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Francis Bacon's Early Biographers & Editors were Privy to his Secret Life & Writings


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IN ONE OF HIS WILLS LORD BACON INSTRUCTS THE LEGAL SCHOLAR JOHN SELDEN AND MR. HERBERT OF THE INNER TEMPLE (A RELATIVE OF GRAND MASTER OF ENGLAND WILLIAM HERBERT, EARL OF PEMBROKE TO WHOM BACON DEDICATED THE SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO) TO SUPPRESS SOME OF HIS WRITINGS.

In the edition of Baconiana his second editor and Rosicrucian Brother Thomas Tenison (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury) presents an extract of Bacon’s earlier will commencing on page 203 the simple cipher number for Francis Bacon (100)/Shakespeare(103) thus conceivably a cryptic allusion to the manuscripts of his Shakespeare poems and plays:

                                                                                  A Transcript (by the Publisher) out of the Lord Bacons

                                                                                        last Will, relating especially to his writings.

But towards that durable part of Memory, which consisteth in my Writings, I require my Servant, Henry Percy, to deliver to my Brother Constable, all my Manuscript-Compositions, and the Fragments also of such as are not Finished; to the end that, if any of them be fit to be Published, he may accordingly dispose of them. And herein I desire him, to take the advice of Mr. Selden, and Mr. Herbert, of the Inner Temple, and to publish or suppress what shall be thought fit.

                                                                                         Thomas Tenison, Baconiana (London: 1679), p. 203.

 

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                                                                                 BOY GENIUS AND FUTURE HIGH PRIEST OF THE WORLD.

His first, and childish, years, were not without some Mark of Eminency; At which Time, he was endued, with that Pregnancy and towardness, of Wit; As they were Presages, of that Deep, and Universall, Apprehension, which was manifest in him, afterward.

 [William Rawley, ed., Resuscitatio, Or, Bringing into Publick Light Several Pieces, Of The Works, Civil, Historical, Philosophical, & Theological, Hitherto Sleeping; Of the Right Honourable Francis Bacon (London: printed by Sarah Griffin for William Lee, 1657), B2r

He had a large mind from his father, and great abilities from his mother; his parts improved more than his years: his great, fixed, and methodical memory, his solid judgment, his quick fancy, his ready expression, gave high assurance of that profound and universal knowledge and comprehension of things which then rendered him the observation of great and wise men, and afterwards the wonder of all…At twelve, his industry was above the capacity, and his mind above the reach of his contemporaries.  

[David Lloyd, State Worthies: Or, The Statesmen and Favourites Of England, ed., By Charles Whitworth (London: printed for J. Robson, 1746), II, ‘Observations on the Life of Sir Francis Bacon’, pp. 118-9]

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