"neither he, nor his compeers by night Giving him aid "
-Shakespeare Sonnet 86
Francis Bacon and the Secret of the Rosicrucian Rose
The time has come to make visible the mysterious rose that has been invisible for so long. Francis Bacon's connection with the Rosicrucian phenomena remains veiled primarily because the symbol of the Rosicrucian Rose remains veiled. Unveiled it is immediately recognizable as part of the design of the metaphoric imagery of his Great Instauration. Bacon was a past master at metaphoric slight of hand .He wielded this skill to the top of his bent in his "ruse of the rose". So well did his ruse work, in fact, that even to this day it is still midnight in the garden where the Rosicrucian rose blooms.
In the first part of this article I demonstrated Bacon's connection with the Brotherhood of the Freemasons. The rallying cry of the Freemasons was, "Light, more Light!" This presented quite a problem because in Bacon's era The Prince of Darkness himself walked abroad in the guise of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Spanish Empire. Once upon a time, in the glory days of the Roman Empire, the Emperor Nero had had a great bull that stood at the entrance to the arena and bellowed throughout all the days of the Great Games. Christians were imprisoned in the belly of the bull over a low flame, and the throat was fashioned by clever contrivance so their screams caused the bull to roar. Like abused children who become what 'once they stayed to weep', Christians who once bellowed from the belly of Nero's Bull, had became transformed, as the Roman Catholic Church, into a monstrosity from hell. Read all about it in Helen Ellerbe's, "The Dark Side of Christian History".
Ellerbe demonstrates the Roman Catholic Church was the main force that kept the human mind chained in darkness over the centuries, consistently and systematically opposing all stirrings of enlightenment, and advancement of learning. One aspect of this tyranny over the human mind manifested itself in the policy of the Church of refusing to allow the Bible to be translated into the language of the people, ensuring that control remained in the hands of their priesthood. They wanted the people kept in ignorance and darkness so they could more easily be controlled. Another aspect was the regime of torture and murder of people who strayed from the total domination of the Church. In the 13th century this took the form of wholesale genocide in Southern France. The address to the reader at the beginning of the second Rosicrucian Manifesto, the Confessio:
"As we do now altogether freely and securely, and without hurt, call the Pope of Rome Antichrist, the which heretofore was held to for a deadly sin, and men in all countries were put to death for it. So we know certainly that the time shalllikewise come when that which we yet keep secret, we shall openly, freely, and with a loud voice publish and confess before all the world."
defines the Roscrucian position just as much as does the constant emphasis on enlightenment, and the advancement of learning.
The Spanish Empire (the superpower of the day) led by the monster, Philip II, was Roman Catholic. England, a bulwark of opposition to Catholicism and the Spanish Empire, was Protestant. Francis Bacon grew up in the circle of Philip Sidney and his friends. Sidney had developed his political and religious position, based on that of his uncle, Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. He believed in a policy of Protestant 'activism' against Spain. In 1577 the young Sidney was sent on a mission to the imperial court to convey to the new emperor, Rudolph II, the condolences of Queen Elizabeth on the death of his father, Maximilian II, and in the course of this journey Sidney took the occasion to visit the German Protestant princes, particularly the rulers of the Palatine, in order to explore the possibility of a Protestant League in Europe. England had ties with the German Protestant States that had been established while Mary Tudor, "Bloody Mary" as she was popularly called, held the reins of the kingdom in her hands. At that time a large number of English, known as the "Marian Exiles" had left England to wait out Bloody Mary's Monarchy in the German Protestant States, only returning after her death in 1558.
Bacon and his compeers in the secret Masonic society, worked behind the scenes to foster light, and to oppose the tyranny of darkness represented by the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish Empire. They foresaw the impending marriage of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I, to Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, as a regime in which the seed of light might grow. So Bacon dropped those curious little pamphlets into the mix. That the Manifestos had such a huge impact testifies to Bacon's total grasp of the human mind. Unfortunately Frederick made a bid for the throne of Bohemia. This culminated in the famous battle of "The White Mountain" in 1620 in which his forces were defeated by the Hapsburg forces, and the short lived regime of the 'Winter King and Queen of Bohemia' fell. They fled Prague after the defeat of 1620, to pass the rest of their lives as poverty stricken exiles in the Hague in Holland, having lost both the Palatinate and Bohemia.
The Rosicrucian story is generally believed to have begun in 1614 with the publication in Cassel of the "Fama Fraternitatis" of the Fraternity of the Rose Cross. This was roughly a year after the marriage of Elizabeth and Frederick. Cassel was a Protestant principality neighboring the Palatinate and deeply interested in what was going on there. However, the story actually began in 1610 since a reply to the Fama had already been printed in 1612 by Adam Haselmayer who had seen a manuscript copy of the Fama in Tyrol in 1610. Another Fama connected incident also occurred in 1612. In that year, "De Ragguagli di Parnasso [Advertisements from Parnassus]" was published in Venice.
This book was a bitter satiric attack on the policies of the ruling entities of the day. It was divided into one hundred sections, or "Advertisements". Trajano Boccalini, listed as author of the work, died in 1613. Frances Yates says Boccalini was a friend of Paolo Sarpi and other Italian intellectuals in Sarpi's circle, which included Galileo. This means Boccalini was linked to Bacon. In Arnold Matthew's "Life of Sir Tobie Matthew" we find Tobie Matthew served as an intermediary for Bacon in his communications with Galileo. A letter from Tobie Matthew to Bacon, dated October 1, 1615 that described his conference with Galileo. Another dated April 21, 1616 transmitted part of a letter of Galileo's about the text in the book of Joshua, of the sun standing still. Still another letter from Tobie Matthew to Bacon in February of 1619 said his close friend Richard White has spent some time in Florence and "tells me that Galileo had answered your discourse concerning the flux and reflux of the sea, and was sending it unto me; but that Mr. White hindered him, because his answer was grounded upon a false supposition, namely that there was, in the ocean, a full sea, but once in 24 hours. But now I will call upon Galileo again." Richard White had apparently established himself as part of the Sarpi circle, and Matthew had joined that circle when he was in Italy.
The important part of Boccalini's book was the 77th "Advertisement". Titled, "Generale Riforma dell' Universo (General Reformation of the Whole World") this described an assize or court held on mount Parnassus by the god Apollo to find a remedy for the problem of the increasing rate of suicide among humans. After Thales, Virgil, Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Galen and others were unable to suggest a remedy it was decided The Age itself should be summoned before the court for examination. When The Age was called before them, however, and the deceptive gay jacket was stripped off its body, they found the rotten carcass plastered with appearance four inches thick all over. And when the reformers tried to scrape them away with their razors they found them so far eaten into the bone that in all that huge colossus they could not find one ounce of good live flesh. Therefore they covered The Age back up and resolved that until such time as a universal reformation could be brought about philosophers must be content with restricting themselves to regulating the price of cabbages. Manly Palmer Hall says the quality of writing of the 77th Advertisement was far above the quality of the remainder of the book, and suggested that Boccalini allowed someone to use his name. That someone, in Hall's opinion, was Francis Bacon.
The Universal Reformation was published separately in 1614 in Germany under the title, "Allgemeine und General-Reformation der ganzen weiten Welt (Universal and General-Reformation of the Whole Wide World)". This publication differed in one important particular from the original publication. It included as an appendix the first appearance in print of the anonymous pamphlet titled, "Fama Fraternitatis R.C.", i.e., the "Fame and Declaration of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross". This little pamphlet evoked a tremendous response. By 1616 although the little pamphlet had passed through several editions, Boccalini's essay had entirely disappeared along the way. However, the publication of Boccalini works in England did have some intriguing ramifications.
The first appearance of Boccalini's writings in English occurred in 1656. The translator's name was listed as "the Right Honourable Henry Earl of Monmouth". This was a curious coincidence since Monmouth meant "my mouth", and Boccalini meant "little mouth". Moreover, the motto engraved around the portrait of Monmouth was backward like the illustration in Peacham's 1612 "Minerva Britannia" where a person was concealed behind a curtain while his arm was reached out from behind the curtain writing the phrase, "Mente videbori" backwards, i.e., "by the mind shall I be seen". In 1645 "The Great Assises Holden in Parnassus by Apollo and His Assessovrs" was published in London. This book was obviously modeled after the Universal Reformation and, in this work, Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, was listed as the Chancellor of Parnassus. A new edition of the "Advertisements" was edited in 1704 by N.N. Esquire.
Esquire means Mr. So the name becomes Mr. N.N. Curiously on the original Rosicrucian Manifesto, N.N. is listed as one of the Rosicrucian Brothers. In any case, whoever N. N. was, the gentleman took great liberties with the text of Boccalini's work. He was particularly original in his treatment of the 77th Advertisement. Apollo selects a committee to devise a plan for the reformation of human society, and N.N. Esquire lists the secretary for Apollo's committee as Sir Francis Bacon. Obviously, Bacon's Freemason compeers were still quite active in England at this time.
Three publications appeared in Germany in 1614, 1615, and 1616 respectively. These are really the only evidence for the existence of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. All later writings about the Rosicrucian Fraternity were merely reactions to these original three publications. In fact, the 1616 pamphlet seems to have been in reaction also to the 1614 and 1615 publications. The three Rosicrucian publications were as follows:
1. A short pamphlet in German, published in Cassel, Germany in 1614 by Wilhelm Wessel (printer for prince Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse),entitled, Fame Fraternity, or a Discovery of The Most Noble Order of The Rosy Cross (hereafter referred to as The Fama).
2. Another short pamphlet published at the same place by the same printer in 1615, entitled The Confession of the Rosicrucian Fraternity (hereafter referred to as The Confession).
3. A third, much longer publication of quite a different type, published in Strasburg, Germany in 1616, entitled The ChemicalWedding of Christian Rosy Cross (hereafter referred to as The Chemical Wedding).
Next in rank to these publications, in order of importance for the Rosicrucian phenomena, were books by Robert Fludd, and Michael Maier, published in the years following the appearance of the three publications listed above. Although both Fludd and Maier disavowed any connection with the Rosicrucians, they are generally recognized as the chief exponents of their philosophy. The major works of Fludd and Maier were published by the De Bry publishing firm at Oppenheim in the Palatine during the reign of Frederick V.
The Fama opened with a stirring call to all men of knowledge. United they might collect the Book of Nature,- a perfect method of all arts and sciences. But their pride and greed was so great it would not allow agreement among them. They remain on the same old course, still esteeming Porphory, Aristotle, Galen, and mere shows of learning, rather than the clear light and simple truth. Their science is filled with errors, but their contention prevented them from amending it.
There is still hope for them, however, because the perfect method of all arts and sciences has already been discovered by Father C.R., who founded the Rosy Cross Fraternity. At an early age he went to Damasco, and became acquainted with the Wise Men of Damcar in Arabia and beheld their wonders, and how they had discovered the secrets of nature. After traveling on to Damcar he perfected himself in the Arabic tongue, and learned Physic and Mathematics. Then he went to Egypt where he studied plants and creatures for a short time, and proceeded on to Fez [the text says: he sailed over the whole Mediterranean sea for to come to Fez. Apparently Fez is utilized to indicate to the reader the mode of communication in the FAMA. Fez was noted for being composed of such diverse cultures that the residents had to use symbols in order to communicate with one another]. At Fez C.R. studied Mathematics, Physic and Magic and became acquainted with the Elementals who revealed unto him many of their secrets. C.R.C. found in the doctrines of FEZ that microcosmic doctrine which demonstrated the agreement of man, the little cosmos, with the world, the great cosmos.
After leaving Fez, C.R. sailed to Spain. He conferred with the learned in Spain, "showing unto them the errors of our arts, and how they might be corrected, and from whence they should gather the true Indicia of the times to come, and wherein they ought to agree with those things that are past" and "prescribed them new Axiomata, whereby all things might fully be restored." but he was laughed at for his pains:
"The same song was also sung to him by other nations, the which moved him the more because it happened to him contrary to his expectations, being ready then bountifully to impart all the arts and secrets to the learned, if they would have but undertaken to write the true and infallible Axiomata, out of all faculties, sciences, and arts, and whole Nature, as that which he knew would direct them, like a globe or circle, to the only middle point and Centrum, and (as is usual among the Arabians) it should only serve to the wise and learned as a rule."
