Talk:Francis Bacon/Archive 2

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"In the Parliament of 1586 he took a prominent part in urging the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. About this time he seems again to have approached his powerful uncle, the result of which may possibly be traced in his rapid progress at the Bar, and in his receiving, in 1589, the reversion to the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, a valuable appointment, into the enjoyment of which, however, he did not enter until 1608. "


"In the Parliament of 1586 he took a prominent part in urging the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. About this time he seems again to have approached his powerful uncle, the result of which may possibly be traced in his rapid progress at the bar, and in his receiving, in 1589, the reversion to the Clerkship of the Star Chamber, a valuable appointment, the enjoyment of which, however, he did not enter into until 1608."

The edit that added these lines happened 23:22, 2 May 2005 by Pwqn. From the talk page it seems to be safe to assume that the text appeared on the other site first. (talk) 05:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Alternative View of Bacon's plans for Utopia

My proposed material may be controversial, factual as it is. I was wondering if anybody had any input. Perhaps my register is too judgmental. My text reads:

..."However, a year prior to the release of New Atlantis, Bacon published an essay that reveals a version of himself not often seen in history: one who was racist, elitist, and to use a modern term, genocidal.refThis essay, a lesser-known work entitled, "An Advertisement Touching an Holy War," advocated the elimination of those who Bacon saw to be detrimental to society: the Caliban (West Indians), Canaanites, pirates, land rovers, assassins, Amazons, and Anabaptists. Bacon compared the destruction of these detrimental societal elements by the English to the endeavors of Hercules while establishing civilized society in ancient Greece. Bacon wrote the essay in response to the growing rift between King and Parliament, suggesting that the only "chance of healing the growing breach was to engage the country in some popular quarrel abroad." He saw the "extirpation and debellating of giants, monsters, and foreign tyrants, not only as lawful, but as meritorious, even divine honour..." Hence his proposed genocide was sanctioned by God, but only so long as those targeted were not Protestant and did belong to a nation in either the political or the ethnic sense of the word. His proposed targets were the basest of society, the most lowly, impoverished, and oftentimes most incapable of defending themselves. Thus Bacon's utopian dream as delineated in "New Atlantis" was made possible through the genocide of many groups whose ideals were different than those of Bacon and his fellow countrymen.

It may be argued that Bacon published this essay as a way to regain his social standing after his previous bribery scandals which culminated in his humiliation and brief imprisonment. He did not, however, ever recant the views expressed therein and the essay reveals the attitudes held by Bacon and many other English officials of the time (especially those involved in mercantile industries, the Royal Navy, and colonization) that indigenous populations were expendable and and racially inferior to the English and other European peoples."...

Source: Linebaugh, Peter, and Marcus Rediker. The Many Headed Hydra. Boston: Beacon P, 2000. 36-70.

I noticed that the information on his posthumous reputation was merged into the "Works" section a few months ago... this seems a fitting section (I wrote it to fit after the paragraph on "New Atlantis") for whatever version of the above passes review. I'm also weak on formatting... any help in that field would be greatly appreciated. - NMaston (talk) 08:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd be a bit careful - it looks a bit like Swift's "A Modest Proposal" - even in Bacon's time, writers were capable of sarcasm. And as you've presented your argument here, it amounts to original research, which is the Wiki equivalent of original sin - you'll need a secondary source giving this assessment of the work, not your own. PiCo (talk) 08:29, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
The above points were taken from The Many Headed Hydra and their assessment of Bacon's intentions in writing the essay. On a second reading, the final sentence of the first paragraph and the entire second paragraph may be taking the point too far and those points aren't explicitly mentioned in Linebaugh and Rediker's work. If those were eliminated though, and the secondary source cited, I think the addition would be acceptable. NMaston (talk) 03:48, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Try using the formulation "Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker have argued that..." - you're giving a picture of Bacon very much at odds with the usual one, and you'll get a better reception if you make clear at the front that your source is respectable. PiCo (talk) 06:48, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips. I've posted what I think follows Wiki guidelines. NMaston (talk) 08:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Archiving talk

I've moved practically all the Talk page to the current archive (i.e., pasted it in). Probably moved too much in fact - if anyone thinks this is so, please just enter the archive and cut and paste back to here. PiCo (talk) 13:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Intro rework

The first line states "Indeed, according to John Aubrey, his dedication may have brought him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments." I'm not sure I like the "Indeed, according to...may have...rare group." It just seems kind of sketchy to me, but I don't have enough knowledge of what happened with Bacon or Aubrey's connection to rephrase it myself. PabloSus86 (talk) 01:38, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


From this article, I would have liked to meet Bacon.

Edmund Peacham was a reverend who wrote a sermon directed against James I. He did not hold the sermon. He did not intent to hold it. It was an accident that it was made public. Bacon believed others might have led Edmund to write this sermon. James I wanted names. At that time, torture was forbidden at common law. Bacon knew it. But he found a way around it - the royal prerogative. Under it the common law was circumvented. Edmund was put on the rack. Then Skevington's irons compressed his body and so forced blood out of the nose and ears. Bacon was one of the interrogators. When no evidence of collaborators could be found, Bacon charged Edmund with high treason. To ensure judgement Bacon spoke in person with the High Court judges. Chief Justice Coke denied auricular taking of opinions. After all it was not a practice in English law, not then - not now. The other judges agreed to give advice. Peachman was found guilty and sentenced to death.

From these facts, I am certain that I would not have liked to meet Bacon. (talk) 00:58, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Magna Carta / Due Process of Law

According to Francis Bacon was the first to try to use clause 39 to guarantee due process in a trial. Nevertheless, I don't see any information in this article regarding this trial, the outcome, etc. Please add this information, if possible. (talk) 21:39, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Homosexuality discussion in the article

Regarding the homosexuality discussion in the article, I've restored the consensus version developed after extensive discussion with many editors from 11 June 2007 through 3 December 2007. Arion 3x3 (talk) 23:33, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

You need to look over your "restoration" carefully, since one of the things you did was (re-)create a reference to the year 2659. Aleta Sing 23:44, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for catching that Aleta. I've corrected it back to 1576. (I have no idea when that date was tampered with). Arion 3x3 (talk) 00:45, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
No telling! Aleta Sing 00:54, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the discussion was engaged in by a of number of editors repeatedly last year until a consensus version was reached. I see no reason to rehash the same issues.Sage 1133 (talk) 20:56, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Please provide link showing a "consensus" as being referenced above. I have restored a version that is not "sanitized" but acknowledges what legitimate scholars (such as Rowse, etc.) have said about Bacon's personal life and the fact that it is disputed by other scholars.Smatprt ([[User

talk:Smatprt|talk]]) 06:10, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

For link, go to the archived discussion. This issue was covered in many entries there. End result, the article represents a consensus view. That doesn't mean that the discussion is over forever, but before changing the article, reasons for the change should be proposed here first to see if there is agreement. I suggest that if you want to get consensus on further change, you should avoid going over the same arguments that were discussed before, as these are unlikely to win support. JKW111 (talk) 11:46, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

To examine the details of how consensus was reached on how to handle this issue in the article, reach the archives from from 11 June 2007 through 3 December 2007. Arion 3x3 (talk) 14:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I have looked at this archive and the supposed 'consensus' reached really does strike me as rather odd. It seems that we are not allowed to add any evidence to the text either in support of Bacon's homosexuality or to refute it. Instead we have to be content with a short vague sentence in order to sweep the whole issue under the carpet. Yet we are seemingly content to accept much longer sections of text dealing with Bacon's heterosexual extra-marital affairs (where the evidence must be on arguably shaky grounds). Are some contributors embarassed by it all? I do have to wonder. Contaldo80 (talk) 14:36, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Contaldo80. It seems the consensus was reached only by those that want the whole thing swept under the rug. Why are ouo all so ashamed of a talented accomplished person who happens to be homosexual (or bisexual)? I also agree that the "consensus" editors have a double standard when it comes to hetero activities - even supposed affairs. And, incredibly, you give more wait to Shakespeare Authorship matters and surmises about his parenthood. Are you all just homophobic? How do you defend this kind of editing Smatprt (talk) 15:47, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Accusations of homophobia against other editors are not helpful. We went through all the arguments in great detail in 2007 regarding how much space to devote to this question. Unlike the solid evidence for the homosexuality of King James, there is no evidence regarding Bacon (only wild conjecture by a couple recent authors). The consensus was reached in December of 2007 as to a summary statement. Arion 3x3 (talk) 01:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I for one was initially certain of the homosexualty claims, but after discussion here last year was persuaded that the current text is appropriate (and Im not one to be easily persuaded to change my mind). At the same time, the text of the heterosexual relationships was also cut down substantially. I am certainly not homophobic, indeed the opposite, but I am interested in wikipedia articles that are based on verifiable facts. JKW111 (talk) 02:14, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, here are 2 editors who think the sections have been made vague and that a double standard is being applied, and 2 editors who do not. It appears that the "consensus" has changed. Calling the work of modern scholars "wild conjecture" is so over the top that one has to wonder about the motives involved here.Smatprt (talk) 03:04, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Is not "Parentage Theories" the most "wild conjecture" in the article? Followed closely by the Shakespeare section? How do you defend keeping those section titles (and long sections) but not the ones added by Contaldo80?Smatprt (talk) 03:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

