About Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), son of Nicholas Bacon by his second wife Anne (Cooke) Bacon, was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Although his political career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific revolution. Indeed, his dedication may have brought him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments.

His works established and popularized an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method or simply, the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

Bacon was knighted in 1603, created Baron Verulam in 1618, and Viscount St Alban in 1621; without heirs, both peerages became extinct upon his death.

The patronage in his life

Francis Bacon became England’s leading law officer because of influence exerted by his patron, George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham. Many people assumed that Bacon also became a Privy Councilor and Lord Chancellor because of his patron.

Buckingham’s support had a down-side: the Duke had many political enemies and, naturally, an enemy of Buckingham was an enemy of Bacon. Thus, when the political climate changed, Bacon’s public career ended in ignominy.

After his fall from grace, Bacon devoted himself to study and writing, which yielded far more valuable work than anything he had accomplished in office. In 1625, he wrote fifty-eight pieces for a book entitled Essays, dedicated to his former patron.

The essayes or covnsels, civill and morall

Published in 1625, Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral provides dispassionate observation of human life and powerfully expressed moral judgments. Bacon focuses on the ethical, political, and historical influences on human behavior and records observations on such diverse topics as beauty, deformity, fortune, adversity, truth, marriage, and atheism. Based on the Oxford Authors series, this edition contains substantial annotation and notes on Bacon's rich vocabulary.

[Source: Wikipedia]


Francis Bacon