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FRANCIS BACON



FRANCIS BACON



THE COMMEMORATION OF HIS

TERCENTENARY AT

GRAY'S INN



LONDON: PRINTED AT THE CHISWICK PRESS BY

ORDER OF THE MASTERS OF THE BENCH

FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION



With the Compliments of the

Treasurer and Masters of the

Bench of the Honourable

Society of Gray's Inn



Gray's Inn
London



8



TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION by the REV. R. J. FLETCHER, D.D.

Preacher of the Society 7

THE MEMORY OF FRANCIS BACON. A Speech
delivered in Gray's Inn Hall at the Tercenten-
ary Celebration by MR. H. E. DUKE, K.C., M,P.,
Treasurer of Gray's Inn, 1908 ...... 21

LIST OF BENCHERS AND GUESTS PRESENT AT THE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATION, 1908 ... 37

FRANCIS BACON. A Speech delivered by the Right
Hon. A. J. BALFOUR, M.P., on the occasion of
the Unveiling of the Bacon Statue at Gray's Inn 43

FRANCIS BACON'S ESSAYS: OF GARDENS and OF
MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS, reprinted from the
earliest editions 57

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PORTRAIT OF FRANCIS BACON . . frontispiece
GRAY'S INN AS IT APPEARS IN THE MAP OF RALPH

AGGAS, TEMP. ELIZ 21

PORTRAIT OF NICHOLAS BACON 37

STATUE OF FRANCIS BACON 42

REDUCED FACSIMILE OF AN ACCOUNT FROM THE

SOCIETY'S LEDGER FOR THE YEAR 1598 . . 57




Introduction

IN the autumn of 1908 the Benchers of Gray's Inn
observed with appropriate festivity the tercenten-
ary of an event which appears in the records of
the Society as having taken place at a Pension
held on I7th October 6 James I:

Sir Francis Bacon Knight Sollicitor to y King is
elected Tresorer of this house off Grates Inn
nowe after y? decease of Sir Cuthbert Pepper
Knight.

In further commemoration of this occasion l they de-

1 In connection with the tercentenary Dr. W. Aldis Wright pre-
sented to the Society a valuable collection of Bacon's works, in-
cluding the following :

The Essaies. Sixth edition (Jaggard). 1613.

The Essaies. Eighth edition (Jaggard). 1624.

3 copies The Essaies. Newly written. (First complete edition.)
1625.

The Essaies. First Italian edition. 1618.

A Declaration of the . . . Treasons . . . committed by Robert,
late Earle of Essex. First edition. 1601.

The Wisedome of the Ancients. First English edition, trans,
by Sir A. Gorges. 1619.

The Historic of Life and Death. First English edition. 1638.

The Naturall and Experimentall History of Winds. First
English edition, trans, by R. G. Dent. 1653.

7



cided upon the erection of a statue of their greatest
Treasurer in South Square, and the work executed by
Mr. F. W. Pomeroy was unveiled on 2/th June 1912
by the Right Honourable A. J. Balfour, M.P. On the
precise day of the anniversary a speech was made, after a
luncheon in the Hall, by Master H. E. Duke, K.C., M.P.,
at that time Treasurer of the Inn, and at the unveiling
of the statue Mr. Balfour delivered an address. On both
occasions a large company of members of the Honour-
able Society and of distinguished guests was present.
But for the sake of the still larger company of those to
whom Bacon bequeathed his memory and fame, it was
resolved that these two tributes to him should be pre-
served in a commemorative volume, along with two of
the famous essays in which he seems to have been re-
miniscent of Gray's Inn doings. The Benchers honoured
me with a request for an explanatory foreword.

