Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam (15611626)

Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam, the father of the inductive method of scientific inquiry; born in the Strand, London; son of Sir Nicholas Bacon; educated at Cambridge; called to the bar when 21, after study at Gray's Inn; represented successively Taunton, Liverpool, and Ipswich in Parliament; was a favourite with the queen; attached himself to Essex, but witnessed against him at his trial, which served him little; became at last in succession Attorney-General, Privy Councillor, Lord Keeper, and Lord Chancellor; was convicted of venality as a judge, deposed, fined and imprisoned, but pardoned and released; spent his retirement in his favourite studies; his great works were his “Advancement of Learning,” “Novum Organum,” and “De Augmentis Scientiarum,” but is seen to best advantage by the generality in his “Essays,” which are full of practical wisdom and keen observation of life; indeed, these show such shrewdness of wit as to embolden some (see supra) to maintain that the plays named of Shakespeare were written by him (15611626).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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