Principal Dates In The Life Of Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

1561Born, 22 January, at York House in the Strand, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Seal, and Anne Cooke (his 2nd wife). Bacon was the youngest of 8 children, 6 of whom were by Sir Nicholas's 1st marriage
73April. Attends Trinity College, Cambridge, with his elder brother, Anthony
76 June. Admitted to Gray's Inn (again with Anthony). September. Goes to Paris with Sir Amias Paulet, ambassador to France
79 February. His father dies, and (in June) he returns to England. Left with only a small inheritance, he is forced to seek a career in the law. Anthony Bacon sets out on a long tour of the continent.
82 June. Admitted Utter Barrister at Gray's Inn.
84 November. 1st appearance in Parliament, representing Melcombe Regis in Dorset (He remains in the Commons, representing various constituencies, until 1618, when he is made a peer.)
85 Writes Advice to Queen Elizabeth, concerned chiefly with the recusants, and The Greatest Birth of Time.
86 Becomes a Bencher of Gray's Inn.
92 Writes four speeches for an entertainment, A Conference of Pleasure, celebrating Queen Elizabeth's accession day. Anthony Bacon returns from abroad and notes that his brother is 'bound and in deep arrearages' to Robert, Earl of Essex.
93 In Parliament, speaks against a government proposal for subsidies, and as a consequence is forbidden to come into the Queen's presence. With support from Essex, he begins his (unsuccessful) petition for the offices of Attorney —and then Solicitor-General.
94 Writes six speeches for the Gray's Inn Christmas masque Gesta Grayorum. Begins to compile Formularies and Elegancies, a notebook of quotations and ideas; and writes legal and state pieces.
95 Essex gives Bacon an estate (Twickenham) to console him on his failure to gain office. Writes part of the device presented by Essex to celebrate the Queen's accession day (Of Love and Self-Love).
96 Advises Fulke Greville on his studies and the Earl of Rutland on his travels.
97 Publishes the Essays, with Colours of Good and Evil and Meditationes Sacrae. Writes Maxims of the Law. Proposes marriage to Lady Hatton, who refuses and then marries his rival and enemy, Sir Edward Coke.
98 Arrested for debt, but soon released. Writes a pamphlet about a Jesuit conspiracy against the Queen.
1600 June. Takes part in proceedings against Essex after the Irish debacle (in which the Earl, close to defeat by the Irish, abandoned his command and returned to England without the Queen's permission) July. Offers his services to Essex, a fortnight after the Earl has been released but not restored to the Queen's favour.
01 February. Essex is arraigned after his rebellion and executed as a traitor. Bacon assists the prosecution in his trial, and publishes a Declaration of the Earl's crimes. May. Anthony Bacon dies. Mortgages Twickenham Park.
03 After Elizabeth's death, tries (unsuccessfully) to obtain King James's favour. July. Knighted at Windsor, along with three hundred others. Deeply in debt, he is assisted by Sir Robert Cecil (later Lord Salisbury). Writes Valerius Terminus of the Interpretation of Nature, Temporis Partus Masculus (The Masculine Birth of Time), and De Interpretatione Naturae Proaemium (Preface to 'Of the Interpretation of Nature'). Begins work on a series of writings about the union of England and Scotland.
04 Publishes Apology in certain imputations concerning the late Earl of Essex. August. Appointed King's Counsel.
05 Publishes The Advancement of Learning.
06 May. Marries Alice Barnham, the daughter of a rich London alderman. There are no children of this marriage.
07 Writes Cogita et Visa (Thoughts and Conclusions). June. Appointed Solicitor-General.
08Writes Redargutio Philosophiarum (The Refutation of Philosophies) and short historical pieces.
09 Publishes De Sapientia Veterum (Of the Wisdom of the Ancients).
10His mother dies, several years after losing her wits. Devises plans for a history of Great Britain, and in Parliament speaks for the King's right to impose taxes.
12 Publishes second edition of the Essays, enlarged and revised. Writes Descriptio Globi Intellectualis and Thema Coeli (Description of the Intellectual Globe and Theory of the Heaven).
13 October. Appointed Attorney-General. Provides an expensive masque for the wedding of the King's favourite, Robert, Earl of Somerset. Writes against duels.
16Helps to prosecute Somerset for the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. Writes a letter of advice to the new favourite, George Villiers (later Duke of Buckingham). June. Made a Privy Councillor.
17 March. Appointed Lord Keeper. In and out of favour with the King and Buckingham for opposing them.
18 January. Appointed Lord Chancellor. July. Created Baron Verulam.
20 Publishes Novum Organum (The New Organon) as the first part of the (uncompleted) Instauratio Magna (The Great Instauration).
21 January. Created Viscount St Albans. May. Sentenced by the House of Lords for taking bribes. Dismissed from the office of Chancellor. Fined and imprisoned briefly, he receives a limited pardon, and retains his title. Retires to his family home at Gorhambury.
22Publishes History of Henry VII, and (in monthly instalments) part of his proposed Natural History. Writes an Advertisement touching an Holy War.
23 Publishes De Augmentis Scientiarum, a much enlarged Latin version of The Advancement of Learning. Tries (in vain) to be made Provost of Eton.
24 Writes New Atlantis, and publishes Apophthegms and a translation of some of the Psalms. Desperately short of money.
25Publishes the third edition of the Essays, again enlarged and revised.
26April 9, Dies at Highgate, over £20,000 in debt. Less than three weeks later his widow marries one of his servants.
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