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Francis Bacon
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{{short description|English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author}}{{About |the philosopher and statesman|the 20th-century painter|Francis Bacon (artist)|other people|Francis Bacon (disambiguation)}}{{EngvarB|date=March 2013}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2014}}







factoids
| image = Somer Francis Bacon.jpg| imagesize = 250px| smallimage = Frans Pourbus the younger>Frans Pourbus (1617), Palace on the Water in Warsaw| order = James VI and I>James I| office2 = Attorney General of England and WalesSir Henry Hobart, 1st Baronet>Sir Henry HobartHenry Yelverton (attorney-general)>Henry YelvertonJames VI and I>James ILord Chancellor>Lord High Chancellor of EnglandThomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley>The Viscount Brackley| successor1 = In commission| birth_date = 22 January 1561| birth_place = Strand, London, England| death_date = 9 April 1626 (aged 65)| death_place = Highgate, Middlesex, England| birthname =| nationality = English| spouse = | relations =| children = | residence = | alma_mater = University of CambridgeTrinity College, CambridgeUniversity of Poitiers| occupation = | profession = Lawyer/Politician| religion = | signature = Francis Bacon Signature.svg| website = | footnotes =}}Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban,{{Efn|name=title|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";{{Sfnp|Fowler|1885|p=346}}{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=135}} others, such as the 2007 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the 9th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, spell it "St. Alban".{{Sfnp|Peltonen|2007}}{{sfnp|Adamson|1878|p=200}}}} {{post-nominals|country=GBR|PCe|QC}} ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|b|eɪ|k|ən}};"Bacon" entry in Collins English Dictionary. 22 January 1561{{spaced ndash}}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, his works remained influential in the development of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.Bacon has been called the father of empiricism.WEB,weblink Empiricism: The influence of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and David Hume, Sweet Briar College, 21 October 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130708012140weblink">weblink 2013-07-08, 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 the 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 methodology today. In addition to his work in the sciences, Bacon was also a venerable patron of libraries and developed a functional system for the cataloging of books by dividing them into three categories—history, poetry, and philosophy—which could further be divided into more specific subjects and subheadings.Bacon is the first recipient of the Queen's counsel designation and was conferred in 1597 when Queen Elizabeth reserved Bacon as her legal advisor. After the accession of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted. He was later created Baron Verulam in 1618{{sfnp|Adamson|1878|p=200}} and Viscount St. Alban in 1621.{{sfnp|Peltonen|2007}}Contemporary spelling, used by Bacon himself in his letter of thanks to the king for his elevation.BOOK, Birch, Thomas, Thomas Birch, Letters, Speeches, Charges, Advices, &c of Lord Chancellor Bacon, 6, 1763, Andrew Millar, London, 271–2, 228676038, 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 by 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.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.

Biography

Early life

File:18-year old Francis Bacon.jpg|thumb|The young Francis Bacon. Inscription around his head reads: Si tabula daretur digna animum mallem, Latin for "If one could but paint his mind". National Portrait Gallery, LondonNational Portrait Gallery, LondonFrancis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the Strand in 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."Sir Francis Bacon's Journals". p. 191. universe, 2007Biographers 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,{{acad|id=BCN573F|name=Bacon, Francis }} 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".BOOK, Collins, Arthur, 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 {{sic, |publisher=Printed for Tho. Wotton at the Three Daggers and Queen's Head |year=1741 |page=5 }}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.File:york Water Gate.jpg|thumb|left|The ItalianateItalianateOn 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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=136}} For the next three years he visited Blois, Poitiers, Tours, Italy, and Spain.Stephen Gaukroger (2001). "Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-Modern Philosophy". p. 46. Cambridge University Press 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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=136}} Having borrowed money, Bacon got into debt. To support himself, he took up his residence in law at Gray's Inn in 1579,{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=136}} his income being supplemented by a grant from his mother Lady Anne of the manor of Marks near Romford in Essex, which generated a rent of £46.JOURNAL, Spall, JEH, Francis Bacon's connections with Marks Manor House, Romford Record, No. 4, 32–37, Romford and District Historical Society, Romford, 1971,