The speech of Bacon's successor in the office of
Treasurer related chiefly to the connection of the great
lawyer and thinker with Gray's Inn. It may be of use
if some of the entries in the Pension Book to which
Master Duke referred be here collected. It stands re-
corded that on 2/th June 1576:

Ad hanc pentionem admissi stint AntJionius Bacon
Franciscus Bacon Willielmus Bo^ves Thomas
Balgey et Rogerus Wilbraham et predicti
Anthonius Bacon Franciscus Bacon et Willus
Bowes admissi sunt de societate magistrorum et
ceteri de mense clericorum?

1 The difference corresponded more or less to that which existed
between the ordinary pensioners at a college and the sizars. Students
admitted as "masters" paid a higher fee, and fared better in Hall
than those admitted as " clerks." The latter, moreover, waited on
the "masters" (Pension Book, vol. i, p. 137).

8



In the ensuing term an order was made admitting the
brothers of Francis to their father's chamber, and at the
same Pension (2ist November 1576) we read:

// is farther ordered that all his \the Lord Keeper's]
sonnes now admitted of the housse viz.: Nicholas,
Nathaniell, Edward, Anthony e and Francis
shalbe of the graund company * and not to be
bound to any vacations.

On 1 3th May 1580 an order was made that:

Mr. Francis Bacon in respect of his healthe is allowed
to have the benefit t of a speciall admittance with
all benefitts and privileges to a speciall admit-
tance belonging for tJte fyne of xl*.*

On 27th June 1582 occurs the entry:

Mr. Francis Bacon, Mr. Edward M orison, Mr. Roger
Wilbraham and Mr. Laurence Washington utter
barristers* at this petition.

Less than four years later (loth February 1586) we
have record of an exceptional favour :

At this pencon it is allowed that Mr. Francis Bacon
mate have place with the Readers att the Reders
table but not to have any voyce in pencon nor to
wynne ancientie of any that is his ancient or shall
read before him.

In the following May his name is for the first time
recorded as having been present at a Pension, though he

1 I.e., they were to sit at the Ancients' (Senior Barristers') table
in the Hall and became eligible for the office of Reader and so for
the dignity of the Bench.

2 This enabled him to send to the buttery for his commons and
take his meals in his chamber instead of coming into the Hall.

3 A student was anciently known as an inner barrister. For the
derivation see note on p. 5, vol. i, of Pension Book.

9



would, of course, have taken no part in the discussion of,
and decision upon, the business.

On 3rd November 1587 an order was made in which
it was set forth that John Brograve, Attorney-General of
the Duchy of Lancaster, who had been chosen to read
during the ensuing Lent vacation, had been respited till
the Lent next after that :

et Franciscus Bacon Armiger electus est in officium
lectoris pro tempore quadragessimali proximo
sequenti, Et ejus assistentes Thomas Broxolme
Edmundus Poley.

Accordingly in Lent 1588 Bacon gave his reading,
exercised the Reader's customary hospitality and pre-
sided after supper during that " learning vacation " at
the customary moots. 1 Having performed his task, he
became, in accordance with the custom of the period, a
full Bencher.

In the following November the " whole buildings and
several romes " whereinto Francis Bacon, with others,
" stood admitted " were, in confirmation of a grant made
some nine years earlier (i.e. just after the death of Sir
Nicholas Bacon), leased and demised to the new Bencher
and his brother Anthony for the term of fifty years, and
leave was given them to build additional rooms over
those which they had held " as well as over and above
the library." 3 They did, in fact, build two new stories,
making four in all. About the same time, Francis entered

1 See the quotation pp. 4 and 5 of the Pension Book, vol. i, from
a document drawn up by Nicholas Bacon and others in the reign
of Henry VIII. Two assistants (Benchers) were always at this
period appointed.

* See vol. ii of Pension Book, p. 437, as to the situation of the
Library prior to 1788. Unfortunately, "Bacon's Buildings" were
burnt down in 1684.

