FRANCIS BACON, 1ST VISCOUNT ST ALBAN, PC KC (/ˈbeɪkən/ ; 22
January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman,
scientist, jurist, orator, and author. He served both as Attorney
General and as
Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he
remained extremely influential through his works, especially as
philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method
during the scientific revolution .
Bacon has been called the father of empiricism . His works argued
for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive
reasoning and careful observation of events in nature . Most
importantly, he argued this could be achieved by use of a sceptical
and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading
themselves. While his own practical ideas about such a method, the
Baconian method , did not have a long lasting influence, the general
idea of the importance and possibility of a sceptical methodology
makes Bacon the father of scientific method . This marked a new turn
in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical
details of which are still central in debates about science and
Bacon was generally neglected at court by Queen Elizabeth , but after
the accession of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted . He was
Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621.
Because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death in
1626, at 65 years of age. Bacon died of pneumonia , with one account
John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while
studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat. He is
buried at St Michael\'s Church,
St Albans , Hertfordshire.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early life
* 1.2 Parliamentarian
* 1.3 Final years of the Queen\'s reign
* 1.4 James I comes to the throne
Lord Chancellor and public disgrace
* 1.6 Personal life
* 1.7 Death
* 2 Philosophy and works
* 3 Influence
* 3.2 North America
* 3.3 Law
* 4 Historical debates
* 4.1 Bacon and Shakespeare
* 4.2 Occult hypotheses
* 5 Bibliography
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
* 8.1 Secondary Sources
* 8.2 Primary sources
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
The young Francis Bacon. Inscription around his head reads: Si
tabula daretur digna animum mallem, Latin for "If one could but paint
National Portrait Gallery, London
National Portrait Gallery, London
Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the
London , the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon by his second wife,
Anne (Cooke) Bacon , the daughter of the noted humanist Anthony Cooke
. His mother's sister was married to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
, 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 Puritanism . He entered Trinity College,
Cambridge , 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 . Bacon's education was conducted largely in Latin and
followed the medieval curriculum. He was also educated at the
University of Poitiers . It was at Cambridge that he 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
conflicted with his rejection of Aristotelian philosophy , which
seemed to him barren, disputatious and wrong in its objectives.
Italianate York Water Gate – the entry to York House, built
about 1626, the year of Bacon's death
On 27 June 1576, he and Anthony entered de societate magistrorum at
Gray\'s Inn . A few months later, Francis went abroad with Sir Amias
Paulet , the English ambassador at Paris, while Anthony continued his
studies at home. The state of government and society in France under
Henry III afforded him valuable political instruction. For the next
three years he visited
Tours , Italy, and Spain.
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 , Burghley, and
Leicester , as well as 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
Romford in Essex, which generated a rent of £46.
Francis Bacon's statue at Gray\'s Inn , South Square,
Bacon stated that he had three goals: to uncover truth, to serve his
country, and to serve his church. He sought to further these ends by
seeking a prestigious post. In 1580, through his uncle, Lord Burghley
, 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 , until he was admitted as an outer barrister
His parliamentary career began when he was elected MP for Bossiney,
Cornwall , in a by-election in 1581. In 1584 he took his seat in
parliament for Melcombe in Dorset, and in 1586 for Taunton . 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 to hear Walter
Travers . This led to the publication of his earliest surviving tract,
which criticised the English church's suppression of the Puritan
clergy. In the Parliament of 1586, he openly urged execution for the
Mary, Queen of Scots
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 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
, although he did not formally take office until 1608; the post was
worth £1,600 a year.
In 1588 he became MP for Liverpool and then for
Middlesex in 1593. He
later sat three times for Ipswich (1597, 1601, 1604) and once for
Cambridge University (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 Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
, Queen Elizabeth's favourite. By 1591 he acted as the earl's
In 1592 he was commissioned to write a tract in response to the
Jesuit Robert Parson 's anti-government polemic, which he titled
Certain observations made upon a libel, identifying England with the
ideals of democratic Athens against the belligerence of Spain.