Parliamentarian

File:Francis Bacon statue, Gray's Inn.jpg|thumb|Francis Bacon's statue at Gray's InnGray's InnBacon 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 in 1582.BOOK, Ellis, Robert. P., Francis Bacon: The Double-Edged Life of the Philosopher and Statesman, 27 April 2015, McFarland, 28, 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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=136}} 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 Catholic 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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=136}}{{sfnp|Peltonen|2007}}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).WEB,weblink History of Parliament, 2 October 2011, 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.JOURNAL, Spedding, James, The letters and life of Francis Bacon, 1861, WEB,weblink Sir Francis Bacon's Letters, Tracts and Speech relating to Ireland, no, 2011-08-07,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110807142316weblink">weblink

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 confidential adviser.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=136}}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 PressIn 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.Gustav Ungerer (1974). "A Spaniard in Elizabethan England: The Correspondence of Antonio Pérez's Exile, Volume 1". p. 207. Tamesis BooksBacon 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.Weir, Alison Elizabeth the Queen Pimlico 1999 p.414File:StatueOfFrancisBacon.jpg|thumb|Memorial to Francis Bacon, in the chapel of Trinity College, CambridgeTrinity College, CambridgeWhen 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.{{sfnp|Peltonen|2007}} To console him for these disappointments, Essex presented him with a property at Twickenham, which Bacon subsequently sold for £1,800.BOOK, Bunten, Alice Chambers, Twickenham Park and Old Richmond Palace and Francis Bacon: Lord Verulam's Connection with The, 1580–1608, R. Banks, 19, In 1597 Bacon became the first Queen's Counsel designate, when Queen Elizabeth reserved him as her legal counsel.BOOK, History of English Law. 1938 vi 473–4., Holdsworth, W.S., 1938, vi 473-4, In 1597, he was also given a patent, giving him precedence at the Bar.Patent Rolls, 2 Jac I p 12 m 10. 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 and young widow Lady Elizabeth Hatton.BOOK, The Curious Case of Lady Purbeck; A Scandal of the XVIIth Century, Longueville, Thomas, Longmans, Green and Co, 1909, London, 4, His courtship failed after she broke off their relationship upon accepting marriage to Sir Edward Coke, a further spark of enmity between the men.JOURNAL, Aughterson, Kate, Hatton, Elizabeth, Lady Hatton [nee Lady Elizabeth Cecil] (1578–1646), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=137}} His relationship with the Queen further improved when he severed ties with Essex{{mdash}}a shrewd move, as Essex would be executed for treason in 1601.BOOK, Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, 1 May 2008, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 636, 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 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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=138}}Matthews (1996: 56–57)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".BOOK, Rawley, William, The Life of the Right Honorable Francis Bacon Baron of Verulam, Viscount ST. Alban, 1670, Thomas Johns, London, London,weblink

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.{{sfn|Adamson|Mitchell|1911|p=139}} In June 1607 he was at last rewarded with the office of solicitor general.{{sfnp|Peltonen|2007}} 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.(File:Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban from NPG (2).jpg|thumb|left|alt=Portrait of Sir Francis Bacon|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;BOOK,weblink The Dictionary of National Biography, Lee, Sidney, Smith, Elder & Co, 1895, 44, Peachem, Edmond, Sidney Lee, 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.{{sfnp|Peltonen|2007}}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

(File:Bacon vs Parliament.jpg|thumb|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, Sir Edward Coke, who had instigated these accusations,{{citation |first=Ian |last=Ousby |year=1996 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=43oBE1nJXaMC |title=The Cambridge Paperback Guide to Literature in English |publisher=Cambridge University Press |page=22 |postscript=. }} was one of those appointed to prepare the charges against the chancellor.{{citation |first=Perez |last=Zagorin |year=1999 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=IoKwR_8FBYcC |title=Francis Bacon |publisher=Princeton University Press |page=22 |postscript=. }} 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.BOOK, Parris, Matthew, Matthew Parris, Kevin Maguire (journalist), Maguire, Kevin, Great Parliamentary Scandals, Chrysalis, London, 2004, 8–9, Francis Bacon—1621, 978-1-86105-736-5, 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.BOOK, Zagorin, Perez, Perez Zagorin, Francis Bacon, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1999, 22–23, 978-0-691-00966-7, 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, into confession.A. L. Rowse, quoted in Parris; Maguire (2004: 8): "a charge of sodomy was... to be brought against the sixty-year-old Lord Chancellor".The British jurist Basil Montagu wrote in Bacon's defence, concerning the episode of his public disgrace:}}

