-Being a close inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his "Fall" as Lord Chancellor.


The evidence now adduced proves conclusively that he was the victim of a plot. A remarkable story is revealed, told with vivid fidelity to the facts of the times, how an innocent man, The Greatest Genius in History, was forced to "Desert his Defence" under duress, and to enter a plea of "Guilty" to charges of Corruption and Bribery at the express command of King James.





Author of


"The Secret Shakespeare"
"The Immortal Master",
"The Marriage of Elizabeth Tudor"

"Shakespeare: Creator of Freemasonry"


Editor of

"Shake-speares Sonnet-Diary", etc.






68 Fleet Street, London, E.C.4.

Table of Contents








Francis Bacon's Birthday Banquet in 1621



His Birth, Life and Labours, 1561-1621



Francis Bacon's Marriage



The Age of Francis Bacon



King James and his Favourite



The Plotters



The New Parliament of 1621



The Confession of Guilt



The Vindication



The Aftermath, 1621-1626



Notes of Importance



Important Dates Relating to Francis Bacon's Secret and Public Life, and a Detailed Chronology of the Events Surrounding His Impeachment






Appendix I: The Illustrations



Appendix II: James Spedding's Life of Francis Bacon



Appendix III: The Complete List of the Charges Made Against Francis Bacon and Francis Bacon's Notes on Each Charge




For my NAME and Memory, I leave it to Men's Charitable Speeches, and to Foreign Nations, AND THE NEXT AGES; And to mine own Countrymen after sometime be past.
Francis Bacon's Draft Will.


I am the Coward Conquest of a Wretch's Knife Too base to be remembered.
Sonnet 150.


He who robs me of my GOOD NAME makes me poor indeed.


I am ready to make an OBLATION of myself to the King, in whose hands I am as Clay, to be made into a vessel of Honour or Dishonour. . . . Yet with respect to this Charge of Bribery I AM INNOCENT.
I never had Bribe Or Reward.
Francis Bacon.


And take thou my OBLATION, Poor but FREE Only ME for THEE.
Sonnet 136.


(To King James): I can set down a STORY Of Faults concealed whereof I AM ATTAINTED.
Sonnet 131 .


Hence, Thou Suborned Informer! A True Soul When most IMPEACHED stands least in thy control.
Sonnet 136.


I have clean hands and A CLEAN HEART....... Whether I live or die, I would be glad to preserve MY HONOUR.
Francis Bacon.



I Loved the Man and do Honour his Memory (on this side Idolatry) as much as any.... In his adversity I ever prayed that God would give him strength for greatness he could not want. Neither could I condole in WORD OR SYLLABLE for him, as knowing no Accident could do Harm to VIRTUE but rather help to make it manifest.


Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to WEIGH and CONSIDER.

--Francis Bacon

This book is written solely for one reason--to provide the reader with evidence which shall prove incontestably the innocence of Francis Bacon of the crime of "Bribery and Corruption", charges to which he pleaded guilty, suffering the penalties of Impeachment by sentence of the House of Lords in the year 1621.

It is written in the hope that the facts herein disclosed--some of them for the first time, especially Francis Bacon's personal emotions from his recently discovered poetic-Diary (Shake-speares Sonnet Diary), or the Personal Poems of Francis Bacon , Ninth edition)will make a universal appeal to all the English speaking peoples the world over; and will ultimately cause a reversal of the opinions regarding his character-opinions largely due to the dissemination of wrong ideas concerning him by unripe, prejudiced scholars. Nor am I without hope that in this generation, or a subsequent one, some scholar of repute will arise who will not only see the truth herein enunciated-the lines of approach-but who will lend the weight of his name, his genius, his influence to vindicate for ever the innocence of the wisest man in Christendom; the purity of the mind through which coursed the noblest thoughts ever conceived by the human soul.

Such a task may well employ a scholar's noblest powers. It would be the greatest thing he had ever done. It is not the elucidation of a literary problem, or the interpretation of his philosophy that matters. It is something far more important. It is a moral issue . . . a grievous wrong to be righted. The shoulders of our most wonderful genius, who did so much for England and the world, have been loaded with calurnny and shame, largely as a result of misunderstanding through the misreading of historical facts. We have hid, as it were, our faces from him.