It's wild conjecture to attempt to determine anyone's personal life and motives hundreds of years later; how do you know the motives of those who make these conjectures? As Jack Webb used to say just the facts. I say we stick with what we know, and leave the article as is...since when is it the purpose of any biography to wander into territory that may or may not be true? If there's some issue you have with parentage theories or Shakespeare, go for it. But when it comes to this, move on.Sage 1133 (talk) 05:48, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Sage 1133 - I see you have but two contributions to Wikipedia - both on this page in the last 2 days. Are you new to these pages? Smatprt (talk) 06:05, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

As far as I can see there can only be 3 objections to changes to the text to draw out the homosexual aspect:

(i) Concern that all contributions to the article are properly sourced and referenced (with particular worry that the attributions to Aubrey are shaky). If this is the case then it is commendable, and we need to examine how robust the sources are. However, I would expect contributors to therefore assess all of the text in the whole article and make sure it can be backed up - for example, Bacon and Maguirette falling in love "at first sight" seems to be conjecture. As well as the others references to the occult and freemasonry. Can we be consistent please;

(ii) Concern that all textual additions that refer to Bacon's homosexuality are particularly referenced and substantiated. This takes the view that calling someone homosexual is a very strong statement that requires additional evidence then calling them heterosexual. This, of course, assumes that heterosexuality represents normative behaviour, and does not on the whole have to be 'proved', but can be accepted at face value;

(iii) Concern to avoid any suggestion that Bacon might have exhibited homosexual behaviour (either physical or emotional attachment) - as that 'offends' an individual's personal historical view of Bacon. I think we can agree that such an approach is not in keeping with the spirit of Wikipedia, and has no place here.

I don't think it is sufficient to hark back to a 'consensus' position as if that should shut down debate. I don't doubt that the consensus of opinion in 17th century Italy was that the sun went round the earth, but that didn't mean that Galileo's opinions weren't ultimately valid. We should not expect earlier historians to have dealt with Bacon's sexuality at any great length - to many it would have been a distasteful subject, best avoided. But in 2008 we have a different view of historical analysis - to many people, understanding Bacon's sexuality helps us to understand Bacon the man. Contaldo80 (talk) 12:39, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

These are not the objections. Currently the article points out that some writers thought he was homosexual while others doubted that conclusion. This is all we know for certain. The article includes references for readers who might wish to examine the arguments further and make up their own mind. Unless you have some new evidence that he was homosexual, then it is not for this article to weigh up the different positions of authors try to find the correct answer. i understand that some people think further material should be included explaining the original sources that have led to the homosexual conclusion (indeed this was my initial argument last year), but to do so, and maintain wikipedia's policy on neutral point of view, would also require additional text explaining why the original sources are doubtful. and there is a lot more academic work on the doubtfulness of the original sources than on their few statements that actually refer to Bacon. If you want to add additional text, try to add detail to both sides of the argument, not just the one you think is true. As for veracity and detail of other parts of the article, feel free to propose alternatives if you think they can be improved. A previous consensus does not mean an issue is closed, but it does mean that any changes to the article are likely to be reverted if done without discussion here first. Convince people of the need for change, and then it can happen. So far, this debate has been about whether or not consensus is needed rather than actually setting out reasons for changing the text. JKW111 (talk) 13:12, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

FYI: In reference to the question if I'm new to the debate, does it matter? Isn't anyone allowed to contribute? If you must know, I contributed quite often under Sage 1224 several months ago, got a new laptop, and it wouldn't let me sign on, so a new name for a new season; I look at this like a court case; the first decision was made in a lower court and is now being tried again. The evidence must be impeccable, not based on conjecture or biasSage 1133 (talk) 17:40, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

When I chose "wild conjecture" to characterize the lack of evidence as to Bacon's purported homosexuality, I was not exagerating. Alan Bray's book Homosexuality in Renaissance England is one such work. For example, Bray makes the outlandish claim that male servants were male prostitutes, and since Francis Bacon had male servants, he must have been having sexual relations with them! Here is an actual quote from page 54 of Bray's book:
"There is though a further form of homosexual prostitution which it is possible to distinguish, and there are parallels with heterosexual prostitution here also: the young man living in a household, nominally with the status of a servant but haying a relationship with the master of the household with strong overtones of prostitution. This might be a matter of no more than a few days, as in John Marston's description of the sodomite whose personal servant — apparently a page — is really a prostitute who has been 'closely' i.e. secretly hired:
"But ho, what Ganymede is that doth grace
"The gallant's heels, one who for two days' space Is closely hired?
"It might also be a matter lasting weeks, months, or even years. This is presumably part of what Middleton, Brathwaite and Wilmot, quoted earlier in a different context, had in mind; their pages and 'private parasites' seem to have been prostitutes, albeit established in the household, as much as they were servants. It also partly explains the ambivalent position of some of the young men in the households of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Castlehaven: it is not clear whether these young men were servants or a kind of domestic prostitute, and perhaps one would be wrong to try and make a sharp distinction between the two. The relationship between client and prostitute — as indeed between teacher and pupil — had obvious analogies with the basic and influential relationship of master and servant; in the domestic prostitute the two are hardly distinguishable."
This is just one example of the abysmally baseless level of speculation that I have referred to: having male servants means you have male prostitutes living in your house and thus engage in homosexual sex!. What exemplary logic! Arion 3x3 (talk) 21:54, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

In the context of arrangements for domestic servants in the 21st century, I don't doubt that it would be illogical to assume there are many prostitutes masquerading as male servants. However, in a 16th century context (where we must of course remember that homosexuality was punishable by death) then it may make more sense to build evidence for a hypothesis from such available evidence. In any case, there was no reference to Bray in earlier versions of the text - so this is a red herring.

I go back to my initial point that if we are to have consistency in the article then all the text has to be accurate or from trusted sources; otherwise there is an undoubted case of double standards. That is clear to me from the repeated attempts by (talk) even to censor the headings - even though a fair chunk of the text under personal relationships does not even relate to personal relationships!

In response to the comments by(talk) - by following this logic, we can say that some writers think Bacon was married, while others think he was not. And to add more than that is just speculation. Unless presumably you are able to post a copy of the marriage certificate! In terms of changing the 'consensus' it seems to me that the onus is on us to convince you beyond reasonable doubt that Bacon was homosexual, rather than for you to convince us that he was heterosexual? Is this the default position then? Finally I am happy to have contributions from Sage 1133; there is no problem with having someone new involved in the debate. Sometimes we need a fresh pair of eyes Contaldo80 (talk) 13:40, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The reason the Bray book is significant is that it was brought up last year as part of the "evidence". I immediately obtained that book, as well as the other books by authors who had engaged in this "wild conjecture", and found no "evidence".
  • I would like to make you aware that when you actually read what has been speculated about the Francis Bacon homosexuality hypothesis, you will no longer be able to write "to build evidence for a hypothesis from such available evidence' - since there is no evidence of any kind.
  • I have no idea why you would write "some writers think Bacon was married, while others think he was not". That is simply not true - no writer has ever written that! Also, marriage records do exist of Francis Bacon's marriage to Alice Barnham. In fact, detailed records exist, down to the guest list and the fact that Francis and Alice wore purple wedding garments (wearing purple was illegal for non-royalty). Arion 3x3 (talk) 15:57, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I was using this to demonstrate that historical research is based on primary evidence and secondary evidence. If a marriage certificate does exist (and I take your word for that) then this would be an instance of a textual assertion supported by primary documentation. Nevertheless, there are contributions to the text such as "Francis was 18 and Marguerite was 26. They immediately fell in love with each other "at first sight"." I doubt very much anyone could prove that they did fall in love at first sight? Homosexual activity in the 16th century was a criminal offence punishable by death. We would not expect to find clearly demonstrable accounts therefore that Bacon did enoy such relationships - as he would have expected trial (like his brother). But taken as a whole, a range of material points to the strong possibility that he did have homosexual relationships. Nor do I understand why Arion 3x3 keeps removing sub headings. This provides clarity and shape to the article. By removing them you once again demonstrate that you do not want the casual reader even to think there was a possibility that Bacon was homosexual! Despite the fact that there is a genuine debate to be had Contaldo80 (talk) 09:07, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

The argument on consistency is not valid. If that principle was accepted, it would suggest that nobody could contribute anything unless they went through every article on wikipedia to make sure every statement was verified. Wikipedia is by its nature piecemeal and gets improved on an incremental basis. Like all articles in wikipedia, the default position is what is there now. If you think it should be changed, propose alternative text and explain why it is better than what's there. JKW111 (talk) 14:42, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Well quite - I agree with you. But then you insist on references to homosexuality being unimpeachable, while offer no criticism to other textual speculation. This is not being objective - it is being selective. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:07, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Can you imagine several hundred of years from now, if people were writing about you and trying to decide if you were hetero, homosexual or both, based upon what they could glean from writings, family members, or even a book that might have had other motivations. You'd think "what a waste of time" - that's what the first group decided and hence left it open to the reader. Methinks you doth protest too much and must believe you can't trust the reader to decide. It is the audience - the readers of Wikipedia for whom this is meant, not to satisfy our own positions. An encyclopedia is not meant to editorialize.Sage 1133 (talk) 16:58, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