He tried to impart the arts and secrets to the learned of Europe, to show them how to write the true and infallible Axiomata out of all faculties, sciences and arts, but he was laughed at for his pains. So with the aid of a few people close to him he began the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, and began to attempt the necessary reformation of all knowledge:
"Wherefore he desired to this end, to have out of his first cloister (to the which he bare a great affection) three of his brethren, brother G.V., brother J.A., and brother J.O., who besides that, they had some more knowledge in the arts, than in that time many others had, he did bind those three unto himself, to be faithful, diligent, and secret; as also to commit carefully to writing, all that which he should direct and instruct them in, to the end that those which were to come, and through especial revelation should be received into this Fraternity, might not be deceived of the least syllable and word.After this manner began the Fraternity of the Rose Cross; first, by four persons only, and by them was made the magical language and writing, with a large dictionary, which we yet daily use to God's praise and glory, and do find great wisdom therein; they made also the first part of the book M. But in respect that that labour was too heavy, and the unspeakable concourse of the sick hindered them, and also whilst this new building (called Sancti spiritus) was now finished, they concluded to draw and receive yet others more into their Fraternity; to this end was chosen brother R.C., his deceased father's brother's son, brother B., a skilful painter, G. and P.D. their secretary."
"After the death of J.O. brother R.C. rested not, but as soon as he could, called the rest together (and as we suppose) then his grave was made. Although hitherto we (who were the latest) did not know when our loving father R.C. died, and had no more but the bare names of the beginners, and all their successors, to us, yet there came into our memory a secret, which through dark and hidden words, and speeches of the 100 years, brother A., the successor of D. (who was of the last and second row and succession, and had lived amongst many of us) did impart unto us the third row and succession."
These three working together made the magical language and writing, with a large dictionary which the Fraternity daily uses to God's praise and glory. They also completed the first part of the Book M, but since the labor involved was so great, and much of their time was used attending to the sick they decided to receive others into their Fraternity. They received R.C., Brother B.(described as a skillful painter), G.G., and P.D., so that in all they were now eight (note that the eight does not include C.R. in the count):
1. I. A.
3. R.C. (C.R.C.'s deceased father's brother's son)
4. B. (a skillful painter)
5. I.O. (P.A. was his successor)
6. P.D. (A. was his successor, and N.N. was in turn A's successor)
7. R. (successor to C.R.C.)
and by these eight the Book M was completed, a volume of all man can desire, wish, or hope for. With this work the Fraternity was assured their Axiomata would immovably remain unto the world's end and that the world in its highest and last age would not attain to anything higher, for their ROTA took its beginning from that day when God spoke Fiat, and would end when HE spoke Pereat, yet God's clock strikes every minute while theirs scarce strikes perfect hours.
Their science perfected, the brothers separated themselves into several countries not only so their Axiomata might in secret be more profoundly examined by the learned, but that they themselves, if in some country or other observed anything, or perceived some error, might inform one another of it. Prior to their separation they drew up an agreement with six articles they bound themselves one to another to keep:
1. That none of them should profess any other thing than to cure the sick, and that gratis.
2. None of the posterity should be constrained to wear one kind of habit, but to follow the custom of the country.
3. Every year, upon the day C., they would meet together at the house Santi Spiritus, or write the cause of their absence.
4. Every Brother should seek a worthy person to succeed him after his death.
5. The word CR should be their seal, mark, and character.
6. The Fraternity should remain secret one hundred years.
Following this the Fraternity continued for many years. In their philosophical BIBLIOTHECA, their AXIOMATA was held for the chief; their ROTA MUNDI for the most artificial; their PROTEUS for the most profitable. Brother I.O. in England was the first to die. Brother A. was the successor of D. After A. died in France he was succeeded by Brother N.N. who, thinking to alter some of the building Santi Spiritus, happened one day to remove a stone which revealed a hidden door. Clearing the remainder of the stones away from the door he saw written in large letters on it:
When the door was opened the Brethren found a vault of seven sides and seven corners, every side five feet wide and eight feet high. The vault was lite by a sun which operated with the same principle as the real sun, and was located in the center part of the ceiling. Instead of a tombstone a round altar was in the middle of the vault, and engraved on it was the words:
When the altar was removed the wonderfully preserved body of C.R.C.(for some reason The Fama begins to call him C.R.C. at this point instead of C.R.) was found. In his hand was a book called "I" which, next to the Bible, was the greatest treasure of the Rosicrucians, and at the end of the book was a eulogy which said (among other things) that C.R.C. the Fama had:
"...constructed a microcosm corresponding in all motions to the macrocosm and finally drew up this compendium of things past, present, and to come."
This sentence described his tomb - underneath the brothers had subscribed themselves as follows (My source is "The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross" by A.E. Waite. Note G.G. is now dropped from the list):
1. Fra. I.A. Fra. Ch. electione Fraternitatis caput. [elected head of Fraternity]
2. Fra. G.V. M.P.G.
3. Fra. F.R.C. Junior haeres S. Spiritus [younger heir of the house of the holy spirit]
4. Fra. F.B. M.P.A. Pictor et Architectus [painter and architect]
1. Fra. P.A. Successor to Fra. I.O., Mathematicus
2. Fra. A. Successor to Fra. P.D.
3. Fra. R. Successor to Patris C.R.C., cum Christo Triumphantis [with Christ Triumphant]
The vault list differed slightly from the list that would be made following the description in The Fama narrative. That list would be as follows:
1. I. A.
3. R.C. (Listed as F.R.C. above)
4. B. (a skillful painter. Obviously Brother F.B.)
5. I.O. (P.A. was his successor)
6. P.D. (A. was his successor, and N.N. was in turn A's successor)
7. R. (successor to C.R.C.)
8. G.G. (not on above list)
The publication of The Fama aroused intense excitement in Europe. The mystery of the Fraternity and its mysterious Brothers was increased in the following year by the publication of the second Rosicrucian manifesto - The Confession. The Confession continued the discussion of the Brothers, of their philosophy, and their mission. It said their only philosophy was that which was the head of all faculties, arts, and sciences, and if all learning was lost, the knowledge brought forth by C.R.C. would allow posterity to lay a new foundation of sciences. The manifesto invited the learned to join the Brothers in their work. They would have only to declare their mind "either Communicatio, or singulatim by print", and their words would "assuredly come" to the Brothers.
(title page of the 1616 edition of the Chymical Wedding)
Many passionate efforts were made to reach the Brothers, by letters, by printed appeals, and pamphlets. The 1616 "Chemical Wedding" was not a manifesto, and was published at Strausburg, not Cassel. The Chemical Wedding was an account of the mystic marriage of Christian Rosencreutz which ended a seven day experience in a castle complete with visions, theatrical performances, and a ceremony of initiation into an order of chivalry. It was written by Johann Valentine Andreae around 1603, but this information was only made public when his autobiography (JOANNIS VALENTITINI ANDREAE VITA, AB IPSON CONSCRIPTA) was published in 1849.
Andreae did not write the Manifestos. He said he didn't. If he had, they we they would have been printed by his publisher in Strasburg. They were not. However, The author of the Manifestos was familiar with Andreae's work (still in manuscript at the time) and derived some of his ideas from that work. Andreae retained the manuscript of his Chemical Wedding, after writing it in 1603, until the Manifestos were published. Then, noting the similar ideas in the Manifestos, had his manuscript (which had long been gathering dust) published. Despite the flood of printed works seeking to get in touch with, and cooperate with, the Brothers of the Order as far as is known all appeals went unanswered. But this did not diminish interest in the Rosicrucians. On the contrary it intensified.
This, in summary, is the story of the Rosicrucian phenomena. A story which has never ceased to attract and inspire those interested in the bizarre and mysterious. Some take the story literally. Some have labeled it a hoax. There are certain features cleverly designed into The Fama that are more than sufficient indication to the observant reader that the work is not to be taken at face value. For example, The Fama says C.R. was born in 1378 and lived 106 years, which would have made his death around 1484. Yet we are told that when his tomb was opened one of his books that was found in the tomb was a work of Paracelsus. Since Paracelsus was born in 1493 and died in 1541 he would have been born nine years after Rosenkreutz died. Moreover, C.R.C. is supposed to have founded the fraternity. But look at the list of names. C.R.C. not listed among the members:
1. Fra. I.A. Fra. Ch. electione Fraternitatis caput.
2. Fra. G.V. M.P.G.
3. Fra. F.R.C. Junior haeres S. Spiritus
4. Fra. F.B. M.P.A. Pictor et Architectus
1. Fra. P.A. Successor, Fra. I.O., Mathematicus
2. Fra. A. Successor Fra. P.D.
3. Fra. R. Successor Patris C.R.C., cum Christo Triumphantis
The first four names are obviously the first circle of brothers since the next three are prefixed by the title, "Second Circle", and in the next three we are told Brother R. is successor to Father C.R., however,
Father C.R.C does not appear in the first circle. Why? Obviously The Fama is not to be taken factually. Nevertheless, there are naïve readers of the Manifestos who take them at face value as an account of a man born in 1378 who founded a secret society. But they have a superficial grasp of the phenomenon. All students who have looked deeper into the matter (such as A.E. Waite, Manly Palmer Hall, and Frances Yates, etc.) tend to believe some type of allegory is expressed in the Manifestos, and some type of hidden meaning is present.
There are connotations in the emblem of the Rose Cross that appears to point to England. "Rosicrucian" has at least two possible meanings. It signifies a rose colored cross. But it can also signify a crucified rose. The rose colored, or red cross was well known. When Pope Urban II preached the first crusade at Clermong in central France, in that open field outside the town, he designated a cross made red with the blood of Christ as the badge of the "soldiers of Christ", the knights who would go forth on their holy crusade for the cause of recovering the Holy Land from the infidels. This cross was also the cross of the Knights Templars, the Christian heroes who wore it on their breasts in their wars against the Saracens and Turks.
With the Rosicrucians, however, instead of a "red with the blood of Christ cross" used as an emblem in the cause of recovering the Holy Land from the infidels, the cross was rose red and was used as an emblem in the holy crusade of the Advancement of Learning. This pointed toward England where another well known red cross - the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England, and the legend of St. George had its arising from a historic figure - George of Capodoccia, who was renowned for his learning. Moreover, the red cross of England was associated with a red rose - the Tudor rose. The red cross and the rose were customary on various insignia associated with England: the emblem of the Knights of the Garter (royal order of chivalry of England), on the sails of the English navy's flagship, the Ark Royal, etc. The Red Cross of Saint George adorned the pennants of the English sailing ships of discovery as they sailed forth on their voyages to the New World. And the sailing ship of discovery was precisely the emblem utilized by Bacon as the headpiece to his published works. Another element pointing to England was presence of ideas from
John Dee and Francis Bacon in the Manifestos. The John Dee connection in the manifestos: The Confession had a tract, called, "A brief Consideration of a more Secret Philosophy", published with it. This tract was based on John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica, much of it being verbatim quotations from the Monas. This tract was part of the Confession publication, and the Confession was linked to The Fama. Thus, it is definite the "more secret" philosophy behind the manifestos was the Monas of John Dee. Furthermore Dee's Monas symbol appeared on the title page of the Wedding and in the text beside the poem with which the allegory began.
The Francis Bacon influence in the Manifestos The manifestos were saturated through and through with the most detailed impress of Bacon's thought. When the Fame opened with a call to all men of knowledge that united they might collect the Book of Nature,- a perfect method of all arts and sciences, it pointed directly to Bacon because this was what Bacon (and only Bacon) claimed to have done. Bacon's thought was also seen in their central theme dealing with the advancement of learning. And readers who are familiar with my essays on the various "Shakespeare" plays will know that they are designed to look both to the past and to the future, and thus his thought is evident in the following Fama passage, "showing unto them the errors of our arts, and how they might be corrected, and from whence they should gather the true Indicia of the times to come, and wherein they ought to agree with those things that are past" (The Shakespeare plays incorporate a "Janus" design relating the past to the future).
We must remember also, that The New Atlantis is the work in which Bacon set forth a depiction of his metaphoric New World of the Sciences, and that this New World is portrayed by Bacon as the land of the Rosicrucians. There is no doubt of this. Before the travelers landed they were handed a scroll of instructions by an official from New Atlantis. 'This scroll was signed with a stamp of cherubim's wings, not spread, but hanging downwards, and by them a cross.' Exactly as the Rosicrucian Fama was sealed at the end with the motto 'Under the shadow of Jehovah's wings', and the cross. A few days later an official of New Atlantis came to visit the strangers, and he was wearing a white turban 'with a small red cross on the top.' Further proof the travelers had come to the land of the R.C. Brothers. When the sick of the travelers were cared for and they offered payment, the payment was refused, recalling the rule of the R.C. Brothers that they are to heal the sick gratis. When the travelers asked how the brothers knew what went on in the outside world they were told men from New Atlantis were sent out dressed in the dress of the countries they visited and adopting their habits so as to pass unperceived, i.e. they followed the rule of the R.C. Brother that they wear no special habit or distinguishing mark, but conform in dress and appearance with the inhabitants of whatever country they visited. In commenting on Bacon's "New Atlantis" Spedding said:
"Perhaps there is no single work of his which has so much of himself in it. The description of Solomon's House is the description of the vision in which he lived-the vision not of an ideal world released from the natural conditions to which ours is subject, but of our own world as it might be made if we did our duty by it; of a state of things which he believed would one day be actually seen upon this earth, such as it is, by men such as we are, and the coming of which he believed that hisown labors were sensibly hastening."