It took a Carlyle to show that the vulgar opinions held in his day of Oliver Cromwell-through the writings of biassed historian were viciously untrue; a Zola to prove that Dreyfus was the hapless victim of a foul plot; and it may well be that a second Hepworth Dixon will have to be born-if he has not been already to write with thoughts that flame and words that burn with the same passionate sincerity as his forebear, which will eternally dissipate the preposterous fictions of the schoolmen regarding Francis Bacon's Life, Character, and Works.

My claim is a modest one. I am no more than a simple finger-post pointing the way to the uplands where Truth- of that Holy Grail of precious Vintage may be found.

This book, then, is not written to prove the greatness of our greatest English man the man whom Hallam declared was "the greatest, wisest of mankhind"; of whom Pope wrote, "Lord Bacon was the greatest genius that England, or perhaps any country ever produced,"it is not written to prove that he was the Creator and Founder of the secret Elizabethan Fraternities, notably, the Rosicrosse Literary, Society, the Rosicrucian College, and Modern Freemasonry; neither do I write to prove that Francis Bacon was the creator of the character named "William Shake speare". The former can be left to the Quatuor Coronati and the various Masonic Research Associations, which often, unfortunately, cannot see the wood for trees when they search for the Genesis of their Order. The latter can be left to professed Baconians like Dr. W. S. Melsome, Howard Bridgewater, R. L. Eagle, and to iconoclasts like the late Sir Geo. Greenwood. These aspects of the Elizabethan Era are purely subsidiary to what I consider is the main issue regarding Francis Bacon. His Royal Birth, his Rosicrucian and Masonic connections, his concealed literary activities, though important, are as nothing compared with his rehabilitation as A MAN OF HONOUR AND INTEGRITY in the eyes of his countrymen.

Everything I have written about Francis Bacon, or shall write, is simply a means to an end; the main task being the gathering together of facts (hitherto ignored, misinterpreted or suppressed), indicating clearly the source of knowledge, that will prove his moral honesty, his uprightness, his purity of thought and action. The Lie regarding Francis Bacon has sunk deep into the souls of men. We were taught it as children at the day school; we heard it later in life in the pulpit and lecture hall; we see it repeated today in popular' press articles by poets like John Drinkwater and popular novelists like Sir Max Pemberton. The Lie began with Lord Macaulay's infamous rhetorical Essay in I837, which twisted the facts of the times, distorted the truth, and suppressed vital evidence in order to blacken Francis Bacon's character.

The Essay was based on Pope's lines to which he attributed a meaning never intended by Pope:

"Think how Bacon shined! The Wisest, Brightest, Meanest of Mankind!"


Interpreting "Meanest" as "ignoble in mind, character, or spirit! (when every literary student knows that Pope used the word with the meaning attached to it in that age, and as he had done elsewhere consistently, to denote that Francis Bacon was the "HUMBLEST" of mankind) Macaulay ravages his character with savage ferocity. He is great intellectually and mean in soul; a supreme genius and a monstrous criminal; a mixture of Machiavelli, St. Francis of Assisi and Judas Iscariot, a super-historic Jekyll-Hyde. The brilliance with which Macaulay manipulated the evidence to support his conclusions made it one of his most popular "Reviews". It has been reprinted over and over again.

It is this point of view that has stained the very tissues of Englishmen's minds today. The first thought that strikes the average man when Francis Bacon's name is mentioned is the fiction that he sold justice wholesale, netted a hundred thousand pounds by slimy swindling, and shamelessly confessed his wickedness by pleading guilty to bribery and corruption after whining to the Ring to save him.

Yet this attitude is a mistaken one and utterly wrong. For this perversion of the mass-mind Macaulay is directly and indirectly responsible. He has poisoned and corrupted our intellectual and spiritual culture for over a hundred years. How long will it be before the Lie is overtaken, I wonder! Few readers will have noted the judgment of J. Cotter Morison, one of Macaulay's finest biographers, in the English Men of Letters series. He writes:

"We now come, not without reluctance, to look at the deplorable article on Bacon. 'The historical portion has only just received such an exposure at the hands of the late Mr. Spedding, that to dwell upon it here is as unnecessary as it would be impertinent.
"Two Octavo volumes were not found more than sufficient to set forth the full proofs of Macaulay's quite astounding inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and even falsifications of the truth.......
"What could have been Macaulay's motive for writing with such passion and want of good faith?
"Nothing that Macaulay has "written has been more injurious to his fame as a serious thinker. . . . He deviated into fiction in his libel on Bacon." (Pp.100 105, 159.)

