F Heritage History - Products

Francis Bacon

1561–1626

Francis Bacon
BACON WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A GENTLEMAN OF THE HOUSEHOLD WHO WAS READY TO SET DOWN HIS THOUGHTS.
Sir Francis Bacon was a very influential minister in the government of James I, a well-respected barrister, Lord Chancellor of England, and a prolific writer on a variety of philosophical topics. He was extremely influential in his own age, and in later years, and is often identified as being associated with the early years of the "Enlightenment" in Europe.

It is difficult to describe the influence of Bacon without a background in philosophy and a knowledge of what the leading ideas and beliefs were of the age in which he lived. We now take for granted many of the ideas that Bacon first proposed, such as the importance of scientific investigation. Bacon wrote in the late middle ages, before any of the heroes of 17th century science, such as Galileo, Newton, or Descartes had appeared on the scene. In his era, scholars typically studied math, languages, and classics, and memorized what little scientific knowledge was already known, but did not consider that it was their calling to actually investigate the physical world, or test their ideas against actual observation. The entire rationalist approach to objective scientific inquiry was not particularly thought of yet, but Bacon made an early argument for it, along with numerous other philosophical ideas.

In Bacon's time, ideas of religious truth, revelation, authority, and the purpose of education was so different from modern ideas that he did not propose his ideas in a manner in which modern readers can easily understand. Even so, he was a highly influential character in the evolution of western thought.


Key events during the life of Sir Francis Bacon:


Year
Event
1561
Birth of Francis Bacon
1573
Attended Trinity college at Cambridge.
1576
Studied in France
1579
Returned to England on death of father.
  Studied Law at Gray's Inn
1584
Elected to Parliament.
1597
Published first collection of Essays.
1605
Published first Philosophical Treaties, Advancement of Learning.
1607
Solicitor-General in James I's government.
1617
Lord Chancellor under James I.
1620
Published second Philosophical Treaties, Novum Organum.
1623
Published third Philosophical Treaties, De Augmentus Scientiarum.
1626
Death of Francis Bacon

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Roger Bacon  in  Stories of the Great Scientists  by  Charles R. Gibson
Bacon—New Ways of Wisdom  in  English Literature for Boys and Girls  by  H. E. Marshall
Lord Bacon  in  Story Lives of Great Scientists  by  F. J. Rowbotham


Image Links

Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
 in Back Matter

Bacon was generally accompanied by a gentleman of the household, who was ready to set down his thoughts.
 in English Literature for Boys and Girls

Francis Bacon
 in Story Lives of Great Scientists

Stopping occasionally to gaze absently through the dusty panes
 in Story Lives of Great Scientists

Her young Lord Keeper
 in Story Lives of Great Scientists

Statue of Sir Francis Bacon, Gray's Inn
 in Story Lives of Great Scientists


Contemporary
Short Biography
James I First Stuart king of England. Intelligent and competent, but unable to work effectively with Parliament.
William Shakespeare Greatest dramatist in the history of the English language.
Galileo Galilei Promoted Heliocentric theory against pressure from the Pope. Invented the telescope.
Guido of Arezzo Italian monk credited with inventing modern musical notation and techniques for memorizing tunes such as "do-re-mi" mnemonics.
Guido of Arezzo Italian monk credited with inventing modern musical notation and techniques for memorizing tunes such as "do-re-mi" mnemonics.
Guido of Arezzo Italian monk credited with inventing modern musical notation and techniques for memorizing tunes such as "do-re-mi" mnemonics.
Guido of Arezzo Italian monk credited with inventing modern musical notation and techniques for memorizing tunes such as "do-re-mi" mnemonics.