The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors

By Alan Hager | Go to book overview

Francis Bacon
(1561-1626)

JULIE ROBIN SOLOMON


BIOGRAPHY

Francis Bacon was a Renaissance Englishman of many parts; he served his turn as lawyer, judge, political theorist, statesman, natural philosopher, essayist, historian, rhetorician, and utopianist. He was eminent, however, not only in his ability to forecast the role that empirical science and technology would play in modern European society; he could also conceive a nascent scientific methodology and comprehend the politics and placement of its working institution within the framework of an English monarchy increasingly intertwined with the contributions, needs, and oscillations of mercantile capitalism. The youngest son of Queen Elizabeth's Lord Keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Francis was born with great political prospects. Nicholas Bacon, a well-respected jurist, served Queen Elizabeth alongside his brother-in-law, Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth's Lord Treasurer and principal minister. Francis's mother, Anne Cooke, was Nicholas's second wife. She was the daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke who tutored Edward VI and sister of Cecil's wife Mildred. Both sisters were capable in Greek, Latin, French, and Italian. Anne was a Puritan, to whom Theodore Beza, Calvin's successor in Geneva, dedicated his Meditations. Diligently and frequently, she chastised her sons, Anthony and Francis, for neglecting their prayers. While Sir Nicholas Bacon was an architect and defender of Elizabeth's moderate Anglicanism, Lady Bacon directed her sons, with little success, toward a rabid Calvinism.

Following in his father's footsteps, Francis, age twelve, attended Cambridge, where, according to his chaplain and first biographer, Dr. William Rawley, he first came to dislike Aristotelian philosophy in its scholastic form. In 1576, after two and a half years at the university, he was admitted to the study of law at Gray's Inn in London. Later in the same year, he interrupted his legal studies to accompany Sir Amias Paulet on a diplomatic mission to France. Bacon was recalled home after three years' residence in France because of his father's sudden death. Unfortunately, Sir Nicholas had not yet made adequate financial provisions for his youngest son at the time of his

-19-

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The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Timeline of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors xvii
  • (1672-1719) 1
  • (1555-1626) 6
  • (1666-1731) 10
  • (1626-1697) 14
  • (1561-1626) 19
  • Bibliography 23
  • (1640?-1689) 25
  • (1649-1708) 29
  • (1627-1691) 32
  • Bibliography 38
  • (1612-1672) 39
  • Bibliography 41
  • (1605-1682) 42
  • Bibliography 47
  • (1628-1688) 48
  • (1577-1640) 53
  • (1612/1613-1680) 57
  • Bibliography 60
  • (1567-1620) 61
  • Bibliography 64
  • (C. 1595-1639) 65
  • (C. 1585-1639) 68
  • (1623-1673) 71
  • Bibliography 73
  • (1559?-1634) 74
  • (1656-1710) 78
  • Bibliography 80
  • (1613-1658) 81
  • (1653-1713) 85
  • (1618-1667) 89
  • Bibliography 92
  • (C. 1613-1649) 93
  • Bibliography 96
  • (1599-1658) 98
  • (1606-1668) 103
  • (1658-1734) 109
  • Bibliography 111
  • (1572-1631) 112
  • (1563-1631) 118
  • Bibliography 121
  • (1631-1700) 122
  • (1608-1666) 128
  • (1661-1720) 133
  • Bibliography 136
  • (1582-1650) 137
  • (1586-1639?) 139
  • (1563-1639 and 1593-1652/1653) 144
  • Bibliography 146
  • (1554-1628) 147
  • Bibliography 157
  • (1578-1657) 158
  • (1593-1633) 162
  • (1591-1674) 167
  • (1588-1679) 172
  • (1572/1573-1637) 181
  • (1660-1685) 187
  • (1666-1727) 191
  • (C. 1634-1693) 194
  • (1569?-1645) 198
  • (1615-1657) 202
  • Bibliography 205
  • (1632-1704) 206
  • (1618-1657) 216
  • Bibliography 218
  • (1672?-1724) 219
  • Bibliography 222
  • (1621-1678) 223
  • Bibliography 226
  • (1583-1640) 228
  • Bibliography 231
  • (1580-1627) 232
  • (1608-1674) 237
  • (1652-1685) 244
  • (1633-1703) 248
  • (1632-1694) 253
  • Bibliography 258
  • (1659-1695) 260
  • Bibliography 265
  • (1686-1758) 267
  • (1606-1669) 270
  • Bibliography 273
  • (1647-1680) 274
  • (C. 1637-1711) 280
  • (1577-1640) 283
  • (C. 1642-1692) 287
  • (1671-1713) 292
  • (1564-1616) 296
  • (1632-1677) 312
  • (1608/1609-1642) 316
  • (1652-1715) 320
  • Bibliography 323
  • (1578-1653) 324
  • (1575?-1626) 328
  • (1636?-1674) 332
  • (1599-1641) 336
  • Bibliography 339
  • (1621?-1695) 340
  • (1599-1660) 344
  • (1632-1675) 348
  • (1606-1687) 352
  • Bibliography 354
  • (1579?-1633?) 355
  • (1568-1635) 360
  • (1641-1715) 365
  • List of Authors by Birth Year 373
  • Selected General Bibliography 377
  • Index 379
  • About the Editor and Contributors 389
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