Personal life

Religious beliefs

Bacon was a devout 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. But 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."https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/scholarsandscientists/francis-bacon.htmlBacon's idea of idols of the mind 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.BOOK, Josephson-Storm, Jason, The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences, University of Chicago Press, 2017, 48-9,weblink 0-226-40336-X,

Marriage to Alice Barnham

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, Sir 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. pages 157–158, 425, 502–503, 518–532At 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".File:Alice Barnham.gif|thumb|Engraving of Alice BarnhamAlice BarnhamHowever, 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 BarnhamAlice Chambers Bunten, Life of Alice Barnham, Wife of Sir Francis Bacon, London: Oliphants Ltd. 1928. 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{{mdash}}leaving her lands, goods, and income{{mdash}}and instead revoked it all.

Homosexuality

Several authorsA. L. Rowse, Homosexuals in History, New York: Carroll & Garf, 1977. page 44Jardine, Lisa; Stewart, Alan Hostage To Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon Hill & Wang, 1999. page 148 believe that despite his marriage Bacon was primarily attracted to the same sex. Forker,Charles R. Forker, "'Masculine Love', Renaissance Writing, and the 'New Invention' of Homosexuality: An Addendum" in the Journal of Homosexuality (1996), Indiana University 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."Journal of Homosexuality, Volume: 31 Issue: 3, 1996, pages 85–93, {{ISSN|0091-8369}} The well-connected antiquary John Aubrey noted in his Brief Lives concerning Bacon, "He was a Pederast. His Ganimeds and Favourites tooke Bribes".Oliver Lawson Dick, ed. Aubrey's Brief Lives. Edited from the Original Manuscripts, 1949, s.v. "Francis Bacon, Viscount of St. Albans" p. 11. The Jacobean antiquarian, Sir Simonds D'Ewes implied there had been a question of bringing him to trial for buggery,Fulton Anderson, Francis Bacon: His career and his thought, Los Angeles, 1962 which his brother Anthony Bacon had also been charged with.BOOK, Golden Lads: A Study of Anthony Bacon, Francis and Their Friends, du Maurier, Daphne, Gollancz, 1975, 978-1844080731, London, This conclusion has been disputed by others,Ross Jackson, The Companion to Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story, England: Book Guild Publishing, 2005. pp. 45–46Bryan Bevan, The Real Francis Bacon, England: Centaur Press, 1960Helen Veale, Son of England, India: Indo Polish Library, 1950Peter Dawkins, Dedication to the Light, England: Francis Bacon Research Trust, 1984 who point to lack of consistent evidence, and consider the sources to be more open to interpretation. Publicly, Bacon distanced himself from homosexuality. In his 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".Bacon, Francis. The New Atlantis. 1627

Death

File:20040912-001-francis-bacon.jpg|thumb|Monument to Bacon at his burial place, St Michael's Church in St AlbansSt AlbansOn 9 April 1626, Francis Bacon died of pneumonia while at Arundel mansion at Highgate outside London.BOOK, The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Prose, 21 Mar 2001, Broadview Press, 18, 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 Highgate 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. 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.BOOK, Bowen, Catherine, Francis Bacon: The Temper of a Man, 1 January 1993, Fordham University Press, 225, 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 pen.BOOK, Bacon, Francis, The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England, new, Basil, Montagu, Basil Montagu, London, 1825–34, harv, ., {{anchor |William Rawley}}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 by suffocation.{{citation |last=Rawley |first=William (Bacon's personal secretary and chaplain) |title=Resuscitatio, or, Bringing into Publick Light Several Pieces of the Works, Civil, Historical, Philosophical, & Theological, Hitherto Sleeping; of the Right Honourable Francis Bacon. ...Together with his Lordship's Life |year=1657 |quote=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 Lord 1560. }}He was buried in 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.{{citation |editor-first=W. G. C. |editor-last=Gundry |title=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. He left personal assets of about £7,000 and lands that realised £6,000 when sold.BOOK, Lovejoy, Benjamin, Francis Bacon: A Critical Review, T. Fisher Unwin, Unwin, London, 1888, 171, 79886184, His debts amounted to more than £23,000, equivalent to more than £3m at current value.WEB,weblink Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to Present, Officer, Lawrence, Williamson, Samuel, Measuring Worth, 18 October 2009,

Philosophy and works

(File:Bacon - Sylva sylvarum, 1658 - 3887855 301161 00006.tif|thumb|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 a 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 proposed.

