In one letter to Essex in 1596, Francis Bacon hinted at their unique relationship as brothers and as potential heirs to the throne with the following quote:

"Consider first whether I have not reason to think that your fortune comprehendeth mine."


Francis Bacon in another letter

To The Earl Of Essex

March 29, 1594

I thank your Lordship very much for your kind letter, which I hope will be followed at hand with another of more assurance. And I must confess this very delay hath gone so near me, as it hath almost overthrown my health.

When I resolve the good memory of my father, the near degree of alliance I stand in to my Lord Treasurer, your Lordship's so signalled and declared favour, the honourable testimony of so many Counsellors, the commendation unlaboured and in sort offered by my Lords, the Judges and the Master of Rolls elect; that I was voiced with great expectations, and-- though I say it myself-- the wishes of most men, to the higher place, I am a man that the Queen hath already done for; and Princes, especially Her Majesty, loveth to make an end where they begin; when; I say, revolve all this, I cannot but conclude with myself no man ever received a more exquisite disgrace.

And therefore truly, I was determined, if Her Majesty reject me, thid to do; My nature can take no evil ply; but I will by God's assistance, with this disgrace of my fortune....retire with a couple of men to Cambridge, and there live my life in my studies and contemplations, without looking back.

I pray your Lordship to pardon me for troubling you with my melancholy. For the matter itself, I commend it to your love. Only I pray you communicate afresh this day with my Lord Treasurer and Sir Robert Cecil; and, if you esteem my fortune, Remember the point of Precedency.

In most entire and faithful duty,

F. B

I pray I may hear from you some time this day


Commentary on this letter by Alfred Dodd

The phrases in this letter (in white) are not ordinary phrases. Do they not appear to convey covert double meanings? The Queen had "done for" him "already" because she could not and would not recognize him as her son. That was the beginning of the "most exquisite disgrace"..... something far different than the "disgrace" of waiting to know whether he was successful obtaining the appointment. What disgrace was there in waiting to know the pleasure of his Sovereign if he were simply plain "Francis Bacon" and no more? If the Queen did not grant him the Office it would be "a disgrace to his fortune" because, despite his open claims that rested on ability, etc., his chief "point" rested on his " precedency" as a concealed Tudor, which he thought entitled him to rank first before all other candidates. That is the point he wishes his brother Robert to drive home to the Lord Treasurer, Burleigh. If that be not the explanation what IS the interpretation? The pity is that neither James Spedding nor any other of Francis Bacon's numerous biographers (save Parker Woodward) ever tried to understand why such out of the way phrases were ever employed or their enigmatical significance. They have been slurred over by everyone.








 - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning