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Bacon: Law and Science


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Christina Waldman asked in another post, "So, what does everyone want to talk about here?"

Ok, Bacon was a lawyer and considered by many as the "Father of Modern Science."

Bacon's teachings on science are well defined. You do experiments to discover the Truth in science. Go in with "doubts", let go of preconceived notions (the 4 Idols), etc. In time experiments will lead to Truth. That is science and how it should be.

Law is different. Laws change in fact. It depends on who is in charge, what most people agree on, etc. Must have been frustrating to Bacon for it to be so vague and unpredictable.

In the US, for a suspect in "criminal" court to be convicted the jury has to have "No reasonable doubts" in a unanimous decision.

In a "civil" court, a "Preponderance of evidence" might be enough.

So as a Baconian who believes Bacon wrote Shakespeare, I don't know that we will every have a unanimous jury be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Bacon wrote Shakespeare. Yet, in a civil case, we may have an abundance and perhaps a preponderance of evidence to prove a civil case already.

To try to win either case, it takes digging, research, and a keen insight. In science that might be different than law.

For example, as a "prosecutor" trying to prove Bacon wrote Shakespeare, I will follow "hunches", "Ideas", and other fringe concepts that allow me to do research and look for answers. That allows my 4 Idols to play some role. I may head down dead-ends, or get lost in darkness. But on the other hand, a "hunch" has led to many cases being solved.

In science there is a similar concept where you have a hypothesis, and do experiments. But a prosecutor in Law has more freedom to go out looking wherever it may lead. Right?

Did Bacon think differently about the processes of law and science? Or was it the same to him?

 

 

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These are very important questions, and time should be taken in thinking about them. Bacon's inductive way did not involve a hypothesis, I've read. He has been criticized for that for not being "modern" enough (from our standpoint looking back)  because of the way science evolved after him. But with a hypothesis you can get confirmation bias, where what you hope to find to be true, you tend to find.  Bacon's inductive method has not truly been tried, I've read, not exactly as he envisioned it (Michel Malherbe, "Bacon's Method of Science," Cambridge Companion to Bacon (Cambridge U. Press, 1996), 75-99). I don't want anyone to think I'm an expert on anything, really. I just read and try to learn.  I think we all will just want to keep coming back to these questions you have posed, Light-of-Truth. I do love legal history and the ways law and literature or law and culture intersect, and did in the "Shakespeare era." If that sounds like dodging your questions, maybe I am (forgive me!), for the time being, because they are deep, and deserve a thoughtful treatment, and I'd like to hear what others think, as well.  Here is another thought: it seems good to question practically everything we read about Bacon and Shakespeare. It is easy to think things must be true because they are often repeated, but when you go back to the source, you find that actually the facts bear a different interpretation.  If the truth matters, then factual accuracy matters. So please, let that be the goal. If someone disagrees with me, please say so, and try to give reasons and facts to back up opinions. And if I am preaching to the choir on that, I'm glad to hear it.

 

 

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But with a hypothesis you can get confirmation bias, where what you hope to find to be true, you tend to find.

This, Christina, is very true. As a passionate cipher enthusiast, I learned that lesson in my first two or three years of cipher work. In fact, once I realized that I did a Baconian experiment or two.

I'd grab a random piece of Shakespeare, and tell myself I'd find something about myself. As a test. I have a skill of making connections and I could always find a Shakespeare cipher that had something to do with whatever I was thinking.

It was a "reality" check for sure, but I had already been seeing it.

So I had to back up a bit, and still desiring to find ciphers in Shakespeare, I knew I had to have other clues to back them up. Even then there is risk to see what you want. But also, one can filter out garbage and find nuggets.

I am guilty of having a preconceived notion on what I am looking for, but do have some experience to not jump to conclusions too fast.