Bacon took his third parliamentary seat for
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. Memorial to Francis Bacon, in the
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
When the office of Attorney General 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 . Likewise, Bacon failed to secure the lesser
office of Solicitor 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
which Bacon subsequently sold for £1,800.
In 1596 Bacon became Queen\'s Counsel , but missed the appointment of
Master of the Rolls
Master of the Rolls . During the next few years, his financial
situation remained embarrassing. His friends could find no public
office for him, and a scheme for retrieving his position by a marriage
with the wealthy and young widow Lady
Elizabeth Hatton 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, though he had no commission or warrant, and received
no salary. 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. Bacon was subsequently a part of the
legal team headed by the Attorney General 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 brought Bacon into greater favour. He was
knighted in 1603. In another shrewd move, Bacon wrote his Apologies in
defence 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 . In June 1607 he was
at last rewarded with the office of solicitor general. The following
year, he began working as the Clerkship of the
Star Chamber . 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. Sir Francis Bacon, c. 1618
In 1610 the fourth session of James's first parliament 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 favour of the king while retaining the
confidence of the Commons.
In 1613 Bacon was finally appointed attorney general , 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 , 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 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 . On 12 July 1618
the king created Bacon BARON VERULAM , of Verulam , in the Peerage of
England ; 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
LORD CHANCELLOR AND PUBLIC DISGRACE
Francis Bacon and the members of the Parliament on the day of
his political fall
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,
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
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 , 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:
The law of nature teaches me to speak in my own defence: With respect
to this charge of bribery I am as innocent as any man born on St.
Innocents Day. I never had a bribe or reward in my eye or thought when
pronouncing judgment or order... I am ready to make an oblation of
myself to the King — 17 April 1621
He also wrote the following to Buckingham:
My mind is calm, for my fortune is not my felicity. I know I have
clean hands and a clean heart, and I hope a clean house for friends or
servants; but Job himself, or whoever was the justest judge, by such
hunting for matters against him as hath been used against me, may for
a time seem foul, especially in a time when greatness is the mark and
accusation is the game.
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, into confession.
The British jurist
Basil Montagu wrote in Bacon's defence, concerning
the episode of his public disgrace:
Bacon has been accused of servility, of dissimulation, of various
base motives, and their filthy brood of base actions, all unworthy of
his high birth, and incompatible with his great wisdom, and the
estimation in which he was held by the noblest spirits of the age. It
is true that there were men in his own time, and will be men in all
times, who are better pleased to count spots in the sun than to
rejoice in its glorious brightness. Such men have openly libelled him,
like Dewes and Weldon, whose falsehoods were detected as soon as
uttered, or have fastened upon certain ceremonious compliments and
dedications, the fashion of his day, as a sample of his servility,
passing over his noble letters to the Queen, his lofty contempt for
the Lord Keeper Puckering, his open dealing with Sir Robert Cecil, and
with others, who, powerful when he was nothing, might have blighted
his opening fortunes for ever, forgetting his advocacy of the rights
of the people in the face of the court, and the true and honest
counsels, always given by him, in times of great difficulty, both to
Elizabeth and her successor. When was a "base sycophant" loved and
honoured by piety such as that of Herbert, Tennison, and Rawley, by
noble spirits like Hobbes, Ben Jonson, and Selden, or followed to the
grave, and beyond it, with devoted affection such as that of Sir
When he was 36, Bacon courted
Elizabeth Hatton , a young widow of 20.
Reportedly, she broke off their relationship upon accepting marriage
to a wealthier man, Bacon's rival,
Edward Coke . Years later, Bacon
still wrote of his regret that the marriage to Hatton had not taken
At the age of 45, Bacon married
Alice Barnham , the 14-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". Engraving of
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.
