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education. On his return, he settled cember 1558, with the title of ord.
T'kė UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE for May, 1792. 321 MEMOIRS of the Lord Keeper Sir NICHOLAS BACON: With a fine
Portrait of that celebrated Lawyer and Statesman.
de queen Elizabeth, and father of the Wortham, as also the tỷthes of Redillufirious fir Francis Bacon, viscount grave to hold in capite by knight's St. Alban's, was defcended from a service' ; which shews that he food very ancient and honourable family; high at that time in the favour of his whose pedigree is traced from Grim- prince, who was one that never gave baldus, who came over with William or preferred but where great abilities the Conqueror, and, having lands invited. In the thirty-eighth year given him, near Hólt in Norfolk, of the same king, he was promoted founded the adjacent parish church of to the office of attorney in the court Letheringset. The subje& of these of wards, which was a place both of memoirs was the second son of Robert "honour and profit. ; In this office he Bacon, esq. of Drinkston, in the county was continued by king Edward VI, of Suffolk, and was born in the year his patent being renewed in the first 1510, at Chislehurst in Kent. Af- year of that prince ; and, in 1552, ter having received the firft rudiments which was the last year of his reign, of learning, either in the house of his Mr. Bacon was elected treasurer of father, or at some little school in the Gray's Inn. His great moderation neighbourhood, he was sent when very and consuminate prudence, preserved young to Corpus Chrifti college in him throught the dangerous reign of Cambidge, where having improved queen Mary. In the very dawn of himself in all branches of useful know-' that of Elizabeth he was knighted, ledge, for which he made a very and the great seal of England being grateful return *; he travelled" into taken from Nicholas Heath, archFrance, and made some stay at Paris; bishop of York, was delivered to fir in order to give the last polish to his Nicholas Bacon, on the 22d of Dein Gray's Inn, and applied himfelf keeper. He was also of the privy, with such asliduity to the ftudy of the council to her majesty, who paid law, that he quickly distinguished him great attention to his advice. The self in that learned profeffion; fo that, parliament met on the 23d of Jaon the dissolution of the monaftery of nuary 1559, but was prorogued, on St. Edmund's Bury, in Suffolk, he account of the queen’s indisportion, to had a grant from king Henry VIII, the twenty-fifth, when the lord-keeper in the thirty-sixth year of his reign, of opened the session with a very elothe manors of Redgrave, Boterdale, quent and folid speech. Some of the
* In regard to the University in general, he shewed his kindness, by making a present to the public library of 103 Greek and Latin books, when such pants were much wanted, and not a little encouraged by his example. To the college he wis a great benefactor, by bestowing iwo hundred pounds toward erecting a new chapel, and by engaging other friends to contribute to the fame purpose. He fettled, likewise, upon the college, an annuity of 201. for the maintenance of six scholars, who are to be chosen out of the grammar school at Redgrave, near Boteldale, in Suffolk. This school was founded by himself, and he allotted 301. per ann. for the support of it; he founded, also, Curfitor's or Bacon's Inn, in Chancery-lane: thut did he shew hima self a true lover and encourager of learning, which never ennobled any famıy more conspicuously than his own. For the furtherance of religion, he appointed two annual sermons in St. Paul's cathedral, allotting four marks per annum, for the payment of the prcachers, and the cleaning of his tomb: VOL. XC.
queen's counsellors thought it neceffary Hobby, Rowlet, and Killigrew. By that the attainder of her mother should their ailistance he maintained his crebe taken off; but the lord-keeper was dit at court, though he sometimes difof another mind. He thought the fered in opinion from the mighty facrown purged all defcets; and, in vourite Leicester, who yet once bade compliance with his advice, two bills fair for his ruin. Great intrigues, it were brought into parliament, and seems, were at that time carried on passed into laws; one for recognizing in relation to the fucceffion. Some the queen’s title, the other for re- great men, and particularly the earl ftoring her in blood as heir to her of Leicester, pretended to favour the mother. The main business of this title of the queen of Scots, while others session was the settlement of religion, were more inclined to the house of in which no man had a greater share Suffolk. The queen sometimes afthan the lord-keeper, though he acted feated a neutrality, but, at others, the with such prudence as never to incur shewed a tenderness for the title of the the hatred of any party. On this ac- Scottish queen.