We must also note in pass that the central motif of Solomon's house in Bacon's "New Atlantis" also connects it with Freemasonry.
John Heydon's Holy Guide, published in 1662 was for the most part based on an adaptation of the New Atlantis. In the Holy Guide when the man in the white turban with the red cross visits the sick, he says, "I am by Office Governor of this House of Strangers, and by vocations I am a Christian priests, and of the Order of the Rosie Cross'. And where Bacon speaks of one of the wise men of the House of Solomon, Heydon has, 'One of the wise men of the Society of the Rosicrucians'. Heydon speaks explicitly of the House of Solomon in New Atlantis as the same as the 'Temple of the Rosie Cross'. And Heydon has many other point associating New Atlantis with the Fama; in fact he sees Bacon's work as practically the same as the Rosicrucian Manifesto. Heydon certainly knew , if anyone did because, even though the book appeared after Bacon's "death" it is apparent Heydon was one of Bacon's masks. Anyone who is acquainted with Bacon's style cannot fail to note the similarity:
"I was twenty when this book was finished; but methinks I have outlived myself; I begin to be weary of the sun. I have shaken hands with delight, and know all is vanity, and I think no man can live well once but he that could live twice. For my part I would not live over my hours past, or begin again the minutes of my days; not because I have lived well, but for fear that I should live them worse. At my death I mean to make a total adieu of the world, not caring for the burthen of a tombstone and epitaph, but in the universal Register of God I fix my contemplations on Heaven. I writ the Rosicrucian Infallible Axiomata in four books, and study, not for my own sake only, but for theirs that study not for themselves. In the law I began to be a perfect clerk; I write the Idea of the Law, etc., for the benefit of my friends, and practice in King's Bench. I envy no man that knows more than myself, but pity them that know less Now, in the midst of all my endeavours there is but one thought that dejects me, that my acquired parts must perish with myself, nor can be legacied amongst my dearly beloved andhonoured friends."
This book was supposedly written after Bacon's death, and long after the Rosicrucian Axiomata was written. But note this person says he wrote it, and this person writes in the style of Bacon, and refers to Bacon's law career and legal writings, and reiterates the "I begin to be weary of the sun" which is found in the "Shakespeare" plays. To the weight of all the other evidence of Bacon's hand in the Manifestos we must add the fact that his New Atlantis very definitely connects him with the Rosicrucians.
Even without the New Atlantis, however, there is more than enough evidence in the Fama to establish the connection with Bacon. One of the Rosicrucian Brothers is listed in the Fama as Fra[ter]. F.B. M.P.A. Pictor et Architectus. What can this mean (bearing in mind all the other evidence) except: Brother Francis Bacon, Master, Painter, and Architect of the Rosicrucian Fraternity? Moreover, the first paragraph alone of The Fama was more than sufficient to conclusively establish the connection with the thought of Bacon:
"Seeing the only wise and merciful God in these latter days hath poured out so richly his mercy and goodness to mankind, whereby we do attain more and more to the perfect knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ and Nature, that justly we may boast of the happy time, wherein there is not only discovered unto us the half part of the world, which was heretofore unknown and hidden, but he hath also made manifest unto us many wonderful, and never heretofore seen, works and creatures of Nature, and moreover hath raised men, imbued with great wisdom, who might partly renew and reduce all arts (in this our age spotted and imperfect) to perfection; so that finally man might thereby understand his own nobleness and worth, and why he is called Microcosmus, and how far his know- ledge extendeth into Nature."
There are six major ideas in this paragraph:
1. The renewal (Instauration) of all arts.
2. That the opening of the previously unexplored half of the globe is connected with the opening up of the previously unexplored part of Nature.
3. That the two events are ordained by God to occur together in the same age.
4. That the event is, therefore, not to be credited to any one man, but to the age itself. (This is implied in the paragraph, but stated explicitly later in The Confession.)
5. That accomplishing this work will allow man to know why he "is called Microcosmus." (Certainly a unique notion.)
6. That the age has seen men raised up who are "imbued with great wisdom" and are equal to the task at hand.
These ideas are all somewhat off the beaten path. Collectively they constitute the fingerprint of a mind. They are all stock ideas of Bacon's which he constantly reiterates:
"There was but one course left, therefore,- to try the whole thing anew upon a better plan, and to commence a total reconstruction of sciences, arts, and all human knowledge, raised upon the proper foundations."-Proemium to the Great Instauration
"...and if by travel, it requireth to voyage but of half the globe. But to circle the earth, as the heavenly bodies do, was not done nor enterprised till these later times: and therefore these times may justly bear in their word, not only plus ultra (more beyond), in precedence of the ancient non ultra (no more beyond), and immitable thunderbolt in precedence of the ancient nonimitable thunderbolt... but likewise imitabile coalum; in respect of the many memorable voyages, after the manner of heaven, about the globe of the earth. And this proficience in navigation and discoveries may plant also an expectation of the further proficience and augmentation of all sciences because it may seem they are ordained by God to be coevals, that is, to meet in one age. For so the prophet Daniel speaking of the latter times foretelleth, Many shall pass to and fro and knowledge shall be multiplied: as if the openness and through passage of the world and the increase of knowledge were appointed to be in the same ages..." -The Advancement of Learning
These two passages express the first four ideas in the paragraph. The fifth, that by opening up the previously unexplored parts of nature man will learn why he is called Microcosmus, is a peculiar idea, one apparently unique to Bacon. According to Bacon the disciples of Paracelsus had "fantastically strained" the idea of why man was Microcosmus. For Bacon man was microcosmus because his mind, like a glass, had the ability to receive in it the image of the great world:
"...God hath framed the mind of man as a glass capable of the images of the universal world, joying to receive the signature thereof as the eye is of light..."
This was Bacon's great concept of the Intellectual Globe, a microcosm in the mind of man which was a true model of the great world. Bacon sees the natural philosopher as God's vice-regent recreating in the mind of man a little world modeled after God's great world. Only then will man truly know why "he is called Microcosmus."
The Fama says that Christian Rosencreutz built a microcosm. When his vault was opened instead of a tombstone a round altar was in the middle of the vault, and engraved on it was the words:
When the altar was removed the wonderfully preserved body of C.R.C. was found. In his hand was a book called "I" which, next to the Bible, was the greatest treasure of the Rosicrucians, and at the end of the book was a eulogy which said (among other things) that C.R.C. had:
"...constructed a microcosm corresponding in all motions to the macrocosm and finally drew up this compendium of things past, present, and to come."
This would certainly be a curious coincidence after all the other ideas paralleling those of Bacon, because we know that this was exactly what Bacon was involved in doing:
"For I am building in the human understanding a true model of the world" -Novum Organum
There are clear allusions to Bacon's Discovery Device in the Manifestos. The passage from the Manifestos that states:
""He conferred with the learned in Spain, "showing unto them the errors of our arts, and how they might be corrected, and from whence they should gather the true Indicia of the times to come, and wherein they ought to agree with those things that are past" and "prescribed them new Axiomata, whereby all things might fully be restored." but he was laughed at for his pains:
"The same song was also sung to him by other nations, the which moved him the more because it happened to him contrary to his expectations, being ready then bountifully to impart all the arts and secrets to the learned, if they would have but undertaken to write the true and infallible Axiomata, out of all faculties,sciences, and arts, and whole Nature, as that which he knew would direct them,like a globe or circle, to the only middle point and Centrum, and (as is usual among the Arabians) it should only serve to the wise and learned as a rule."
He tried to impart the arts and secrets to the learned of Europe, to show them how to write the true and infallible Axiomata out of all faculties, sciences and arts, but he was laughed at for his pains."
The Fama continues:
"Otherwise we must confess, that after the death of the said "A" none of us had in any manner known anything of brother R.C. and of his first fellow-brethren, that that which was extant of them in our philosophical Bibliotheca, amongst which our Axiomata was held for the chiefest, Rota Mundi for the most artificial, and Proteus the most profitable. Likewise we do not certainly know if these of the second row have been of the like wisdom as the first "
All of this has clear echoes in passages in Bacon's works. With the presence of the compass established in the Shakespeare plays, and the realization that Bacon was building a model of the world there, and that the compass represented a microcosm of the world it becomes obvious that the Rota Mundi (Wheel of the World) is analogous to the idea of the design in the First Folio. The idea of Bacon's science was that it would give man the power to change any substance into any other substance. The reference to "Proteus" as "the most profitable" obviously refers to this. Referring to his "New Machine for the Intellect" Bacon repeatedly refers to his system of axioms:
"Now my plan is to proceed regularly and gradually from one axiom to another, so that the most general are not reached till the last: but then when you do come to them you find them to be not empty notions, but well defined, and such as nature would really recognize as her first principles, and such as lie at the heart and marrow of things.-The Great Instauration
"Lastly that they had no knowldge of the formulary of interpretation, the work whereof is to abridge experience and make things as certainly found out by Axiom in short time, as by infinite experiences in ages."-Valerius Terminus
Certain passages in the Fama may be coded writing designed to convey concealed information. For example:
"yet there came into our memory a secret, which through dark and hidden words, and speeches of the 100 years, brother A., the successor of D. (who was of the last and second row and succession, and had lived amongst many of us) did impart unto us of the third row and succession."
Observe closely the phrasing of this passage, "a secret, which through dark and hidden words" as if the author was signaling the reader that a hidden meaning was forthcoming. Then compare the Baconian fragments from "Physiological Remains under Questions Touching Minerals":
"The Lord Bacon's Questions and Solutions concerning the compounding, incorporating, or union of metals or minerals; which subject is the first letter of his Lordship's Alphabet.
The second letter of the cross-row, touching the separation of metals and minerals.
The third letter of the cross-row, touching the variation of metals into several shapes, bodies, or nature, the particulars whereof follows."
In some personal notes, made in 1608, Bacon said:
"Qu. Of young schollars in ye universities. It must be the post nati. Giving pensions to four, to compile the two histories, ut supra."
"Qu. Of the order and discipline, the rules and praescripts of their studyes and inquyries, allowances for travailing, intelligence, and correspondence with ye universities abroad."
"Qu. Of the maner and praescripts touching secresy, traditions, and publications."
Is it coincidence that we find in the Fama?:
"After this manner began the Fraternity of the Rose Cross; first, by four personsonly, and by the was made the magical language and writing, with a large dictionary "
It seems that, if the Fama is examined carefully, four of the brothers can be identified. These are: Brothers F.B., D., I.A., and Brother R. Since the evidence of Bacon's hand is so obvious in the Fama, it is plausible to assume Brother F.B. is Francis Bacon. Since the Latin version of the publication that contained the first edition of the Confessio also contained a short called "A Brief Consideration of the more Secret Philosophy" which quoted verbatim from the first thirteen theorems of the John Dee's "Monas Hieroglyphica", and "The Chemical Wedding" contained a reproduction of Dee's 'monas' symbol from its title page, it is plausible to assume brother D. was John Dee. Furthermore, since it is known that the third Rosicrucian document, "The Chemical Wedding" was written by Johann Andreae, and the alternate form of his name was Iohann Andreae, it is plausible to assume the initials "I.A." listed on the manifesto as "electione Fraternitatis caput", i.e. "elected head of the Fraternity", stands for Iohann Andreae. We have seen that had contacts with Galileo through his agent Mathew. Apparently he also maintained a wide range of other contacts, and Andreae was one of these. Andreae was acquainted with Prince Augustus, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg. Yates mentions a letter written by Andreae to him. And a number of Baconians have believed that "Cryptomenytices", supposedly written by Prince Augustus in 1624, was actually written by Bacon.
Evidently the Fama gave information relating to actual people connected with the Brotherhood. The alternative suggestion that the initials I.A., and F.B., and D., appeared by chance in the membership rooster of the organization is simply too much of a coincidence. This indicates that Brother R. was Raleigh. The original Fama ended with the large letter subscript:
Which in context of the other correlations in the Fama may be assigned to the famous event which occurred in the summer of 1582. At that time William the Silent of Orange was leader of the Protestant forces in the Netherlands. A small group of Englishmen went to Antwerp to meet with him. Queen Elizabeth herself rode out with them as far as Canterbury. The group was made up of Walter Raleigh, Lord Hunsdon, the Earl of Leicester, Fulke Greville, Philip Sidney, and Edward Dyer. When the queen turned back the group continued on, crossed the channel, and proceeded onward to Antwerp where they met William of Orange. Raleigh was detained there by William after the others had returned, and entrusted with letters for Queen Elizabeth. He was also entrusted with a special verbal message for the Queen:
That is, "UNDER THE SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS WE ARE PROTECTED." William of Orange was sending both an appeal, and an acknowledgment, to Queen Elizabeth of her support of the Protestant cause. In view of the English connections and the Protestant activism of the Rosicrucian publications it is evident the postscript of The Fame referred to that famous event involving Sir Walter Raleigh and William the silent of Orange. It both referred to that famous message, and amended it to conform to its source,- the Psalms, where several variations of the phrase, under the shadow of your wings Jehovah we are protected, was to be found. Queen Elizabeth had died in 1603. King James was too much of a moral and physical coward to become involved with anything even remotely connected with a martial cause. The Protestant cause had indeed to look for its protection under the shadow of the wings of Jehovah.
