From the chapter in Francis Bacon's Personal Life Story

The Last of the Tudors

by

Alfred Dodd

miniature of the Earl of Essex by
Issac Oliver
portrait of Bacon by Van Somer

pp.325-8

......The real identity of the two brothers {Robert Devereux the 2nd Earl of Essex & Francis Bacon} is confirmed by another significant piece of open writing left by Francis Bacon entitled In Happy Memorie of Queen Elizabeth. It is believed to have been written about 1608 and to have been circulated by hand among his friends, as did Shakespeare's Sonnets. He specially mentions this in his will and desires its publication. It was not published in his lifetime for a very good reason that it told the truth too clearly to contemporaries..... and might have had injurious effect on the children of Essex.
There is a great deal of superfluous matter in the document, and when these irrelevancies are cut out, the reason why Francis Bacon desired its ultimate publication is self-evident : It confirms the Apologia, the facts of history already drawn attention to , and other secret writings. The truth is told by a species of double writing ; open words and phrases being used to convey a secondary meaning. The document was kept in hiding until the majority of Francis Bacon's contemporaries had passed away. It was then published by his chaplain, Dr. Rawley, in Resuscitatio, or bringing into Public Light Several Pieces hitherto Sleeping. 1651

Though the document is chronologically out of place, it is better that it should be considered in conjunction with the Apologia so that we may the better judge the strength of its testimony. Its secrecies are all of a piece with his other writings-- all to the effect that he was a concealed Tudor and not really a "Bacon" at all. The following extract is taken from Dr. Rawley's 1670 edition.

In
Happy Memorie
of
Elizabeth
Queen of England
or
a Collection of the Felicities of
Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth, both of her Natural Endowments, and her Fortune, was admirable amongst women, and Memorable amongst Princes...She reigned Four and Forty Years complete, and yet She did not survive her Felicity["a happy event ; a blessing ; a good fortune ; a source of content."]
Of this Felicity, I am purposed to say somewhat yet without excursion into Praises ; for Praises are the Tribute of Men, but Felicity the Gift of God.....
She was advanced to the Regal Throne from a private Fortune...Princes that are trained to their Father's Courts, and to an immediate and apparent Hope of Succession......become commonly less capable, and less Temperate in their Actions....It may appear that the Divine Providence intending to produce a most exquisite Princess, was pleased to prepare and mould her by Degrees of Discipline. Neither ought the misfortune of her mother justly to stain the pure stream of her blood, especially, seeing it is very evident that King Henry the Eighth did first burn with New Loves before he was inflamed with indignation against Queen Anne....The accusation against her.... was built upon weak and frivoulous Suppositions.....
Queen Anne herself testified by her undaunted courage [her Innocency] and that memorable speech of hers at the time of her death. For having gotten a faithful and friendly Messenger, in the very hour before her Death, she delivered these words to relate to the King : That she had ever found the King very constant and firm to his purpose of Advancing her ; For first, from the estate of a gentlewoman only, and no way pretending to Noble Titles, he raised her to the Honour of Marchioness ; next he vouchsafed to make her his Consort, both of his Kingdom and Bed ; and now that there remained no higher, earthly Honour, he meant to Crown her Innocency with the Glory of Martyrdom.
Though the Messenger durst not relate these words to the King... Tradition, the Conserver of Truth, hath conveyed them to Posterity.

A Wife and a Loving Confederate

Not only was her reign long but it fell into that season of her life which was most Active and Fittest for the swaying of a Sceptre for she was fully twenty-five years old when she came to the Crown and reigned to the seventieth year of her life...
She was happy for her times, comely for her Sex, and comfortable to her Conscience...By her timely succours, her neighbor Kings were settled in their rightful Thrones...Howsoever, she persisted to perform the part of a wife and a loving confederate (p.146).

The reigns for women are for the most part obscured by their husbands to themselves...The peculiar Glory of this Princess was that she had no brother...No Uncle,...none ohter of the Royal Blood and Lineage that might be a Partner in her cares and an Upholder of the Royal Dignity [Francis Bacon does not say Elizabeth had no husband or a Partner that was not of the Blood Royal like Robert Dudley]. And for those whom she Raised to Honour, she carried such a Discrete Hand over them...she herself remained in all things an Absolute Princess.

The Queen's Natural Children

Childless she was and [to Succeed her] left no Issue behind her [to occupy the Throne], which was the case of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Trajan and others [Monarchs who were likewise Childless and left no Successor yet who had Natural Children. Francis Bacon is letting the reader draw the only possible inference : That Elizabeth had Natural Children but left no Successor any more than Alexander the Great and Caesar.] p.147)

Two Fair Issues.

