The 1593 Parliament
Francis Bacon the Publicist (1592-1596)

Chapter VIII

excerpt from Alfred Dodd's Francis Bacon's Personal Life Story (1949 & 1986)


Based on an image of Elizabeth by David Bowers,
enhanced with sons Essex (left) and Francis (right).

Quite apart from his secret labours, known only to a select few, it will be readily understood from the open facts of the times adduced in the preceding chapter, that when Francis Bacon took his seat in the 1593 House of Commons, he was not only personally known as an outstanding Parliamentarian to many who had sat with him in previous Sessions but he was also known by repute to many of the new Members as a magnetic personality and a coming man. As previously mentioned, the faithful Commons were well aware that prior to the calling of the Houses in February, Francis Bacon had written a masterly reply, at the request of the Government, to a pamphlet circulated on the Continent in which the Queen was accused of all kinds of dishonourable conduct, the "taking away of life" of the King of Spain; of "being the cause of the great troubles now afflicting England;" the "persecution of the Catholics," etc. The pamphlet was the culmination of a series

of a number of Libellous and Defamatory Books and Writings : and it is strange in what variety and with what Art and Cunning handled (they have) been allowed to pass through the world in all Languages against Her Majesty and Her Government.

The Government had at last recognized the danger of allowing an Elizabethan Dr. Goebbels to pour out a stream of propaganda unchecked. The best man to reply to it was Francis Bacon, the result being an exposition packed with facts, satire and wit; set out in clear headings that betokened a statesman-like grasp of the many political and theological problems that rocked the Continent and unsettled Europe.

The Government circulated Francis Bacon's reply as a State Paper in order to prevent the libel having any effect on disaffected Catholics or political agitators. In short, it was intended to destroy what we know call Fifth-Column subversive activities. Nearly forty pages in Folio (Rawley's Resuscitatio, 1670 Ed. p. 81) were in the hands of every Member of the New House. The Observations on a Libel brought him into outstanding prominence.

(There is a very significant aside slipped in the Observations on a Libel, " In the Act of Recognition whereby the right of the Crown is acknowledged by Parliament to be in her Majesty....... the words of limitation are, in the Queen's Majesty and the Natural Heirs of her Body, and her Lawful Successors. Upon which word, Natural, they do maliciously and indeed villainously glose, that it was the intention of the Parliament in a cloud to convey the Crown to any issue of her Majesty's that were illegitimate."
Francis Bacon here refers to the Act of Parliament specially framed by Elizabeth in which it was declared she should name her Successor and that her heir could be her "Natural" Issue. She refused to have the word "Lawful" used instead of "Natural.")

No one could have have any doubt of the intellectual calibre of the man who had composed it, or fail to be impressed with his honest patriotism, or hesitate to follow his lead.

This State Paper was not a mere flash in the pan. Only three years previously when he was twenty-nine there had been circulated by the Government a similar type of State Paper which was a matter of grave import to the State and the Church, for men's minds ran fiercely in those days on the vexed question of theological doctrines. The Government was concerned over the bitter quarrels of the various sects.....Anglicans, Catholics, Puritans, Brownists, etc. They threatened to undermine the stability of the State. Francis Bacon sought to avert the danger by the writing of a remarkable paper entitled An Advertisement touching the Controversies of the Church of England. In fifteen folio pages (Resuscitatio, p. 128) Francis Bacon examined the evils that arose from theological antagonisms often culminating in bloodshed. His plea was that the various "Theologies" should compose their differences and should remember that the prime object of religion was to build the Holy City of God on the New Commandment that ye love one another. His entire argument is based on his own words :

Ye are Brethren! Why strive ye? The League among Christians should be, He that is not against us is with us. The diversities of ceremonies do set forth the Unity of doctrine. Religion hath parts that belong to Eternity and parts that pertain to Time.If we did but know the Virtue of Silence, and slowness to speak, commended by Saint James, our Controversies of the themselves would close up and grow together....
A Politick man may write from his Brain without Touch and Sense of his Heart : But a feeling Christian will express in his words a Character of Zeal or Love....
I pray God to inspire the Bishops with a fervent Love and Care of the People..... As for unbrotherly proceedings on either part....the Wrath of man knoweth not the Righteousness of God.....