Having established these four people as connected with the Rosicrucians phenomenon (I will even go a step further and venture a guess that G.G. stands for Galileo Galilei) we can also establish that the manifestos were fiction, although a fiction that was fashioned to designate some hidden meaning. Since the real author of the manifestos was familiar with Andreae's manuscript works we can assume that Andreae had inside knowledge of this person (who was certainly Francis Bacon) and of his secret intentions. Andreae described his "Chemical Wedding" as a "ludibrium", that is, a "fictional story", a "stage play", or jest. In Andreae's "Christian Mythology of 1618 Andreae said:
"I have nothing whatever to do with it [the Fraternitas R.C.]. When it came about, not a long time since, that some on the literary stage were arranging a play scene of certain ingenious parties, I stood aside as one who looks on, having regard tothe fashion of the age which seizes with avidity on new-fangled notions."
Since we have identified four of the Brothers in the list, let's take another look at the list and see if any more deductions can be made from the list. The list is as follows:
1. Fra. I.A. Fra. Ch. electione Fraternitatis caput. [elected head of Fraternity]
2. Fra. G.V. M.P.G.
3. Fra. F.R.C. Junior haeres S. Spiritus [younger heir of the house of the holy spirit]
4. Fra. F.B. M.P.A. Pictor et Architectus [painter and architect]
1. Fra. P.A. Successor to Fra. I.O., Mathematicus
2. Fra. A. Successor to Fra. P.D.
3. Fra. R. Successor to Patris C.R.C., cum Christo Triumphantis [with Christ Triumphant]
Look at the third name on the list. The Fama says this was C.R.C.'s "deceased father's brother's son". Isn't this rather curious phrasing? This suggests some obscure significance. What does it mean? Since F. R.C. was C.R.C.'s father's brother's son, it means his last name was Rosencreutz. Thus the name on the list stands for F. Rosencreutz, or F. Rosy Cross. The author of The Fama wanted to convey this information without it being immediately obvious. John Wilkins, principal founder of the Royal Society, said in his "Mathematical Magic while referring to a perpetual lamp:
"such a lamp is related to be seen in the sepulchre of Francis Rosicrosse, as is more largely expressed in the Confession of that Fraternity."
Wilkins was aware F.R.C. stood for F. Rosencreutz, or F. Rosicrosse. Since he had the Rosicrosse part of it right (which has escaped other commentators on the subject) more than likely he had the Francis part right also. This makes the vault that of F.R.C. - the third name on the list. But since it was the vault of C.R.C., C.R.C. and F.R.C. are to be equated. This leads to the observation that since Francis Rosicrosse is listed immediately before the F.B. (Francis Bacon) these two are to be equated. The title Painter and Architect implies Francis Bacon was the Painter and Architect of the Fraternity The whole title "M.P.A." probably stood for, "Magister, Pictor et Architectus [Master, Painter and Architect]" lending even more credence to the idea that Francis Bacon was the mind behind the whole thing. Indeed, this conclusion is inevitable in view of all the evidence of Bacon's mind in The Fama. So it is obvious both The Fama and the list are not what they purport to be on the surface, and neither can be taken at face value.
Bacon wanted to recruit people to aid him in his task of spreading light. He referred several times to the idea that men with exceptional wisdom, who were equal to the task of the Instauration, had been raised upon in his age. In "Thoughts and Conclusions" he said:
"It has occurred to me likewise, that there are doubtlessly many wits scattered over Europe, capacious, open, lofty, subtle, solid, and constant...there be good hope that these great wits I spoke of before, such as flourished in the old philosophers, and are even still often to be found..."
In my opinion, The Manifestos were recruiting posters - the device Bacon used to pursue his recruitment. The people whose names appeared on the Manifestos were people who, like Bacon, were interested in the Advancement of Learning. There was never a Rosicrucian Society, except symbolically. The real secret society behind the scenes was Freemasonry. And despite the fact that notwithstanding the flood of printed works seeking to get in touch with, and cooperate with, the Brothers of the Rosicrucian Order, as far as is known all appeals went unanswered, this does not mean that they all went unanswered. It merely means any response to their appeal was kept secret. Moreover, although this recruitment was probably the basic purpose of the Manifestos, the allegoric meaning concealed in the publications tie them in irrevocably with Francis Bacon's Great Instauration. The time has come to reveal the real significance of the Rosicrucian Rose.
In chapter four of A. E. Waite's "Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross", titled "Symbolism of the Rose and Cross", Waite wades through all the connotations he was able to dig up that are associated with the Rose, and the Cross. Waite was nothing if not thorough. Not too bright. But the man was thorough. However, he comes out the same door he went in. Because something more was needed for that dark landscape across which he was groping his way than a 50 watt light bulb. Actually, although he probably didn't realize it - he extracted one bit of gold from the mountain of ore he sifted through.
This was the point he discloses at the end of the chapter that Robert Fludd defined the Rose Cross as a rose at the center of a cross where the four arms meet. This is significant, as might be expected, since Fludd was so closely connected with Bacon (the two closest friends of Fludd - John Selden and Lancelot Andrewes were also two of the closest friends of Bacon).
The proper approach to the problem is to first tabulate all the information we possess relating to the Rosicrucian rose and cross. Each additional bit of information is an additional reduction of the possible universe in which we must search to determine the solution. What information do we possess? We are dealing with a rose at the center of a cross. We are dealing with the theme of the acquisition of new knowledge - the Advancement of Learning. We are dealing with a microcosm. We are dealing with Bacon's discovery device. Therefore, we can deduce (based on the message in The Tempest plus the related information found there) that we are dealing with a compass. BINGO! There's the answer.
Because this answer may not be all that obvious (just to show my heart's in the right place) I will draw you a picture. The following illustration from the 1594 book, "The Seaman's Secret" by John Davis encapsulates the whole secret of the Rosicrucian phenomena.
Notice the rose at the center of the compass card. This should be put in the context of Bacon's metaphoric Intellectual Globe, with the Old World of received knowledge in the Mediterranean; New World of the sciences far West of the pillars of Hercules; and Sailing Ship of Discovery guided by his Intellectual Compass (his New Machine for the intellect) venturing out beyond the pillars of Hercules. The next step is to look back at the history of the compass. Anyone who has any degree of familiarity with the history of the compass has heard of the Compass Rose. The Compass Rose originated with the Wind Rose. And the Wind Rose gave birth in symbolism to cross with the rose at its center. This is the answer to the little puzzle in the Fama where R.C. is said to be C.R. father's brother's son. Also we must remember that the fifth article in the agreement drawn up by the brothers of the Rosicrucian Fraternity was that "The word CR should be their seal, mark, and character". This is curious phrasing. One would expect this to read that "The world Rosicrucian should be their seal, mark, and character", but instead it is the world "CR". This makes sense if it is the word "Compass Rose", and this is used as an emblem for The Advancement of Learning. If we go back to the ancestor of the Compass Rose we find the Wind Rose from which was descended the Rose Cross. The design was originally used in connection with a cross that showed the directions of the four principal winds: North, South, East and West. This was a symbol of the macrocosm. Speaking of the cross Mackey says:
"It is but another symbol of the four cardinal points, the four winds of heaven If this be so, and if it is probable that a similar reference was adopted by the Celtic and other ancient peoples, then we would have in the cruciform temple as much a symbolism of the world, of which the four cardinal points constitute the boundaries, as we have in the square, the cubical, and the circular."
The center of this design, especially when the other winds were added, resembled a rose, and was carried over to the compass when the compass was invented. This rose alike to the winds that gave it birth, was invisible. Thus the mythos of invisibility in connection with the Rosicrucians. In the Fama the major theme of symbolism deals with the Compass Rose, which in Bacon's system of knowledge is equated metaphorically with the idea of the acquisition of knowledge, of illumination, and of the advancement of learning. We are told of C.R. (compass rose) who sailed over most of the Mediterranean. This is nothing else but a veiled history of the compass rose. The western version of the compass was invented in Venice. Venetian seamen sailed over most of the Mediterranean before they ventured beyond the Pillars of Hercules into the Atlantic. Although the compass was invented earlier in the century, the birth of C.R. in 1378 is probably around the date that the compass rose was adopted in connection with the compass card. After C.R. sailed over most of the Mediterranean he came to Fez showing that the account was allegoric. (Fez had such diverse cultures they had to use symbols to communicate with each other).
The Rosicrucian Rose was a rose in the center of a cross, just as the Compass Rose was a rose in the center of the cross of the four cardinal directions. There was also a connection of the lily with the mythos. A convention of the compass was that the lily (fleur-de-lis) was used on the compass to designate north. The plays begin with a ship that has sailed to a strange island we later find is both in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic at the same time. There is a close affinity with the New Atlantis - the land of the Rosicrucians. Metaphorically Rosicrucians were Rose Cross men - men who used Bacon's discovery device (which has a compass design in the plays) to make the metaphoric voyage beyond the pillars of Hercules in search of the New World of the sciences. Bacon's design at the beginning of his 1620 New Organon of the ship sailing forth beyond the Pillars of Hercules contains an implicit Rosicrucian allusion, since metaphorically the ship was guided by his Intellectual Compass. Bacon appropriated the compass card with the Compass Rose as an emblem of the Advancement of Learning. This was the rationale for the figures symbolizing the seven liberal sciences and arts in the compass in the Byrom Collection. The compass symbolizing all directions of the world, was emblematic of the idea of knowledge gathered from all parts of the world. Many parallels exist, but this should suffice to establish the correlation.
Therefore, Freemasonry and Rosicrucian are complementary aspects. The Temple of Solomon of Freemasonry is a model of the universe. The compass with the rose of the Rosicrucians is a metaphoric model of the world. Both are built into the First Folio, with its design of the 32 directions of the compass, and the 36 decans of the zodiac. There is, and was, a Freemasonry society. In Bacon's time it was a true secret society. But Rosicrucian Fraternity was invented as a metaphoric complement to the Freemason Society. According to John Robinson all of the original members of the Royal Society were Freemasons, and, as will be seen in my examination of the original Royal Society in this article, both Rosicrucian and Freemasonry elements were present.
From the earliest mention of Freemasonry it was repeatedly connected with the Rosicrucians. An example of this is the 1638 poem by Henry Adamson of Perth Scotland, called "The Muses Threnodie". This poem contains the following lines:
"And my good Genius truly doth it know;
For what we do presage is not in grosse,
For we be brethren of the Rosie Crosse;
We have the Mason word, and second sight,
Things for to come we can foretell aright;"
The connection of the Rosicrucians with Freemasonry contains an implicit explanation of the rationale for 1716 as the date of the decision to go public. The basis of the Rosicrucian phenomena were three documents published in three successive years:
1. 1614 - The Rosicrucian Fama
2. 1615 - The Rosicrucian Confession
3. 1616 - The Chemical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz
What is highly interesting about this is that, according to these documents, the brethren of the Rosy Cross made an agreement that THE FRATERNITY WOULD REMAIN SECRET FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS. And one hundred years later the Freemasons went public. It is too much of a coincidence. Especially with the other data that surfaces. Along with the manuscripts that were burned at the time Freemasonry went public, a number survived. One of these appears to contain a variance from the contemporary ritual of Freemasonry. In the Opening Ceremony in the contemporary ritual the followingexchange takes place:
Worshipful Master: I hail.
Senior Warden: I conceal.
Worshipful Master: What do you conceal?
Senior Warden: All the secrets of Masons in Masonry
But in the dialogue from this old document it seemed there was formerly a very significant difference in the exchange. The old document has:
Worshipful Master: What dothe the maconnes concele and hyde?