No, I wouldn't think it was a waste of time at all. On the contrary I think my sexuality would be an important aspect of myself, my character, and my actions. Modern historical research now looks at motivations, movements and circumstances (Histoire des mentalites). We have moved away from the 'great deeds of great men'. Clearly it is you that can't trust the reader to decide, as you won't even permit the evidence on both sides to be presented, but are determined to keep references as cursory as possible! Contaldo80 (talk) 09:07, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia encourages the addition of material properly referenced to scholarly sources. While it may be true that Aubrey is not a scholarly source, the recent deletion of a modern source to a scholarly journal is not in keeping with Wiki standards. In fact, it is tantamount to vandalism. There appears to be some article ownership issues going on here. Perhaps Arion 3x3 should step back and see what the other editors involved in the so-called consensus feel about the matter instead of edit warring.Smatprt (talk) 04:32, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Smatprt. Please can we have a proper discussion about why references and sources are not acceptable, rather than always shutting down debate because an individual has already made up their mind on Bacon. Can we also stopping pretending that the evidence is weak. It's much more convincing than those vague statements about Francis and Margueritte falling in love 'at first sight'

• Bacon did not marry until the late age of forty-eight

• contemporary figures relate that he was by preference homosexual. John Aubrey in his Brief Lives says quite bluntly that Bacon "was a pederast" and had "ganimeds and favourites" ("pederast" in Renaissance diction meant generally "homosexual" rather than specifically a lover of minors; "ganimed" of course derives from the mythical prince abducted by Zeus to be his cup-bearer and bed-warmer.)

• The Puritan moralist Sir Simonds D'Ewes (Bacon's fellow Member of Parliament) in his Autobiography and Correspondence discusses Bacon's love for his Welsh serving-men, in particular a "very effeminate-faced youth" whom he calls "his catamite and bed-fellow". The diary entry for 3 May 1621—the date of Bacon's censure by Parliament—reveals the full extent of Bacon's homosexuality, and was suppressed in the only printed edition of the D'Ewes's autobiography (not published until 1845), and has been studiously ignored by most of Bacon's modern biographers:

• The roll of attendants for Bacon's household in 1618 lists a total of 75 attendants, of whom some 25 were gentlemen waiters. There was Francis Edney, who, upon Bacon's death in 1626, received "£200 and my rich gown"; young Thomas Meautys, who was to become Bacon's secretary-in-chief; a Mr Bushell, "gent. usher," who came to the household in 1608 as a lad of fifteen, and who remained until Bacon's death; Edward Sherburn, groom of the chamber; and, above all, young Tobie Matthew, who was left only a ring to the value of £30, but who had become Sir Tobie through Bacon's efforts, and who was well able to care for himself.

• A contemporary observed that Tobie, while lodging with Bacon at York House, had "grown very gay or rather gaudy in his attire, and noted for certain night walks to the Spanish Ambassador." Tobie was the inspiration for one of Bacon's most famous essays, "Of Friendship."

• Bacon's mother, Lady Ann Bacon, in a letter to her other son Anthony complains of "that bloody Percy" whom Francis kept "yea as a coach companion and a bed companion," as well as others including Jones, Markes, Enney "and his Welchmen one after another." Lady Ann's major distress was not that her son was gay, but that it violated decorum for a nobleman to allow a servant to sleep in the master bedroom; she felt that a lower-ranking bedroom would have been more appropriate.

• In his will, Bacon bequeathed a legacy of £100 to Henry Percy, as well as a letter to the Secretary of State recommending Percy to his Majesty's service on 26 January 1626, nearly Bacon's last letter.

• Bacon's most recent biographers Lisa Jardine and Alan Stewart in Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon (1999) make no attempt to deny the evidence, and even add to it. For example, a published transcript of a sermon preached against Bacon in 1619 complains of the scandal of Bacon's "Latinities", but Jardine and Stewart have gone back to the original document and have discovered that the word was "catamites", not "Latinities".

• Had the evidence against Bacon been any more conclusive, Bacon would have suffered the fate of his brother-in- law, who shared similar tastes. Mervyn Touchet, second Earl of Castlehaven, and two of his servants were executed for homosexual love on 14 May 1631—the master beheaded on the scaffold and the servants hanged on the gallows.

• Bacon, happily, followed one of his own principles: "A habit of secrecy is both politic and moral."

• Bacon was born into a middle-class family in 1561, became a practising lawyer in 1582, and was appointed Queen Elizabeth's Counsellor in 1591. His responsibilities remained rather meagre for more than twenty years, and Jardine and Stewart suggest this was because of prejudice against him for being homosexual. However, it also seems likely that his advancement was prevented by the personal enmity of his cousin Robert Cecil, Lord Burghley.

• Bacon rapidly rose to fame under King James I. He was knighted in 1603, made Solicitor General in 1607, and Burghley's death in 1612 probably cleared the way for his steep ascent. The swiftness of his rise may have been influenced by his personal friendship with James, who shared the same homosexual tastes.

• Bacon's attitude toward marriage is quite negative: He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. ["Of Love and Marriage"] . . . Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants; but not always best subjects, for they are light to run away, and almost all fugitives are of that condition. ["Of Marriage and Single Life"]

• Bacon preferred masculine friendship to heterosexual love, for "although nuptial love maketh mankind, friendly love perfecteth it" ["Of Love"]. His essay on heterosexual love is a critique of the "weak passion," or that which was called "phrensie" by Mantuan: "And therefore it is well said, that it is impossible to love and to be wise" ["Of Love"]. He is speaking of love between men when he says "a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love," and "If a man have not a friend, he may quit the stage" ["Of Friendship"].

• At a time when moralists described gay love as "unnatural lust," and a variety of other degrading terms, Sir Francis Bacon was the first person in the English language to use the non-stigmatizing phrase "masculine love" (in New Atlantis), although, as required by the expectations of his reading public, he nevertheless excluded it from his utopia.

Contaldo80 (talk) 09:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

All these points have been brought up before and discussed at length. Read the Archive for June to December 2007. A substantial number of editors went back and forth on the very points you just mentioned. A consensus statement was agreed upon that presents both sides of the issue. What is the new point of discussion that you are bringing to the fore? Arion 3x3 (talk) 17:12, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Arion. And find it odd that sexuality is seemingly needing a category all its own. That would mean going through every biography in Wikipedia and coming to a consensus of everyone's sexuality. When George Washington would write letters and express his "affection" for the men under his command, does that mean he was homosexual? Should we scour his letters and life for insight? I think we'll find these references everywhere!Sage 1133 (talk) 18:02, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

That is a good point. I would also venture to suggest that expressions of affection for those of the same sex can be found by most historical personages for which written records exist. Are we expected to conclude that these are "evidence" of homosexual inclinations, or outright sexual assault upon employees (as is being asserted for Francis Bacon)? I doubt anyone really uses their rational minds to come to such illogical conclusions. Arion 3x3 (talk) 19:30, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

You all make good points, however deleting an addition of properly sourced material that adds to the article in a NPOV fashion is simply unacceptable. Have it out over heading changes, if you like, but don't delete relevant material by citing "Undue Weight". Also - insisting that any addition is only allowed by consensus is simply making up the rules to suit your own agenda. In reference to the above comments, there is obviously a debate over Bacon's sexuality (unlike George Washington!), so having section titles that reflect that debate is entirely logical.Smatprt (talk) 04:01, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Smatprt. Frankly I think (talk) and(talk) show a shocking lack of understanding and sensitivity about how the issue of sexuality is of interest to many modern readers, and how modern historical research is beginning to uncover the issue through primary and secondary sources. It is illogical to continue to deny any discussion by assuming it isn't relevant and people aren't interested. Homosexual men and women have always existed - yet their homosexuality has frequently been made invisible by those who find the fact uncomfortable for one reason or the other. It is appropriate, therefore, to look at sources and better understand what is going on. It is a legitimate strand of historical research, and I am not the first to do this - it's an established method. The arguments for Bacon are actually more convincing than I originally thought when I first began this debate. One or two points have been covered in previous discussion (for example the veracity of Aubrey) but the bulk have not. Bacon was 48 when he married - in an age when the average life expectancy was late 20s and early 30s, he was certainly pushing it, and by no means keen to get into a committed heterosexual relationship. If you can refute each of the arguments I have cited above then we can leave the article as it is; otherwise it's clear that the evidence has changed and the article needs to reflect this. We can't keep avoiding talking about the issue because of personal hang-ups. Wikipedia is an open forum based on objectivity and evidence... Contaldo80 (talk) 08:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The need for consensus is one of the central policies in wikipedia. See WP:CON. As for the addition to the article that is being repeatedly added outside the wikipedia policy, I would note that the previously agreed words already acknowledged that there were authors that had concluded Bacon was homosexual. It already provided an example of one author's writing. The additional text is redundant in this context as it doesn't add a new point, just adds another arbitrary example of what is already there. Further, its a pretty poor example - an addendum, he "believes", "seems to have". It really reads as a desperate attempt to strengthen one side of the argument. This is inconsistent with WP:NPOV. It's also worth noting that engaging in repetitive alternations of text is considered an edit war and may cause users to be blocked from further editing wikipedia articles. The additional text being added should be removed until a consensus has been reached. We are not trying to reach a consensus on whether Bacon WAS homosexual, merely consensus that text in the article is appropriate. JKW111 (talk) 09:15, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think anyone disputes the need for general consensus. Provided, of course, that all contributors are focussed objectively on what is being proposed and fully appreciate the sensitivity of the issue. Rather than trying to reinforce their own personal beliefs. But the additional text that has been added, seems to be a reasonable attempt to strengthen the article, rather than to necessarily strengthen a point of view. Perhaps the best way to handle it is to add it as a footnote alongside the other references. A slight change to "of whom Forker found (through his research) were oriented to masculine love" would address your concerns. To some extent every historical fact is going to be subjective and down to one person's view on what they find ultimately convincing. I'm still not sure why we're having this debate? To take one example, there is no consensus that homeopathy is a legitimate form of medicine - and yet one finds countless articles and references to it on wikipedia. If needs be lets put the text dealing with Bacon's homosexuality under a new heading of 'controversy' - there is plenty of evidence; much of which it has been hard to refute. Although, not enough to convince some people. Meanwhile I propose to go through the rest of the article and root out anything that can't be properly verified or sourced. I guess it's clear that we have consensus for that - consistency is they key after all. Contaldo80 (talk) 14:47, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh incidentally, I notice that in the opening text of the article it mentions that "according to John Aubrey, his dedication may have brought him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments." Presumably now that we've ascertained that Aubrey mixes things up about people, that we can take out all references to death by stuffing a chicken with ice? Contaldo80 (talk) 14:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

