- NAME: Francis Bacon
- OCCUPATION: Academic, Lawyer, Political Leader, Scientist, Academic Author
- BIRTH DATE: January 22, 1561
- DEATH DATE: April 09, 1626
- EDUCATION: Trinity College, Honourable Society of Gray's Inn
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, England
- AKA: 1st Viscount Saint Alban
- AKA: Sir Francis Bacon
- Full Name: Francis Bacon
Best Known For
Francis Bacon was an English Renaissance statesman and philosopher, best known for his promotion the scientific method.
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Francis Bacon was born on January 22, 1561 in London, England. Bacon served as attorney general and Lord Chancellor of England, resigning amid charges of corruption. His more valuable work was philosophical. Bacon took up Aristotelian ideas, arguing for an empirical, inductive approach, known as the scientific method, which is the foundation of modern scientific inquiry.
"To be ignorant of causes is to be frustrated in action."
"The sovereignty of man lieth hid in knowledge."
"Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other."
Statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon was born in London on January 22, 1561. His father, Sir Nicolas Bacon, was Lord Keeper of the Seal. His mother, Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, was his father's second wife and daughter to Sir Anthony Cooke, a humanist who was Edward VI's tutor. Francis Bacon’s mother was also the sister-in-law of Lord Burghley.
The younger of Sir Nicholas and Lady Anne's two sons, Francis Bacon began attending Trinity College, Cambridge, in April 1573, when he was 11 years old. He completed his course of study at Trinity in December 1575. The following year, Bacon enrolled in a law program at Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, the school his brother Anthony attended. Finding the curriculum at Gray's Inn stale and old fashioned, Bacon later called his tutors "men of sharp wits, shut up in their cells if a few authors, chiefly Aristotle, their dictator." Bacon favored the new Renaissance humanism over Aristotelianism and scholasticism, the more traditional schools of thought in England at the time.
A year after he enrolled at Gray's Inn, Bacon left school to work under Sir Amyas Paulet, British ambassador to France, during his mission in Paris. Two and a half years later, he was forced to abandon the mission prematurely and return to England when his father died unexpectedly. His meager inheritance left him broke. Bacon turned to his uncle, Lord Burghley, for help in finding a well-paid post as a government official, but Bacon’s uncle shot him down. Still just a teen, Francis Bacon was scrambling to find a means of earning a decent living.
Fortunately for Bacon, in 1581, he landed a job as a member for Cornwall in the House of Commons. Bacon was also able to return to Gray's Inn and complete his education. By 1582, he was appointed the position of outer barrister. Bacon's political career took a big leap forward in 1584, when he composed A Letter of Advice to Queen Elizabeth, his very first political memorandum.
Bacon held his place in Parliament for nearly four decades, from 1584 to 1617, during which time he was extremely active in politics, law and the royal court. In 1603, three years before he married heiress Alice Barnham, Bacon was knighted upon James I's ascension to the British throne. He continued to work his way swiftly up the legal and political ranks, achieving solicitor general in 1607 and attorney general six years later. In 1616, his career peaked when he was invited to join the Privy Council. Just a year later, he reached the same position of his father, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. In 1618, Bacon surpassed his father's achievements when he was promoted to the lofty title of Lord Chancellor, one of the highest political offices in England.
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