(born Jan. 22, 1561, London, Eng.died April 9, 1626, London) British statesman and philosopher, father of modernscientific method. He studied at Cambridge and at Gray's Inn. A supporter of the Earl of Essex, Bacon turned against him when Essex was tried for treason. Under James I he rose steadily, becoming successively solicitor general (1607), attorney general (1613), and lord chancellor (1618). Convicted of accepting bribes from those being tried in his court, he was briefly imprisoned and permanently lost his public offices; he died deeply in debt. He attempted to put natural science on a firm empirical foundation in the Novum Organum (1620), which sets forth his scientific method. His elaborate classification of the sciences inspired the 18th-century French Encyclopedists ( Encyclopdie), and his empiricism inspired 19th-century British philosophers of science. His other works include The Advancement of Learning (1605), History of Henry VII (1622), and several important legal and constitutional works.
For more information on Francis Bacon, Viscount St. Albans, visit Britannica.com.
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Oxford Dictionary of British History:
Home > Library > History, Politics & Society > British History
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam, 1st Viscount St Albans (1561-1626). Lawyer, philosopher, and essayist. The son of a prominent lawyer, Bacon went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and then to the Inns of Court. In 1584 he became an MP. On the accession of James I, Bacon achieved rapid promotion, prosecuting Ralegh, raised to the peerage, and ending up as lord chancellor. But in 1621 he was convicted of taking bribes, and though soon...