10



upon the office of Dean of the Chapel which he held for
a year. It was, perhaps, not without connection with
his tenure of this post that during the year he wrote his
" Advertisement touching Controversies in the Church
of England." That he continued to attend Gray's Inn
Chapel long after this time, appears from a letter of 27th
August 1610, in which he invites Sir Michael Hickes to
the funeral of his mother and adds " I dare promise you
a good sermon to be made by Mr. Fenton, the Preacher
of Gray's Inn, for he never maketh other." The phrase
can hardly be taken not to imply that he had frequently
" sat under " Fenton, who began his ministry in 1 599.

An order of 28th January 1 594 mentions a payment
made " to Mr. Bacon, one of the treasurers of this house."
Bacon seems, however, to have been but an acting-
treasurer at this time, though he had been appointed at
the end of 1590 " Receiver of the Admittance money."

Under the date 9th November 1 599 we have :

Alt this pencon Mr. Francis Bacon Esquire is diosen
Double Reader for this next Lent and time is
given unto him iintill next pencon to be advised
whether it shall please him to accept of the same
and then to give his answer.

It did please him to accept, and the reading he gave
on the Statute of Uses was afterwards published.

Before this, however, Bacon had begun an enterprise
in which he clearly took a keen interest as well during,
as before, the period of his greatest political and literary
activity. Aggas* map of Gray's Inn, reproduced on
another page, cannot be regarded as having been at
any time accurate, but it serves to illustrate the fact,
established by other evidence, that the buildings of the
Society were, in the earlier days of Bacon's membership,

II



bordered on the north and west by rough pasture ground.
When, during the reign of Elizabeth, the piles of cham-
bers had spread northward and southward of the single
original court which covered the southern part of what
is now Gray's Inn Square, the property still included,
besides three courts Coney Court, Chapel Court, and
Holborn Court a section of ground, roughly square, to
which the most northern row of buildings formed the
southern side, and an oblong field on the west, bordered
where it adjoined the other section by a row of elm trees. 1
The former bore the name of " the Panyerman's close " ;
the latter that of "Gray's Inn Close," or "field." The
Panyerman's close had in 1579 been granted, subject to a
rent payable to the Panyerman, to Sir Edward Stanhope,
a Bencher of the Society, who had covered it with stables
and " base cottages." Of Gray's Inn close a small portion
had been enclosed to form a "walk," and in 1583 it con-
tained nineteen elm trees, but the rest was untouched.

There can be little doubt that it was Bacon who was
chiefly responsible for the decision reached as to the use
to which it should be put. Now that he had his voice in
Pension there was no more chance for anyone to set
squalid buildings under the windows of the Inn. In
1591 we find a committee, of which he was a member,
appointed to consider the enclosure of "parte of our back
feild," and mention is made of a loan from one Bencher
to the house " towards the making of ther walks." For a
time, indeed, the roadway and gate into Holborn occupied
the attention, and engaged the subscriptions, of the
Society,* and it was not until 1596 that the enclosing
walls were put in hand. But by 1598 Bacon had begun

1 See Pension Book, vol. i, p. 57.

a Pension Book, vol. i, pp. 98, 99, seq.

12



" plantingc of trees in the walks," and it is clear from
the following account that he had obtained the authoriza-
tion of his brother-Benchers to proceed with the project
with which he must be particularly identified of turning
"our back feild" into gardens, celebrated during two
following centuries for their beauty.

TheAccompt of Frauncis Bacon Esquire of
Money laide out & disbursed for Graies
Inne Walkes taken & agreed upon the xxiiii
of Aprill An Eliz: xlii do .

Imprimis to the carpenter for the stayres & rayles
Item for Ixvi elmes at ix d a piece
For viii Birche trees at xviii d the tree
For xvi cherrye trees at xii a the tree
For cclxxxvi bundles of poles & stakes at iiii d

ob the bundle

For iii m iiii c great oziers at xiiii d the C
For xx m of quicke setts at iii" viii d the M
For small Bindinge oziers
For i m vi c of woodbines at vi d the C
For iii m vii c of eglantyne at xii the C
For cxxv standerds of roses
For xx m of privye at ii e the M
For pincks violetts & primroses
For cuttinges of vynes
For car: wharfinge & toll of all the stuffe & for

barrowes trestles brooms &c
For the principall gardiner & his mans wages

at 3" per diem xxix daies & a halfe
For other gardiners at xviii" the daie clxi days
For gardiners at xvi d the daie Ixxviii daies
For labourers at xii d per diem cxxvi daies & a

halfe
For weeders wages

Sma total :

