Black and White Frontispiece image of Francis Bacon with reproduction of his signatureSir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Francis Bacon, was an English philosopher and statesman and one of the Inn’s most celebrated members. A full biography and timeline of his life can be found in the History section of the Inn’s website.

The Francis Bacon Collection

The Library holds a substantial collection of the works of Francis Bacon with many items in the first edition. In addition to Bacon’s own works there are a number of historical and critical studies addressing Bacon’s cipher and the Baconian theory of Shakespearian authorship.

View a complete list of the Francis Bacon Collection (PDF)

The advancement of learning... by BaconThe Essayes or cuvnsels civill and morall...by Bacon

Life and Work of Francis Bacon

  • Attended Trinity College, Cambridge – 1573
  • Joined Gray’s Inn – 1576
  • Sat in Parliament for the first time for Bossiney, Cornwall – 1581
  • Called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn – 1582
  • Argued in parliament for the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots – 1586-87
  • Raised to Bencher of Gray’s Inn – 1586
  • Elected as Reader proper at Gray’s Inn – 1587
  • Served as Dean of the Chapel at Gray’s Inn – 1589-90Picture of Bacon book with chain and metal bosses
  • Began development of ‘The Walks’ at Gray’s Inn – 1590s
  • Argued his first two cases in the court of King’s Bench and one in the court of Exchequer – 1594
  • Elected double Reader at Gray’s Inn – 1600
  • Awarded knighthood by James I – 1603
  • Promoted to Solicitor-General – 1607
  • Made Treasurer of Gray’s Inn – 1608-17
  • Awarded the position of Attorney-General – 1613
  • Sworn in to the Privy Council – 1616
  • Appointed Lord Privy Seal – 1617
  • Appointed Lord Chancellor and raised to the peerage as Baron Verulam of Verulam – 1618
  • Created Viscount St Alban – 1621
  • Died on 9 April – 1626
  • Statue of Bacon, by F. W. Pomeroy erected in South Square, Gray’s Inn – 1912

Selected works by Bacon:

(Electronic versions provided via the Internet Archive and are not exact facsimiles of the editions held by the Library)

Image of books by Bacon on shelving trolley

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The Lee Collection

The Lauterpacht Collection

Manuscript & Rare Books Request

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