Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 450th Birthday, Great-Uncle Francis Bacon (1561-1626)!

Our same ancestor Sarah Newton Wells who is related to Isaac Newton is also related to Sir Francis Bacon, through her mother Sarah Bacon Newton.  Both of these men died without heirs, leaving only distant relatives to remember them.

Sir Francis was a noted British politician, philosopher, and scientist.  His connections at the royal court included Queen Elizabeth 1 and King James (of the KJV Bible), and some speculate that he wrote Shakespeare's plays.  (Not our own birthday girl, however, who believes strongly in the Stratfordian position.) Within our own cousin group, he has two relatives to share his birthday (Eliza, now 14, and Julian Wells, 3 years old today).  Perhaps that is a gift he would have liked: posterity.


  1. Despite not supporting the Baconians in the Shakespeare authorship debate, I admire Francis Bacon. One of his quotes, "Knowledge is Power," I quite like. It's funny, however, that he received a Darwin Award (given to those who remove themselves from the gene pool in particularly amusing or stupid ways) in 1994. The award reads as follows:

    Francis Bacon was an influential statesman, philosopher, writer, and scientist in the sixteenth century. He died while stuffing snow into a chicken. He had been struck by the notion that snow instead of salt might be used to preserve meat. To test his theory he stood outside in the snow and attempted to stuff the bird. The chicken didn't freeze, but Bacon did, prompting the question "Which froze first? The Bacon or the egg?"

    Based on that story, I would give him a nice insulated coat and ski gloves.

  2. Very funny! Maybe we don't want to claim a genetic connection after all....

  3. Eliza that comment is brilliant. I'm so proud you're my niece.