Francis Bacon

1st Viscount St. Alban, King's Council

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Early Life

  • He was born on January 22, 1561 at York House in Strand, London
  • He is the youngest out of his 4 siblings
  • Mother: Ann Cooke Bacon
  • Father: Sir Nicholas Bacon
  • He was home schooled
  • He health was bad
  • Attended Trinity College in 1573 at the age of 12
  • The Queen thought he was intelligent and called him the "the young Lord Keeper"
  • "On June 27, 1576, he and Anthony were entered de societate magistrorum at Gray's in (Inn of Court), and a few months later they went abroad with Sir Amias Paulet, the English ambassador at Paris."
  • Returned back to England in February 1579 because his father died


  • He describes his mental state and his goals in the fragment De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium which was probably written in 1603
  • In 1584 he became a member for Melcombe in Dorset in the English Parliament
  • In 1586 he strongly pushed for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots
  • In February of 1593, Elizabeth called a Parliament to pursue a Catholic plot against her which is when Bacon secured a spot for Middlesex
  • In 1594 a position opened up for Attorney-Generalship and Bacon was considered for office
  • He had a bad financial situation which his friends tried to fix by trying to have Bacon marry a wealthy widow named Lady Elizabeth Hatton
  • This marriage failed
  • He was arrested in 1598 for his debt
  • His relationship with the Queen became stronger
  • King James I liked Bacon which made him become knighted in 1603
  • When he was knighted, his powers were used in Apologie (defense) in the case of Essex
  • Bacon married Alice Barnham, who was the daughter of a well connected London alderman and a member of Parliament
  • In 1608, he entered the clerkship of the Star Chamber
  • The clerkship made him come out of debt
  • In 1618, he created Baron Verulam when he received favors from the King
  • In 1621, he created Viscount St. Alban
  • Both of these works disappeared after his death
  • His public career ended in 1621 after falling into debt and the Parliament Committee charged him with corruption


  • In March 1626, he traveled back to London to test if using snow would preserve meat. While stuffing the chicken with snow, he caught pneumonia.
  • He died of pneumonia on April 9, 1626


  • Essays
  • Colours of Good and Evil
  • Meditationes Sacrae
  • He is famous for saying "knowledge is power," which is found in Meditations.
  • "He wrote In felicem memoriam Elizabethae, which is a eulogy for the queen in 1609"
  • Novum Organum (Published 1620)
  • Astrologia Sana
  • De augmentis scientiarum (1623)