(1) Attacking other editors' motives by statements such as "avoiding talking about the issue because of personal hang-ups" is not acceptable behavior for Wikipedia editors.
(2) As JKW has pointed out: "previously agreed words already acknowledged that there were authors that had concluded Bacon was homosexual" - so what is your point. This article cannot be used as a soapbox to argue for the rights of any minority, or to decry previous injustices. That is not the purpose of a biographical article in an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia.
(3) You have not backed up your statement: "there is plenty of evidence; much of which it has been hard to refute." I have studied all the so-called "evidence" (and it was discussed at length last year). There simply is no "evidence" to even refute - only some wild conjectures. The facts that some authors have engaged in such fanciful writing should not be ignored - I agree - but it should not be given undue weight (WP:UNDUE) by expanding the space devoted to it and creating a separate section for it. Arion 3x3 (talk) 16:40, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think phrases such as this should not be used "as a soapbox to argue for the rights of any minority" is language acceptable for Wikipedia editors. Minority rights are no less legitimate than majority ones. I find the overall tone of this discussion quite threatening, and don't find such behaviour appropriate for such a forum. I have certainly presented evidence supporting my case above - much of this seems to me to be valid. I don't think it's acceptable to dismiss text you don't agree with by citing "wild conjecture". You may personally think that this is fanciful writing, but I don't. What confidence do contributors have that you are basing your views on accepted historical or biographical analysis? Contaldo80 (talk) 15:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, just how important is one's sexuality to readers? Do you have data on that? you that I show a shocking lack of sensitivity. Maybe it's just common sense. Perhaps it is of great importance to you...but why? I would guess 90% of those reading Wikipedia couldn't give a hoot about Bacon's sexuality, but I can't back that up, just as I don't think you can back up how important it is. You obviously think it provides important insight into the person. How so? If you could show proof that the likes of J. Edgar Hoover was blackmailing him because of it and it effected his decisions and position that may be of interest. Again, the way the article was fashioned by the first group of editors suits me fine, and there must be a preponderance of reason to change it. I don't see it.Sage 1133 (talk) 20:18, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Well then what makes you think Bacon's marriage is of interest to anyone either? In fact, these sorts of biographical details are important and of interest to some readers. And therefore deserve greater prominence. Perhaps a greater degree of empathy with others might help create a better set of articles. Just because an issue isn't of interest personally to you, you should not then assume it is not worthy of interest at all. And certainly of no less interest than Bacon's esoteric activities - which you seem quite happy to leave included. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

In politics and life, quite often if you can't get someone to agree with you, the low road is to attack their "hang ups" or "sensitivity." Just because someone doesn't see it the same way you may, please don't resort to that kind of language. It usually means the debate is close to an end.Sage 1133 (talk) 21:20, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I was drawing attention to the inconsistency of contributors to this article. I can only explain their illogical behaviour to personal prejudices. How else to explain the fact that the arguments drawn upon from John Aubrey to support Bacon's homosexuality are rejected as unreliable. Yet no one once objected to the text in the article drawn upon John Aubrey to support accounts of Bacon's death? This is a blatant case of double standards; and one that seriously shakes confidence in the objectivity of contributors to the article, and to this discussion board. It seems to be that the debate was never open. A number of contributors have decided that: (a) the issue of Bacon's sexuality is of no interest to them and other readers; and (b) no amount of evidence either way is going to allow inclusion of the subject. And so the discussion is closed. This is not the spirit of wikipedia. You have not yet convinced me that the evidence presented is weak or refutable. Only once you have done this, will the discussion be closed. Contaldo80 (talk) 15:58, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


I've gone through and read the whole wiki archive on Bacon (tedious and quite depressing). However the only objection I have been able to find as to why Aubrey should not be used in the article to support a reference is the Foreward in the edition of Aubrey's "Brief Lives" published in 1962 by University of Michigan Press - where Edmund Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He would try to get things down on paper the morning after a convivial evening - 'Sot that I am!' is the apologetic cry that is reiterated in his writings - when the people he was visiting were still in bed and he himself was suffering from hangover. He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people . . . "

That seems to be it. In John Aubrey: A Life by David Tylden-Wright, Oxford, 1991 (a more recent source), Tylden-Wright writes about Aubrey's visit in 1656 to Bacon's 2 houses in Verulam and Gorhambury and says "In so doing he was following a method of which his subject would have entirely approved, and of which he had adopted the precept: that whenever possible one should think and look for oneself". Good that we remember when writing this article that Bacon was the father of empirical study! He also writes, "Aubrey of course had no first-hand remembrance or recollection of Bacon, who died in the year in which Aubrey was born, but he had 2 first-class second-hand sources of information - Harvey and Hobbes. Thomas Hobbes, according to Aubrey 'was beloved by his Lordship, who was wont to have him walke with him in his delicate groves where he did meditate: and when a notion darted into his mind, Mr Hobbes was presently to write it downe'. It was also Hobbes who told Aubrey the curious case and manner of Bacon's death."

Many mainstream biographers and historians use Aubrey as a source on 16th and 17th century English history; Aubrey is cited in the Oxford Encycolpaedia of Biography on Bacon; I suggest it is not sufficient to dismiss Aubrey as the equivalent of a 'tabloid writer' I'm afraid without something more substantial; which I'd happily welcome. Otherwise I really can't see why Aubrey can't be used in the article to support references on Bacon's death and sexuality. Contaldo80 (talk) 08:46, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, he may be used. Sources like that are gold dust, in fact, though they should be treated as primary sources. In other words, one can't say "xyz, ref Aubrey" but must ref scholarly analysis of what Aubrey says. And one can quote Aubrey, as long as the quote is specifically contextualised and balanced in the text, with citations to scholarly sources. See how William Shakespeare deals with Aubrey's report that Shakespeare had been a country schoolmaster.qp10qp (talk) 12:48, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

A helpful precedent - thank you. Would there be any objections to adding Aubrey's views to the section on Bacon's sexuality, now that we have used his account (taken from Hobbes) of his death. As long as we contextualise the material? Contaldo80 (talk) 16:11, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Addition of details about the 1996 Journal of Homosexuality article justifiable?

In my estimation, continued edit warring to push adding a description of a 1996 Journal of Homosexuality article, that adds nothing of substance to what has been carefully crafted in the consensus statement, is not helpful to the improvemnent of the quality of this article. Arion 3x3 (talk) 18:35, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Although I do not have the largest Francis Bacon library in my area (the University beat me there), fellow Baconians have been impressed upon seeing my collection of primary, secondary, and tertiary Francis Bacon printed materials. I decided to see what was so valuable in this Journal of Homosexuality article that is being held up as an important contribution to the Wikipedia article on Bacon.

I should have saved the US$25 that I spent on the online version. [1] I could have bought a Starbucks latte every day for the next five days with that money, and had more value.

Here is one choice example of what this article contains:

"Certainly the Lord Chancellor was associated in many people’s minds with a taste for ‘‘masculine love’’- in this case for the youthful male servants whom he kept in his household."

Are you seriously suggesting that this subjective opinion that Bacon was "associated in many people’s minds with a taste for 'masculine love'" is "evidence" of his homosexuality?

