Biography of Sir Francis Bacon

Portrait of Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon was an Elizabethan scholar and statesman.

When and Where was he Born?

22nd January 1561, York House, The Strand, London, England.

Family Background:

Francis Bacon was the youngest son by second marriage of Queen Elizabeth First’s statesman Sir Nicholas Bacon.


Trinity College, Cambridge at the age of twelve. Gray’s Inn, London to study law.

Timeline of Francis Bacon:

1582: Bacon becomes a barrister.

1584: He takes up his seat in parliament in the House of Commons but his opposition to Queen Elizabeth the First’s taxation plans means that he is not promoted.

1601: He becomes one of the Prosecutors of the Earl of Essex even though he had originally been one of his supporters.

1603: Bacon is knighted by the new King, King James the First.

Sir Francis Bacon statue
Statue of Francis Bacon on the rear facade of the 
Royal Academy in London (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1607: He is appointed Solicitor General.

1613: He becomes Attorney General.

1617: He marries Alice Barnham. He is appointed Lord Keeper.

1618: Bacon becomes Lord Chancellor.

1621: He is raised to the Peerage as Lord Verulam of Verulam and then created Viscount St Albans. He had been well known for accepting bribes at law and when he is accused of accepting a bribe from one of his current litigants, he admits his guilt. He is stripped of all his public offices and goes into retirement. Bacon’s philosophical writings, however, continue to be influential. In particular he is noted for his theory that the only knowledge of importance to man is that empirically rooted in nature. He formed the principles of inductive thinking which were a continuation of the work of Aristotle and which paved the way for modern scientific theories based on analysis of natural processes.

When and Where did he Die?

9th April 1626, London, England. He caught a chill after experimenting with the refrigeration of food by snow and died of pneumonia.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1594:  “Gesta Gragorum”.
1597:  “The Colours of Good and Evil”.
1605:  “The Advancement of Learning”.
1620:  “Novum Organum”.
1622: “Historia Naturalis et Experimentalis. “History of the Reign of King Henry the Seventh.”
1623:   “De Augmentis Scientarum”.
1624:  “Apothegms”
1625:  “Slyva Sylvanum” (including New Atlantis).
(1630): “Maxims of the Law”. “Elements of the Common Laws of England”.
(1642): “Reading on the Statute of Uses”.


1617 to Alice Barnham.

Site of Grave:

St. Michael’s Church, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.

Places of Interest:


Gray’s Inn.