Fun Facts Friday: Francis Bacon

January 22, 2021

Francis Bacon (22 January, 1561 – 9 April, 1626), 1st Viscount St Alban, Kt PC QC, also known as Lord Verulam, best known for promotion of the scientific method, was an English philosopher and statesman serving during his lifetime as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England.

Fun Facts Friday: Francis Bacon
Books by, or about, Francis Bacon*

  1. Francis Bacon was the youngest child, born to Sir Nicholas Bacon and Anne Cooke (his second wife and daughter to Sir Anthony Cooke, a prominent scholar) in Strand, London to a prominent family who had good ties to the royal family. Sir Nicholas was the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal for Queen Elizabeth I of England. William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and chief advisor of Elizabeth I for more of her reign was his uncle (married to Anne’s sister Mildred).
  2. At the age of 12, Francis Bacon started to attend Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating 2 years later. He started studying law, but took a break to go work for the English ambassador in Paris affording him valuable diplomatic studies, ties, and learning languages.
  3. After his father died, Francis Bacon came back to England. He was elected MP for Bossiney, Cornwall (a member for Cornwall in the House of Commons) which afforded him a salary and allowed him to complete his legal education at Gray’s Inn.
  4. Francis Bacon was knighted when King James I ascended to the throne. At that point he was already decades in Parliament, becoming solicitor general, and later attorney general.
  5. Forty five year old Francis Bacon married 14 year old Alice Barnham. Alice had a very expensive taste and lifestyle, putting Mr. Bacon into debt. Alice also had an affair, when Bacon learned of it he rewrote his will disinheriting her of land and income. Alice, however, married her lover upon his death.
  6. Marrying at 45 was very rare, and there are several documented letter from contemporaries and family (his mother) bluntly stating that Mr. Bacon was a homosexual.
  7. Mr. Bacon was found guilty of corruption and was impeached by Parliament. Some sources tell us that he was used as a scapegoat to protect the Duke of Buckingham. He was found the huge amount of 40,000 pounds and sentenced to the Tower of London. Luckily Mr. Bacon’s sentence was reduced and the fine lifted. His reputation, however, was left in tatters.
  8. Now that he was out of politics, Mr. Bacon had the time to focus on other things such as science, especially empirical scientific methods (methods that depend on tangible proofs), as well as the basis for applied science.
    To this day he is considered to be the father of scientific method.
  9. When Mr. Bacon died, it was said that he spent too long in cold temperatures trying to preserve meat in snow, hence contracting pneumonia.
  10. A conspiracy theory of the time theorizes that Mr. Bacon faked his own death to avoid paying his large debt.

Books by, or about, Francis Bacon*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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