Senior Warden: Thay concelethe the arte of ffyndinge neue artes
The Art of Finding New Arts points directly to Francis Bacon. In his description of his Great Instauration Bacon said, "For the end which this science of mine proposes is the invention not of arguments but of arts", and in the Epistle Dedicatory to this work he said, "I have provided the machine, but the stuff must be gathered from the facts of nature." At the same Bacon stressed the need to reserve the work of his machine until such a time as sufficient material from nature had been gathered via the preparation of natural histories covering the various facets of nature, "For" he said, "though it be true that I am principally in pursuit of works and the active department of the sciences, yet I wait for harvest-time and do not attempt to mow the moss or reap the green corn." Hence the rationale for the 100 period. But if the public emergence of Freemasonry was connected to the revelation of Bacon's Discovery Device than where is that revelation? Could there be information in the ritual of Freemasonry?
"If any one call on me for works, and that presently; I tell him frankly, without any imposture at all, that for me - a man not old, of weak health, my hands full of civil business, entering without guide or light upon an argument of all others the most obscure - I hold it enough to have constructed the machine, though I may not succeed in setting it on work. Nay with the same candor I profess and declare, that the Interpretation of Nature, rightly conducted, ought in the first steps of the ascent, until a certain stage of Generals be reached, to be kept clear of all application to works." -Of The Interpretation of Nature
The indication is that, in the original Masonic Rituals, Bacon concealed information relating to the operation of his discovery device. The place to look for this information is in the details of the ritual of Circumambulation since this so closely resembles the process to be deduced from the message in The Tempest: SIT THE DIAL AT NBW. The "AT" in this message is at the beginning of the lines of the 32nd speech in the play (counting from the beginning of the play). This indicates a process that began with North and proceeded clockwise around each of the 32 directions of the compass, until the 32nd - NBW was arrived at. On the other hand the rituals have almost certainly been tampered with since the time of Bacon so it is impossible to determine exactly what changes have bee made.
Now, at last, with the preceding information in place, the time has come to see if we can we identify any of the "gentlemen of the shade", those "Compeers by Night" who worked behind the scenes with Francis Bacon, and try to draw them out of the shadow into the light. There is one individual we can identify definitely. This person is Sir Walter Raleigh. Since Spenser was one of Bacon's masks we know that there was a very close association between the two men. We have seen both Bacon and Raleigh listed among the brothers of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. We have seen Bacon was a Freemason. Now we shall see that Raleigh was also a Freemason. In "Death of the Fox" George Garrett has a detailed account of Raleigh's last words on the scaffold, immediately before he was beheaded. No ifs, ands, or buts about it - these words definitely demonstrate he was a Freemason. Raleigh said:
"Honorable lords and friends, I offer my thanks to Almighty God that He hath vouchsafed me to die in daylight and in the presence of such an honorable assembly and not alone in the darkness."
Then Raleigh looked up toward the windows where the members of the ruling class were gathered. He cupped his hands and called out as if at sea:
"I will seek to strain my voice. For I would willingly have all your honors hear me."
There was a moment of silence before someone replied:
"Nay, sir. We shall rather come down to you and come upon the scaffold."
When those from above had reached the scaffold Raleigh continued:
"As I have said already, I thank God most heartily that He has brought me out of the darkness into daylight to die."
Manly Palmer Hall, discussing the secret societies of the time, said:
"Another prominent figure of this period was Sir Walter Raleigh, who paid with his life for high treason against the crown. Raleigh was tried, and though the charge was never proved he was executed. Before he went to trial it was known that he must die, and that no defense could save him. His treason against the crown was of a character very different, however, from that which history records. Raleigh was a member of a secret society, or body of men, which was already moving irresistibly forward under the banner of democracy, and for that affiliation he died a felon's death. The actual reason for his death sentence was his refusal to reveal the identity of that great political organization of which he was a member, or his confreres who were fighting the dogma of faith and the divine right of kings. On the title page of the first edition of Raleigh's History of the World, we accordingly find a mass of intricate emblems framed between two great columns. When the executioner sealed his lips forever, Raleigh's silence, while it added to the discomfiture of his persecutors, assured the safety of his colleagues."
And a little later in the same article, Hall says:
"Bacon was a member of the same group to which Sir Walter Raleigh belonged, but Bacon's position as lord chancellor protected him from Raleigh's fate. Every effort was made, however, to humiliate and discredit him."
It is evident from Raleigh's last words he was both signaling to the Freemasons in the crowd his allegiance to their cause, and at the same time, taunting his enemies who were present.
Walter Raleigh was quite an exceptional individual. A martial type, famous as a soldier, sailor, and explorer, he was also such a compendium of learning as to boggle the mind. When at sea he carried along trunks filled with books for study, and while imprisoned in the tower, when supplicating Robert Cotton for the loan of books, he added the books could be in any language whatever. He was a chemist, shipbuilder, businessman, one of the best poets who ever used the English language. A medical book was dedicated to him as an expert. John Case's Praise of Music was dedicated to him as a virtuoso. A historical work was dedicated to him as a distinguished historian. He served on a commission as a military expert and engineer. The commission studied the fortification of Portland, and Raleigh himself drew up the plans for the changes suggested by the commission.
There was some estrangement between Raleigh and Elizabeth in 1589 after the arrival at Court of Essex and his immediate rise to favor with Elizabeth. Supposedly, with his fortunes clouded, Raleigh abandoned court for a time and went to Ireland where he struck up a close acquaintance with Spenser [Bacon]. Bacon was in his late twenties at the time. But Raleigh was soon back in court, and the ten "Bookes of the Ocean's Love to Cynthia" which he had produced during his exile helped him recover Elizabeth's graces. However, when Elizabeth discovered Raleigh had secretly married Bess Thorckmorton on November 19, 1591, she had both of them thrown into the Tower. Although their release was not long in coming, Raleigh remained in disgrace with the queen, despite his best efforts, as one long year followed another. From 1592 to 1596 Raleigh was "in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes", and left all alone to beweep his outcast state. It was only in 1596 after the battle of Cadiz that Raleigh came back into grace with the Queen.
For eight long years the hawks among the top echelon of the queen's men had pined for the opportunity to launch an Armada in reverse - a full-scaled invasion on the Spanish mainland. Finally in the spring of 1596, their opportunity came. Ninety-six English ships were equipped for an attack on Cadiz that summer. Raleigh played a major part in the battle when it finally took place. In his ship the Warspite, a new galleon with two decks and forty guns Raleigh blocked the exit for the Spaniards by turning the Warspite athwart the channel so none could get past him. Then ensued a terrible battle, near the end of which, a shell exploded on the deck of the Warspite driving large splinters into the calf of Raleigh's leg and rendering him lame for the remainder of his life. As Margeret Irwin says in, "That Great Lucifer", her biography of Raleigh:
"'The one home-thrust of the Elizabethan sea-struggle' was made-and won. And Raleigh, who more than any other had won it, was lamed at the height of his victory, and would limp to the end of his life."
Raleigh saw a great spite of fortune in the Battle. Although it finally resulted in patching up his alienation from the Queen, it made him lame for life, and alone among all the others who reaped riches from the engagement, Raleigh gained nothing. After the battle he wrote:
"The town of Cadiz was very rich in merchandise, in plate and money; many rich prisoners given to the land commanders; so as that sort are very rich. Some had prisoners for sixteen thousand ducats; some for twenty thousand; and besides, great houses of merchandise. What the generals have gotten, I know least; they protest it is little. For my own part, I have gotten a lame leg and a deformed. For the rest, either I spake too late, or it was otherwise resolved. I have not wanted good words and exceeding kind and regardful usage. But I have possession of of naught but poverty and pain."
The issue rankled with Raleigh for the remainder of his life. Years later we find the matter still festering in his mind when he wrote:
One Book among the rest is dear to me;
As when a man, having tired himself in deed
Against the world, and falling back to write,
Sated with love, or crazed by vanity,
Or drunk with joy, or maimed by Fortune's Spite,
Sets down his Paternoster and his Creed.
If the phrase sounds familiar, it should. Sonnet 37 of the "Shake-Speare" Sonnets has the following lines:
As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store.
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
This is quite a coincidence - if it is a coincidence. But evidence is not lacking in the Sonnets that the reference to lameness was not just a stray poetic simile. Look at Sonnet 89:
Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offense.
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
Against thy reasons making no defense.
Sonnet 66 says:
Tired with all these, for restful death I cry:
As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimmed in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill.
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
The Sonnets merit close examination. Their original title was "Shake-Speares Sonnets". Baconians have argued "Shake-Speare" was the designation for Pallas Athena. They say Bacon spurned the nine muses, and instead adopted a tenth, Pallas Athena, for his muse. Among the evidence for this they cite the letter Bacon received in 1582, from Jean De la Jesse, personal secretary to the duc d'Anjou. Jesse identified his tenth muse when he asserted that his own Muse has been inspired by "Bacon's Pallas", "bien que votre Pallas me rende mieux instruit" (well that your Pallas renders me better instructed). A careful reading of the Sonnets shows some of them were addressed directly to Pallas Athena. This, not the fact that they were written by "Shakespeare", is the rationale behind the name "Shake-Speare's Sonnets". Look at Sonnet 38:
How can my Muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who's so dumb that cannot write to thee
When thou thyself dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
An interesting point that arises from a reading of these sonnets is the author of the Sonnets refers to another greater poet, who also used the name Shake-Speare. Sonnet 80 while addressed to Pallas Athena brings in a reference to "a better spirit" who was also using her name:
O, how I faint when I of you do write
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name
And in the praise thereof spends all his might
To make me tongue-tied speaking of your fame.
But since your worth, wide as the ocean is,
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark, inferior far to his,
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Sonnet 86 seems to be also addressed directly to Pallas Athena while at the same time bringing in a reference to the "greater poet":
Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of all-too-precious you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He, nor that affable familiar ghost
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
As victors, of my silence cannot boast;
But when your countenance filled up his line,
Then lacked I matter; that enfeebled mine.
This sonnet shows intimate knowledge of Bacon. According to Rawley, Bacon composed his writings each night and dictated them the following morning. Hence the reference to "his compeers by night giving him aid." Bacon may well have contacted discarnate entities while out of his physical body at night and received information from them. This is what Raleigh seems to have been referring to when he says, "He, nor that affable familiar ghost which nightly gulls him with intelligence", although at the same time the reference may also be to information he received from his compeers in The School of Night.
Walter Raleigh was a superb poet. His verbal skills place him at the top of all poets who have ever used the English language. There has only been one greater - Francis Bacon - author of the Shakespeare plays. All of the allusions in the sonnets fit together if they are read with the premise that the author was Sir Walter Raleigh, and the other greater poet and fair young man was Francis Bacon (who Raleigh first met when Bacon was barely out of his teens). In "Francis Bacon's Personal Life-Story" Alfred Dodd has a portraits of Queen Elizabeth young Francis Bacon side by side showing there was a striking resemblance between the two. Sonnet 3 says:
Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
When Raleigh's star was in the ascendancy he was close to the Queen, and among the other duties he fulfilled from time to time was bearing the canopy that was held above her head in her processions. Note Sonnet 125:
Were't aught to me I bore the canopy,
With my extern the outward honouring,
A major feature of Raleigh's story is his time in disgrace as an outcast The Sonnets are filled with several references to this. Note, for example, Sonnet 29
When, in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate
O, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That did not better for my life provide
Than public means which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
Then hate me when thou wilt, if ever, now
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of Fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss.
Ah, do not, when my heart hath 'scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquered woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come; so shall I taste
At first the very worst of Fortune's might
And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
Compared with loss of thee will not seem so.
What was the real relationship between Bacon and Raleigh? Many commentators have found evidence of homosexuality in the relationship of the author of the "Shake-Speare" Sonnets with the fair young man. Francis Bacon was very different from other men who lived in his time, and certainly there were rumors about his sexuality. John Aubrey (described by Anthony Wood as "magotie brained" and "believing everything") tells us Bacon was a pederast. Muckrakers Jardine and Stewart have done their lowlife best to put the good housekeeping seal of approval on this judgment. But these are the exudations of slime, based on ill founded rumor, rather than balanced conclusions after duly weighing the evidence.
Any understanding of the true nature of Francis Bacon can only be gleaned from a comprehensive theory of soul development. The giant redwood does not grow in one day. A being such as Francis Bacon did not result from one lifetime, or a thousand lifetimes. The only theory that accounts for such a phenomenon is that the soul passes through myriads of lifetimes always growing:
"This day before dawn I ascended a hill and looked at the crowded heaven,
And I said to my spirit, When we become enfolders of those orbs,
and the pleasure and knowledge of everything in them,
shall we be filled and satisfied then?
And my spirit said, No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond."