The entire composition-- termed by Francis Bacon A Meditation---glows with the spirit of charitable broadmindedness. One can see that the soul of the author was above sectarian differences.....a true ethical teacher of Christian morals, inculcating openly what he had already established secretly, an Ethical Brotherhood based on those very principles which he held of high import to the State. In an age of intolerance he pleaded for tolerance : For the rule of Law instead of brute force. He sought to drive out hate by the application of Love in man's personal relationship with his fellows.
The same spirit of wisdom runs through his Letter of Advice to Queen Elizabeth (touched upon in Chapter VI) writen some five years previously at the age of twenty-four--immediately on his entry into public life in Parliament-- when he counsels the Queen upon all points of her policy in home and foreign affairs. It is a very remarkable document both for its lofty tone and cool directness in which the young Member of Parliament directly addresses the Queen's advisors suggesting they should make concessions to "Recusants," to "those who objected to the religious surpremacy of the Sovereign" rather than enforce a stricter uniformity. He would even modify the Oath of Allegiance. He held that persecution does not pay, and that it ultimately undermines the State. He declares himself the enemy of Spain, gives advice how she can best be weakened, that France "should rather be made a friend and not an enemy," how to regard Scotland, help given to the Low Countries, and so on. Francis Bacon displays the insight of a statesman in his bold outline. But....think of the audacity of an unfledged law-student of twenty-four daring to advise the Queen, over the heads of her Ministers, if there were no secret bond between them. What could possibly justify such a youthful newcomer to public life to take upon himself the liberty of advising the Queen what to do? To give unmasked for counsel to her statesmen who had grown grey in her service? No one else ever dared to do so publicly? Why did he?

Think of the danger too that any ordinary man would have run in presuming to advise the Queen in full view of the Parliament and the nation. Elizabeth was a difficult and "spoilt" woman. She courted the most extravagant adulation, was moody and of ungovernable passions. She held in her hands the liberties and lives of her subjects. Even her Secretaries and Ministers knelt in her presence. If the Queen had taken the letter the wrong way(which she doubtless would have done had he really been the son of Lady Bacon) Francis Bacon would have found himself in the Tower for his presumption. He made bold to do so because he felt he had a right to give such advice.... as a true-born Tudor and the real heir to the Throne. He knew that Elizabeth would take no steps against him; that she might even be secretly pleased at his anxiety for her personal safety and the welfare of the realm....over which he one day hoped to rule.

This State Letter may be said to be the first of that remarkable series of State Papers which Francis Bacon composed at various times throughout his political career whenever he thought the Ship of State was in danger; from internecine feuds within or the threat of storm clouds without. He writes on all sorts of subjects as the years pass, not only to Elizabeth, but to her Successor King James and to the Earl of Buckingham his Favourite, his last State Paper, Considerations touching a War with Spain, being addressed to Prince Charles in 1624, some three years after his "Fall." One reads with a feeling of disgust, too, that King James, who was so largely responsible for his "Fall," actually called upon Francis Bacon for Advice touching Reformation of Justice.