In 1564, when thefe count he was made choice of, together disputes were at the height, one Mr. with the archbishop of York, to be John Hales, clerk of the hanaper, moderator in a difpute between eight thought fit to write a treatise, or raprotestant divines, and eight popish ther to publish it, for it seems to have bishops; and the latter behaving very been written before, in favour of the unfairly in the opinion of both the Suffolk line, and directly, and in moderators, and desiring, to avoid a plain terms, against the title of the fair disputation, to go away, the lord- queen of Scots. This book was comkeeper put that question to each of plained of by the bishop of Ross, who them, and when all except one insisted was ambassador from the queen of on going, his lordihip dismissed them Scots, and his cause being warmly with this memorandum, . For that supported by the earl of Leicester, ye would not that we should hear you, Hales was committed to prison, and perhaps you may shortly hear of us;' so severe an enquiry made after a'l and, accordingly, for this contempt, who had expressed any favour for this the bishops of Wincheiter and Lin- piece, that, at last, the lord-keeper coln were committed to the Tower, came to be suspected, which drew and the rest were bound to appear upon him the queen’s displeasure to before the council
, and not to quit the such a degree, that he was forbidden cities of London and Wettminfier the couit, removed from his seat at without leave. The whole business council, and prohibited from meddling of the fellion, than which there was with any affairs but those of the none of greater importance throughout chancery : nay, Camden carries it so that reign, was chiefly managed by far as to say he was confined. Cerhis lord'hip, who pursued therein his tain it is, that the queen was much wise maxim, · Let us stay a little, estranged from him, and he in the utthat we may have done the fooner," most danger of total ruin. At last, and thereby brought a'l to a good however, Cecil, with much difficulty, conclufion, ending the feflion as he restored him to the queen's good opibegan it, with a very excellent speech. nion, who, in all probability, liked Thenceforward the lord-keeper ftood him not the less in the fucceeding part as high in the favour of the queen as of her reign, for this diftalte he had cf her ministers, and he took care sewn toward the title of the
queen of to fortify his friendship, by maintain- Scots; as appears by her setting him ing a cordial intereit with other great at the head of the commision, granted men, particularly with those eminent in the year 1568, for hearing the persons, who had married into the difference between that unfortunate Tame family with himself, viz. Cecil, princess, and her rebellious subjects ;
and, in 1571, we find him again sound, and charming the wisest men acting in the like capacity, though of that age with their sense ; whence very little was done before the com- he attained the reputation of uniting missioners, at either time; and very tivo opposite characters, viz. of a likely this was what queen Elizabeth witty and a weighty speaker. His chiefly desired, and the covering her great parts and great preferment were inclination with a decent appearance far from raising him in his own opiof justice, was perhaps not a little nion, as appears from the modeit anowing to the address of the lord-keep- swer he gave queen Elizabeth, when
Thenceforward he continued not she told him his house at Redgrave only in, but at the head of her ma was too little for him : Not so, majesty's councils, and had a great hand dam,' returned he, · but your main preventing, by his moderation, jcity has made me too
my some warm advices that afterward house.'. Yet to sew his respect for took effect. The share, however, her majefy's judgment, he afterward that he had in the business of the duke added wings to his house. His moof Norfolk, his known dislike to the desty in this respect was so much the title of the queen of Scots, and his greater, fince he had a great passion great care for promoting the protes- for building, and withal a very fine tant religion, created him many bitter taste, as appeared by his house and enemies among the papists, both at gardens at Gorhambury, near St. home and abroad; who, though they Alban's ; a seat which now belongs to were able to do him no great hurt, viscount Grimstone, who, to the great yet by several bitter libels gave him regret of all the lovers of antiquity, no small pain. As a statesman he was demolished the venerable old structure, remarkable for a clear head, and deep and, on its site, has built an elegant counsels ; and while it was thought new one. Toward the latter end of of some other great men, that they his life he became very corpulent, seemed wiser than they were, the com- which made queen Elisabeth say mermon voice of the nation agreed in this, rily, that . Sir Nicholas' foul lodged that sir Nicholas Bacon was wiser than well. To himself, however, his bulk he seemed. His great skill lay in ba- was very cumbersome; infomuch that, lancing factions ; and it is thought he after waiking from Westminster-hall taught the queen that secret, the more to the Star-chamber, which was but a necessary to her because the last of very little way, he was usually so her family, and consequently without much out of breath, that the lawyers many of those supports incident to forbore speaking at the bar till he reprinces. In the chancery he disin- covered himself, and gave thein noguished himself by a very moderate tice of it by knocking with his itaff, use of power, and shewing great re. After having held the great
seal more spect to the common law. At his own than twenty years, this able ftatcsman request, an act of parliament was and faithful counsellor was suddenly made, to settle and establish the power removed from this life, as a certain of a lord-keeper; though he might writer informs us, by the following probably have taken away all need of accident. He was under the hands this, by procuring the title of lord of his barber, and the weather being chancellor: but, according to his sultry, had ordered a win low before motto, which was Mediocra firma,' him to be thrown open. As he was he was content to be fafe, and did not become very corpulent, he prefently desire to be great. In that court, fell asleep, in the current of fresh air and in the fiar chamber, he made use, that was blowing in upon him, and on proper occasions, of set specches, awaked after se time distempered in which he was happier than most all over. •Why,' said he to the fermen, pleafing the people by their vant, did you iuffer me to sleep thus
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