As the soul passes through these lives, it incarnates sometimes as male, sometimes as female, until as the completion of the cycle approaches, the incarnating entity becomes androgynous, comprising in itself male and female combined. In the light of this, the poetry to the fair young man becomes understandable. Here was an individual who exhibited the qualities of both male and female. The picture of Bacon at age 18 in Alfred Dodd's "Francis Bacon's Personal Life Story" shows him to be as beautiful as a woman. Along with his physical attractiveness would have been a charm and allure that a picture cannot show. The soul at this ultimate stage has left sexual appetites behind, exhibiting in the matured manifestation of its flesh disguise, traces of the myriads of individual personalities that were submerged until ripeness was attained. Some indication of many personalities in one individual was seen in modern times in the individuality of George Gurdjieff, who, as a result, was referred to by his pupils as "The Unknowable Gurdjieff". We have a record of the presence of the myriads of personality in Francis Bacon in Sonnet 53:
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since everyone hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you"
My opinion is Bacon, a far greater being than Gurdjieff, had transcended sexuality. This opinion is supported by the passage in the Harvey letter to Bacon where Harvey says:
"You suppose most of these bodily and sensual pleasures are to be abandoned as unlawful, and the inward, contemplative delights of the mind, more zealously to be embraced as most commendable. Good Lord; you, A GENTLEMEN, A COURTIER, A YOUTH, and go about to revive so old, and stale and bookish opinion, dead and buried many hundred years before you or I knew whether there were any world or no!"
We are dealing with a being as far above ordinary man as ordinary man is above the dog. The master inspires adoration in the dog. Would not the superman inspire the same in those who knew him most intimately? We can try to guess the nature of the feeling Francis Bacon inspired in those who knew him best. Adoration? Love? Reverence? But we don't have to guess. It is recorded in Sonnet 105:
Let not my love be called idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol show,
And it is interesting to note that Ben Jonson had the same description:
"For I did love the man, this side idolatry"
Certainly the emotion such a being would inspire would have to be idolatry.
This leaves a major stone unturned. Who was the famous Dark Lady of the Sonnets? Who else, but Francis Bacon's mother - Queen Elizabeth I ?
One has only to be familiar with her personality and her situation to see the reflection in the sonnets. Elizabeth was a very exceptional woman, very charismatic, very intelligent. Of a playful nature when the mood was upon her. Nevertheless, very much a pathological personality. We can thank her father, Henry VIII, for this. Imagine the imprint from her formative years. Her father accurately described by Bacon as "a bloody man"; the dominant male, with absolute power over everyone and everything. Attracting and terrifying her at the same time, presenting an archetype of almost irresistible danger. An archetype that to Elizabeth was almost impossible to resist, but absolutely necessary to resist. Because he murdered her mother. Elizabeth had to struggle against the attraction and danger of this male archetype all of her life.
Elizabeth was subjected to unimaginable pressures. She inherited an almost overpowering sex drive from her father . At 15 she almost got herself killed as a result of the shameless behavior of her dalliance with Thomas Seymour. It might not have mattered, but with his brash and thoughtless arrogance Thomas Seymour conspired to overthrow his brother, the Protector. He was arrested, and in March of 1549 beheaded on the scaffold on Tower Hill. All of the weight of the investigators was brought to bear on the young girl to force her to admit complicity. Elizabeth was subjected to everything except direct physical injury. There were endless interrogations. But Elizabeth showed her true metal. Her strength of character, and talent for dissimulation, was too much for them. They couldn't believe a 15 year old girl had bested them at their own game. They made one last effort to break her. They gathered and watched her closely as she was informed of Seymour's death. Elizabeth shrugged her shoulders and remarked noncommittally, "This day died a man of much wit-and very little judgment."
This was the real Elizabeth. A very tough cookie, even at 15. But if the strength of her personality enabled her to survive, it only served to plunge her into the constant pressure, constant temptation, and constant danger of her monarchy. Elizabeth's was a very earthy nature. She swore like a trooper, picked her teeth with a gold tooth pick, and delighted in coarse jokes. She was like a mare in heat surrounded by the constant temptation of all those magnificent young stallions, and to this must be factored in the temptation presented by her power over them. The sexual tension and temptation must have been so thick it could have been cut with a knife. It is significant that the male who attracted her the most was Robert Dudley, the most dangerous one of them all. Another woman might have wound up married with children. But Elizabeth's sexual cravings were tempered by the archetype of her father who murdered her mother. Elizabeth could not marry and risk the danger of a husband with power over her. At the same time she could not resist the sexual temptations her position offered. Another facet of Elizabeth's struggle against the male archetype was the fact that she was a woman in a male dominated society. Still another was the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. Paid assassins of the Pope constantly sought to kill Elizabeth. Beyond this still she was at war with the superpower of the day - Spain and the male dominant figure of Philip II.
It is not surprising Elizabeth was such a contradictory and contrary personality. Ill favored in her contrary moods, yet able to cast a spell over men's hearts. When Sir Walter Raleigh first came on the scene, an imposing physical figure, a very virile, handsome man, dressed to the nines, with superb intellect, scintillating wit, capable of tossing off exquisite extempore verse, Elizabeth was immediately captivated by him. To physical attraction was added intellectual attraction. Elizabeth was a very clever, intelligent, cultivated woman. She spoke six languages. When she became irritated at the Polish ambassador her astonished court heard her berate him with a torrent of Latin, after which, she gleefully remarked, using her favorite expression, "God's death, my Lords! I have been forced this day to scour up my old Latin." Raleigh's relation with her is usually portrayed as one who merely flattered her to gain favors. In actuality she worked the magic of her formidable personality on him. He loved her and hated her by turn. It is no wonder she drove him to the extremes expressed in sonnet 147:
My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Th' uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth, vainly expressed:
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
Christopher Hibbert says Elizabeth was, "instinctively deceitful, and so reluctant to reveal her handthat even her closest advisers were often at a loss to gather what her true opinions were, so adept did she become at obfuscation, masquerade and camouflage." When she wanted to she could exhibit great charm, often followed by equally great rages. She raved and cursed with a facility that awed some of her subjects, and even resorted to physical attacks on those around her. When Sir Nicholas Clifford came home with a decoration bestowed upon him in France, she cursed and raved at him, telling him, "My dogs wear my collars." Her godson Sir John Harington said, "When she smiled it was a pure sunshine that everyone did choose to bask in if they could. But anon came a storm from a sudden gathering of clouds, and the thunder fell in wondrous manner on all alike." Councilors were then as likely as not to be slapped on the face, have a slipper thrown at them, or be told, "I will make you shorter by a head!"
The Greater Poet/Fair Young Man also had a relationship with the Dark Lady of the Sonnets. Sonnet 42 tells of a time when Raleigh was exiled from her presence:
That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye:
Thou dost love her because thou know'st I love her,
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
Suff'ring my friend for my sake to approve her."
The three or four themes in Raleigh's "Bookes of the Ocean's Love to Cynthia" are very similar to those in the sonnets. He dwells on the Nature of Love; Time; the beauty of Cynthia; his dejected state. But as superlative a poet as Raleigh was, when all of his acknowledged poetry is compared with the sonnets, the sonnets are found to be superior. Apart from their poetic quality, they are fashioned into a very dense texture of many meanings that operates simultaneously on many levels. If they reflect Raleigh's relation with Francis and Elizabeth, they are also highly symbolic, depicting the gamut of love - symbolizing platonic love in the fair young man, earthly love in the dark lady, and all the nuances in between. Moreover, they have a very intricate and sophisticated tectonic structure. How can it be possible that Raleigh actually wrote these sonnets that are so superior to the rest of his poetic creations? One possible explanation is that almost all of Raleigh other poems were ad lib productions, thrown off at a moment's notice. Perhaps the sonnets were the products of his more leisure and more studied efforts? Or perhaps there is some other explanation? The fact remains - the internal evidence of authorship points to Raleigh.
If Raleigh was one of Bacon's "Compeers by Night", a member of the Freemasons, and closely allied with Bacon, this indicates a likely place to look for other "Compeers" is the famous "School of Night", i.e. Raleigh-Northumberland circle. It should be noted that The School of Night also comes under the umbrella of the Rosicrucian "invisibility mythos". One of the most interesting of the theories that seeks to explain the "local readings" of Love's Labour's Lost is the "School of Night" theory that suggests a connection between Chapman's Shadow of Night, and the School of Night passage in the plays:
O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the School of Night
In 1903 Arthur Acheson suggested in his "Shakespeare and the Rival Poet" that Raleigh's group was known by contemporaries as "The School of Night", and that this allusion would have been clear as day to the contemporary audience. After Acheson the theory was endorsed by "Q" and Dover Wilson in their edition of Love's Labour's Lost (1923), and by G.B. Harrison in his edition of Willobie his Avisa (1926), and this lead was followed by various other writers on Marlowe and Raleigh. The School of Night was a very interesting group indeed. In the late sixteenth century, scientific learning was primarily encouraged and financed by wealthy amateurs, the same situation found among the men who founded the Royal Society a few years later, and who, according to Robinson, were all freemasons. Henry Percy, the ninth Earl of Northumberland, known as the 'Wizard Earl', was the greatest of the earlier English scientific 'virtuosi'. Born of an important and wealthy, though ill-starred family (The Percy family was one of the richest and most powerful feudal families in England, and it was often said that 'the North knows no king but a Percy') Percy had a significant share in the advance of science through his patronage of an entire school of natural philosophers. He and Raleigh gathered around them some of the most advanced intellects of England. These included Thomas Hariot, mathematician, physicist, and astronomer; Robert Hues, the author of De globorum usu; Walter Warner, mathematician and physicist, the mathematician Thomas Allen, and dramatist and poets like George Chapman and George Peele. Christopher Marlowe is also often included in the list, and John Dee was closely associated with Raleigh.
Frances Yates saw George Chapman's, "The Shadow of Night" as one of the most dark and mysterious poems of the Elizabethan age is. But it is only mysterious outside the proper context. Put it in the context of the Brotherhood of Freemasons and it you begin to find light from darkness. The verses to Nenna in the poem are signed "Ex tenebris". "Lux ex tenebris - light out of darkness", according to Mackey, was the great motto of the Order of Freemasons. This is the theme of Chapman's mysterious poem. Viewed in this light it is not really that dark and mysterious after all.
Bacon was connected to "The School of Night" by his close acquaintance with Raleigh. But this is not the only evidence to connect him with Raleigh's group. In his book, "Atomism in England From Hariot to Newton", Robert Hugh Kargon makes a study of the ideas of the group demonstrating that Hariot and his fellow members of the group were staunch advocates of the theory that atoms formed the basis of matter. It just so happens that at the same time Bacon was writing works in which he made strong statements in favor of atomism:
"The doctrine of Democritus concerning atoms is either true or useful for demonstration.
For it is not easy to grasp in thought or to express in works the genuine subtlety of
nature, such as is found in things, without supposing an atom."
It is impossible to determine where the emphasis on atomism originated - whether it originally came from Bacon, or from Hariot in Raleigh's circle - but at an irreducible minimum this demonstrates a cross pollination between the two. The above statement by Bacon irresistibly highlights the figure of Hariot. Robert Kargon (Atomism in England From Hariot to Newton) says:
"In order to penetrate nature's secrets, he [Hariot] adopted the atomic philosophy in mathematics and physics."
Thomas Hariot possessed such a towering intellect that even as an undergraduate at Oxford he had already acquired a reputation as a scientific prodigy. In contrast to Raleigh who spent a fortune on his clothing, Hariot bought an ankle-length black robe on the day he arrived at Oxford, and wore it until the day of his death. Where his contemporaries at Oxford spent so much of their time engaged in wassailing that the university was forced to clamp down on their antics with a series of draconian decrees, Hariot adhered to a sober, monkish diet his entire life. Hariot's formidable intellect never rested.
After moving into Durham House, having chosen for himself a small chamber underneath the eaves of the house, one wet afternoon while listening to the rain beating on the roof with monotonous regularity over his head, Hariot wondered how much water would enter the room if the roof was not there. He immediately calculated the area of the room - 268 feet square. Since he did not have a clock he used his pulse to calculate the frequency of the rain drops. Measuring the cubic volume gushing from the down spout he calculated his room would collect eight and a half inches of water in every twenty-four hour period. That was an example of the functioning of Hariot's mind when his brain was at idle. When it was not at idle - when he put the mighty engine in gear, he moved instead of an area dealing with a high water mark in a small room, into areas of intellectual achievement that were a high water mark of history.
Hariot was a world-class mathematician whose contributions to mathematics outstripped all his contemporaries. According to John Wallis (one of the original founding members of The Royal Society) Descartes plagiarized from Hariot. In 1603 Hariot discovered a method of computing the area of the spherical triangle which had been sought since antiquity. But, in addition, he was a many-sided genius producing a wide of work of great depth. As much any man Hariot merits the honor of being granted the title of - the first true scientist.