The man who had only escaped being hunted down as the aider and abettor of the most grievous monopolies, by being convicted of a higher crime--namely corruption in one of the highest seats of judicature--was called upon for Advice as to the Reformation of the Courts of Justice and the relieving of the grievances of the people. (Spedding, Vol. III, p. 288)

He declined in a dignified answer to the King which would have shamed anyone capable of feeling shame : but the Sovereign who forced an innocent man to "Desert his Defence" and to plead guilty to "Charges of Corruption" in order to save himself and his Favourite Buckingham from the consequences of their own misdeeds was devoid of either shame or conscience, his sensitiveness having long since been destroyed through chronic self-indulgence in wrong doing. This "Request" goes far to show that James knew Francis Bacon to be an innocent man. This will be amply proved in later chapters.
The next important decision of 1592 was Francis Bacon's veiled renunciation of his claims to recognition as the Tudor heir to the English Throne in his famous and remarkable letter to Lord Burleigh as Secretary of State. It was written enigmatically so that it could be clearly understood by Burleigh and athe Queen, but not by an outsider unaware of Elizabeth's secret. It marked the end of, and was the the sequel to, the "Mysterious Suit" (See Chapter VI) which began in 1580 when Francis Bacon was twenty years old (probably earlier), was still being pressed in 1585 and still remained a formal claim until Francis Bacon withdrew all rights to the "Succession" in this letter which he wrote to the only person who could accept his renunciation....the Secretary of State, Burleigh.

Seven years had passed since his last letter to Burleigh on the point, and though there is nothing on record that Francis Bacon had been in touch with Burleigh and the Queen respecting his "Suit" for recognition, there can be little question that it must have been mentioned orally between them, quite apart from what he writes in his secret Sonnet Diary. That it exercised his mind is shown by a letter to Fulke Greville, one of his personal friends, who was apparently well acquainted with Francis Bacon's hope that he would be recognized as the Heir and his fear that the Queen would decide on his younger brother the Earl of Essex as her Successor. Here is his letter :

I understand of your pains to have visited me, for which I thank you. My matter is an endless Question....I dare go no further......Her Majesty had by Set Speech more than once assured me of her intention to call me to her Service; which I could not understand but of The Place I had been named to.
And Now whether my Matter must be an Appendix to my Lord of Essex Suit....or what it is....Her Majesty is not ready to despatch it.....
In the meantime I have a hard condition; to stand so that whatever service I do to Her Majesty, it shall be thought to be but lime-twigs and fetches to place myself.... This is a course to quench all good spirits.....
I have been like a piece of stuff bespoken in a shop : And if her Majesty will not take me, it may be the selling of parcels will be more gainful.
For to be, as I told you, like a child following a bird, which when it is nearest flyeth and lighteth a little before, and then the child after it again, and so in infinitum, I am weary of it; as also of wearying my good friends : of whom, nevertheless, I hope in one course or other gratefully to deserve.
And so, not forgetting your business, I leave to trouble you with this idle letter, being but justa et moderata querimonia {a lawful, right, true and moderate complaint}.
For indeed I do confess, primus amor, the first love will not easily be cast off.
And thus again I commend me to you.

The picture of the child following a bird is similar to the picture of the "Careful Housewife" who "runs to catch one of her feathered creatures broke away" in his Sonnet-Diary (19-cxliii) written about the same time. The use of the same image is noted by John Nichol, Bacon, Vol I. p 43 :

It is interesting to find in Shake-speare's Coriolanus a near transcript of it : "I saw him run after a gilded butterfly; and when he had caught it, he let it go again, and after it again; and over and over he comes, and up again," Act I, s.iii.

The letter is not dated. Spedding, thinking it has reference to the Solicitorship, puts it as far back as 1594-5 but this is obviously wrong. "The exact date of the letter I have no means of determining,"admits Spedding, Vol. I, p. 359; and that there was something mysterious hinted at is evident by the further admissions of Spedding "It may have been the 'SUIT' to which Bacon thought his MATTER was perhaps to be an appendix." (Ibid,p.360.)