Influence

File:Frontispiece to 'The History of the Royal-Society of London'.jpg|thumb|Frontispiece to 'The History of Royal-Society of London', picturing Bacon (in the right) among the founding influences of the Society. National Portrait Gallery, London]]

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. During the Restoration, Bacon was commonly invoked as a guiding spirit of the Royal Society founded under Charles II in 1660.BOOK, Julian, Martin, Francis Bacon: The State and the Reform of Natural Philosophy, 1992, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 9780521382496, {{Page needed|date=January 2016}}JOURNAL, Byron, Steel, Sir Francis Bacon: The First Modern Mind, Garden City, NY, Doubleday, Doran & Co, 1930, harv, ., 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.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. 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 Experimental Philosophy".BOOK, Peter, Urbach, Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science: An Account and a Reappraisal, Open Court Publishing Co, La Salle, Ill., 1987, 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{{' "}}.He also wrote a long treatise on Medicine, History of Life and Death,BOOK, Bacon, Francis, History of Life and Death,weblink 978-0-7661-6272-3, 1 June 2003, 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."BOOK, Hepworth Dixon, William, "The story of Lord Bacon's Life" (1862),weblink's+life+hepworth+dixon, 1862, 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.

North America

(File:Lord Bacon - the guiding spirit of colonization scheme.jpg|thumb|upright|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 London and Bristoll for the Collonye or plantacon in Newfoundland, and sent John Guy to found a colony there.JOURNAL,weblink 1701, 4, NF, Canada, CA, Heritage, Lab, law, harv, ., yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131021163440weblink">weblink 21 October 2013, dmy-all, 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".JOURNAL, RUG, 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, Netherlands, The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743–1826, Bacon, Locke, and Newton,weblink 13 June 2009, harv, ., 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.JOURNAL,weblink essay, FB life, FBRT, UK, harv, ., yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120131131208weblink">weblink 31 January 2012, dmy-all, William Hepworth Dixon considered that Bacon's name could be included in the list of Founders of the United States.BOOK, Hepworth Dixon, William, Personal History of Lord Bacon from Unpublished Papers, 200,weblink 978-0-7661-2798-2, 1 February 2003,

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.WEB, Crowther, J. G., Article about Francis Bacon,weblink New Scientist, 19 January 1961, 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".BOOK, Hepworth Dixon, William, Personal history of Lord Bacon: From unpublished papers, 1861, 35,weblink Harvey Wheeler attributed to Bacon, in Francis Bacon's Verulamium{{mdash}}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.
File:Francis Bacon in the Library of Congress.Jpeg|thumb|Statue of Francis Bacon in the Library of CongressLibrary of CongressAs 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.Wheeler, Harvey. Francis Bacon's 'Verulamium': the Common Law Template of The Modern in English Science and Culture Paul H. Kocher writes that Bacon is considered by some jurists to be the father of modern Jurisprudence.JOURNAL, Kocher, Paul, Paul H. Kocher, 1957, Francis Bacon and the Science of Jurisprudence, Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA, 8, 3–26, 10.2307/2707577, harv, 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."Sir Francis Bacon". GraysInn.org. Retrieved 21 August 2015 James McClellan, a political scientist from the University of Virginia, considered Bacon to have had "a great following" in the American colonies.JOURNAL, McClellan, James, The Common Law Tradition{{mdash, Liberty, Order, and Justice: an Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government |year=1989 |url=http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Fperson=3822&Itemid=27 |publisher=Liberty fund |ref=harv |postscript=. }}More recent scholarship on Bacon's jurisprudence has focused on his advocating torture as a legal recourse for the crown.JOURNAL, Hanson, Elizabeth, Torture and Truth in Renaissance England, Representations, Spring 1991, 34, 53–84, 10.1525/rep.1991.34.1.99p0046u, harv, 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."BOOK, Langbein, John H., Torture and the Law of Proof, 1976, The University of Chicago Press, 90, 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.