Soon after moving into Durham House Hariot erected a huge Radius Astronomicus, i.e., a telescope on the roof above his room. The contraption was dubbed a "Perspective Trunk" because of its resemblance to the trunk of a tree. As early as 1609 Hariot employed the telescope to view the moon. He was one of the first systematic observers of sun-spots. On Dember 8, 1610 he drew a very clear diagram of them. Galileo's findings on sun-spots were only published in 1613. The problem of getting an accurate fix on the latitude of ships at sea was very complicated. The problem of longitude was not solved until John Harrison invented his super accurate clock almost a century and a half later. However, Hariot came up with a complex, innovative, and tolerably accurate solution to the problem of latitude. He taught Raleigh's navigators to use their compass to obtain a reading for the apparent direction of the sun at sunrise. He then instructed them to compare this with a theoretical reading for the latitude of the ship in the tables of the sun's declination at different positions of the globe. When these two figures were placed in a mathematical formula - also devised by Hariot - the mariners could calculate the variation of the compass. This in turn enabled Raleigh's mariners to determine their true direction of sailing with considerable accuracy.
Hariot was also very interested in the motion of falling bodies. There is evidence Hariot arrived at the notion that the distance fallen by a body is proportional to the square of the time elapsed three decades before Galileo's classic work. Hariot was also one of the main influences on Kepler. He arrived at the idea of elliptical orbits of planets long before Kepler. He advised Kepler to abstract himself mathematically into an atom in order to enter 'Nature's house'. But where Kepler clung to Aristotelian modes of scientific exploration, Hariot liberated himself from the scholasticism in which he was trained, and turned to ancient atomism for his basic principles. His theory of matter appears to have been virtually that of Democritus. Democritus was also regarded highly by Bacon who began his 1604 treatise "Thoughts on the Nature of Things", with the statement:
"The doctrine of Democritus concerning atoms is either true or useful for demonstration..For it is not easy either to grasp in thought or to express in words the genuine subtlety of nature, such as it is found in things, without supposing an atom."
Hariot also made interesting and original researches in optics and mechanics. Upon leaving Oxford Hariot was engaged by Raleigh as a mathematical tutor, and remained Raleigh's close friend for the rest of Raleigh's life. Hariot was the mainstay of The School of Night.
After Hariot made the voyage to the New World he wrote "A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia" that was published in 1590 by Theodor de Bry. Interestingly enough, the title page of the work has what appears to be a representation of the entrance end of the Temple of Solomon with the Masonic pillars on each side of the entrance. This establishes a clear connection with Freemasonry.
It will be remembered De Bry figures into the Byrom Collection of Masonic and Rosicrucian material and was the publisher of the Rosicrucian works of Fludd and Maier. There are a couple of highly interesting illustrations in Hariot's book. One is the Masonic compass with the rose at the end, and the other is an interlocking metalwork design at the end of the table of contents that is strikingly similar to the design found at the end of "Measure for Measure", "The Comedy of Errors", and a number of the other plays in The First Folio.
After the Gunpowder Treason of the papists, Guy Fawkes and his fellows was uncovered on November 5, 1605, the little monster, Robert Cecil, seized upon the occasion to realize his ambition of destroying Henry Percy. Even though evidence was lacking Cecil managed to get the Earl convicted on several counts, and have him confined to the Tower for life. Percy drew his scientific retainers - Hariot, Warner, Hues, Torporley, and Allen into the Tower, and Raleigh (who had already been cast into the Tower) was there along with the rest of them. Percy had all of his scientific equipment set up in the tower, and there is a record from personal notes Bacon made in 1608 that refers to:
"The setting on work, my Lord of Northumberland, and Raleigh, and therefore Hariot, themselves being already inclined to experiments."
So we can easily see whose was the hidden hand behind the scenes. The work that Bacon set them to doing proved so interesting to Percy that when an offer of pardon finally came in 1617, he actually refused it and chose to remain in the tower. The School of Night was the ancestor to The Royal Society. The first expositor of Hariot's algebra was John Wallis one of the founders of The Royal Society. Walter Warner was perhaps the scientific personality closest to Hariot. Warner's first love was optics, as was Hariot's. Warner's interest in optics was shared, in the 1630s by an important group of English natural philosophers with whom he became very close. This group centered around Thomas Hobbes (former secretary of Bacon), Sir Charles Cavendish, and Dr. John Pell. Charles Cavendish was perhaps the first outside Hariot's immediate circle to become interest in his unpublished manuscripts. He probably learned of them from Warner. Dr. John Pell was a mathematician and divine who was a friend of Robert Boyle (another of the original members of The Royal Society), and of Hartlib (whose ideas had a great influence on the formation of The Royal Society).
The origin of the Royal Society not only connects Freemasonry with the Rosicrucian phenomenon, but also places it in a direct line of descent from The School of Night, and brings both the Byrom Collection and Francis Bacon into the middle of the mix. We are particularly lucky to have a description of the beginnings of the Society from John Wallis:
From Account of Some Passages of his Life, 1700
About the year 1645, while I lived in London (at a time when, by our civil wars, academical studies were much interrupted in both our Universities), beside the conversation of divers eminent divines, as to matters theological, I had the opportunity of being acquainted with divers worthy persons, inquisitive into natural philosophy, and other parts of human learning; and particularly of what has been called the New Philosophy, or Experimental Philosophy. We did by agreements, divers of us, meet weekly in London on a certain day, to treat and discourse of such affairs; of which number were Dr. John Wilkins (afterward Bishop of Chester), Dr. Jonathan Goddard, Dr. George Ent, Dr. Glisson, Dr. Merret (Drs. in Physic), Mr. Samuel Foster, then Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, Mr. Theodore Haak (a German of the Palatinate, and then resident in London, who, I think, gave the first occasion, and first suggested those meetings), and many others. These meetings we held sometimes at Dr. Goddard's lodgings in Wood Street (or some convenient place near), on occasion of his keeping an operator in his house for grinding glasses for telescopes and microscopes; sometimes at a convenient place in Cheapside, and sometimes at Gresham College, or some place near adjoining.
Our business was (precluding matters of theology and state affairs), to discourse and consider of Philosophical Enquiries, and such as related thereunto: as physic, anatomy, geometry, astronomy, navigation, statics, magnetics, chemics, mechanics, and natural experiments; with the state of these studies, as then cultivated at home and abroad. We then discoursed of the circulation of the blood, the valves in the veins, the venae lactae, the lymphatic vessels, the Copernican hypothesis, the nature of comets and new stars, the satellites of Jupiter, the oval shape (as it then appeared) of Saturn, the spots in the sun, and its turning on its own axis, the inequalities and selenography of the moon, the several phases of Venus and Mercury, the improvement of telescopes, and grinding of glasses for that purpose, the weight of air, the possibility, or impossibility of vacuities, and nature's abhorrence thereof, the Torricellian experiment in quicksilver, the descent of heavy bodies, and the degrees of acceleration therein; and divers other things of like nature. Some of which were then but new discoveries, and others not so generally known and embraced, as now they are, with other things appertaining to what has been called The New Philosophy, which from the times of Galileo at Florence, and Sir Francis Bacon (Lord Verulam) in England, has been much cultivated in Italy, France, Germany, and other parts abroad, as well as with us in England.
About the year 1648, 1649, some of our company being removed to Oxford (first Dr. Wilkins, then I, and soon after Dr. Goddard), our company divided. Those in London continued to meet there as before (and we with them when we had occasion to be there), and those of us at Oxford; with Dr. Ward (since Bishop of Salisbury), Dr. Ralph Bathurst (now President of Trinity College in Oxford), Dr. Petty (since Sir William Petty), Dr. Willis (then an eminent physician in Oxford), and divers others, continued such meetings in Oxford, and brought those studies into fashion there; meeting first at Dr. Petty's lodgings (in an apothecary's house), because of the convenience of inspecting drugs, and the like, as there was occasion; and after his remove to Ireland (though not so constantly), at the lodgings of the Honorable Mr. Robert Boyle, then resident for divers years in Oxford.
We would by no means be thought to slight or undervalue the philosophy of Aristotle, whichhas for many ages obtained in the schools. But have (as we ought) a great esteem for him, and judge him to have been a very great man, and think those who do most to slight him, to be such as are less acquainted with him. He was a great enquirer into the history of nature, but we do not think (nor did he think), that he had so exhausted the stock of knowledge of that kind as that there would be nothing left for the enquiry of aftertimes, as neither can we of this age hope to find out so much, but that there will be much left for those that come after us.....
I take its [the Royal Society's] first ground and foundation to have been in London, about the year 1645, when Dr. Wilkins (then chaplain to the Prince Elector Palatine, in London), and others, met weekly at a certain day and hour, under a certain penalty, and a weekly contribution for the charge of experiments, with certain rules agreed upon among us. When (to avoid diversion to other discourses, and for some other reasons), we barred all discourses of divinity, of state affairs, and of news, other than what concerned our business of Philosophy. These meetings we removed soon after to the Bull Head in Cheapside, and in term-time to Gresham College, where we met weekly at Mr. Foster's lecture (then Astronomy Professor there), and, after the lecture ended, repaired, sometimes to Mr. Foster's lodgings, sometimes to some other place not fardistant, where we continued such enquiries, and our numbers increased.
About the years 1648-9 some of our company were removed to Oxford; first, Dr. Wilkins, then I, and soon after, Dr. Goddard, whereupon our company divided. Those at London (and we, when we had occasion to be there) met as before. Those of us at Oxford, with Dr. Ward, Dr. Petty, and many others of the most inquisitive persons in Oxford, met weekly (for some years) at Dr. Petty's lodgings, on the like account, to wit, so long as Dr. Petty continued in Oxford, and for some while after, because of the conveniences we had there (being the house of an apothecary) to view, and make use of, drugs and other like matters, as there was occasion.
Our meetings there were very numerous and very considerable. For, besides the diligence of persons studiously inquisitive, the novelty of the design made many to resort there; who, when it ceased to be new, began to grow more remiss, or did pursue such inquiries at home. We did afterwards (Dr. Petty being gone for Ireland, and our numbers growing less), remove thence; and (some years before His Majesty's return) did meet at Dr. Wilkins' lodgings in Wadham College. In the meanwhile, our company at Gresham College being much again increased, by the accession of divers eminent and noble persons, upon His Majesty's return, we were (about the beginning of the year 1662) by His Majesty's grace and favor, incorporated by the name of The Royal Society.
Wallis' description might have been more complete. Some of the early founder-members of the society and the date of their election are as follows:
William Brouncker 22 Apr 1663
Robert Boyle 22 Apr 1663
John Wilkins 22 Apr 1663
Isaac Barrow 20 May 1663
Robert Hooke 20 May 1663
William Neile 20 May 1663
John Pell 20 May 1663
John Wallis 20 May 1663
Christopher Wren 20 May 1663
As can be seen an important early member Wallis did not mention was John Pell. Pell was a friend of Robert Boyle and, as a member of the 1630's group, a direct link between the School of Night and the Royal Society group. Wallis himself, through his interest in the mathematics and ideas of Hariot provides almost as much of a direct link. As the Society decided to put itself on a more formal basis, meetings became more formal and the record of the 5 December 1660 meeting states that, "the King had been acquainted with the design of this Meeting. And he did well approve of it, and would be ready to give encouragement to it. It was ordered that Mr Wren be desired to prepare against the next meeting for the pendulum experiment."
By the summer of 1661 the members were discussing the name of the Society and how they might obtain a Royal Charter of incorporation. After petitions to King Charles II, the Charter of Incorporation passed the Great Seal on 15 July 1662 and the Royal Society of London officially existed from that date. The King presented the new Society with a silver mace which has the emblems of England, Ireland, Scotland and France on its head. The Charter gives the names of the first Council members and names Viscount William Brouncker as the first President.
But there was something more to the origins of the Royal Society than is apparent in Wallis' account. In a letter written in May of 1647, Robert Boyle speaks of an "Invisible College" and its public spirited plans, and a few months earlier in another letter Boyle had said:
"The best on't is, that the cornerstones of the Invisible or (as they term themselves)the Philosophical College do now and then honor me with their company men of so capacious and searching spirits, that school-philosophy is but the lowest region of their knowledge; and yet, though ambitious to lead the way to any generous design, of so humble and teachable a genius, as they disdain not to be directed to the meanest, so he can but plead reason for his opinion; persons that endeavor toput narrow-mindedness out of countenance, by the practice of so extensive a charity that it reaches unto everything called man, and nothing less than an universal good-will can content it. And indeed they are so apprehensive of the want of good employment, that they take the whole body of mankind to their care."