The fact is that Francis Bacon's "First Love" could not possibly refer to the Solicitorship which had just cropped up. It related "To a Matter which was an endless Question," to something which had dragged out over the years from the time he was a babe in arms, through his youth, and would not even finish with death. His relationship to the Queen was indeed "an endless Question," for it was destined to be debated by distant ages. The phrase cannot apply to a mere job of work, an ephemeral situation in law though dignified by the term "Solicitorship." What other question could the "Matter" be, but his "SUIT" for Recognition as a Tudor? The use of the vague word "love" in his closing sentences is used as a cover word, just as Shakespeare uses the word to denote various Themes and Emotions in his poetic diary.
"I confess the FIRST LOVE will not be easily cast off." Of course not, because it refers to his birthright, to "Recognition," to the "Succession." It could not refer to being Solicitor-General when the office never became vacant until 1593-4. How could either the Attorneyship or Solicitorship be described as his "First Love" that could "not easily be cast off?" It applies, however, with deadly fidelity to his birthright if he were the Queen's concealed eldest son and had pressed for recognition as a Tudor Prince since his late teens. How could such a first love be easily cast off when the throne of England was the stake?
He says that he has had imposed on him "a had condition.... to stand" and wait, "Her Majesty by SET SPEECH" having more than once assured him of her intention to call him to her service which he could not understand but in one way.... "the PLACE he had been NAMED to"---the Throne. He had been named "a Tudor" by blood, breed and birth and was thus entitled to sit in the seat of his ancestors. He was entitled to the "Place" by Name and Heritage,

Apparently his youthful "Suit" was now going to be shelved in favour of his younger brother. His suit was to be an "appendix" to the Earl of Essex's natural rights....an adjunct, an appendage, while he, Francis Bacon, was to be subordinate to him in place and power. (See Sonnets 30,31,32,33-cxlii). They indicate the tumultous feelings that tore at the heart strings of Francis Bacon, as he realized that for reasons of State his younger brother might be preferred to him in the Succession and that he might never be recognized as a Tudor Prince. His letter makes it clear that Greville along with others, "my good friends," knew of his aspirations to the Throne and that they were all anxious for his success. He is aware that his failure wearies them and says taht he himself is weary of the chase after an earthly kingdom. He is obviously growing tired of promises which never frutify, is meditating a complete surrender of all his natural rights, and is half resolved to seek fame and fortune on other fields.

This letter in itself is sufficient to set the reader a problem. Why should Francis Bacon write so complainingly that the Queen had kept him running after her, from his youth up, until he was weary of her promises? What right had he to expect anything at all from the Queen if he were not her son? What was the Queen to him more than to any other young man? Why should he be so peculiarly aggrieved by her personal attitude? No other young man is known to have pestered the Queen and her ministers with a "Suit." No one but he dare have done it. Not a single historian has ever explained what the "Suit" was about nor its history which extends into Francis Bacon's "thirties." Obviously there was some secret tie between the parties not hitherto disclosed by the surface facts of history.

We are now in a much better position to understand the significant import of the letter which Francis Bacon sent to the Queen's Minister. One is the natural corollary of the other. He leaves with Greville a written record that he had pressed (he could only have pressed the Queen and Burleigh) his "Suit" until he "dare go no further" and that he was contemplating giving up further attempts. Not only was he weary of trying, but his personal friends must be weary also of waiting to be participants in his good fortune, especially as his only prospect seemed to have become a subordinate one--an appendix--to his younger brother. He then hints that since "Her Majesty will not take me," it would be better for him to make a complete break with with all his previous aspirations even if he has to become a mere salesman, by "the selling of parcels." He was like "a piece of stuff bespoken in a shop." WHY? Because he had been ordered in advance by the Queen before his birth....created and fashioned by her. A "bespoke" suit is one ordered and made to measure in advance to be accepted or rejected if it does not commend itself; the inference is that Francis Bacon's physical garment of flesh had been woven by the Queen who had become dissatisfied with her own handiwork. There is no other explanation possible of this remarkable image based on weaving and manufacture.
These ideas are amplified and repeated in detail in Francis Bacon's formal renunciation of the Throne of England to the Queen's Prime Minister.

