Sir Nicholas Bacon, an English statesman, lord keeper of the seal during the first 20 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, born at Chisel-hurst, Kent, in 1510, died Feb. 20, 1579. He studied at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, and afterward in Paris. Soon after his return to England he was called to the bar, and in 1537 was appointed solicitor to the court of augmentations. Nine years later Henry VIII. made him attorney to the court of wards, an office in which he continued during the reign of Edward VI. Being a Protestant, he was excluded from favor under Mary; but on the accession of Elizabeth (1558) he was chosen to her privy council, and soon afterward received the great seal, with the rank of lord chancellor. At the public conference held in Westminster abbey in March, 1559, to discuss the doctrines and ceremonies of the church of Rome, he presided. Being suspected in 1564 of having a hand in a book published by one Hales which questioned the title of Mary, queen of Scots, to succeed Elizabeth - a view of the case not then held by the court - he was dismissed from the privy council, and from all participation in public affairs except in the court of chancery. Through the efforts of his brother-in-law Cecil he was afterward restored to favor.

He was the father of Sir Francis Bacon.