Truth does matter to me, above all. I've looked at Oxie cipher theories and right away chuckle thinking they are on the level I was very early on. If I had no integrity, and was just greedy looking for fame or money, and the De Vere movement seduced me, I'd be a shining star for them creating "connections" better than they do "proving" their Loony candidate was Shakespeare. But I'd rather die poor and hungry knowing I was seeking Truth, hoping I was on the right path. 😉

Alan Green comes to mind. At first I thought he was brilliant with his geometrical dots from the Sonnets! I have even used that first design myself with success. But I have lost interest since then feeling he was bought out and paid for seeking Oxie stuff that now to me seems very lame. (No offense, Alan, if you join this forum someday.) I wonder how he feels? He has some Fame, which is a tempting fruit. Maybe money too, that pays bills. But to me his theories have gone way off base. Even his "speed of light" obsession didn't feel right when the same dots makes a perfect 4x7 right triangle that I use in my Dedication dot layout to make the perfect Star.

It is "likely" Bacon left ciphers to tell his story. I picked up on it, got carried away at first, pulled back wiser than when I started, and it may be that I am doing a good thing now. Investigating, knowing what to look for, how to validate what I come across, at least on my level, let the compounds dissolve, etc, to get the Gold.

Innocent people have been executed when "all" the (available) evidence points at them. I get it, and try to be careful to not be like those prosecutors who jump to conclusions.

🙂

Edited by Light-of-Truth
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FRANCIS BACON AND THE LAW IN HIS EARLY SHAKESPEARE PLAYS I HENRY VI, 2 HENRY VI, 3 HENRY VI, RICHARD III, TITUS ANDRONICUS, KING JOHN, RICHARD II AND THE COMEDY OF ERRORS REFLECTED IN HIS LIFE AND ACKNOWLEDGED WRITINGS. 

These plays display an intimate familiarity with the principles and practices of all the major branches of the law: common law, civil law, statute law, and the maxims of English law, as well as  its principles, complex technicalities, customs and jurisprudence. Their legal language and phrases readily flow from his pen and in the plays his characters talk in a language of the law straight out of Bacon’s Legal Tracts: from Slade’s Case, The Maxims of the Law, The Postnati Case, The Charge of Francis Bacon Touching Duels, through to The Elements of the Common Laws of England, etc, none of which were published in his lifetime.

‘Francis Bacon & The Law In His Early Shakespeare Plays Reflected In His Life & Acknowledged Writings’  https://sirbacon.org/a-phoenix/

 

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FRANCIS BACON AND THE LAW IN HAMLET THE GREATEST PLAY IN THE HISTORY OF WORLD LITERATURE.

Interspersed throughout the whole the telling of this royal Tudor tragedy are lines, sentences and passages identical in thought and similar in expression, providing resemblances, correspondences and parallels from more than thirty of Bacon’s writings and works, among them: unpublished manuscripts, private letters and speeches; various essays including Of Revenge and Of Death, the two central themes of the play; as well as An Inquiry Concerning the Ways of Death and The History of Life and Death; short occasional pieces Physiological Remains and Short Notes for Civil Conversation; political works A Brief Discourse Touching the Happy Union of the Kingdom of England and Scotland and The Case of the Post-Nati of Scotland as well as the state sanctioned A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons of the Earl of Essex; his major philosophical and scientific treatises The Advancement of Learning, The Wisdom of the Ancients, Novum Organum, De Augmentis Scientiarum and Sylva Sylvarum; and several of his obscure or relatively unknown and unread legal treatises A Discourse upon the Commission of Bridewell, The Argument in Lowe’s Case of Tenures, The Charge of Owen Indicted for High Treason, The Reading Upon the Statues of Uses, The Maxims of the Common Law and The Ordinances made by Lord Chancellor Bacon in Chancery.

'FRANCIS BACON AND HIS EARLIEST SHAKESPEARE PLAY HAMLET A TUDOR FAMILY TRAGEDY'

https://sirbacon.org/a-phoenix/

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I’m just catching up with this thread. I agree with the assertion that evidence and revisiting things that are commonly thought to be true (because no one questioned or double checked) is important. 
 