"Why did he do it?" asks Cotter Morison.

Macaulay was a historian who reviewed events and characters through Whig Spectacles. He loathed the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings and that the Crown could do no wrong. He wrote down Francis Bacon primarily because Francis Bacon believed that these Political principles were the best for his particular day and generation--i.e., a benevolent Monarchy and Parliament. That is the reason why Macaulay libeled dead greatness. He visited his political hate on the character of a man who has done more good to the world in one single department of human thought than Macaulay ever did as a writer, a politician, an Indian administrator. He threw vitriol with horrifying effect in the face of one of the most lovable of men, one who wrote in a noble prayer: "Thou knows that in a despised Weed, I have sought the Good of ALL MEN."

The Sage of Chelsea said that Rhadamanthus would certainly give Macaulay dozen lashes when he went to the Shades for his treatment of Marlborough. How many does he deserve for the disfigurement of Francis Bacon?

Nor is it generally known that Macaulay knew he had done Francis Bacon the gravest injury with his poisonous rhetoric; yet he was not honest nor manly enough to admit publicly that he had twisted the facts. But, admission or not, every historian knows that Macaulay always manipulated his facts to prove his case against men long dead who could not reply. What is this but "Corruption" of the worst type?

"Late in life Macaulay himself told friends of mine that he regretted only one piece he had written---the Essay on Bacon." (H. Crouch Bachelor, Francis Bacon, p.8.)
"No slander is more audacious than that falsehood to which Macaulay has put the seal of history." (Sir William Hunter, The Thackerays in India, referring to Macaulay's Essay on Warren Hastings.)

The University of Oxford advised all Macaulay's works to be placed in a special category as "not trustworthy for History."

From the date of the Essay on Lord Bacon , Macaulay has been followed by a long line of writers who, saturated with his picturesque brilliance and guided by malevolent assertions, have written-from various motives---biographies and sketches, popular and otherwise, of "the great criminal judge": severe clerics, with their theologically warped minds, like the Rev. Joseph Sortain, Trinity, College Dublin, Dr. Abbott, Dean Church, who have held him up as a fearful example of genius allied to diabolical wickedness; and literary critics such as Sir Sidney Lee, who, with other stalwarts of the "Shakespeare Trust", have attacked Francis Bacon's moral character to prejudice a purely literary issue . . . fearful lest the "Immortal William" should be discovered to be an academic fraud.

The popular opinion that Francis Bacon was simply little more than a prosy philosopher and a corrupt judge, is deep and widespread. The average lover of literature has little time for him. He is repelled by what he has read about "his ""unlovely character". Nor can this be wondered at when editors of popular literary encyclopedias commence their critiques of his works with such damning phrases as "This aggressive intellectual reformer, the great English writer, the servile statesman, the corrupt Chancellor ", etc. What student or reader can love a writer is said to be "servile . . . corrupt"? The virtue has gone out of him at a touch. Our interest is poisoned ere we read a line. The light in his literary labours fades. Genius is worthier when it but serves as a cloak for immorality.

The real truth concerning Francis Bacon's character has never been told since Hepworth Dixon and James Spedding wrote their biographies sixty to eighty years ago. Indeed, I do not remember ever reading a single article in the popular press, literary magazines, monthlies or quarterlies in which the writer whole heartedly asserted that Viscount St. Alban was a great and good man. But I have seen numerous articles, where the pen has been dipped into the gall of ignorance, which have disparaged him; articles by men whose business it was to know better.

A work, then, of this kind is long overdue. It will put the English-speaking people on the right lines respecting our Supreme Genius. It is by no means exhaustive, for it is written by a busy man for busy men. Yet it contains sufficient information to point the reader to richer mines of knowledge. Primarily, this book contains detailed evidence which proves that Francis Bacon never committed the crimes for which he was impeached . . . the crime of accepting monies from suitors in his Court to pervert the course of justice, by passing judgment in their favour.