To My Lord Treasurer Burleigh
My Lord,
With as much confidence as mine own honest and faithful devotion unto your service and your honourable correspondence unto me and my poor Estate can breed in a man, do I commend myself to your Lordship.
I WAX NOW SOMEWHAT ANCIENT; one and thirty years is a great deal of sand in the Hour-glass. My Health, I thank God, I find confirmed; and I do not fear that action shall impair it, because I account my ordinary course of Study and Meditation to be more painful than most parts of action are.
I even bear a mind-- in some MIDDLE PLACE that I could discharge to serve Her Majesty; not as a Man BORN UNDER SOL, that loveth Honour; nor under Jupiter that loveth business--for the contemplative Planet carrieth me away wholly; but as a Man BORN UNDER AN EXCELLENT SOVEREIGN, that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities.....
The greater parts of my Thoughts are to deserve well-- if I were able of my friends, and namely of your Lordship; who being the Atlas of this Commonwealth, the Honour of my House, and the second Founder of my poor Estate, I am tied by all duties, both of a good patriot, and of an unworthy kinsman, and of an obliged servant, to employ whatsoever I am to do you service.
The meanness of my Estate doth somewhat move me : for I cannot accuse myself that I am either prodigal or slothful, yet my Health is not to spend, nor my Course to get.
I confess that I have as vast Contemplative Ends as I have moderate CIVIL Ends : for I have taken ALL KNOWLEDGE to be MY PROVINCE; and if I could purge it of two sorts of Rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations and verbosities, the other with blind Experiments and auricular Traditions and Impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in Industrious Observations, Grounded Conclusions and Profitable Inventions and Discoveries; the best state of that Province.
This, whether it be curiosity, or vain-glory, or nature or--if one take favourably--PHILANTHROPIA, is so fixed in my Mind, as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see that place of any reasonable countenance doth bring Commandment of MORE WITS than of a man's own; which is the thing I greatly effect.
And for your Lordship, perhaps you shall not find more strength and less encounter in any other.
And if your Lordship shall find NOW or at ANY TIME, that I do seek or affect ANY PLACE whereunto any that is nearer unto your Lordship shall be concurrent, say then I am a most DISHONEST MAN.
And if your Lordship will not carry me on, I will not do as Anaxgorus did, who reduced himself with contemplation unto poverty : But this I will do; I will sell the inheritance that I have, and purchase some lease of quick revenue, or some office of gain that shall be executed by deputed, and so GIVE OVER ALL CARE OF SERVICE, and become a sorry BOOK-MAKER or a True Pioneer in the Mine of Truth, which, he said, lay so deep.
This which I have writ to your Lordship is rather THOUGHTS than WORDS, being set down without all Art, Disguising or Reservation. Wherein I have done Honour both to your Lordship's Wisdom, in judging that THAT will be best believed of your Lordship which is truest, and to your Lordship's good nature, in retaining nothing from you. And even so, I wish your Lordship all Happiness, and to myself Means and Occasion to be added to my faithful desire to do you service. From my lodging at Grays Inn.

Is not this a stange letter for a briefless barrister to write to the Queen's Prime Minister? It would be a very strange one if it were not intended to convey something ulterior than appears on the surface. It is not written as nephew to uncle. It is written to Burleigh as the "Atlas of thie Commonwealth...." this England, as a latter touching the well being of the State, and therefore to be passed on officially to Elizabeth. Would any ordinary man have dreamt of writing Burleigh to acquaint him with the fact that he was contemplating going in for literature instead of law, complaining to him of "the meaness of his estate?" What possible interest could this be to Burleigh or the Queen? None.... if it were sent from an outsider on such an ordinary matter. A moments reflection is sufficient to show that the letter announces a decision which the writer knows will be of profound interest to the Queen and her Minister, a decision that will help to clear away a vital problem of State, and which ought to be vitally recorded in writing for the benefit of all concerned.