Rec : of the Steward

Sic rem: claro computant:

13



vm" x 8
xlix* vi d
xii*
xvi 8

v" vii 8 iii d

xxxix" viii d

iii" xiii 8 iiii d

xxxv 8 i' 1

viii 8

xxxvii 8

xii 8 vi d

xl 8

vii 8

ii 8 vi d

xxii 8 iiii d



mi" vnr vr
xii" i 8 vi d
v" iiii*



vi" vi' vi"
xiiii 8



vi 8 viii d



xl"



"



xx 1 v 8 v



W ch twenty pounds sixe shillings eight pence is the 28th of
Aprill 1600 paidd by me Robte Coates for my Mr. John
Brograve Esquire to Frauncis Bacon Esquire
Pro me Robt Coats

STANHOPE



The expenditure of the Society during 1 599 included
the following additional items:
Item to Slowman in full payment of the Northe

Brick wall ix u vi' viii d

To the gardiner of the Temple for the Walks vii" xv* iiii d

To Mr. Bacon by the appointment of the

Readers towards the seats in the Walks vi 11 xiii' iiii d

For the next few years little or nothing more was done.
But in 1605 we find a long Pension Order in which the
ill use made by Sir Edward Stanhope of the Panyerman's
Close is rehearsed, and declaration made of the resump-
tion of the ground by the Society, " the former order of
demyse notwithstanding"; in June 1608 an order was
passed that it should be cleared of the stables and other
buildings placed there by Stanhope, and, soon after
Bacon's election as Treasurer, he went to work upon the
planting of the new space and the further beautifying of
the old. Here are some further items of his expenditure,
containing reference to the mount he erected where
No. 5 Raymond's Buildings now stands and to the
summer-house with its " type," or canopy, of which Master
Duke speaks on p. 34.

The accompt of Sr. ffrancis Bacon knite the Kings Solicitor
gener. and Treasurer of Graies Inn of all the disbursments
ffrom the 12 of August 1608 untell the 26 of November
1610. j s, d.

To Brooks towards the makinge of the Mount 200

1 The facsimile of this account appears below.
14



To Thomas Goodwyn for the timber and carv-

inge of the Griffin on the Mount in the

Walks i 10 o

To Mr. Poultney for 30 beeches att &/. apeece

and 5 elmes att io</. apeece 142

To John Mortimer gardiner for 150 stakes for

the trees, for 100 standerds of roses, for 200

red rose plants i 1 7 6

To John Mortimer ye 3 of December 1608 for

roses sweet bryar setts c. 400

To Richard Talbott for playsteringe the Mount

in the Walks 542

To Thomas Bourkley 1 2 Febr. 1 608 for priminge

and stoppeinge the Type in the Walkes i 10 o

To Mr. Underwood ye 10 of Marche 1608 for

100 of Sicamore trees 4 n 8

To ye sayd Mr. Underwood for 2 1 beeches and

8 elmes i o 8

To Mr. Maudesley ye slater for slatinge ye tipe

in the Walkes 613 2

To Mr. Abraham ye 9 of Aprill for pavinge the

tipe in the Walkes 434

To Brooks for makinge of the Bowlinge alley 213 o

To Brooks for hearbes, seedes and worke done

in the walkes 357

To Thomas Bartlett for paintinge ye railes and

seates and gildinge the Griffin ye 13 Maii

1609 5 13 3

To Slowman 26 Maii 1609 in full payment of all

the worke done in the Walkes 56 13 u

To Brooks 2 Jan. 1609 for 30 sicamore trees i 6 o

To Brooks 1 1 Jan. 1609 for 18 apletrees and 200

eglantynes, 1000 red roses and 200 oziers 7 15 o
To Brooks 27 Oct. 1610 for sicamore trees i 15 o