There are two Fair Issues of her Happiness born to her, since her Death, I conceive, not less Glorious and Eminent than those [Two Fair Issues] she enjoyed alive. The Other of her Memory [i.e., the Memory of her Younger Son, Robert Essex, that tortured her last hours] : For she hath gotten such a Successor,who although for his Masculine Virtues.... he may be said to exceed her greatness and somewhat to obscure it, Notwithstanding, he is most Zealous of her Name and Glory; and doth even give a Perpetuity to her Acts.... he hath departed so little from her so as a Son could hardly Succeed a Father with less Noise or Innovation... [Who can this apply to save to the writer Francis Bacon...one of the "Fair Issues" born to her? It cannot apply to James. Elizabeth never "enjoyed him when Alive." He was not "zealous of her Name and Glory." Neither had he any "Masculine Virtues" nor was he "Eminent." But it exactly describes Francis Bacon the "Eminent" son of a wonderful Queen. He did indeed give "a Perpetuity to her Acts" by his very writing of the "Felicities" and in other of his works and acts he immortalized her.]

Her Virginity

....And for this Cause especially have I made this Collection, such as it is, touching her Felicity, and the Marks of God's Favour towards her ; That no Malicious Person should dare to interpose a Curse where God hath given a Blessing.
Now if any Man shall allege that against Me, was once said to Caesar ; We see what we may have recounted could not befall any Princess, but such an one as was extraordinarily supported and cherished by God's Favour ; and she had much in her own Person, and rare Virtues to create and work out unto herself such a fortune. Notwithstanding, I have thought good to insert something more concerning her Moral Parts yet only in those things which have ministered occasion to some Malicious to traduce her.
This Queen as touching her religion, was Pious, Moderate, Constant, and an Enemy to Novelty,... whenever she named God,though it were in common discourse, she would compose her Eyes and her Countenance to a Submisness and Reverence. This I have often observed being in her presence.
Some have divulged her unmindfulness of Mortality, in that she would never endure any mention of her Age or Death,which is most False....Often...many years before her Death,with meekness she would profess herself grown an old woman.
She would sometimes open herself what she liked best for an Inscription upon her Tomb, saying she would only have a Line or two...wherein her Name and Virginity .... should be in the fewest words comprehended.(p.148)

Her Winding Sheet

It is true that wilst she was in her vigourous years and able to bear Children, if any time she were moved to declare Her Successor, she would make answer, That she would never endure to see her Winding Sheet before her Eyes.[Note the sublety of this phrase...Francis Bacon, the Winding Sheet of her Virginity, standing before her as a Youth, pleading to be acknowledged as her Son. Since any mention of the "Succession" was a penal offence, Francis Bacon thus lets the reader know that he had pleaded with the Queen for Recognition. He was the only person who dare have mentioned the question to her] (p.149)

The Necessity of Time

The Change which happened was not in her Nature but upon the Neccessity of Times ....(p.151)
Now if there be any severer nature that shall tax her for that she suffered herself,and was very willing to be Courted, Wooed, and to have Sonnets made in her Commendation....at the worst it amounted to a mere high Admiration....Fair Purpose and Love Making were allowed but Lasciviousness banished.She detested Vice and desired to purchase Fame only by Honourable Courses... [The writer is trying to say that his Mother was honourably married. She was not a Wanton nor Leicester's Mistress].
The only Commender of this Lady's Virtues is Time. The Ages hath not showed us one of the Female Sex equal to her in the administration of a Kingdom. (p.152)

This is much more illuminating and remarkable document than has hitherto been imagined. It is no ordinary piece of writing. Few would be bold enough to deny that Francis Bacon, a master of English, has conveyed through the open text, a series of secret messages of supreme importance. Apart from stressing the fact that Elizabeth sprang from the loins of a virtuous woman, Anne Boleyn, he lets us know that the reckless passion of the Tudors ran through Elizabeth's veins. She did not hesitate therefore to become a secret wife and a loving confederate by a private marriage having two concealed "Issues" (Children) at least. The winding-sheet of her "Virginity" was her first born.....Francis Bacon, a "natural child" of the Queen as Brutus was the "natural son" of the mighty Julius.
His concealment and non-recognition was due to the necessity of the Times which compelled the Queen to act contrary to her natural instincts. Most anxious is he to record the fact that she was not a frivolous wanton but a woman who deeply religious and who detested vice, an honourable woman with nothing lascivious in her nature. But he wants posterity to know that he is a Tudor by birth and that Queen Elizabeth was his mother ; that he is proud of the fact and proud of her.
We thus gather that he is no longer embittered with the Queen over the death of Essex...... his brother. He has since learned the secret of the miscarriage of the Ring and that Elizabeth was not to blame. There is no more bitterness in his heart--only pity and love. If this be not the story openly recorded in this extraordinary composition and if I be in error-- then I have never written nor have I ever studied Elizabethan literature and history.

*****