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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 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

Find out more

The Lee Collection

The Lauterpacht Collection

Manuscript & Rare Books Request

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