Several authors believe that despite his marriage Bacon was
primarily attracted to the same sex. Forker, for example, has
explored the "historically documentable sexual preferences" of King
James and Bacon and concluded they were both orientated 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 noted in his Brief
Lives concerning Bacon, "He was a
Pederast . His Ganimeds and
Favourites tooke Bribes". The Jacobean antiquarian, Sir Simonds
D\'Ewes implied there had been a question of bringing him to trial for
buggery, which his brother Anthony Bacon had also been charged with.
This conclusion has been disputed by others, who point to lack
of consistent evidence, and consider the sources to be more open to
interpretation. Publicly, Bacon distanced himself from homosexuality.
New Atlantis , Bacon describes his utopian island as being "the
chastest nation under heaven", in which there was no prostitution or
adultery , and further saying that "as for masculine love , they have
no touch of it".
Monument to Bacon at his burial place, St Michael\'s Church in
On 9 April 1626,
Francis Bacon died of pneumonia while at Arundel
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
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 exenterate it."
After stuffing the fowl with snow, Bacon contracted a fatal case of
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 criticised 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 wrote his last
letter to his absent host and friend Lord Arundel :
My very good Lord,—I was likely to have had the fortune of 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 induration of bodies.
As for the experiment itself, it succeeded excellently well; but in
the journey between
London and Highgate, I was taken with such a fit
of 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
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 Saviour'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
He was buried in St Michaels 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 £3m at
PHILOSOPHY AND WORKS
Works by Francis Bacon Bacon, Sylva sylvarum
Francis Bacon's philosophy is displayed in the vast and varied
writings he left, which might be divided into three great branches:
* Scientific works – in which his ideas for an universal reform of
knowledge into scientific methodology and the improvement of mankind's
state using the
Scientific method are presented.
* Religious and literary works – in which he presents his moral
philosophy and theological meditations.
* Juridical works – in which his reforms in English Law are
Frontispiece to 'The History of Royal-Society of London',
picturing Bacon (in the right) among the founding influences of the
National Portrait Gallery, London
National Portrait Gallery, London
Bacon's seminal work
Novum Organum was influential in the 1630s and
1650s among scholars, in particular Sir
Thomas Browne , who in his
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. During the 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
Descartes , and was associated with
criticism of the ancien regime . In 1733
Voltaire introduced him to a
French audience as the "father" of the scientific method , an
understanding which had become widespread by the 1750s. In the 19th
century his emphasis on induction was revived and developed by William
Whewell , among others. He has been reputed as the "Father of
He also wrote a long treatise on Medicine, History of Life and Death,
with natural and experimental observations for the prolongation of
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."
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Hugo von Hofmannsthal published a fictional letter addressed
to Bacon and dated 1603, about a writer who is experiencing a crisis
of language. Known as
The Lord Chandos Letter , it has been proposed
that Bacon was identified as its recipient as having laid the
foundation for the work of scientists such as
Ernst Mach , notable
both for his academic distinction in the history and philosophy of the
inductive sciences, and for his own contributions to physics .
A Newfoundland stamp, which reads "Lord Bacon – the guiding
spirit in colonization scheme"
Bacon played a leading role in establishing the British colonies in
North America , especially in
Virginia , the Carolinas and
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
Bristoll for the Collonye or plantacon in Newfoundland, and sent John
Guy to found a colony there.
Thomas Jefferson , the third President
of the United States, wrote: "Bacon, Locke and 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 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
William Hepworth Dixon considered that Bacon's name could be included
in the list of Founders of the United States.
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
Sir Robert Peel
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.
Francis Bacon in the
Library of Congress
Library of Congress , Washington,
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
Paul H. Kocher writes that Bacon is considered by some
jurists to be the father of modern
Bacon is commemorated with a statue in Gray\'s Inn , South Square in
London where he received his legal training, and where he was elected
Treasurer of the Inn in 1608. James McClellan, a political scientist
from the University of
Virginia , considered Bacon to have had "a
great following" in the American colonies .