Francis Bacon's meditations to Greville had at length taken concrete shape. He had decided on a course of action....to cross the Rubicon, from which there could be no return, by giving Burleigh to understand in black and white that he renounced all hopes of being known as a Tudor of royal rights and intended to live under the vizard-name of Bacon.
The first sentence shows that he and Burleigh had previous correspondence on the prime subject of the letter which directly related to "ME and My Poor Estate," poor indeed to what he was really entitled to as the Queen's son. He also lets it be known that the matter is one of "confidence"affecting "your service," i.e., Burleigh's Office.
As a concealed Tudor, born of a Queen still posing as a "Virgin" to the people(Elizabeth was then in her sixtieth year) with her bosom uncovered,(regarded as a sign of virginity in Tudor times) Francis could see, now that he had arrived at the age of thirty-one, that every year that passed made it more and more difficult for his parentage to be openly acknowledged by the populance who only knew him as Francis Bacon. He therefore rightly says, thinking of the unacknowledged years that the locusts had eaten, "I now wax somewhat ANCIENT" ....too ancient to be presented thirty years after birth to the world in general and the English nation in particular, as a real Tudor Prince, with the blood of the great Queen running in his veins. No wonder that he grimly remarks that though his health be good his "Meditations are painful" through studying the proper course to pursue, revolving the entire situation which means the surrender of his just rights.
He reminds Burleigh that he had never sought more than a moderate State office wherewith to serve the Queen "in some Middle Place" and not as a man born under the Sun of England who would naturally love "Honour" and thus be tempted to presume upon his Tudor Breed : But "as a Man BORN UNDER an Excellent Sovereign," which would be literally true physically and mentally of a Queen's Issue. He was just as jealous for the Honour of the House of Tudor as was Burleigh.....as "a patriot, a KINSMAN and a servant."
The Meanness of his Estate moves him because he is conscious of the Rich Estate he ought to occupy and enjoy, yet, he adds, he has no desire "to spend" on personal pleasures nor is his "Course to get" riches for such a purpose. For "I have as VAST Contemplative Ends as I have moderate Civil ends : I have taken ALL KNOWLEDGE to be MY PROVINCE."
In this sentence is Francis Bacon's formally written renunciation to the English Throne. In plain, set terms he tells Burleigh that his "Civil Ends" are modest. He only wants an Office of profit to provide him with a livelihood--"a Middle Place" as a commoner. In giving up all his claims upon the Queen as her son, he has no desire to trespass upon her any further as a mere pensioner. He wants in future to earn his money and no longer be a dependant. No longer will he "seek or affect any Place that would be nearer" to Burleigh himself. The only "Place"that would be nearer the Queen than Burleigh would be a Princely Place..... Recognition. In effect Francis Bacon says, "If you give me a subordinate office of work, I will not take the slightest advantage to lift myself to my rightful heritage; if I do, say then that I am a most dishonest man."

Thus is Burleigh told that Francis Bacon no longer seeks to rule over an earthly Kingdom but to reign over a universal one....the intellectual Province of the Mind, the Storehouse for the riches of "All KNOWLEDGE." Kingdoms and Provinces have no longer any appeal to him unless they are mental and ethical ones. Francis Bacon in this way assures Burleigh that his Civil Ambition to rule the Realm is utterly quenched, and that his Passion is to rule solely an intellectual kindom, to purge it of all frivolous disputations and impositions and to establish grounded conclusions, and profitable invention which would be the "Best State" he could desire....a Province in which he would have the Command of more "Wits" than his own. "This Philanthropia is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed."
This enigmatical letter, which only the Queen and her advisor can properly interpret, seeks to reassure them that they need have no fear of giving him a lucrative State Office so he can follow out his vast contemplative schemes that had already been begun. Obviously, Burleigh had been afraid of finding for him a lucrative position in the Queen's Service lest he might use such an Office as a stepping-stone to the Throne or cause civil unrest by openly demanding recognition of his claims. He therefore adds in effect :

If your Lordship will not carry me on--will not give me such a position of financial independance--then will I give up all thought of entering the Queen's service and become a sorry Book-Maker, selling some of my inheritance to obtain the means.

