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of knowledge to which he pointed out the way." Mankind now becamę fixed in their views as to literature and life; and from this period their progression in knowledge and refinement has been rapid and uninterrupted,
Francis Bacon, viscount St. Albans, and high chancellor of England, son of sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the great seal, was born in London, 1560-1, at York-House in the Strand. At the early age of thirteen years, or in 1573, he entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, under the tuition of Dr. John Whit gift, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. Soon after this period, on account of the ex. traordinary maturity of his understanding, his father resolved that he should travel; and he accordingly sent him to France under the inspection of sir Amias Powlett, the queen's ambasador at Paris.
His father dying suddenly, he was unex. pectedly left with a very incompetent fortune, and on his return from France, he entered at Gray's Inn, that by the study of the law, he might supply the deficiency. In 1588, he became reader at Gray's Inn, and from his reputation in this office, he was appointed by the queen, her counsel learned in the law extraordinary. In 1600, he was chosen double reader of Gray's Inn. Towards the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth, he began to distinguish himself as a speaker in the House of Commons, where, by his weight of thought and power of comprehensive survey, he al, ways astonished and often prevailed.
After the death of Elizabeth, he was introduced to her successor, James I, and in 1603, the honour of knighthood was conferred upon him by that prince. The year following, he was constituted by patent one of his majesty's council learned in the law, with a fee of forty pounds a year. The same day, his majesty. granted him, by another patent under the great seal, a pension of sixty pounds a year, for special services received from his brother Anthony Bacon, and himself.
He was married in 1607, to Alice, daughter of Benedict Barnham, Esq. alderinan of London, by whom he had a considerable fortune, but no issue. The same year he was appoint, ed king's solicitor. About four years after,. he obtained the office of judge of the marshall's court; jointly with sir Thomas Vavasor; as also the office of the court of star-chamber, à place of great value. In 1613, he succeeded sir Henry Hobart as attorney general; and about three years after, was sworn of the privy council. On the resignation of the chancellor, lord viscount Brackley, 1616-17, the king presented the great seal to Bacon, when in the 57th year of his age, with the title of lord keeper. He obtained, in 1618; the title of lord high chancellor of England; and about six months after, in the same year, was created baron of Verulam. In the year 1621, the title of viscount St. Albans, was conferred upon him, to which a small pension was annexed out of the customs. · His disgrace fol-. lowed shortly after; by which he was deprived of his high office, for bribery and corruption, amersed in a fine of 40,000l. sent prisoner to the Tower, and declared incapable of any office or employment in the state. After a short confinement, however, he was released; and on the 12th of October, of the same year, the king signed a warrant for his pardon, his parliamentary sentence excepted. Not long before the decease of James I. in 1625,
he obtained a full pardon. He died on the 9th of April, 1626.
I now proceed to a brief account of the works of this great man, which are beyond all comparison the most important in our national literature.
1. During his stay in France, he composed a succinct “ View of the State of Europe," at that time, which his biographer (Mallet) observes, was written when he was only nineteen; and it is very remarkable, that in this juvenile production, the same spirit of philosophy is discoverable which pervades his subsequent writings.
2. In 1596, he finished his "Maxims of the Law," which work, however, was not published till after his death, and is said to have sufered materially from that cause.
3. The next year he published the first part of his “Essays or Councils, Civil and Moral.”
4. In 1598, he wrote his “ History of the Alienation Office,” though it was not published till many years after his death; a work which displays an extensive knowledge of our history and antiquities, and clearly evinces his profound skill in his profession.
15. He has also left a memorial of the reign