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.
BACON AND SHAKESPEARE
Baconian theory and Bacon\'s cipher
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 about Francis Bacon
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 Rosicrucians
and the Freemasons has been widely discussed by authors and scholars
in many books. However, others, including
Daphne du Maurier
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.
An old volume of
Francis Bacon and a rose
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 "Great Instauration",
for the two were calling for a reformation of both "divine and human
understanding", as well as both had in view the purpose of mankind's
return to the "state before the Fall".
Another major link is said to be the resemblance between Bacon's New
Atlantis and the German Rosicrucian
Johann Valentin Andreae
Johann Valentin Andreae 's
Description of the Republic of Christianopolis (1619). Andreae
describes a utopic island in which Christian 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.
The Rosicrucian organisation 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 utilised his writings in
their own belief systems.
Francis Bacon bibliography
Some of the more notable works by Bacon are:
* Essays (1st edition 1597)
* The Advancement and Proficience of Learning Divine and Human
* Essays (2nd edition – 38 essays, 1612)
Novum Organum Scientiarum ('New Method', 1620)
* Essays , or Counsels Civil and Moral (3rd/final edition – 58
New Atlantis (1627)
Cestui que (defence and comment on Chudleigh's Case)
* Bacon\'s cipher
Romanticism and Bacon
* ^ There is some confusion over the spelling of "Viscount St.
Alban". Some sources, such as the Dictionary of National Biography
(1885) and the 11th edition of the
Encyclopædia Britannica , spell
the title with "St. Albans"; others, such as the 2007 Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography and the 9th edition of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica, spell it "St. Alban".
* ^ Contemporary spelling, used by Bacon himself in his letter of
thanks to the king for his elevation.Birch, Thomas (1763). Letters,
Speeches, Charges, Advices, &c of
Lord Chancellor Bacon. 6. London:
Andrew Millar. pp. 271–2.
OCLC 228676038 .
* ^ "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
* ^ "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, 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". –
* ^ Fowler (1885) , p. 346.
* ^ Adamson & Mitchell 1911 , p. 135.
* ^ A B C D E F Peltonen (2007) .
* ^ A B Adamson (1878) , p. 200.
* ^ "Bacon" entry in
Collins English Dictionary
Collins English Dictionary , HarperCollins
* ^ "Empiricism: The influence of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and
David Hume". Sweet Briar College. Archived from the original on
2013-07-08. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
* ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than
14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 2105-2106).
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
* ^ "Sir Francis Bacon's Journals". p. 191. universe, 2007
* ^ "Bacon, Francis (BCN573F)". A Cambridge Alumni Database.
University of Cambridge.
* ^ Collins, Arthur (1741). The English Baronetage: Containing a
Genealogical and Historical Account of All the English Baronets, Now
Existing: Their Descents, Marriages, and Issues; Memorable Actions,
Both in War, and Peace; Religious and Charitable Donations; Deaths,
Places of Burial and Monumental Inscriptions . Printed for Tho. Wotton
at the Three Daggers and Queen's Head. p. 5.
* ^ A B C D E F Adamson & Mitchell 1911 , p. 136.
* ^ A B
Stephen Gaukroger (2001). "
Francis Bacon and the
Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy". p. 46. Cambridge
* ^ Spall, JEH (1971). "Francis Bacon's connections with Marks
Romford Record. Romford:
Romford and District Historical
Society. No. 4: 32–37.
* ^ Ellis, Robert. P. (27 April 2015). Francis Bacon: The
Double-Edged Life of the Philosopher and Statesman. McFarland. p. 28.
* ^ "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2 October 2011.
* ^ Spedding, James (1861). "The letters and life of Francis
* ^ "Sir Francis Bacon\'s Letters, Tracts and Speech relating to
Ireland". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07.