If you want to know what Francis Bacon thought of homosexuality, then consider his personal conception of what would constitute an ideal society in his own words. Just as Thomas More wrote Utopia as his vision of an ideal society, in 1623 Bacon's aspirations and ideals were expressed in The New Atlantis. This was his creation of an ideal land where "generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit" were the commonly held qualities of the inhabitants of Bensalem. Franics wrote of "the faithful nuptial union of man and wife," regardless of alliances and positions. In his vision of his ideal society, homosexuality did not exist. He wrote: "As for masculine love, they have no touch of it, and yet there are not so faithful and inviolate friendships in the world as are there", and "there is not under the heavens so chaste a nation as this of Bensalem.".

This article is simply not of encyclopaedic quality and should be ignored. Arion 3x3 (talk) 22:52, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid that your opinion of the article (a scholarly journal with contributions by academics) has very little relevance here. By your own admission, you are pretty obsessed with Bacon and have formed your own very strong opinion - an opinion that you are certainly pushing. That is your agenda and so be it. But controlling the article to protect that agenda is what is causing the trouble on this page (imho). Whether you agree with a certain scholar or not is also immaterial.
You also feel the right to make whatever changes you want, adding any references you want, changing any headings you want - all without "discussion" or "consensus", while demanding discussion and/or consensus for additions or changes by anyone else. This is the very definition of a double standard. Perhaps you should back off for a while and examine your own motives and agenda before casting stones at others. Smatprt (talk) 05:36, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Your factually inaccurate statements do not reflect well on your credibility.
  • I did not "add" any additional reference. I corrected the multiple references between a single pair of "ref" tags to 2 separate references between 2 separate pairs of tags (as they were previously).
  • I did not engage in "changing any headings" - "all without discussion or consensus". I reverted back to the "Personal relationships" heading that had been developed last year through discussion and consensus as a way to include Bacon's female romantic relationships and Bacon's meetings in "secret societies" which were exlusively male membership.
  • It is not helpful to call scholarly interest in a historial figure an "obsession". Arion 3x3 (talk) 23:56, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand the accusation that Arion wants to "make any changes he wants, adding any references he wants, etc..." It's that type of talk coupled with accusations of "insensitivity" on my part, that are turning the conversation toward personal attack and not in the spirit of Wikipedia; so what, if someone respectfully disagrees? You don't go after them, unless you're so frustrated you don't know what else to do. Also, telling someone to "back off" is evidence that you already have your mind made up, and don't want someone else's strong opinion heard. I believe we're at an impasse, and recommend we keep the current version intact and call a time out for everyone so the discussion doesn't become degrading and the accusations stop flying.Sage 1133 (talk) 16:44, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

then let me explain it to you. First, Arion changed the heading "Occult" to "Esoteric Pursuits", Second, Arion deleted one of the three references listed under the "numerous scholars" reference. My suggestion to back off for a while is the same as you calling a "time out". do you all understand my meaning of "double standard" now? I would agree to the suggestion that the current version as of April 19th should stay during a "time out" and I will revert to that version.Smatprt (talk) 00:55, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Again the facts are altered! The addition of the heading "Occult" was done by someone else just recently without discussion, so I tried to see if "Esoteric pursuits" would work as a more accurate title. But since that was not the consensus version that had been worked out for the heading "Personal relationships" - I removed it. As for references, the consensus version that had been agreed upon in December 2007 had determined that 2 references for each of the two sides of the issue would be the most fair way to do it.
The version that should stand during the "time out" is the one without the additional headings and without the insertion of the description of the Journal of Homosexuality - since that is exactly what is being objected to. Arion 3x3 (talk) 01:22, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, I guess you can interpret even edit arguments anyway you want. If you have followed my recommendations throughout this entire discussion it has never been to adopt the version of April 19th; I don't know how more clear I can be, so I'll say it again, the version that should stand during the time out is without what Arion refers to above; any other interpretation of my suggestion is opportunistic Sage 1133 (talk) 01:31, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Well then be specific. When you said "current version" on April 19th, any sane person would assume you meant the current version on April 19th. Here I thought you were suggesting a compromise (lose the new headings but keep the new addition). Apparently what you meant was entirely different. In reference to the other issue, by Arion's own admission above, he felt free to change one heading (that he didn't add) to a different one. Then he changed his mind and changed that again. In other words, ARion is free to edit in any fashion he sees fit - but no one else is. So - in the spirit of compromise I offer what I thought that Sage had offered - lose the new headings, but keep the addition. Then everyone take a breather. Smatprt (talk) 05:22, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Any sane person? Again, a personal attack. Not productive. The time out I propose is the consensus version agreed upon over a year ago; then we take a breather and come back and revisit when this becomes less emotional.Sage 1133 (talk) 06:41, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Continually adding a description of that Journal of Homosexuality article is not helpful in improving this Wikipedia biography.
  • That article requrgitates the same baseless nonsense from Aubrey, the gossip writer (who was not even a contempory of Bacon) and the venomous anti-homosexual hate expressions from Simonds D'Ewes (in his own private diary) who was the enemy of Bacon in Parliament.
  • The article even quotes Wilson's recommendation that Francis Bacon stop being so generous and kind to his servants since it could be misconstrued, yet the article then immediately points out that Wilson did not believe there was any homosexual activity in the life of Bacon.
Your justification that this article adds something new to the issue does not hold up to scrutiny. Arion 3x3 (talk) 19:17, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly concur with Smartprt - some contributors are being a bit too over-protective with regards to this article. Anything that doesn't fit personal perceptions is immediately dismissed. We are instructed to provide evidence if we want a textual change; upon providing evidence, we are then told that it is not convincing enough (for whom?). Can I remind contributors that Wikipedia is a collaborative forum. There will be text in many articles with which will personally disagree. However, contributors should be treated with respect at all times, and not have their contributions disregarded as if they were simply misguided political activists. If contributors don't feel they can abide by this, then perhaps they should leave this particular forum. The text added by Smartprt is legitimate - and I don't see any reason to disallow it's inclusion. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:11, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

It is very interesting how specific points I raise regarding the content are ignored. Instead there are personal attacks such as "a bit too over-protective" and "doesn't fit personal perceptions". I questioned if a description of the Journal of Homosexuality article in the Bacon biography was justifiable. That article is a sloppy rehash with no new contribution to the historical study of Francis Bacon. I have not seen any defense of the opinion of Smartprt & Contaldo80 that it should be included. I would be very interested to read it. Arion 3x3 (talk) 17:33, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I was doing some research on Voltaire and realized after reading the article there was no discussion of his sexuality, others perceptions of his sexuality, or the like. It was a well written entry about his life. You can call me bigoted, as I've already been called "insensitive" and its been implied that I am not sane, but it seems ridiculous to me to be arguing Francis Bacon's sexuality; whose next -- shall we go on to Voltaire? Wait, let's not forget Ben Franklin or what about Clara Barton? What was her agenda? Again, I call for a time out and utilizing the consensus, which goes as far as it should,and was agreed upon in 2007. This is becoming tiresome, and the name calling ridiculous.Sage 1133 (talk) 23:51, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes - do let's top the name calling AND the deletion of properly referenced material. The recently added material is a valid addition which was not debated in last years discussion. It is properly referenced according to Wiki standards. No more really need be said in that regard. If you want to delete it, then the proper avenue would be to build a consensus for that deletion. So build a consensus if you wish. Cheers. Smatprt (talk) 04:04, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

However, as I review the past consensus it was to keep the homosexuality section limited, but equally presenting all sides. Is that not also the Wiki way? "The Journal of Homosexuality" article was added into the Personal Relationships bio, against my current objection; and it doesn't present anything new to the homosexuality section. Cheers.Sage 1133 (talk) 15:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

It still seems quite limited - probably the shortest section under the Personal Relationships heading. Actually, what it presents is a reference that is current with the listed counter argument. Thanks. Smatprt (talk) 16:24, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there has really been any name calling; and it's certainly never been my intention to give offence. My main concern was that we have to date all been taking an inconsistent approach in editing the article. My only aim has been to improve it, ensure absolute neutrality, and make it a better read. The inconsistencies that I have seen are as follows:

(i) Criticism when including John Aubrey as a source on Bacon's sexuality; yet using Aubrey when including other sections of text with regards to Bacon's death. In 'John Aubrey: A Life' by David Tylden-Wright, London 1991 - Wright agrees that "Aubrey himself, of course, had no first hand remembrance or recollection of Bacon, who died in the year in which Aubrey was born, but he had two excellent first-class second-hand sources of information - William Harvey and Thomas Hobbes."

(ii) Exclusion of Bacon's sexuality on the grounds of lack of general interest to readers. Despite the fact that even critics who refute evidence of Bacon's homosexuality have looked at the issue in some detail and gone to pains to argue for or against it - proving that it is both notable and of general historical interest, and pertinent to discussion on Bacon.

(iii) Arguments around making 'wild conjecture'. Despite the fact that a whole section of existing text recounts the suggestion that Bacon was the secret love-child of Elizabeth I. A frankly mind-boggingly assertion. While Bacon's sexuality is frequently referred to by mainstream biographers and historians.

(iv) Finally, criticism of lack of referencing. Despite the case that one can read the first three quarters of the article and find absolutely no sources cited and no references made.

