In 1610 Bacon and his associates received a charter from the king to form ''the Tresurer and the Companye of Adventurers and planter of the Cittye of London and Bristoll for the Collonye or plantacon in Newfoundland'', and sent John Guy (governor), John Guy to found a colony there. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, wrote: "Bacon, John Locke, Locke and Isaac Newton, Newton. I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundation of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical science, Physical and Moral sciences". In 1910 Newfoundland issued a postage stamp to commemorate Bacon's role in establishing the colony. The stamp describes Bacon as "the guiding spirit in Colonization Schemes in 1610". Moreover, some scholars believe he was largely responsible for the drafting, in 1609 and 1612, of two charters of government for the Virginia Colony. William Hepworth Dixon considered that Bacon's name could be included in the list of Founders of the United States.


Law

Although few of his proposals for law reform were adopted during his lifetime, Bacon's legal legacy was considered by the magazine ''New Scientist'' in 1961 as having influenced the drafting of the Napoleonic Code as well as the law reforms introduced by 19th-century British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. The historian William Hepworth Dixon referred to the Napoleonic Code as "the sole embodiment of Bacon's thought", saying that Bacon's legal work "has had more success abroad than it has found at home", and that in France "it has blossomed and come into fruit". Harvey Wheeler attributed to Bacon, in ''Francis Bacon's Verulamium—the Common Law Template of The Modern in English Science and Culture'', the creation of these distinguishing features of the modern common law system: * using cases as repositories of evidence about the "unwritten law"; * determining the relevance of precedents by exclusionary principles of evidence and logic; * treating opposing legal briefs as adversarial hypotheses about the application of the "unwritten law" to a new set of facts. As late as the 18th century some juries still declared the law rather than the facts, but already before the end of the 17th century Sir Matthew Hale explained modern common law adjudication procedure and acknowledged Bacon as the inventor of the process of discovering unwritten laws from the evidences of their applications. The method combined empiricism and inductivism in a new way that was to imprint its signature on many of the distinctive features of modern English society. Paul H. Kocher writes that Bacon is considered by some jurists to be the father of modern Jurisprudence. Bacon is commemorated with a statue in
Gray's Inn The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, commonly known as Gray's Inn, is one of the four Inns of Court 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of ...
, South Square in London where he received his legal training, and where he was elected Treasurer of the Inn in 1608. More recent scholarship on Bacon's jurisprudence has focused on his advocating torture as a legal recourse for the crown. Bacon himself was not a stranger to the torture chamber; in his various legal capacities in both Elizabeth I's and James I's reigns, Bacon was listed as a commissioner on five torture warrants. In 1613(?), in a letter addressed to King James I on the question of torture's place within English law, Bacon identifies the scope of torture as a means to further the investigation of threats to the state: "In the cases of treasons, torture is used for discovery, and not for evidence." For Bacon, torture was not a punitive measure, an intended form of state repression, but instead offered a modus operandi for the government agent tasked with uncovering acts of treason.


Organization of knowledge

Francis Bacon developed the idea that a classification of knowledge must be universal while handling all possible resources. In his progressive view, humanity would be better if the access to educational resources were provided to the public, hence the need to organise it. His approach to learning reshaped the Western view of knowledge theory from an individual to a social interest. The original classification proposed by Bacon organised all types of knowledge in three general groups: history, poetry, and philosophy. He did that based on his understanding of how information is processed: memory, imagination, and reason, respectively. His methodical approach to the categorization of knowledge goes hand-in-hand with his principles of scientific methods. Bacon's writings were the starting point for William Torrey Harris's Library classification system, classification system for libraries in the United States by the second half of the 1800s. The phrase "" (or ""), meaning "knowledge is power", is commonly attributed to Bacon: the expression "" ("knowledge itself is power") occurs in his ''Meditationes Sacrae'' (1597).


Historical debates


Bacon and Shakespeare

The Baconian hypothesis of Shakespearean authorship, first proposed in the mid-19th century, contends that Francis Bacon wrote some or even all of the plays conventionally attributed to William Shakespeare.