* ^ A B 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
* ^ Gustav Ungerer (1974). "A Spaniard in Elizabethan England: The
Correspondence of Antonio Pérez's Exile, Volume 1". p. 207. Tamesis
* ^ Weir, Alison Elizabeth the Queen Pimlico 1999 p.414
* ^ Bunten, Alice Chambers.
Twickenham Park and Old Richmond Palace
and Francis Bacon: Lord Verulam's Connection with The, 1580–1608. R.
Banks. p. 19.
* ^ Adamson & Mitchell 1911 , p. 137.
* ^ Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
1 May 2008. p. 636.
* ^ A B C Nieves Matthews, Francis Bacon: The History of a
Character Assassination (Yale University Press, 1996)
* ^ Adamson & Mitchell 1911 , p. 138.
* ^ Matthews (1996: 56–57)
* ^ A B Rawley, William (1670). The Life of the Right Honorable
Francis Bacon Baron of Verulam, Viscount ST. Alban. London: Thomas
* ^ Adamson & Mitchell 1911 , p. 139.
* ^ Ousby, Ian (1996), The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature
in English, Cambridge University Press, p. 22.
* ^ Zagorin, Perez (1999), Francis Bacon, Princeton University
Press, p. 22.
* ^ Parris, Matthew ; Maguire, Kevin (2004). "Francis
Bacon—1621". Great Parliamentary Scandals. London: Chrysalis. pp.
8–9. ISBN 978-1-86105-736-5 .
* ^ A B Zagorin, Perez (1999). Francis Bacon. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-0-691-00966-7 .
* ^ Campbell, John; Baron Campbell (1818), J. Murray. "The Lives of
the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England"
* ^ Fowler 1885 , p. 347.
A. L. Rowse
A. L. Rowse , quoted in Parris; Maguire (2004: 8): "a charge of
sodomy was... to be brought against the sixty-year-old Lord
* ^ Montagu, Basil (1837). Essays and Selections. pp. 325, 326.
ISBN 978-1-4368-3777-4 .
* ^ A B Alfred Dodd, Francis Bacon's Personal Life Story', Volume 2
– The Age of James, England: Rider & Co., 1949, 1986. pages
157–158, 425, 502–503, 518–532
* ^ Alice Chambers Bunten, Life of Alice Barnham, Wife of Sir
Francis Bacon, London: Oliphants Ltd. 1928.
* ^ A. L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll Stewart,
Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of
Francis Bacon Hill &
Wang, 1999. page 148
* ^ Charles R. Forker, "'Masculine Love', Renaissance Writing, and
the 'New Invention' of Homosexuality: An Addendum" in the Journal of
Homosexuality (1996), Indiana University
* ^ Journal of Homosexuality, Volume: 31 Issue: 3, 1996, pages
85–93, ISSN 0091-8369
* ^ Oliver Lawson Dick, ed. Aubrey's Brief Lives. Edited from the
Original Manuscripts, 1949, s.v. "Francis Bacon, Viscount of St.
Albans" p. 11.
* ^ Fulton Anderson, Francis Bacon: His career and his thought, Los
* ^ du Maurier, Daphne (1975). Golden Lads: A Study of Anthony
Bacon, Francis and Their Friends. London: Gollancz. ISBN
* ^ Ross Jackson, The Companion to Shaker of the Speare: The
Francis Bacon Story, England: Book Guild Publishing, 2005. pp. 45–46
* ^ A B Bryan Bevan, The Real Francis Bacon, England: Centaur
* ^ Helen Veale, Son of England, India: Indo Polish Library, 1950
* ^ Peter Dawkins, Dedication to the Light, England: Francis Bacon
Research Trust, 1984
* ^ Bacon, Francis. The New Atlantis. 1627
* ^ A B The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Prose.
Broadview Press. 21 Mar 2001. p. 18.
* ^ Bowen, Catherine (1 January 1993). Francis Bacon: The Temper of
a Man. Fordham University Press. p. 225.
