Francis Bacon

16th Century British Literature

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Francis Bacon

Bacon, Francis (philosopher) (1561-1626), English philosopher and statesman, one of the pioneers of modern scientific thought.

Bacon was born on January 22, 1561, at York House, in the Strand, London, and educated at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Elected to the House of Commons in 1584, he served until 1614. He wrote letters of sound advice to Elizabeth I, queen of England, but his suggestions were never implemented, and he completely lost favor with the queen in 1593, when he opposed a bill for a royal subsidy. He regained the respect of the court, however, with the accession of James I to the English throne in 1603. Bacon proposed schemes for the union of England and Scotland and recommended measures for dealing with Roman Catholics. For these efforts he was knighted on July 23, 1603, was made a commissioner for the union of Scotland and England, and was given a pension in 1604. His Advancement of Learning was published and presented to the king in 1605. Two years later he was appointed solicitor general.

In the last session of the first Parliament held (February 1611) under James I, the differences between Crown and Commons grew critical, and Bacon took the role of mediator, despite his distrust of James's chief minister, Robert Cecil, 1st earl of Salisbury. On Salisbury's death in 1612,...

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Francis Bacon Books

The Advancement of Learning
The Essays
The New Atlantis
Valerius Terminus of the Interpretation of Nature






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