He was the victim of a plot.

It is true he pleaded guilty; but did he do so of his own volition? After making every preparation, he suddenly deserted his defence, threw up the sponge, and refused to face the trial of Impeachment.

Why did he do so?

We now know the facts. We know them even better than Spedding or Dixon; for we have today his personal diary, which they did not possess, by which we can check the truth. We know what was not known at the time to the general public, nor for many years later: That King James in his Office as King commanded him to break off his defence and to plead guilty. As the King's Servant, sworn to do his bidding, as a believer in the Divine Right of the Kingly Office, and that the King can do no wrong, he had no choice but to obey. He yielded to the Will of the King and was undone.

Two remarkable pieces of evidence have recently come to light confirming the truth that Francis Bacon pleaded guilty against his will and that he sacrificed himself:

(1) A series of Cantos in Skakespeare's Sonnets;
(2) The elucidation of a personal poem printed with the Sonnets entitled A Lover's Complaint (still in manuscript).

They show the emotions of the chief actor in the tragedy-Francis Bacon; how he became "the conquest of a Coward's Knife", wielded by Sir Edward Coke, his lifelong enemy, and how the coup de grace was given by a pusillanimous King who interposed his Chancellor to save himself and his favourite the Duke of Buckingham.

Hitherto, Francis Bacon's guilt has been taken for granted. Biographers have assumed that his own confession of guilt was sufficient to warrant with assurance his condemnation legally and morally. It is interesting to see how these various writers follow similar lines of thought . . . using almost identical phraseology. They have all the same point of view. Their variations of light and shade "vary little more than the track of the boy who trod in the footsteps of good King Wenceslas. One can see that their whole viewpoint is influenced and coloured by the fact that he "deserted his defence", and afterwards pleaded guilty to a series of crimes. This indicated, of course, if not "Total Depravity" at least more than a double dose of "Original Sin". Having begun with this cardinal factor, they seek for criminal tendencies in his earlier years. They find Francis Bacon was obsequious to the Queen, always in financial difficulties (which must have had their roots in some evil cause), ungrateful to his friend Essex, responsible for the torturing of Peacham, and so on. To sustain these fictions (all of which can be shown to be preposterously false),. all sorts of venal motives are imputed to him and gravely censured.

 If we wish, however, to obtain a just estimate of Francis Bacon's character, we must not begin our investigation in an atmosphere of prejudice produced by his plea of guilt. It is not unknown for a man to be "guilty" in law and "not guilty" in fact.

Let us begin at the beginning.
Had he any vicious characteristics as a growing boy? None! As a youth? No!

He left England at the age when "a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love", to go to the French Court of brilliant rakes and superb demi mondaines. He lived there (at Queen Elizabeth's expense) in the train of the English Ambassador, for three years, one of the handsomest youths of the day, judging by his portrait, painted, presumably, by command of the Queen . . . by artist Hilyard. What can be said against his character in this three years --impressionable years---of Court Life, beauteous Ladies and Lovely 'Knights? Nothing! He neither wined it nor womened it. He kept himself pure, having been reared in the Puritan home of his foster-mother Lady Anne Bacon.
What can be said against him when living as a law student after his return from France? What amours did he indulge in like Oxford and Southampton? What Maid of Honor did he get into trouble (he had access to the Queen's Court) like Pembroke? What gambling debts did he run up like Fulke Greville? NONE!

What of his early years at the House of Commons when he was in the public eye? Was he regarded as a sycophant? No! Was he known as a man who could bought? No! As a time-server? No! As one who crook the pregnant hinges of the the knee to Authority? No! As a worshipper of Mammon who took back handers? No!

His public record shows that he was regarded as one of the most upright of not only by the House of Commons but in the country. Where can you find his contemporaries a Member of Parliament who was elected by double and treble returns , Middlesex no less than Cambridge vying with each other for the honour of his representation. Is it not strange that in all those years of strife one should have suspected that his soul was shrunken with the fires of avarice?

He was thirty years in the Commons. What charges were made against him during that time? None! What reflections on his honour or honesty? Not one! There was never a whisper to this effect. Such a thought never entered the head of any of his contemporaries. The sordid Cecil might think him politically unsound, too advanced a social reformer, but he never thought that Francis was a rogue, whose primary object was to feather his own nest. The venomous Coke might think him the "Queen's bastard", a fool, and discount his jaw, but he never once suggested he was a rascal. It was left for a later date, toward's the end of life, for Coke to invent that monstrous slander.