* ^ Bacon, Francis (1825–34). Montagu, Basil , ed. The Works of
Lord Chancellor of England (new ed.). London.
* ^ Rawley, William (Bacon's personal secretary and chaplain)
(1657), Resuscitatio, or, Bringing into Publick Light Several Pieces
of the Works, Civil, Historical, Philosophical, of the Right
Honourable Francis Bacon. ...Together with his Lordship's Life,
Francis Bacon, the glory of his age and nation, the adorner and
ornament of learning, was born in York House, or York Place, in the
Strand, on the two and twentieth day of January, in the year of our
* ^ Gundry, W. G. C. (ed.), Manes Verulamani This important volume
consists of 32 eulogies originally published in Latin shortly after
Bacon's funeral in 1626. Bacon's peers refer to him as "a supreme
poet" and "a concealed poet", and also link him with the theatre.
* ^ A B Lovejoy, Benjamin (1888). Francis Bacon: A Critical Review.
London: Unwin . p. 171.
OCLC 79886184 .
* ^ Officer, Lawrence; Williamson, Samuel. "Purchasing Power of
British Pounds from 1264 to Present". Measuring Worth. Retrieved 18
* ^ Martin, Julian (1992). Francis Bacon: The State and the Reform
of Natural Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN
* ^ Steel, Byron (1930). "Sir Francis Bacon: The First Modern
Mind". Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Co.
* ^ Hundert, EJ. (1987), "Enlightenment and the decay of common
sense." In: Frits van Holthoon & David R. Olson (Eds.), Common Sense:
The Foundations for Social
Science (pp. 133–154). Lanham, MD:
University Press of America. p. 136.
* ^ Urbach, Peter (1987). Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science: An
Account and a Reappraisal. La Salle, Ill.: Open Court Publishing Co.
ISBN 9780912050447 . p. 192. "Bacon's celebrity as a philosopher of
science has sunk since the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries,
when he earned the title of 'Father of Experimental Philosophy'".
* ^ Bacon, Francis (1 June 2003). History of Life and Death. ISBN
* ^ Hepworth Dixon, William (1862). "The story of Lord Bacon\'s
* ^ Kovach, Thomas A. (ed.) A Companion to the Works of
Hofmannsthal, Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002, 89. Cites Jacques Le
Rider, Modernity and crises of identity: culture and society in
fin-de-siècle Vienna (trans. Rosemary Morris. Continuum, 1993 ISBN 0
8264 0631 9 )
* ^ "Lab" (law). 4. NF, CA : Heritage. 1701.
* ^ Bacon, Locke, and Newton. "The Letters of Thomas Jefferson:
1743–1826". Netherlands: RUG. Retrieved 13 June 2009. Bacon, Locke
and Newton, whose pictures I will trouble you to have copied for me:
and as 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 & Moral
sciences CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link )
* ^ "FB life" (essay). UK: FBRT.
* ^ Hepworth Dixon, William (1 February 2003). Personal History of
Lord Bacon from Unpublished Papers. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7661-2798-2 .
* ^ Crowther, J. G. (19 January 1961). "Article about Francis
Bacon". New Scientist.
* ^ Hepworth Dixon, William (1861). Personal history of Lord Bacon:
From unpublished papers. p. 35.
* ^ Wheeler, Harvey. Francis Bacon's 'Verulamium': the Common Law
Template of The Modern in English
Science and Culture
* ^ Kocher, Paul (1957). "
Francis Bacon and the
Jurisprudence". Journal of the History of Ideas. Philadelphia, PA:
University of Pennsylvania Press. 8: 3–26. doi :10.2307/2707577 .
* ^ "Sir Francis Bacon". GraysInn.org. Retrieved 21 August 2015
* ^ McClellan, James (1989). "The Common Law Tradition—Liberty,
Order, and Justice: an Introduction to the Constitutional Principles
of American Government". Liberty fund.