It's essential that we work to ensure wikipedia rules and conventions are honoured and applied on an equal basis. Otherwise we open ourselves to attacks on credibility and impartiality. Also, I also don't understand why the headings under personal relationships have been deleted again - I can understand the intention of giving undue prominence to the homosexuality aspect - although a lot of prominence has been given to parentage - but the text on the rosicrucians makes absolutely no sense when left hanging like this! Contaldo80 (talk) 14:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I certainly agree with following Wikipedia rules and conventions. Please point out where more reference citations would be helpful, and I will do some research.
  • Regarding theories about Bacon's real parents, those are worthy of detailing since so many volumes of scholarly work has gone into examining those them.
  • As for adding more subheadings under the "Personal relationships" section, I believe that would break up the text too much. Arion 3x3 (talk) 23:20, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I've flagged up a few areas that need citations, so would be good if we can work together to tidy them up. I've also been to the library again, this time to take a look at what the reference section can add. The Oxford Dictionary of Biography (15 volumes - volume 3; 7th edition, 2002) has the following to say, 'While there is no certainty about Bacon's sexual orientation or identity the likelihood that he may have been homosexual is undeniable'. It then goes onto quote material from not only John Aubrey and Simon d'Ewes, but also Chamberlain. I think this is very telling - it suggests that we shouldn't be worried about also including the material in the wikipedia article (albeit in summarised form); particularly as it has been included in such an authoritative reference source. Contaldo80 (talk) 20:03, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Could someone please clarify what the wikipedia rules are around 'editorialising' within an article? Contaldo80 (talk) 14:45, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Creator of the English Essay?

In the first paragraph, there is the statement: "He has been credited as the creator of the English essay." There has been a "citation needed" tag there for a very long time. I have not been successful in finding a citation to justify that statement. Does anyone know of one? Arion 3x3 (talk) 15:23, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Since no source was found for the "creator of the English essay" statement, I have removed it from the lead. Arion 3x3 (talk) 23:45, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


Should we have such an extensive section of text recounting the assertion (improbable in my view) that Bacon was the son of Elizabeth I. Not least, I have problems understanding how she would have been able to conceal a 9-month pregnancy from the rest of her court. I think it makes the rest of the article look a little credulous. Can we decide to cut this back please - to perhaps one or two sentences that summarise the issue rather than going into too much unnecessary detail? Contaldo80 (talk) 14:25, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I would point out that the actual name of the heading for that section is "Parentage theories". They are indeed just theories, and probably will remain so forever. However there are a significant number of scholarly works - going back to the 1600s - that examine the evidence behind the theories. This is, in my opinion, worth addressing in the article. Arion 3x3 (talk) 23:13, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I am content to see this section included (even though personally I am slightly sceptical about the need to prove that Bacon was of royal lineage, rather than capable of his achievements as his own man). But my concern is around undue prominence and balance within the article. The theories are, I would suspect, generally as controversial as Bacon's sexuality - yet we have a situation where the former has around 450 words of text (and a clear heading), and the latter only 150 words of text (and subsumed within the wider section on personal relationships). For reasons of consistency I would suggest either reducing the former - so we capture the most salient points (for and against - and incidentally nothing has been included on arguments against); or we expand the section on sexuality (for and against) so that the two sections are comparable? I'm also worried about the text in the article dealing with secret orders (eg rosicrucians) - a lot of the source works cited are from the 1940s and the evidence is far from compelling; I would be happier if we had something more recent in order to support an argument which again I find to be on the fringes of mainsteam historical investigation Contaldo80 (talk) 08:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that this article's sections on parentage and Francis Bacon's association with secret orders is reflective of the large quantity of historical literature and research into those topics. The quantity of literature discussing his sexuality is much smaller by comparison, but significant enough to deserve description in this article. For example, the fact that the first publication about the parentage theory appeared as early as 1631 is significant in itself: Pierre Amboise, Histoire Naturelle de Mre. Francois Bacon, Baron de Verulam, Vicomte de Sainct Alban et Chancelier d'Angleterre. (Natural History of Mr. Francis Bacon, Baron Verulam, Viscount St Alban and Chancellor of England) Paris: Antoine de Sommaville and Andre De Soubron, 1631 Arion 3x3 (talk) 12:58, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is necessarily true. Bacon's sexuality is dealt with at some length not only in those sources cited in the main body of the text (ie Rowse, Jardine, Stewart, Matthews, Jackson and the Journal of Homosexuality). But in addition I have also seen extensive material in Tylden-Wright (John Aubrey: A Life, 1991); Rictor Norton (Mother Clap's Molly House: The Gay subculture in England 1700-1830, 1992); and Louis Crompton (Homosexuality & Civilization, 2003). Indeed this is only scraping the surface. In comparison the sources cited on parentage are drawn mainly from the 1920s and 1940s (with one source from 1981). I'm happy to give the benefit of the doubt on the parentage sources, but would feel more comfortable if we were able to please cite some reference material that is more recent? I also have my reservations on Amboise. A quick search of the dictionary ( suggests that while 'to be born in the purple' could refer to imperial or royal pretensions; it can also be used colloqually to describe anyone of exalted station or wealth (and Amboise would have been keen to signify Bacon's exalted knowledge with regard to natural sciences and empiricism). So not really substantive enough to support a fairly extraordinary assertion that the 'Virgin Queen' had been a mother. Indeed how can we explain that Elizabeth did not legitimise Bacon when that would have helped considerably in her efforts against Mary Queen of Scots, and her reluctance to pass the succession onto James? Contaldo80 (talk) 16:35, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The ancient Phoenicians were the first to discover a way of producing a purple dye, but it was very expensive, and could be afforded only by the royal family. For this reason the color purple became associated with royalty, and it was declared illegal for anyone other than royalty to wear purple. The Romans adopted this tradition, so it was illegal in ancient Rome for anyone other than the Emperor and his family to wear purple. Elizabeth I allowed only royalty to wear it. [2]
  • Rumors circulated about the parentage of Francis Bacon - it is said that his father was Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and his mother was Queen Elizabeth I. According to these, she became pregnant in a secret affair with Dudley who was still married to his wife Amy (thus it would have been considered scandalous if made public). When she died in 1560, it was rumoured that he had murdered her in order to marry Elizabeth - who then decided against marriage. (Jerusha D. Richardson. The Lover Of Queen Elizabeth: Being The Life And Character Of Robert Dudley Earl Of Leicester 1533-1588 May 2006 ISBN-1428612491) Arion 3x3 (talk) 17:18, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I have added the 2006 Richardson book on Robert Dudley's relationship with Elizabeth as a reference in the "Parentage theories" section. Arion 3x3 (talk) 21:04, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Um.. you mean the 19th century NOVELIST? Saying the "2006" Richardson book is kind of misleading. She wrote it like 100 years ago. If she can be used as a source, then let's put Aubrey back in. (And even she acknowledges "Rumors" are her source. This makes her different than Aubrey exactly how??)Smatprt (talk) 04:01, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about the "2006". I copied and pasted the reference information for that book from the Rorbert Dudley Wikipedia article, without noting that this was the reprint by Kessinger of that 1907 book by Jerusha D Richardson (published by T. W. Laurie). (I've corrected the date, and noted the reprint date) I do not see why having written novels disqualifies someone from writing historical research. Arion 3x3 (talk) 14:17, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I've spent a chunk of the weekend in the library (sad I know!) checking some of this out. I can't seem to find one reference in any of the mainstream biographies of Elizabeth I that even suggest she had a child (Somerset, Hibbert, Weir, Plowden). They just don't mention it. I suspect this makes the section on parentage highly suspect. It might be one thing for Bacon to have been led to believe that he was the son of Elizabeth; but another thing to actually be that son. There is nothing to suggest even a trace of maternal affection - in fact the opposite; Elizabeth was happy to push Bacon to one side if she felt he was not behaving as an obedient courtier... And if the sources we are using are mainly 80 to 100 years old (and some in 'novel' form) then I would argue that at the very least we need to trim this whole section back. Otherwise we're giving undue prominence to an idea that sits at the fringes of verifiable historical debate. I also think the reference to being 'born in the purple' is really too vague to support a claim that Bacon was the son of Elizabeth. Why doesn't he just come out and say that he was the son - instead of being so cryptic? Particularly when both Elizabeth and Bacon were dead? If he knew something then he would have said it without being so obtuse. 'Brought up in the expectation of a great career' doesn't prove any royal link. I think we need to see the original french please before we can include any of this material? Contaldo80 (talk) 19:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Unless someone is able to please provide modern sources and references on the parentage claim, the original French, and Elizabeth's part in having a child then this whole section will need to be deleted as highly dubious and FRINGE. Contaldo80 —Preceding comment was added at 16:25, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I've raised this issue on the discussion board for the Elizabeth I article. Please see

No contributor is able to confirm that Elizabeth had a child - indeed the evidence points to the contrary. If we can cite a recent scholarly source that confirms that Bacon might have been her son then I suggest we can include this section. Or alternatively if a section is added to the Elizabeth I article then it would be logical to have something here. In the absence of that I fear we will need to lose the text (or at the very least severely cut back). Contaldo80 (talk) 09:39, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