Further down in the thread above,  Alan Green is mentioned. I had heard of him but never really looked into his work. The other day when watching the video I posted with Waugh about De Vere, he mentioned Alan Green so I decided it was a good juncture to  finally seek him out. I found and listened to this lengthy podcast 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hQfBIZ9xZzI&list=PLKIWNoNC5tuQ52ndJf00lNznae8bpUAzQ&index=8

This in turn led me to his website where I read this:

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This is not accurate, for while there may not have been widespread dissemination of information about the pyramids to the ‘common man’, the world was not in complete ignorance.  Henri De Beauvau set out, with others, on a continental trip in 1604. This trip included Cairo and his notes about the pyramids and maps (from sketches made) were published on his return. There are also other maps (showing the Egyptian pyramids) from 1574 which are not artists’ impressions. 

That’s not to cast aspersions on the work of Alan Green, I am still working through his comprehensive website and I do hope he joins this forum as he’s clearly put a great deal of effort into the Shakespeare authorship question.  I just wanted to wholeheartedly agree with the need to double check established and widely held assumptions/narratives.

K

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On 2/18/2022 at 6:53 PM, Christie Waldman said:

 Here is another thought: it seems good to question practically everything we read about Bacon and Shakespeare. It is easy to think things must be true because they are often repeated, but when you go back to the source, you find that actually the facts bear a different interpretation.  If the truth matters, then factual accuracy matters. So please, let that be the goal.

 

Sorry,  I forgot to include the quote that would give my post better context.  It was from what Christie said.  
 

K

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FRANCIS BACON AND THE LAW IN MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

The intertwined themes of law and justice, sex and death, and the Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood that are threaded all the way through Measure for Measure are mirrored and reflected in more than twenty of Bacon’s acknowledged writings and works, among them: unpublished manuscripts, private letters and speeches; his Meditationes Sacrae, Of Colours of Good and Evil, various essays including Of Judicature, Of Seditions and Troubles, and Of Death, one of the central themes of the play; as well as An Inquiry Concerning the Ways of Death and The History of Life and Death; the Gesta Grayorum and other dramatic devices; religious and political tracts including  A Confession of Faith and A Brief Discourse Touching the Happy Union of the Kingdom of England and Scotland; his major philosophical and scientific treatises The Advancement of Learning, Novum Organum and De Augmentis Scientiarum ; and several of his obscure or relatively unknown and unread legal treatises A Proclamation Touching the Marches, The Charge of Owen Indicted for High Treason, A Proposition Touching the Compiling and Amendments of Law, and Touching the Office of Constable; as well as his Rosicrucian utopia New Atlantis (or, The Land of the Rosicrucians) and the first Rosicrucian manifesto the Fama Fraternitatis.

'Francis Bacon, the God-like Rosicrucian Figure of Duke Vincentio and the Unpublished Speeches of Lord Keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon, in Measure for Measure.'

https://sirbacon.org/a-phoenix/

FRANCIS BACON THE GOD-LIKE ROSICRUCIAN FIGURE DUKE VINCENTIO IN MEASURE FOR MEASURE.png

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FRANCIS BACON AND THE LAW IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE THE MOST DRAMATIC LEGAL PLAY IN WOLRD LITERATURE.

Apart from Bassanio, the spectral presence of Bacon is dispersed through several other characters in the play. Professor Lamb voices that not only does Bassanio resemble Bacon but so too its heroine Portia. Then there is the character of Dr Bellario who as pointed out by the orthodox scholar Mark Edwin Andrews also represented Bacon which is further substantiated by the videos and lectures of Simon Miles and Christina G. Waldman the first to publish a full-length work on the subject entitled Francis Bacon’s Hidden Hand in Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice (2018). In his work Law Versus Equity in The Merchant of Venice as its title indicates Mark Edwin Andrews reads the play as an allegory of the conflict between law and equity which constitutes the consensus among modern scholars that the trial scene dramatizes the struggle between the common law courts and the equitable Court of Chancery. From the outset of the trial Andrews juxtaposes a prose version alongside the text of the play in which he substitutes Bacon for Dr Bellario.

It’s also partly an allegory about the issue of debt and assumpsit that was finally decided in Slades Case (Slade v Morley), in which Bacon appeared for the defendant Morley, whose first substantive arguments made before the Justices of the Exchequer occurred in the Michaelmas Term of 1597 and 1598, at the very time Bacon was planning, writing and revising The Merchant of Venice, the most dramatic legal play in all world literature.