The space at command was not so much as a third of
the thirty acres desired in the essay for a "princely
garden." But in many respects the garden of the essay

15



represents that which he had actually brought into being
between 1598 and 1612. Of the copious lists of flowers
given for all the months "for the climate of London" there
were, at least, at Gray's Inn for February primroses, for
March violets and sweetbriar, for April blossoming cherry
trees, for May and June pinks and roses, for September
vines and apple trees, and for October " roses cut or re-
moved to come late." The Society had in its Walks, we
may well suppose, an approach to ver perpetuum. There
was also "green grass kept finely shorn" than which
"nothing is more pleasant to the eye"; there were "frames
of carpenter's work," " alleys spacious and fair " yielding
" a full shade, some of them, wheresoever the sun be,"
and there was, as has been said, " a fair mount " with a
" fine banqueting house."

The connection of Bacon's life at the Inn with the
subject he takes in the other essay reprinted below
must be more briefly indicated. Of the plays and
shows presented in the Hall during his time, as of the
"sports and shewes at the court before the Queen's
Majestic," the orders in Pension tell us too little. But
from other sources we gather that he bore in many
of these entertainments an active part, devising dumb
shows for Candlemas 1587, writing speeches for the
mumming of 1594, taking the lead in furnishing a
masque for the Court at Shrovetide in the following
year. Later on, again, he aided the ordering and pre-
sentation of Beaumont ancl Fletcher's " Masque of the
anciently allied Houses of the Inner Temple and Gray's
Inn, Gray's Inn and the Inner Temple," at the mar-
riage of the Princess Elizabeth. In 1614 he bore the
cost of the performance by a company of Gray's Inn
men of " The Maske of Flowers," and after he was Chan-
cellor we hear that on Candlemas Day he "dined at

16



Grayes Ynne to give countenance to their Lord or Prince
of Purpoole and see their revels."

Of Bacon's share in the administrative work of the
Inn Master Duke has spoken fully. Owing to the system
under which the records were kept we have no exact
knowledge of the part taken by the greatest of the
Benchers in those meetings of Pension at which he was
for so many years so regular an attendant. But enough
appears to indicate that he was as much concerned for
the educational efficiency and discipline of the Inn as
for its amenity. Rarely, if ever, I should think, has any
single Bencher of any Inn of Court done so much, on so
many sides, for his legal alma mater. Whatever defects
have to be acknowledged in Bacon's emotional capacity,
enthusiasm for Gray's Inn must be reckoned to him.

There is strong testimony upon the extent to which
the place was to him a true home in the fact that it was
to Gray's Inn that Bacon, after his condemnation, retired.
It was, says Chamberlain the letter-writer, " the fulfilling
of the prophecie of one Locke, a familiar of his of the
same house, that knew him intus et in cute, who seeing
him go thence in pompe and with the great scale before
him said to divers of his friends, We shall live to have
him here again." Higher criticism will find in this pro-
phecy no foresight, but a friend's knowledge of Bacon's
affection for the place he had done so much to beautify.

I f but few words be devoted in this Introduction to
the second of the addresses which form the main body
of this volume, that is only because I can claim no such
particular qualifications for illustrating its theme as were
acquired in reference to Master Duke's main subject in the
course of my work upon the records of the Honourable
Society. Mr. Balfour's address may leave hot partisans
unsatisfied. There have been, ever since Bacon's time,

17 B



those who have belittled his services to thought and, in
Mr. Balfour's words, " grossly exaggerated the shadows
upon Bacon's character." There have been, and are, those
who have paid him an exaggerated homage. But it may
be humbly conjectured that the main body of cultivated
people will find a welcome expression for their view of
him in the claim made by Mr. Balfour that he was the
seer and prophet who beheld, and pointed out, and called
his posterity to enter upon, a land of milk and honey
which was to be won by laying aside "the fluttering
fancies of men" and humbly observing "the imprint
stamped upon things by the Divine seal." How much
precisely in the rise of that new attitude towards nature
which has characterized modern philosophy and made
possible the growth of modern science was due to his
single mind is a question upon which wise men will not
dogmatize. If the debt of the race to him cannot be ex-
pressed in figures, its weight will not be felt the less by
informed and impartial minds.