As nothing's moved on here I think as a compromise we should create a new heading under the text called 'controversies' and add in the parentage stuff (as it's only a theory really - otherwise it will be presented and seen as fact) Contaldo80 (talk) 16:31, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I must say having read this article for the first time, this whole section on parentage makes the entire article look like nonsense. As others have noted, it is really impossible to find a single credible reference that Elizabeth had a child, and indeed in this section there are no references given - which puts the claims below even the rather liberal standards of Wikipedia. Further, it does not rescue the section to label it "controversies." Were that the case, one could invent whatever fiction one wanted under such a rubric, and insert the slander in any biography. Therefore may I recommend that unless someone can come up with a credible piece of evidence, that this section be deleted? Gacggt (talk) 07:19, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

The theory that Elizabeth and Dudley were Francis Bacon's biological parents is detailed in many books (most of which I have in my personal library). For example, in Helene H. Armstrong's 1985 book Francis Bacon - The Spear Shaker, there is reference to a letter found by researcher Deventer von Kunow in the Simancas Archives in Spain, which was written by Robert Dudley to King Philip where he sought intercession with Elizabeth to secure his public acknowledgement as Prince Consort. The decision by Elizabeth was to keep it private and order enforcement by her minister, Lord Burleigh. Her pregnancy was confirmed in the Escurial Papers in the Simancas Archives: "On December 1560, a secret dispatch of the Spanish envoy advises that the Queen is expecting a child by Dudley.".
I could detail many examples of research on this subject, as well as the supporting evidence, but that would involve substantial amounts of text devoted to what still amounts to a theory. Such detailed examination of the evidence would be disproportionate to the length that would be appropriate in a general biography entry on Francis Bacon. I believe that a short summary as we currently have is the best approach. Arion 3x3 (talk) 13:42, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Are we able to quote the von Kunow letter - had it been published/ has anyone but von Kunow seen it? If the evidence is strong then should we not add a section to the wiki article on Elizabeth I - has this been done? Contaldo80 (talk) 14:44, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes the Deventer von Kunow research has been published (I have the book), and adding this to the Elizabeth I article is a good idea (possibly under a "Controversies" section). Arion 3x3 (talk) 17:10, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I would oppose adding this to the Elizabeth article or making new sections in that featured article, which uses a large number of scholarly sources, none of which mention the theory that Bacon was Elizabeth's child. This should be a sign that it is not accepted in mainstream scholarship. So much has had to be left out of the Elizabeth article that the inclusion of this speculation would not be justified by its significance. There is lots of other anti-Elizabeth propaganda in the Spanish and papal archives, I might add. Dudley's wooing of the Spanish is an interesting sidenote in his career, but it has nothing to do with a baby Bacon. qp10qp (talk) 17:46, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes - this is precisely my point; and the same reasoning that would say this small-minority view should be omitted from the Elizabeth article points to it being omitted here. The fact that Bacon's article is not featured does not justify lower standards here. Gacggt (talk) 21:42, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

As long as these books on Francis Bacon's parentage are in print - and there are many by researchers who have uncovered considerable data in support of the Elizabeth-Dudley theory, then their works are validly referenceable on Wikipedia. Such an important part of the Francis Bacon research of the last 2 centuries cannot simply be ignored. Arion 3x3 (talk) 00:01, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
You are mistaken on this point. References need to be scholarly (academic) - not just any book that was ever put into print! I believe many of your sources were, in fact, written by novelists or fringe theorists. As such they are not RS under wiki standards. You are going to need to quote some academics (not just fringe researchers) if you are going to be able to argue that your sources should stay. Until you get some of this material into the articles on Queen Elizabeth, you are also going to have a hard time arguing your points.Smatprt (talk) 01:11, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Can we clarify please - is the Kurnow letter published (photograph) in the Armstrong book itself. I've done a quick search for Helene Armstrong and see that she has only written this one book - is she an academic/ what do we know about her? Contaldo80 (talk) 08:55, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

On pages 13 and 14 of the 1923 book Francis Bacon: Last of the Tudors by Amelie Deventer von Kunow are quotes from the Spanish envoys, de Fiera and his successor de Quandra, to Phillip II that von Kunow located in the Escurial Papers in Spain's "Simancas Archives". This includes the December 1561 secret dispatch that the queen was "expecting a child by Dudley". With today's technology, reproductions of the dispatches would be a welcome addition to the historical records. Arion 3x3 (talk) 22:33, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

That is poor evidence that Elizabeth had a child; and of course it constitutes ZERO evidence that Francis Bacon was that alleged child. Further evidence that he was not is that Bacon was singularly unsuccessful in getting a position while Elizabeth was Queen, and it was only until James took over that he achieved his successes in Court - quite odd behavior if Bacon was her child; one would think that Elizabeth would have had motive to promote him, while James would have had motive to avoid him, as a potential rival. Really this is nonsense. Gacggt (talk) 22:09, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

If you take the time to study the data that researchers have uncovered over the last several centuries, I suspect you will not be so dismissive of the Francis Bacon parentage theories. There were very good reasons for Elizabeth to cover up her secret marriage to Robert Dudley and her two sons by him (Francis & Robert Devereaux). Arion 3x3 (talk) 02:03, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


In my view it would make more sense to combine the text about freemasonry under the section with Bacon's death and add it to the preceding section under 'personal relationships'. There seems to reason to have freemasonry under either title, and bringing it together (and possibly pruning it slightly) would give more logic to a reading of the article. A separate heading should then be given - perhaps 'Freemasonry'? Contaldo80 (talk) 16:42, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

To follow up on this, I think we also need to delete the textual footnote citing Daphne du Maurier. I checked her book out and it refers to freemasonry in just one place and then goes onto say that she doesn't believe there is any evidence to back up such claims (the footnote as used currently seems to suggest she supports the idea). I'm also finding it hard to find mainstream material that supports the rosicrucian assertions. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:46, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

  • The title of that section probably would be better named "Secret societies" since it is neither exclusively about Freemasonry nor Rosicrucians. It also discusses the "closed intellectual movements" which included a number of other organizations advocating for goals that could lead to imprisonment or execution: (1) broader understandings of spirituality than what the Church of England offered and (2) replacing the monarchy with democracy.
  • Daphne du Maurier should not be described as "Bacon's biographer" since it implies a greater importance assigned to her historical research than to that of other historians. She is, however, a good source to represent the other side of the controversy. Arion 3x3 (talk) 14:45, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Agree - have changed the title and amended reference to du maurier. Contaldo80 (talk) 19:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm also really concerned at some of the assertions that have been included in the last section of the article under 'Influences up the present' heading - these claims include suggestions that Bacon faked his death and moved abroad? The references to support this are really shaky, and realy do need to be much stronger if they're going to be included. One sentences reads 'Elinor Von Le Coq, wife of Professor Von Le Coq in Berlin, stated that she had found evidence in the German Archives that Francis Bacon stayed after 1626 with the Andrea family in Germany'. I don't know why we have to state that she is the wife of someone - it seems to be using the fact that she was married to a professor to suggest that she actually knew what she was talking about! She might well have done, but references 41-44 show no relationship to the statement and can't corroborate this. They are also from books published in 1901, 1920 and 1930 - scholarship of this period is frequently unreliable; we need modern sources to really back this stuff up it we're going to keep it in. Contaldo80 (talk) 19:52, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

  • According to Parker Woodward (Francis Bacon: Poet, Philosopher, Statesman,Lawyer and Wit London: Grafton & Co. 1920. pages 121-135) Elinor Von Le Coq, wife of Professor Von Le Coq in Berlin, stated that she had found evidence in the German Archives that Francis Bacon stayed after 1626 with the Andreae family in Germany. Since her husband Professor Von Le Coq served as assistant to the head of the Museum für Völkerkunde in Berlin, the inference would be that she could have conceivabley had access to non-public records at the Museum. The "Andreae family" refered to the family of Johannes Valentinus Andreae (1637-1654), a Rosicrucian author.
  • According to various authors' accounts, Bacon had faked his own death (known as a "philosophical death"). They report that on April 1 ("All Fools Day"), Bacon left his mansion at Gorhambury to travel with John Wedderburn, the King's physician, to an empty summer mansion on Highgate Hill that was owned by Bacon's friend, the Earl of Arundel. Francis Bacon reportedly concocted the story, which Wedderburn then passed on, that he had gotten a "chill" from trying to stuff a chicken with snow during an "experiment". Weddenburn reported that Bacon died in the early morning of the 9th of April (Easter). Rawley wrote in 1657 that Bacon died on "a day on which was commemorated the resurrection of Our Saviour". Bacon chose Easter as a means to convey to his "brethren" in the "secret societies" that he had left public life and started a "new life" under an assumed identity. There was reportedly a hidden network through France, Germany, and into Hungary for secretly transporting members - and for individuals who claimed religious persecution, as well as for those seeking asylum for having advocated for democarcy and against the European monarchy system. Arion 3x3 (talk) 14:11, 30 April 2008 (UTC)


I think it's a real shame that we no longer have the section of text telling the lovely story of how Bacon died while attempting to stuff a chicken with snow and ice. This is one of the most famous tales about him - and one that many readers would be interested to read about. But I guess as the source is Aubrey then it would be difficult to include Any suggestions? Contaldo80 (talk) 16:50, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Here are some examples of Aubrey's "historical" scholarship from (Wikiquote):
  • Anno 1670, not far from Cyrencester, was an Apparition: Being demanded, whether a good Spirit, or a bad?  returned no answer, but disappeared with a curious Perfume and most melodious Twang. Mr. W. Lilly believes it was a Farie.
    • "Nicholas Towes"
  • This Earle of Oxford, making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares. On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart.
This is to illustrate why Aubrey is not considered a credible source. Arion 3x3 (talk) 17:31, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
But a rumor quoting 19th century novelist (Richardson) IS a reliable source?? You are losing credibility here. Smatprt (talk) 04:03, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Richardson's book was not a novel, but an attempt by her to uncover some of the facts regarding the story of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley.