It is worthy of note that the only inheritance he possessed had been given him by the Queen and his only income was also derived from her to be given or witheld at pleasure. He was still a briefless barrister. He had no law work. He had no professional income. He was still dependant on the Queen's Bounty. That is a prime reason why he writes..... to acquaint her with his thoughts..... to see how she will take it. To clinch the position he concludes his letter by stating that what he has written are not mere words. They are his considered thoughts, his decisions being irrevocable, which he has set down without "Art, Designing or Reservation." He wishes Burleigh happiness in reading of this utter abandonment of his "Suit." To himself he wishes to possess the "Means" of a paid Office to render him independant in order to satisfy his own intellectual urge.
Burleigh, as the prime custodian of the Queen's secret, must have had a load taken off his mind on receipt of this letter. For fifteen years and more he must have had many fears lest this high-spirited young genius should do something desperate to enforce his claim... a veritable Hamlet who could not succeed to the Throne of his Fathers. For good or ill Burleigh now knew that Francis had definitely decided "to live a Second Life on Second Head"(Sonnet 143-lxviii). He had resolved at long last that his Soul should

"Buy Terms Divine in selling Hours of Dross;
Within be fed, without be RICH no more;
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on Men,
And Death once Dead, there's no more dying then."
(35-cxlvi)

The Queen is thus given to understand that his mouth is closed. The secret will be kept from contemporary prying eyes so far as he is concerned. He undertakes nevermore to disturb the existing regime with his bootless cries which makes the head that wears the crown uneasy. In future he will pursue literary tasks, not political; moderate civil ends, not a Royal seat.
There can be little doubt that Francis Bacon had been driven by his meditations to the position that at thirty-one years of age it was hopeless to expect the Queen to recognise him publicly as her eldest son, the circumstances, all around, being against him--the Queen's reputation and his own ill-fated birth only four months after her secret marriage with Leicester. Moreover the Queen was passionately fond of his younger brother to whom the bar-sinister of "adulterine-bastardy" did not apply. The Earl of Essex was a popular idol and acceptable to the populance and would be welcome as being next in the Succession. Parker Woodward sums up the situation in these words which I am sure are substantially true :

Francis would probably argue : The circumstances attending my birth are very awkward. The witnesses of the marriage ceremony are dead, and the dying declaration of the Queen on the subject might not be accepted by the people to whom I am comparatively unknown. Under these circumstances, and more especially since I have taken upon myself the tremendous task of endeavouring to improve our language and literature, and the training and the knowledge of our race, I shall be quite content to go on with my present studies if I can secure some position of permanent and sufficient income to enable me in comfort to prosecute my own work.
To Robert, his brother, he might say.... There is less difficulty with respect to your birth, and I am quite willing to aid you in the direction of the affairs of State....but you must secure for me a suitable Office of good salary as quickly as you can.

Let it be remembered that Francis Bacon was not in practice and therefore not earning, that he had no investments of property or land, etc., that his income was derived from the Queen and Burleigh as Elizabeth's son and we have an explanation that fits the facts... his concealed private life as a Tudor and his secret literary life under varied pen-names to create an English Renaissance.

This extraordinary letter has puzzled every student of Francis Bacon. No adequate explanation has ever been given by historian or biographer. It is inconceivable that a man with no claims on the Queen's Minister should write in such a strain. But the fact is that it is a Matter of State. It is "an endless question." For the outsider, a commoner, it would be a piece of presumption. But as a concealed Prince it was his duty to make known his thoughts. He made a great decision. Henceforth he was to lead Humanity along the King's Highway of Knowledge and Power and he must not allow the tempting thoughts of purely material Honour and Riches to deflect him from his Course. He renounced a Royal Throne but it was to occupy the Chair of Apollo in the Creative Kingdom of the Immortals.......

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