Occult theories

Francis Bacon often gathered with the men at Gray's Inn to discuss politics and philosophy, and to try out various theatrical scenes that he admitted writing. Bacon's alleged connection to the Rosicrucianism, Rosicrucians and the Freemasonry, Freemasons has been widely discussed by authors and scholars in many books. However, others, including Daphne du Maurier in her biography of Bacon, have argued that there is no substantive evidence to support claims of involvement with the Rosicrucians. Frances Yates does not make the claim that Bacon was a Rosicrucian, but presents evidence that he was nevertheless involved in some of the more closed intellectual movements of his day. She argues that Bacon's movement for the advancement of learning was closely connected with the German Rosicrucian movement, while Bacon's ''New Atlantis'' portrays a land ruled by Rosicrucians. He apparently saw his own movement for the advancement of learning to be in conformity with Rosicrucian ideals.Frances Yates, ''The Rosicrucian Enlightenment'', London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972 The link between Bacon's work and the Rosicrucians' ideals which Yates allegedly found was the conformity of the purposes expressed by the Rosicrucian Manifestos and Bacon's plan of a "Works by Francis Bacon#The Great Instauration, Great Instauration", for the two were calling for a reformation of both "divine and human understanding","Howbeit we know after a time there wil now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it's fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth Aurora, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky" – ''Fama Fraternitatis''
sacred-texts.com
as well as both had in view the purpose of mankind's return to the "state before the Fall"."Like good and faithful guardians, we may yield up their fortune to mankind upon the emancipation and majority of their understanding, from which must necessarily follow an improvement of their estate [...]. For man, by the fall, fell at the same time from his state of innocency and from his dominion over creation. Both of these losses however can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by arts and sciences. – Francis Bacon, s:Novum Organum, Novum Organum"We ought therefore here to observe well, and make it known unto everyone, that God hath certainly and most assuredly concluded to send and grant to the whole world before her end ... such a truth, light, life, and glory, as the first man Adam had, which he lost in Paradise, after which his successors were put and driven, with him, to misery. Wherefore there shall cease all servitude, falsehood, lies, and darkness, which by little and little, with the great world's revolution, was crept into all arts, works, and governments of men, and have darkened most part of them". – ''Confessio Fraternitatis'' Another major link is said to be the resemblance between Bacon's ''New Atlantis'' and the German Rosicrucian Johann Valentin Andreae's ''Description of the Republic of Christianopolis'' (1619). Andreae describes a utopic island in which Christian Theosophy (Boehmian), theosophy and applied science ruled, and in which the spiritual fulfilment and intellectual activity constituted the primary goals of each individual, the scientific pursuits being the highest intellectual calling—linked to the achievement of spiritual perfection. Andreae's island also depicts a great advancement in technology, with many industries separated in different zones which supplied the population's needs—which shows great resemblance to Bacon's scientific methods and purposes. While rejecting occult conspiracy theories surrounding Bacon and the claim Bacon personally identified as a Rosicrucian, intellectual historian Paolo Rossi has argued for an occult influence on Bacon's scientific and religious writing. He argues that Bacon was familiar with early modern Alchemy, alchemical texts and that Bacon's ideas about the application of science had roots in Renaissance magical ideas about science and magic facilitating humanity's domination of nature. Rossi further interprets Bacon's search for hidden meanings in myth and fables in such texts as ''The Wisdom of the Ancients'' as succeeding earlier occultist and Neoplatonism, Neoplatonic attempts to locate hidden wisdom in pre-Christian myths. As indicated by the title of his study, however, Rossi claims Bacon ultimately rejected the philosophical foundations of occultism as he came to develop a form of modern science. Rossi's analysis and claims have been extended by Jason Josephson-Storm in his study, ''The Myth of Disenchantment''. Josephson-Storm also rejects conspiracy theories surrounding Bacon and does not make the claim that Bacon was an active Rosicrucian. However, he argues that Bacon's "rejection" of magic actually constituted an attempt to purify magic of Catholic, demonic, and esoteric influences and to establish magic as a field of study and application paralleling Bacon's vision of science. Furthermore, Josephson-Storm argues that Bacon drew on magical ideas when developing his experimental method. Josephson-Storm finds evidence that Bacon considered nature a living entity, populated by spirits, and argues Bacon's views on the human domination and application of nature actually depend on his spiritualism and personification of nature. The Rosicrucian organization Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, AMORC claims that Bacon was the "Imperator" (leader) of the Rosicrucian Order in both England and the European continent, and would have directed it during his lifetime. Bacon's influence can also be seen on a variety of religious and spiritual authors, and on groups that have utilized his writings in their own belief systems.


Bibliography

Some of the more notable works by Bacon are: *''Essays (Francis Bacon), Essays'' **1st edition with 10 essays (1597) **2nd edition with 38 essays (1612) **3rd/final edition with 58 essays (1625) *''Advancement of Learning, The Advancement and Proficience of Learning Divine and Human'' (1605) *''Instauratio magna'' (The Great Instauration) (1620) – a multi-part work including ''Distributio operis'' (Plan of the Work); ''Novum Organum'' (New Engine); ''Parasceve ad historiam naturalem'' (Preparatory for Natural History) and ''Catalogus historiarum particularium'' (Catalogue of Particular Histories) *''De augmentis scientiarum'' (1623) – an enlargement of ''The Advancement of Learning'' translated into Latin *''New Atlantis'' (1626)


See also

* ''Cestui que'' (defence and comment on Chudleigh's Case) * Romanticism and Bacon


Notes


References


Sources


Primary sources

* Bacon, Francis. ''The Essays and Counsels, Civil and Moral of Francis Bacon: all 3 volumes in a single file.'' B&R Samizdat Express, 2014. * *


Secondary sources

* * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * Contains English translations of **''Temporis Partus Masculus'' **''Cogitata et Visa'' **''Redargutio Philosophiarum'' * * * * * *Serjeantson, Richard. "Francis Bacon and the 'Interpretation of Nature' in the Late Renaissance," ''Isis'' (December 2014) 105#4 pp. 681–705.


External links

* * * * * *
Contains the New Organon, slightly modified for easier reading
*Lord Macaulay's essay ''Lord Bacon'' (''Edinburgh Review'', 1837
''Francis Bacon of Verulam. Realistic Philosophy and its Age''
by Kuno Fischer, translated from the German by John Oxenford London 1857
''Bacon''
by Thomas Fowler (academic), Thomas Fowler (1881) public domain at Internet Archive
The Francis Bacon Society
*[https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/coll/073.html The George Fabyan Collection] at the Library of Congress is rich in the works of Francis Bacon.
Francis Bacon Research TrustSir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning
*
Letterbook and correspondence by Sir Francis Bacon at Columbia University. Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
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