It may be hoped that we shall not always stand
deprived of Mr. Balfour's views upon Hegel's assertion
that Bacon is "the special representative of what in
England is called philosophy and beyond which the
English have not yet advanced," and the contemptuous
addition that we " appear to be that European people
which, limited to the understanding of actuality, is
destined, like the class of shopkeepers and workmen in
the State, to live always immersed in matter and have
actuality but not reason as object." In this connection it
deserves to be noted as an eloquent fact that almost
exactly coincident with Bacon's membership in Gray's
Inn was the lifetime of Jacob Boehme. The bifurcation
of modern philosophy may be said to have had its begin-
ning perhaps we should say its ante-natal beginning

18



at that wonderful period. Mr. Balfour has aptly indi-
cated what Bacon would have thought of Hegel. It may
well be recalled, in addition, that the German thinker's
criticism was written before the great scientific advance
of the Victorian era had done so much to recommend
for German imitation " that which in England was called
philosophy." Perhaps, too, it is pertinent to this matter
to confess that English writers of the eighteenth century
had said of the works of Bacon's German contemporary,
the mystic who would seem, in some respects, to have
been Hegel's philosophic ancestor, that they were " sub-
lime nonsense " and even that they " would disgrace
Bedlam at full moon."

It will be observed that the authors of both addresses
confess to dealing with but a part of the wide and varied
field which lies open to anyone who takes Francis Bacon
as his topic. The reader, however, will require no apology
on the score that there is ground uncovered. At the
tercentenary commemoration the Benchers of Gray's
Inn invited the representatives of English culture to join
with them, not in compiling an annotated catalogue of
qualities and accomplishments, but in honouring the
greatest name on the long roll of their Ancient and
Honourable Society. Naturally, therefore, the object of
the speakers was to focus the thoughts and feelings of
those who accepted the summons upon the central
services which Bacon rendered to the Society which
nurtured him and to the human race. For their achieve-
ment of this object I am sure that readers of the ensuing
pages will be grateful.

REGINALD J. FLETCHER.




GRAY'S INN AS IT APPEARS IN THE MAP OF RALPH AGGAS




"The Memory of Francis Bacon"

A an Assembly in Gray's Inn Hall
on Saturday, October i7th, 1908, the
3OOth anniversary of the day of the
election of Francis Bacon as Treasurer
of Gray's Inn, the Treasurer, MASTER H. E.
DUKE, K.C., M.P., after the toast of " Domus"
had been drunk, proposed " The Memory of
Francis Bacon." He spoke as follows:

Mr. JUNIOR, there is a wholesome tradition of
this house which prohibits anything of the nature
of speechmaking in this place. Except that
Francis Bacon, when he was Attorney-General,
found it necessary to come here once in the
course, apparently, of a visitation of the Inns of
Court at the instance of James the First, with a
view to the restoration of their efficiency and the
reformation of some of their excesses, and made

21



a notable speech, there are few instances, indeed,
of speeches in this Hall.

Our colleagues have thought fit to-day to
entrust me with a toast not one of the customary
toasts that were honoured here by our forefathers,
but one of an exceptional and unique kind, and
they have so far honoured the old tradition that
they have taken care not to provide me with a
speech.

I am reminded, when I find myself in that
predicament, of a famous precedent on the North-
Eastern Circuit. There was a celebrated leader
whose habit it was to relieve his professional
labours by going about spreading true religion
among those in whose neighbourhood he found


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