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I apologize for my ungracious previous response when A Phoenix was giving my book and Simon Miles's videos on The Merchant of Venice the courtesy of a mention.  It is true that Mark Edwin Andrews was never an orthodox scholar of Shakespeare studies in the academic, professorial, sense. As I wrote in my introduction to this forum, in 1935, Mark Edwin Andrews was a law student taking a summer Shakespeare course with "orthodox scholar" Professor Spaeth (translator of Beowulf) of Princeton, at the University of Colorado when he set out to research and write a short paper that turned into his book-length manuscript, published thirty years later. His manuscript was read and appreciated by United States Supreme Court Justice Harlan F. Stone whose praise is quoted in the preface of the book ("You have done an admirable piece of work." p. ix). Andrews would later become an industrialist and serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Truman.

In Law versus Equity, Andrews gives his reasons for seeing Bacon as Bellario, while making it clear that he was not challenging William Shaxpere's claim to authorship. One  was the playwright's accurate use of a great deal of precise legal terminology in the play. Another was that in real life Bacon played the "same" role as advisor to King James that Portia had played in The Merchant of Venice, as an advisor to the Duke, twenty years later (if the play was written around 1596) in a 1616 court case in which the courts of equity won a victory, jurisdictionally, over the courts of law, although it would not last (J. H. Baker, Introduction to English Legal History, 3d ed. (London: Butterworth's, 1990), p. 126). Andrews' book can be read for free on the internet archive. Mark Edwin Andrews, Law versus Equity in The Merchant of Venice: A Legalization of Act IV, Scene 1 (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 1965). Although professing to be a Stratfordian, Andrews posited that it was as if the seeds planted in the brain of one man took root in the other's (as between Bacon and Shakespeare). One seer would recognize another in any age, he wrote. 

Did "the real Shakespeare" mean for The Merchant of Venice, to be a dramatization of a struggle for jurisdiction between the common law courts and that of the equitable court of chancery? No one can know for sure what the artist intended. Personally, I think he intended something more than, not less, than that. A writer often writes about what he knows. It seems more likely to me that a lawyer would have had an interest in matters of jurisdiction than a non-lawyer like Shaxpere. Not to mention, Bacon was not just "any old lawyer." His father, Nicholas Bacon, had been a law reformer for the Queen, and Bacon carried on that task of reforming the laws of England. The Queen created a legal position just for him, that of Counsel Extraordinary. He was a member of Gray's Inn where the older, more experienced members taught the others, in a mentoring system that had been the norm before printed books became more available for consultation. He studied law to the point of mastery, the man who took all knowledge to be his province. Later, he would hold the highest legal office in the land, that of Chancellor.

I apologize that I was unclear and unnecessarily critical in my response to A Phoenix's commentary above. No one needs a consensus or an expert to tell us what to think (and with the Stratfordians, one is always on the lookout for bias). We can read, weigh, and consider the factual evidence and come to our own conclusions, with which others may disagree, and which we may reconsider, based on new evidence (with humility, aware as we are of our (my) own motes). I hope this helps.    

 

 

 

Edited by Christie Waldman
Hopefully this is a better comment. Apologies.
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FRANCIS BACON AND THE LAW OF ROYAL BASTARDY IN KING JOHN IN WHICH THE ROYAL BASTARD IN THE PLAY IS A DISGUISED DRAMATISATION OF ITS AUTHOR BACON, THE SECRET CONCEALED ROYAL SON OF QUEEN ELIZABETH AND ROBERT DUDLEY, EARL OF LEICESTER. 

In the less well-known The Troublesome Reign of King John Bacon explores the law of bastardy, in particular the law surrounding royal bastardy, through the most important and largest role in the play, the royal bastard Sir Philip Faulconbridge, universally regarded as the hero of the play. 

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Edited by A Phoenix
J13 needed to be updated as there was a wrong cipher count. Thanks to Yann for pointing this out to us.
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