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.BOOK, Dobson, Michael, The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, 29 November 2001, Oxford University Press, 33,

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.Frances Yates, Theatre of the World, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969 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 in her biography of Bacon, have argued that there is no substantive evidence to support claims of involvement with the Rosicrucians.Daphne du Maurier, The Winding Stair, Biography of Bacon 1976. Frances YatesFrances Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, pages 61–68, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979 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(File:Bacon-Rose.jpg|thumb|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","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.coms:The Advancement of Learning|Bacon, Francis. Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human]] 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 FraternitatisAnother 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).{{sfnp|Andreae|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{{mdash}}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{{mdash}}which shows great resemblance to Bacon's scientific methods and purposes.BOOK, Farrington, Benjamin, Francis Bacon, philosopher of industrial science, 1951, 978-0-374-92706-6, harv, ., WEB, Literary criticism of Johann Valentin Andreae,weblink Enotes.com, 21 October 2013, 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 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 (1968), Chapter 1 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 Neoplatonic attempts to locate hidden wisdom in pre-Christian myths.Rossi (1968), Chapter 3 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 (1968), Chapter 1Rossi'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 (2017), p. 46 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.Josephson-Storm (2017), p. 50-1The 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.WEB, The Mastery of Life,weblink PDF, 31, Rosicrucian.org, 21 October 2013, 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.Saint Germain Foundation. The History of the "I AM" Activity and Saint Germain Foundation. Schaumburg, Illinois: Saint Germain Press 2003Luk, A.D.K.. Law of Life – Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A.D.K. Luk Publications 1989, pp. 254–267White 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

Bibliography

Some of the more notable works by Bacon are:

See also

Notes

{{Notelist}}

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

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.
  • WEB, harv, Andreae, Johann Valentin, Christianopolis,weblink Description of the Republic of Christianopolis, 1619,
  • BOOK, harv, Spedding, James, James Spedding, Robert Leslie, Ellis, Robert Leslie Ellis, Douglas Denon, Heath, Douglas Denon Heath, The Works of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St Albans and Lord High Chancellor of England (15 volumes), London, 1857–1874,weblink

Secondary sources

  • EB9, cs2, Adamson, Robert, Robert Adamson (philosopher), Francis Bacon, 3, 200–218,
  • DNB, harv, Fowler, Thomas, Bacon, Francis (1561-1626), 2, 328–60,
  • {{ODNBweb|ref=harv |last=Peltonen |first=Markku |origyear=2004 |year=2007 |title=Bacon, Francis, Viscount St Alban (1561–1626) |id=990}}


Attribution
  • {{EB1911 |mode=cs2 |last=Adamson |first=Robert |author-link=Robert Adamson (philosopher) |last2=Mitchell |first2=John Malcolm |wstitle=Bacon, Francis |volume=3 |pages=135–152 }}
  • {{Schaff-Herzog|title=Bacon, Francis|volume=2}}

Further reading

  • BOOK, Farrell, John, 2006, 6: The Science of Suspicion, Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau, Cornell University Press, 978-0801474064,
  • BOOK, Farrington, Benjamin, 1964, The Philosophy of Francis Bacon, University of Chicago Press, Contains English translations of
    • Temporis Partus Masculus
    • Cogitata et Visa
    • Redargutio Philosophiarum
  • BOOK, Heese, Mary, 1968, Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science, Essential Articles for the Study of Francis Bacon, Brian, Vickers, Hamden, CT, 114–39, Archon Books,
  • Lewis, Rhodri. "Francis Bacon and Ingenuity." Renaissance Quarterly 67.1 (2014): 113–163. in JSTOR
  • BOOK, Roselle, Daniel, Young, Anne P, Our Western Heritage, 5: The 'Scientific Revolution' and the 'Intellectual Revolution', {{full citation needed|date=August 2012}}
  • BOOK, Rossi, Paolo, 1968, Francis Bacon: from Magic to Science, University of Chicago Press,
  • Serjeantson, Richard. "Francis Bacon and the 'Interpretation of Nature' in the Late Renaissance," Isis (Dec 2014) 1054 pp: 681–705.

External links

{{Sister project links|Francis Bacon|wikt=no|v=no|n=no|author=yes|b=no|d=Q37388}}

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