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ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
WILLIAM ALDIS WRIGHT, M.A.
THIRD EDITION, REVISED.
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
M DCCC LXXXV
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FRANCIS BACON was born on the 22nd of January, 1560-1, at York House in the Strand, the residence of his father Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Sixty years later, Ben Jonson sang of him as
'England's high Chancellor; the destined heir,
In his soft cradle, to his father's chair.'
His mother, Anne Cooke, whose eldest sister was married to Lord Burleigh, was his father's second wife, and had borne him two children. Anthony, the friend and correspondent of Essex, was two years older than Francis. Of their childhood nothing is known. In April, 1573, when Francis was little more than twelve years old, the two brothers were entered as fellow-commoners at Trinity College, Cambridge, and matriculated between the 10th and 13th of June in the same year. They were placed under the care of Dr. Whitgift, Master of the College, who found this distinguished position not inconsistent with holding the Deanery of Lincoln, a Canonry at Ely, and the Rectory of Teversham; having, however, previously resigned the Regius Professorship of Divinity. From an account-book which he kept, and which was published by the late Dr. Maitland in the British Magazine (vols. xxxii. xxxiii), we glean the meagre facts of Francis Bacon's University career. We learn, for instance, that during the period of his residence in College, from April 5, 1573, to Christmas 1575, the Master's parental care supplied him with so many pairs of shoes, a bow and quiver of arrows, that there was oil bought for his neck, and certain money paid to the 'potigarie' when he was sick, and for meat probably as he was recovering, that he had a