Biography

J. Spedding, The Life and Letters of Lord Bacon (1861), Life and Times of Francis Bacon (1878); also Dr Rawley's Life in the Ellis-Spedding editions, and J. M. Robertson's reprint (above); W. Hepworth Dixon, Personal History of Lord Bacon (Lond., 1861), and Story of Lord Bacon's Life (ib. 1862); John Campbell, Lives of the Chancellors (Lond., 1845), ii. 51; P. Woodward, Early Life of Lord Bacon (1902); T. Fowler, Francis Bacon in "English Philos." series (Lond., 1881); R. W. Church's Bacon, in "Men of Letters" series (1884).

Philosophy

Beside the introductions in the Ellis-Spedding and T. Fowler editions, and general histories of philosophy, see: - Kuno Fischer, Fr. Bacon (1856, 2nd ed., 1875, Eng. trans. by John Oxenford, Lond., 1857); Ch. de Rémusat, Bacon, sa vie ... et son influence (1857, ed. 1858 and 1877); G. L. Craik, Lord Bacon, his Writings and his Philosophy (3 vols., 1846-1847, ed. 1860); A. Dorner, De Baconis Philosophia (Berlin, 1867; London, 1886); J. v. Liebig, über F. B. v. Verulam (Mannheim, 1863); Ad. Lasson, über B. v. Verulam's wissenschaftliche Principien (Berl., 1860); E. H. Böhmer, über F. B. v. Verulam (Erlangen, 1864); Ch. Adam, Philos. de Francis Bacon (Paris, 1890); Barthélemy St Hilaire, étude sur Francis Bacon (Paris, 1890); R. W. Church, op. cit.; H. Heussler, F. Bacon und seine geschichtliche Stellung (Breslau, 1889); H. Höffding, History of Modern Philosophy (Eng. trans., 1900); J. M. Robertson, Short History of Freethought (Lond., 1906); Sidney Lee, Great Englishmen of the 16th century (Lond., 1904). For the relations between Bacon and Ben Jonson see The Tale of the Shakespeare Epitaphs by Francis Bacon (New York, 1888); for Bacon's poetical gifts see an article in the Fortnightly Review (March 1905).

For the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy see Shakespeare.

(R. Ad.; J. M. M.)

[1] See Nic. Eth. iv. 3. 3. 1123b.

[2] "I wax now somewhat ancient; one-and-thirty years is a great deal of sand in the hour-glass.... I ever bare a mind (in some middle place that I could discharge) to serve her majesty; not as a man born under Sol, that loveth honour; nor under Jupiter, that loveth business (for the contemplative planet carrieth me away wholly); but as a man born under an excellent sovereign, that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities.... Again the meanness of my estate doth somewhat move me; for though I cannot accuse myself that I am either prodigal or slothful, yet my health is not to spend, nor my course to get. Lastly, I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends as I have moderate civil ends; for I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations and verbosities, the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions and profitable inventions and discoveries - the best state of that province. This, whether it be curiosity, or vain-glory, or nature, or (if one take it favourably) philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed.

And I do easily see, that place of any reasonable commandment doth bring commandment of more wits than of a man's own.

And if your lordship shall find now, or at any time, that I do seek or affect any place whereunto any that is nearer to your lordship shall be convenient, say then that I am a most dishonest man. And if your lordship will not carry me on,... this I will do, I will sell the inheritance that I have, and purchase some lease of quick revenue, or some office of gain that shall be executed by deputy, and so give over all care of service, and become some sorry bookmaker, or a true pioneer in that mine of truth." - Spedding, Letters and Life, i. 108-109.

[3] Spedding, Letters and Life, i. 234-235, cf. i. 362. This letter, with those to Puckering or Essex and the queen, i. 240-241, should be compared with what is said of them by Macaulay in his Essay on Bacon, and by Campbell, Lives, ii. 287.

[4] See Letters and Life, i. 289, ii. 34.

[5] See Macaulay's Essay on Bacon.

[6] The whole story of Essex is given in Spedding's Letters and Life. It is vigorously told by J. Bruce in the introduction to his Correspondence of James VI. with Sir Robert Cecil (Camden Society, 1861).

[7] See Letters and Life, iv. 177, vi. 38, vii. 116, 117.

[8] In October 1608 he became treasurer of Gray's Inn. The tercentenary was celebrated in 1908.

[9] Letters and Life, iv. 380.

[10] Ibid. iv. 365-373.

[11] Ibid. iv. 375-378.

[12] Ibid. v. 81-83.

[13] Not to be confounded with any of those of the same name who held the title of Baron St John of Bletsho (see Dict. of Nat. Biog. vol. 1. p. 150 ad fin.).

[14] Circa 1554-1616; educated at Cambridge; ordained priest 1581; vicar of Ridge, Herts, 1581; rector of Hinton St George, Somerset, 1587; eventually condemned to death at the Taunton Assizes (7th August 1615). The sentence was not carried out, and Peacham is said to have died in gaol (March 1616). See Gardiner's Hist. of England, ii. 272-283; State Trials, ii. 869; Calendar of State Papers (1603-1606); Hallam's Constitutional Hist. i. 343; T. P. Taswell-Langmead, English Constitutional History (5th ed., 1896), p. 425. Nearly all works on constitutional law and history discuss the case.

[15] Letters and Life, v. 101

[16] Ibid. v. 121, n.

[17] Ibid. v. 124.

[18] Macaulay's Essay.

[19] Campbell, Lives, ii. 344.

[20] The mysterious crimes supposed to be concealed under the obscure details of this case have cast a shadow of vague suspicion on all who were concerned in it. The minute examination of the facts by Spedding (Letters and Life, v. 208-347) seems to show that these secret crimes exist nowhere but in the heated imaginations of romantic biographers and historians.