* ^ Hanson, Elizabeth (Spring 1991). "Torture and Truth in
Renaissance England". Representations. 34: 53–84. doi
* ^ Langbein, John H. (1976). Torture and the Law of Proof. The
University of Chicago Press. p. 90.
* ^ Dobson, Michael (29 November 2001). The Oxford Companion to
Shakespeare. Oxford University Press. p. 33.
* ^ Frances Yates, Theatre of the World, London: Routledge & Kegan
* ^ Daphne du Maurier, The Winding Stair, Biography of Bacon 1976.
* ^ Frances Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age,
pages 61–68, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979
* ^ A B Frances Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment,
Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972
* ^ Bacon, Francis. Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning,
Divine and Human
* ^ Andreae (1619) .
* ^ Farrington, Benjamin (1951). Francis Bacon, philosopher of
industrial science. ISBN 978-0-374-92706-6 .
* ^ "Literary criticism of Johann Valentin Andreae". Enotes.com.
Retrieved 21 October 2013.
* ^ "The Mastery of Life" (PDF). Rosicrucian.org. p. 31. Retrieved
21 October 2013.
* ^ Saint Germain Foundation. The History of the "I AM" Activity
and Saint Germain Foundation. Schaumburg, Illinois: Saint Germain
* ^ Luk, A.D.K.. Law of Life – Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K.
Luk Publications 1989, pp. 254–267
* ^ White Paper – Wesak World Congress 2002. Acropolis Sophia
Books & Works 2003.
* ^ Partridge, Christopher ed. New Religions: A Guide: New
Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities Oxford
University Press, United States 2004.
* ^ Schroeder, Werner Ascended Masters and Their Retreats Ascended
Master Teaching Foundation 2004, pp. 250–255
* Adamson, Robert (1878), "Francis Bacon", in Baynes, T.S.,
Encyclopædia Britannica , 3 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, pp. 200–218
* Fowler, Thomas (1885). "Bacon, Francis (1561-1626)". In Stephen,
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography . 2. London: Smith, Elder &
Co. pp. 328–60.
* Peltonen, Markku (2007) . "Bacon, Francis, Viscount St Alban
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.).
Oxford University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/990 . (Subscription or
UK public library membership required.)
* Bacon, Francis. The Essays and Counsels, Civil and Moral of
Francis Bacon: all 3 volumes in a single file. B&R Samizdat Express,
* Andreae, Johann Valentin (1619). "Christianopolis". Description of
the Republic of Christianopolis.
* Spedding, James ; Ellis, Robert Leslie ; Heath, Douglas Denon
(1857–1874). The Works of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount
St Albans and Lord High Chancellor of England (15 volumes). London.
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Adamson, Robert ; Mitchell, John Malcolm (1911),
"Bacon, Francis", in Chisholm, Hugh,
Encyclopædia Britannica , 3
(11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 135–152
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Jackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1908). "Bacon,
Francis". New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious
Knowledge . 2
London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls.
* Farrell, John (2006). "6: The
Science of Suspicion". Paranoia and
Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau. Cornell University Press. ISBN
* Farrington, Benjamin (1964). The Philosophy of Francis Bacon.
University of Chicago Press. Contains English translations of
* Temporis Partus Masculus
* Cogitata et Visa
* Redargutio Philosophiarum
* Heese, Mary (1968). "Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science". In
Vickers, Brian. Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon.
Hamden, CT: Archon Books. pp. 114–39.
* Lewis, Rhodri. "
Francis Bacon and Ingenuity." Renaissance
Quarterly 67.1 (2014): 113–163. in JSTOR
* Roselle, Daniel; Young, Anne P. "5: The 'Scientific Revolution'
and the 'Intellectual Revolution'". Our Western Heritage.
* Rossi, Paolo (1978). Francis Bacon: from Magic to Science. Taylor
* Serjeantson, Richard. "
Francis Bacon and the 'Interpretation of
Nature' in the Late Renaissance," Isis (Dec 2014) 105#4 pp: 681–705.
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