As for Aubrey, in Edmund Wilson's Foreward in the edition of Aubrey's "Brief Lives" published in 1962 by University of Michigan Press, Edmund Wilson wrote of Aubrey: "He loved to compile gossip about famous men. . . He would try to get things down on paper the morning after a convivial evening - 'Sot that I am!' is the apologetic cry that is reiterated in his writings - when the people he was visiting were still in bed and he himself was suffering from hangover. He sometimes mixed anecdotes about different people . . . " Arion 3x3 (talk) 14:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree that we cannot assume Aubrey to be 100% verifiable; but I think we might still be open to the possibility of quoting him in the text (with perhaps flagging up reader caution in a footnote?) I say this because he tends to be quite widely drawn upon by mainstream biographers - for example Daphne du Maurier in her book on Bacon quotes extensively from Aubrey; while the Essays of Francis Bacon (part of the Penguing Classics range) also uses him. Just 2 examples. So do some of the recent biographers of Elizabeth I. If they use him, then it doesn't seem that odd to do the same on wikipedia; that would allow us at least to add in the story about his death (which is popularly known - otherwise it potentially looks an odd omission?) And as I flagged above, he was able to draw upon Hobbes and Harvey among others. Shall we go with that? Contaldo80 (talk) 17:31, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps something could be added about "a popular anecdote about the cause of Bacon's death was passed on by Aubrey . . . " with a reference note quoting Edmund Wilson's description of Aubrey as someone who "loved to compile gossip about famous men". Arion 3x3 (talk) 17:50, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I notice that an unsigned contributor has restored the section on Bacon's death. They obviously haven't read the discussion page as the removal has simpy been described as 'vandalism'. I might tweak slightly to reflect Arion 3X3's helpful suggestion above. And will add a sentence reflecting Aubrey's testimony to the section dealing with sexuality. Contaldo80 —Preceding comment was added at 18:04, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Contaldo's tweaking of Aubrey's redition of the tale about Bacon's death on Easter morning from stuffing a chicken was a good idea, and I further tweaked the reference note for it. Arion 3x3 (talk) 16:49, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

If Aubrey is used in the death section then he must also be used in the sexuality section - unless there is a good reason not to. Otherwise he has to come out of the death section, along with the tale of the stuffed chicken. We have to be consistent. Contaldo80 —Preceding comment was added at 16:20, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Then let's remove Aubrey from the "Death" section also. He was the 17th century equivalent of today's tabloid columnists. Arion 3x3 (talk) 21:13, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I've replaced Aubrey's version with the version written in the biography by William Rawley, Bacon's personal secretary and chaplain, in 1657. Arion 3x3 (talk) 23:45, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Ok that seems fair. But while I appreciate your ongoing concerns about the reliability of Aubrey, we should also consider the fact that he is quoted quite liberally in many modern historian accounts of Bacon's life, and again in reference sources as prestigious as the University of Oxford Dictionary of Biography. He may have believed in the power of pixies and fairies but then the Venerable Bede openly believed in the miracles of saints (and yet his History of the English Speaking Peoples is one of the most important sources around). Is there any other evidence other than that account that would reassure us that Aubrey should be completely dismissed? I have yet to be fully convinced. Thanks. Contaldo80 —Preceding comment was added at 14:37, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I gave the quote regarding Aubrey from historian Edmund Wilson in his Forward in the University of Michigan Press book. Wilson pointed out how Aubrey would collect bits of gossip while drunk, and even mix up which gossip related to which person! Considering that on-the-job performance, I doubt Aubrey would last too long - if he were alive today - as a gossip columnist for the National Enquirer. Arion 3x3 (talk) 16:39, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
While you are right to warn about the fallibility of Aubrey, I believe that in exenterating his whole account of Bacon's bizarre and chilly death you might possibly be in danger of missing the point and method of Wikipedia.
Whether you, I or anyone else believes Aubrey's account, or his qualifications to work for the National Enquirer, is beside the point - that would be original research, just as it would be if I strolled from this table to the site of Bacon's death in Highgate, five minutes' walk from here, thought I saw the ghost of his chicken, which is supposed to haunt it, and added this information to the article. What matters is only this: we have an important published source for this famous story, or myth, and moreover one that was hugely influential in contributing to the seventeenth-century (and later) esteem for a man who was seen as a philosophical, and therefore political, revolutionary (see, for instance, Christopher Hill). Therefore any article that makes any pretence to be authorative and helpful must reference Aubrey's account - with suitable warnings flagged up, as they now are. Straw Cat (talk) 01:28, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

In view of the doubts raised about the reliability of Aubrey, I have supersized the death section with perhaps quite a good source - your man himself. Aubreyphobes will note that several (but not all) details in Aubrey are confirmed here. This letter, only discovered in the 19th century, has been referred to in both Macauley and Jardine. Straw Cat (talk) 09:15, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Alfred Dodd as a source

I am troubled by the various references to Alfred Dodd. A TLS Review slammed his Francis Bacon's Personal Life-Story as follows: "It is not just that the 'authorities' are unauthoritative: they are deployed misleadingly, as in 'In the Dic. Nat. Biog. XVI, p. 114, it is stated that Lord Robert "was secretly married to the Queen in the House of Lord Pembroke before a number of witnesses" '. In this micrographic age, even the common reader may easily find not only that Dodd has cited the wrong volume (characteristic inaccuracy), but, more damagingly, that the statement is not made, or even agreed with, by Leicester's biographer Sir Sydney Lee, merely said to have been 'reported'. Though costing less than twopence a page, Dodd's book is not worth even that, and its six hundred pages of half-truth, tendentious inference and unsupported assertion are not worth six minutes' of anyone's time". qp10qp (talk) 17:03, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

You raise legitimate concerns about Dodd as a source. Others besides Robin Robbins (TLS 6 March 1987) have pointed out his occasional lapses in accurate document citing. (The reference to the Dictionary of National Biography should have been Volume 10, page 114) Nevertheless Alfred Dodd is notable as a well-known proponent of the Francis Bacon parentage theories during the second half of the 20th century. In my estimation, to ignore Dodd in a review of the Bacon parentage theories would be analagous to ignoring Oliver Stone's JFK in a review of Kennedy assassination theories due to Stone's use of sources that would later be shown to be factually incorrect.
There were complex issues at stake if Elizabeth was acknowledged to be the mother of Francis and not the "Virgin Queen", both in the arenas of Roman Catholic and Church of England strife, and in relations with Spain. According to Helene H. Armstrong in Francis Bacon - The Spear Shaker, there was a letter found by researcher Deventer von Kunow in the Simancas Archives in Spain, which was written by Robert Dudley to King Philip where he sought intercession with Elizabeth to secure his public acknowledgement as Prince Consort. The decision by Elizabeth was to keep it private and order enforcement by her minister, Lord Burleigh. Her pregnancy was confirmed in the Escurial Papers in the Simancas Archives: "On December 1560, a secret dispatch of the Spanish envoy advises that the Queen is expecting a child by Dudley." Arion 3x3 (talk) 20:18, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Dodd is used in the article as a ref for more than that, I might add. qp10qp (talk) 21:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Clarification regarding York Place & York House

The Queen's York Place is not the same as York House, the residence of the Bacon family. Up until yesterday, someone had erroneously stated "York Place (now Whitehall)".

To clarify: York Place in London was the residence of Queen Elizabeth I, and was adjacent to York House. For years York House had been the residence of the "Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England". When Francis was a young boy, Nicholas and Anne Bacon resided at York House before moving to their Gorhambury country home.

In 1618 Francis Bacon decided to secure a lease for York House. Upon the passing of Lord Egerton (Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England), it had become available for Bacon to lease it. During the next several years this mansion on the Strand served as the home for Francis and Alice Bacon. Arion 3x3 (talk) 00:06, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Influence on Thomas Jefferson?

I was wondering why there was no mention of Bacon being in Thomas Jefferson's "trinity" of the 3 best persons ever produced by the world (Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke) or of Bacon's influence on Jefferson. Would this be a worthy addition to the article?

"The room being hung around with a collection of the portraits of remarkable men, among them were those of Bacon, Newton and Locke, Hamilton asked me who they were. I told him they were my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced, naming them."

Thomas Jefferson, The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 11. Chapter: TO DOCTOR BENJAMIN RUSH

Accessed from on 2008-05-30 (talk) 15:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Sounds interesting - I think you should include a short not under the 'influences' section. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:36, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


This article featured in Alex in the Daily Telegraph today [3] --Rumping (talk) 13:10, 4 June 2008 (UTC)