Up to the 1621 Parliament, when Francis Bacon was sixty years of age, never a word had been breathed by anyone, anywhere, at any time, against the moral integrity of Francis Bacon . . . no one had ever suggested that he had: accepted bribes, that he had perverted justice. When the storm broke in the Commons it 'Was against the Monopoly-Patents imposed by the King and his Favourite Buckingham. Francis Bacon was outside "the Tempest" until it was diverted by Sir Edward Coke from James and Buckingham to the Chancellor. Then for the first time do we hear of the accusation of bribery leveled at the Chancellor.

Is there not something strange at the suddenness of the charge? Something suspicious in its swift climax? Are we to assume that a man of known honour and virtue sullied his soul by dishonesty even though it was his own hand and deed that wrote the word "Guilty" to the charges ? Average common sense, with a modicum of the detective instinct, suggests there is much more behind the debacle than meets the eye. The broad facts of his life give the lie to the idea that he committed criminal acts the moment he took his seat in the Chancery Court, like a common swindler. As a man of the world I refuse to judge the whole of the Play by one act.

The fact is that certain critical types are constitutionally incapable of seeing anything which does not lie on the surface . . . even then their field of vision is not sufficiently large enough to take in everything; and if the Truth is hidden beneath the surface, they either assume that there is no Higher Truth than what they know, or that it cannot be found ! The moil and toil of such a search! Is it worth the trouble? What does it matter? Better sing Francis Bacon's Psalm Translations with Mary Stuart, his latest biographer, and chant with her what a poor tool he was in English Prosody; Sneer with her at Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry; and giggle at the thought that Ciphers can enshrine profound truths, and are as useful in business as in war . . than search laboriously to discover what he meant by The Great Instauration, or how he completed his Six Parts in a way utterly inconceivable to Mary Stuart, judging by her hackneyed treatment of the great Master.

The possibility has never occurred to the pedant type of mind that Francis Bacon may not have been guilty after all: that he may not have fallen because of his vices in a world of good men but because of his virtues in an era of wicked men: that he actually sealed his virtues by sacrifice to a patriotic and political ideal, just as other great souls have sealed their testimony to the truth, as they saw it, with their blood . . . like Sir Thomas More. Instead of looking at Francis Bacon from the worst point of view suppose we study him from the Opposite angle. Even a prisoner is assumed to be innocent until proved guilty; and Francis Bacon has never once been Proved unequivocally guilty in any one of his acts ......even 'by the malignant Dr. Abbott, of whom Prof. Nichol was obliged to say:

"Macaulay, Abbott and Dean Church . . are unjust."

The broad facts of his life, his public career, his private pursuits, give the lie to the suggestion that he could stoop to willful dishonesty. He was too great a gentleman by breed and education to think of such Vulgar, get-rich-quick methods. At the height of the political "Tempest", he could say with fine scorn,

"My mind has ever turned on other wheels than those of profit. . . . My mind is in a calm; for my fortune is not my felicity...... I know I have clean hands and a clean heart.

I praise God for it, I never took penny for any benefice or ecclesiastical living; I never took penny for releasing anything; I stopped at the Seal; I never took penny for any commission, or things of that nature; I never shared with any servant for any second or inferior profit."

Alone among all the great lawyers of the time, he died poor. Hatton, Egerton, Montague, Coke, Popham, Bennet, Hobart, Fleming . . . all left great estates. They were among the richest men in England. Yet they made their money exclusively out of law. . . out of the sweets of office, the gifts, fees and Presents of suitors.

How comes it that Francis Bacon's "Corruption" kept him poor while Egerton's and Popham's "corruption" made them rich? Is it not possible that it was his virtues and not his vices that kept him poor? "His honesty, tolerance, magnanimity and not his heartlessness, his servility and his corruption that caused his 'Fall?'