These men to whom Boyle referred were the men Wallis described in his account of the founding of the Royal Society. Judging by the respect Robert Boyle's gave these men they must have been of high mental caliber indeed, since Robert Boyle himself was a man of such exceptional genius. Certainly the word 'Invisible College' is not new. It is the old mythos about invisibility that was always associated with the Rosy Cross Brothers and their college. This is thus a chain of tradition leading from the Rosicrucian movement to the antecedents of the Royal Society. We know who these members of the "Invisible College" were. They included John Wilkins, Robert Boyle, William Petty, Christopher Wren, Theodore Haak, John Wallis, John Evelyn, Robert Hooke, and Jonathan Goddard. What we do not know is why Boyle chose to designate them by this particular term. However, some of the drawings in the "Byrom Collection" were identified by Hancox as being identical with drawings she found in a collection of Boyle's works in the Library of the British Museum. Since the drawings in "Byrom Collection" had both Masonic and Rosicrucian associations it leads to the speculation that the Royal Society actually began from a group men who were Freemasons or Rosicrucians, or both, especially since the frontispiece for Thomas Spratt's History of the Royal Society (when it appeared in 1667) was loaded with Masonic symbolism. So it is worthwhile to take a closer look at both these men, and at the symbolic frontispiece.
John Wilkins (1614-1672), a very brilliant man, was taught his Latin and Greek by Edward Sylvester, a noted Grecian, who kept a Private School in the Parish of All Saints in Oxford: His Proficiency was such, that by 13 years of age he had entered as a Student in New-Inn in 1627. He didn't stay there long, but went to Magdalen Hall where he took his Degree in Arts in October 1631. In 1638 Wilkins published his first book which shows his interest in astronomy. He believed that the Moon was a habitable planet and predicted that one day space travel to the Moon will be possible. Wilkins worked on codes and ciphers publishing his work in 1641. Wilkins also wrote on mechanical devices, publishing Mathematical Magick, or the wonders that may be performed by mechanical geometry in 1648. It was an account of the fundamental principles of machines. In the book he mentioned Francis Bacon with high respect, and while discussing a lamp for underground use said [referring to the vault of Christian Rosencreutz]:
"such a lamp is related to be seen in the sepulchre of Francis Rosicrosse, as is more largely expressed in the Confession of that Fraternity."
Frances Yates in one of her infrequent mental lapses suggests he mistakenly interpreted the 'Fra' standing for 'Frater" of the manifestos as 'Francis'. But Wilkins was not only a very brilliant man, he was also a master of Latin. And Yates idea just doesn't hold water. The real significance of the passage seems to be that it reflects insider knowledge on the part of Wilkins. In the list of original members of the Rosy Cross is found the name: Fra. F.B. M.P.A. Pictor et Architectus. Which probably (in the context of the other names on the list) stands for: Brother Francis Bacon, Master, Painter, and Architect. Wilkins' last work, which had to be rewritten since the original was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, was on a universal language. The First Part describes the origin of languages and alphabets... . The Second Part was a exhaustive classification of ideas in all spheres of thought. Roget clearly based his Thesaurus on this work of Wilkins. The Third Part related to grammar, syntax, orthography, vowels and consonants. The Fourth Part provided the symbols of the proposed new writing and language, and gives examples and instructions for its use.
John Wilkins was a the principal founder of the Royal Society. Wilkins had been chaplain to the Elector Palatine of the Rhine, the eldest son of the ill-fated King and Queen of Bohemia whose court at Heidelberg had been the center of much Rosicrucian activity, and came to England where he tutored in Oxford, then was appointed Vicar at Fawsley. He held a number of chaplaincies, then in 1648 was appointed Warden of Wadham College, Oxford. While at Wadham he gathered round him the "Invisible College", a group of worthy persons inquisitive into natural philosophy and other parts of human learning, and this group became the Royal Society in 1660.
John Wallis (1616-1703) went to school in Ashford, then moved to Tenterden where he first showed his great potential as a scholar. In 1630 he went to Felsted where he became proficient in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. From there he went to Emmanual College Cambridge where he first became interested in mathematics. Since nobody at Cambridge at this time could direct his mathematical studies, his main topic of study became divinity. He was ordained in 1640. He one of the great mathematician of his days.
Wallis contributed substantially to the origins of calculus and was the most influential English mathematician before Newton. He studied the works of Kepler, Cavalieri, Roberval, Torricelli and Descartes. Then Wallis introduced ideas of the calculus going beyond that of these authors. He introduced our present symbol for infinity. He was also adept at cryptography and decoded Royalist messages for the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. It is suggested that he was appointed to the Savilian Chair of geometry at Oxford in 1649 because of this. Certainly the holder of the chair, Peter Turner, was dismissed for his Royalist views. Wallis held the chair for over 50 years until his death and, even if the reason for his appointment is true, he most certainly deserved to hold the chair. His non-mathematical works include many religious works, a book on etymology and grammar Grammatica linguae Anglicanae (Oxford, 1653) and a logic book Institutio logicae (Oxford, 1687).
Jonathan Goddard (1617-1675) was a physician, a member of the College of physicians. In 1655 he was appointed Professor of Physic at Gresham College. His house in London became another meeting place for members of the Invisible College, and his laboratory a base for experiments conducted on behalf of the Royal Society.
Robert Boyle (1627-1691) made important contributions to physics and chemistry and is best known for Boyle's law describing an ideal gas, and relating volume and pressure in gas. He was the first to show that sound does not travel in a vacuum, and to prove that flame requires air. He also investigated the elastic properties of air. His work in chemistry was aimed at establishing it as a mathematical science based on a mechanistic theory of matter. It is for this reason that we have decided to include Boyle into this archive of mathematicians for, although he did not develop any mathematical ideas himself, he was one of the first to argue that all science should be developed as an application of mathematics. Although others before him had applied mathematics to physics, Boyle was one of the first to extend the application of mathematics to chemistry which he tried to develop as a science whose complex appearance was merely the result on simple mathematical laws applied to simple fundamental particles.
John Evelyn (1620-1706) the famous diarist, and writer, a close friend of Robert Boyle (an earlier early promoter of the Royal Society) was outstanding both for personal virtue and for scientific learning. He proposed to Boyle the erection of a "philosophical and mathematical college" in 1659 and must have approved the establishment of a philosophical club at Cheapside, London, by his "dear and excellent friend", Dr. John Wilkins ( 1614- 1672). An interesting note in the famous Diary, dated January 6, 1661, reads as follows :
" I was now chosen (and nominated by his Majesty for one of the Council), by suffrage of the rest of the Members, a Fellow of the Philosophic Society now meeting at Gresham College,..but it had been begun some years before at Oxford, and was continued with interruption here in London during the Rebellion"
It was Evelyn who designed the engraved title-page to Sprat's History.
By 1665 the Society had grown strong enough to feel that its history should be written, a task which was assigned to Thomas Spratt (1635-1713 - Bishop of Rochester) who wrote his "History of the Royal Society" that was published at London in 1667 and requested Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) ,an early and important member of the Royal Society, having been elected to membership on March 4, 1661, to write the prefatory ode. The prefatory ode by Cowley is all about Bacon.. Cowley distinguishes only two periods in the history of philosophy, the one before Bacon, and the other beginning with him. It is the coming of Bacon which puts to rout the "guardians" and "usurpers" of authority, freeing philosophy from the "vain shadows of the dead".
"Bacon at last, a mighty man, arose
Whom a wise King and Nature chose
Lord Chancellor of both their laws,
And boldly undertook the injur'd pupil's cause."
"The orchard's open now, and free;
Bacon has broke that scarecrow deity;
Come, enter, all that will,
Behold the ripen'd fruit, come gather now your fill."
"Bacon, like Moses, led us forth at last,
The barren wilderness he past,
Did on the very border stand
Of the blest promis'd land,
And from the mountain's top of his exalted wit,
Saw it himself, and shew'd us it."
The frontispiece, (401k colorised) engraved by Hollar, was designed by Evelyn. It shows a bust of Charles II, the Society's first patron, apparently about to be crowned by a symbolical figure of an angel holding a trumpet. Viscount Brouncker, the first president (to the left of the pillar-base) points with his right hand to a Latin inscription, CAROULUS II SOCIETATIS REGALIS AUTHOR ET PATRONUS. Francis Bacon , Viscount St. Alban, is seen to the right with his left hand pointing away from the inscription, perhaps directing the viewer to the masonic insignia in the background. At Bacon's feet is the legend:
which at once reminds us of his great vision for the future, the Great Instauration. To the left, lying on the floor just behind the figures in the front, is the silver mace with the emblems of England, Ireland, Scotland and France on its head that the King had presented to the new Society. The silver mace is lying beside a large bookcase that symbolizes the accumulated knowledge of the Society. Outside can be seen in the background a man peering through a large trunk (telescope) who probably represents Thomas Hariot. The floor is composed of the black and white checkerboard pattern of the floors of Masonic lodges. The two pillars in the back at the entrance could be disguised versions of the Masonic pillars at the entrance to the Masonic Lodge, especially since they were originally derived from the obelisk, and an obelisk is shown to the left near one of the pillars. Immediately behind the seated figure of Bacon stands the angel with a trumpet. The picture is designed so that Bacon is in the shadow of the wing of the angel, alluding to the large letter subscript with which the original Rosicrucian Manifesto ended:
SUB UMBRA ALARUM TUARUM JEHOVAH
"Under the shadow of thy wings Jehovah." To the left behind the figures in the foreground is a globe that apparently represents Bacon's Intellectual Globe. Various scientific instruments are seen, among which are a slightly disguised compass and square.
Sprat describes the state of philosophy in ancient times and in the Middle Ages, which latter were "like the quiet of the night, which is dark withall." This suggests the central motif of Freemasonry which the desire for light, and also brings to mind John Robinson statement that all of the original members of the Royal Society were Freemasons. Sprat continues, "Under the Bishops of Rome," he says "for a long space together men lay in a profound sleep. Of the Universal ignorance of those times; let it suffice to take the Testimony of William of Malmesbury, one of our antient English Historians who says, That even among the Priests themselves, he was a Miracle that could understand Latine."
"It was some space after the end of the Civil Wars at Oxford in Dr. Wilkins his lodgings, in Wadham College, which was then the place of Resort for Virtuous, and Learned Men, that the first meetings were made, which laid the foundation of all this that followed. The University had at that time, many Members of its own, who had begun a free way of reasoning; and was also frequented by some Gentlemen of Philosophical Minds, whom the misfortunes of the Kingdom, and the security and ease of a retirement amongst Gown-men, had drawn thither."
These men began to consider a permanent organization, and "while they were thus ordering their platform, there came forth a Treatise, which much hastened its contrivance; and that was a Proposal by Master Cowley, of erecting a Philosophical College "at some place near London with liberal Salaries for a competent number of Learned Men, to whom should be committed the operations of Natural Experiments."
Later "The Place where they assembled was Gresham College"--"Here the Royal Society has one public Room to meet in, another for a repository to keep their Instruments, Books, Rarities, Papers, and whatever else belongs to them:" They practised "equality of respect to all persons."
The fifth article of the agreement in the Fama defines the nature of the Rosicrucians, "The word CR should be their seal, mark, and character". CR (Compass Rose) was only a "seal" or "mark", an emblem to designate the common enterprise of the informal fraternity of men everywhere who were engaged in the task of the advancement of learning. Bacon's metaphoric illustration on his "New Organon" was a "sailing ship of discovery". Men who pursued the advancement of learning were voyagers on the "sailing ship of discovery" steered by the Compass Rose. This was the more overt side of the "seal" or "mark". The covert side was the "Intellectual Compass", that hidden and invisible rose that would enable them to find their way to the New World of the Science - The New Atlantis - the land of the Rosicrucians.
The real secret society was the Freemason Fraternity. Bacon was a Freemason. Raleigh was a Freemason. Raleigh's School of Night were composed of Freemasons. These were Bacon's "Compeers by Night".
But Bacon's "Compeers" - the Freemasons, were not limited to "The School of Night". Other members are designated by the secret material of the "Byrom Collection" that accidentally became part of the public domain when the collection came into the possession of Joy Hancox.
Most of these others were people with whom we can deduce Bacon's acquaintance. John Dee was certainly one. Leicester, Sidney, and his circle were others. To these are added Theodore de Bry who was acquainted with these men while he was in London and who afterwards moved his publishing firm to Oppenheim in the Palatinate during the "Rosicrucian" associated reign of Frederick V, and there published the works of Fludd and Maier. Gerard Thibault, touted as the 'King of Cats' in Bacon's veiled allusion to him in Romeo and Juliet was another. Michel Le Blon was another. These men and others can all be traced out by those who are interest in Joy Hancox's book, "The Byrom Collection". This book opens a window on a hidden corner of history.
The secret activities of the Freemasons of Bacon's time flowed on to the Royal Society, connected through the mythos of 'the invisible college' with the Rosicrucians. John Robinson, who made an in depth study of the Freemasons of the era states all of the original members of the Royal Society were Freemasons. They still were when Freemasonry went public in 1717.
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