Sir Francis Bacon

By: Delaney Wahlert


Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban, QC, was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, author, and served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England.

  • Born January 22, 1561, Strand, London, United Kingdom
  • Died April 9 1626, Highgate, United Kingdom
  • Nationality English
  • Spouse Alice Barnham [married 1606-1625] {
  • Education Trinity College, Cambridge, University of Poitiers, University of Cambridge
  • Son of Nicolas Bacon, the Lord Keeper of the Seal of Elizabeth I


In 1616 he was invited to join the Privy Counsel, a year later he reached the same position as his father. In 1584 he composed A Letter of Advice to Queen Elizabeth. From 1584 to 1617 he was involved in law and royal court. As a young adult Queen Elizabeth did not believe Bacon's philosophy in science. But that changed in 1620 when he published Book One of Novum Organum Scientiarum (novum organum is Latin for "new method"), and then he was established as a reputable philosopher of science.

Impact On Today

Francis Bacon was a Renaissance author, courtier, and father of inductive reasoning.

Bacon took up Aristotelian ideas, arguing for an empirical, inductive approach, known as the scientific method, which is the foundation of modern scientific inquiry.


In 1621 Bacon was accused of accepting bribes and impeached by Parliament for corruption. Some sources say that Bacon was set up by enemies in Parliament and the court faction, and as a cover up to protect the Duke of Buckingham from public hostility. Bacon was tried and found guilty after he confessed. He was fined a hefty 40,000 pounds and sentenced to the Tower of London, but,fortunately, his sentence was reduced and his fine was lifted. After four days of imprisonment, Bacon was released, at the cost of his reputation and his long- standing place in Parliament; the scandal put a serious strain on 60-year-old Bacon's health.


"To be ignorant of causes is to be frustrated in action."

– Francis Bacon

"The sovereignty of man lieth hid in knowledge."

– Francis Bacon

"Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other."

– Francis Bacon "More fully than any man of his time, entertained the idea of the universe as a problem to be solved, examined, meditated upon, rather than as an eternally fixed stage upon which man walked."


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