"Honest Ben Jonson" loved and honoured him and thought him the living embodiment of "Virtue"; so did Selden, and Rawley, and Tobie Matthew, and Meautys, and all his personal friends; indeed a contemporary wrote: "ALL WHO WERE GREAT AND GOOD LOVED HIM". And this is borne out by the thirty-- two writers in the Manes Verulamiani who testified to his virtue, after his passing, even more than to his greatness. Who more likely to know the real truth than these intellectuals of known probity? Would these men have been likely to have loved and honoured a rascal, who, for upwards of five years, had systematically filched monies from suitors? Are we to overthrow their united testimony for the sour, mean life of a Dean Church?

The following pages lay before the reader the truth of the matter. Francis Bacon will be seen in a new light . . . as one of the Great Souls of the Ages, a Servant sent by the Most High to uplift Humanity as surely as Jesus or Socrates. It is not too much to say that there has been painted, and foisted upon the public, a series of false pictures by grossly prejudiced researchers who know nothing of Francis Bacon's secret life , nor the real aim of his Philosophy, nothing of his true personality.

If once the reader can detach his mind from the paltry biographies of a Skemp or a Levine and approach this work de novo with an open mind--I am certain he will soon rejoice in the sure knowledge that our greatest genius was also the most virtuous of men.

The time has arrived when this great Englishman should be cleansed for ever the foul stains with which his reputation was besmirched by a Macaulay and Campbell.

We have inherited his thoughts and emotions in a thousand different ways. He is part of us in spite of Lilliputian critics who would make him a moral outcast. The Ethics he conceived in allegory and symbol are taught the world over when "the sun is at its meridian", a "Province" that knows no bounds. His phraseology and the philosophy of his poetry will be universally current until the great Globe itself shall dissolve and leave not a rack behind. Not only does he touch us as the Supreme Ethical Teacher, the Prince of Poets, the most Illustrious of Philosophers,but he also sits in the Chair of Apollo as the Father of Modern Science, for he was the man who acted as bell-ringer, and called the Sciences together to labour for the good of humanity. The watchwords blazoned on his banner were "Light; Education and Reform; Utility and Progress."

Whether we like it or not this Immortal Genius is our earthly English god. His influence touches us in our daily lives everywhere in interpenetrating worlds of thought. If he were a rogue and a cheat, then it is also most true that we have taken a rogue and a cheat to be our god. His statue alone stood before those ancient Inns of Court . . . Grays Inn. His portrait alone adorns the Cabinet room in Downing Street. In a different guise Francis Bacon's head smiles at "the Dull and Speechless Tribes" who visit the "Shake-speare Monument" in the Valhalla of the British Empire. Thus is he honoured in secret by the few.

"We cannot hide his light, We cannot cast him out. For good, if it be good; for evil If it must be evil, his brain has passed into our brain, his soul into our souls. We are part of him; he is part of us; inseparable as the salt and the sea. The life he lived has become our law."

This book will open a new door into literature and life. It will provide you with sufficient evidence to show that the Father of English Prose, no less than the Father of Science, was an altruist of the first water; one of the kindest and most virtuous of men. It tears away the false mask he has worn so long. You will gradually get to know him as he really is: to know that "the Wisest, Brightest, Humblest of Mankind" was also one of the most Christlike.

Every true Britisher will rejoice that at last this important Truth can be proved. With Ben Jonson I can say:

"'Tis a brave cause of Joy, let it be known,
For 'twere a narrow gladness kept my own.
Give me a deep crown'd bowl, that I may sing,
In Raising him, the Wisdom of MY KING."

I am greatly indebted to the Works of Hepworth Dixon, Barrister-at-Law, for his researches into the details of the charges brought against Francis Bacon. Re pointed the way I should go; and all Lovers of Truth, of Francis Bacon, and of honest Literature (unstained by opinionative asides Pontifically expressed as facts) owe Hepworth Dixon a real debt of gratitude. Had it not been for his careful sifting of the evidence respecting the "Fall", I could never have spoken so Positively of Francis Bacon's exemplary character, his mental powers and of the manner in which he was "framed".

My thanks are particularly due to my good friend Edward D. Johnson, Esq., Birmingham, for his careful reading of the manuscript, and for his many suggestions and helpful advice.

-------END OF FOREWORD-------

 The Sonnets reflect Bacon's Legal Case

The Martyrdom of Francis Bacon PDF to download - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning