Francis Bacon (1561-1626) “took all knowledge to be his province.” An equal breadth of interest has characterised the Francis Bacon Society, a unique literary association with more than a century’s experience of interdisciplinary Renaissance studies. Bacon was a many-sided genius who has influenced scientists, poets and statesmen, has been studied from orthodox and unorthodox perspectives, and has attracted widely diverging interpretations.
The Society is best known for its championing of the Shakespeare authorship question, and this remains of great interest. However, its expertise encompasses Elizabethan history, philosophy, cryptography and much else. Above all, Bacon’s philosophy and the Shakespeare plays have provided inspiration for imaginative yet scholarly research, and the ongoing vitality of the Society testifies to the fruitfulness of this approach.
- March 2016 The society’s new Chairman Susan McIlroy gave a talk on society founder Mrs Constance Pott at the RAF Club London, with readings by actress and society Webmaster Briony Rawle. The talk can be viewed online here.
- February 2016 Society member Susan Roberts has given a series of lectures at the University of the Third Age in Noosa Australia on the subject of Francis Bacon and Shakespeare. They are available to view online here.
- 19th January 2016 An exhibition of John Dee’s lost library is now open at the Royal College of Physicians.
John Dee, polymath, the original 007, consulted by Queen Elizabeth I, intimate with major figures of the time: Sir Walter Raleigh, Walsingham, who lived close by, and Cecil. He amassed a collection of 4000 books, many of which were burnt or stolen when his house was ransacked. The College’s collection of over 100 of Dr Dee’s books is on show together for the first time. Of particular interest are Dr Dee’s notes and drawings in the margins of the books.
Articles in Baconiana tell us that Bacon and Dee were friends and neighbours: the residences of Bacon at Twickenham and Dee at Mortlake, were almost within sight of each other. There appears no branch of knowledge in which these two men were not jointly interested: the seas, the tides, the winds, Hermeticism, a vision of a utopian world, among many other subjects. Bacon hired a scrivenry based at Mortlake, employing his ‘good pens’.
Ewen MacDuff describes a meeting that took place between Dee, Bacon and Mr Phillipes, an eminent cryptographer in the employ of Walsingham, at Mortlake on 11th August 1582, presumably to discuss ciphers and the art of Gematria, c.f. Sonnet 59.
This exciting exhibition runs at the Royal College of Physicians, London until July 29th 2016. http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk
- January 2016 A message from the society’s Chairman, Peter Welsford:
Before stepping aside shortly as Chairman of The Society I would like to mention to members something topical which may be of interest.
Having been given most generously by a council member a copy of ‘Light Upon The Path’: The Unpublished Writings of Wellesley Tudor Pole by Paul Fletcher (Chalice Well Press, 2015), there on page 111 I found this reference to ‘The Cosmic Touch,’ where he wrote:
… Imagination is the power of reflecting and combining ideas and images. It is a faculty of the soul, the value of which cannot be exagerated. Like other faculties, imagination can be abused and the results of its activities may be misunderstood, but in my opinion imagination is as real as any other form as the soul’s perceptive and receptive power.
Man’s greatest achievements in the world are the product of the imagination, the imagining forth of ideas that have reached his conscious mind from the great unconscious surrounding him on every side.
If you have cleansed your consciousness of thoughts of selfishness and fear then you can give rein to your imagination and the light of truth will pour upon you from every side. Such an experience in itself may be the forerunner of a Cosmic revelation. WTB then quotes Bacon:
‘Be not troubled about metaphysics. When true physics have been discovered there will be no metaphysics. Beyond the true physics is Divinity itself.’
In view of researches made so far into the Hidden Harmonics of David Bohm the renowned physicist over some years, I am particularly interested to continue to pursue this quest during my retirement.
Meanwhile, I would like to draw your attention to ‘The View Beyond,’ referenced on our website (ed. Dave Patrick) ~ ‘Sir Francis Bacon, Alchemy, Science and Mystery’.
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On page 221 there is Article VI. ‘Alchemy or Science? Towards a new Harmonic Framework’ by Richard Merrick; he links his models with musical scales, sacred geometry, cymatics and ‘the new scientific method,’ originally proposed from the seventeenth century onwards by Galileo and Francis Bacon.
Since Merrick introduces the golden mean into harmonic models and their musical scales, this points directly towards the further research currently required into trigonometry, ‘quaternions‘ hence, the scientific proof still awaited, by virtue of quantum physics and their final solution.
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- 13th November 2015 A few interesting developments from Shakespeare’s Globe:
A new design for British passports has been unveiled at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Its theme is ‘Creative United Kingdom’, and the design features William Shakespeare. Click here for more information.
A paper has also recently been published by Leon Crickmore, concerning the geometry of Shakespeare’s Globe. Several papers on the Crickmore website refer to ‘revelations to the Ancient Science of Harmonics,’ and also to The World Soul: topics covered by Joy Hancox in her book, The Hidden Chapter.
- 8th September 2015 Society webmaster and professional actress Briony Rawle gave a live reading of The New Atlantis, along with two other actors, at the society’s AGM. A video of this performance is now available to watch on YouTube.
- August 2015 A video of Simon Miles’ March talk entitled ‘”When Shall We Laugh, Say When?’’ Francis Bacon and The Merchant of Venice’, exploring the Baconian evidence coded into The Merchant of Venice, is now available to watch online.
- 1st July 2015 Colum Hayward gave a talk to the society entitled ‘The Novum Organum and Advancement of Learning as the Foundation of English Critical Thought in the 17th Century’ at Canonbury Tower, London. The talk investigated the way Baconian thought continued into the seventeenth century and its association with Platonism, while unscrambling a group of Oxford-based ‘Baconians’ who set about to ‘examine and refine’ the ‘grosser propositions’ of contemporary thought. The society hopes to have a video of this talk available soon. Details of the talk can be found here.
- January 2015 A new book written by Alexander Waugh about the authorship question has been published as an E-book. Shakespeare in Court is written in ‘mock-trial’ format, and throws more doubt upon the idea that the Stratford man could be the author of the Shakespeare plays. It was covered in Newsweek and the Daily Express, and is available from the Amazon Kindle store here.
- Thursday 4th December 2014 Baconiana editor Dave Patrick gave a talk entitled ‘The Quest for Bruton Vault: A 21st Century Odyssey’, about his research on Bruton Vault in Williamsburg, Virginia. Click here for details.
- December 2014 The Francis Bacon Society been granted access to Barry Clarke’s newly completed PhD thesis concerning the Shakespeare authorship question. As contributor to the funding, the FBS is among the very first institutions to see the research. Barry examines Love’s Labours Lost, The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, and Bacon’s works from the EEBO database, using RCP (Rare Collation Profiling) method, to run rare phrase tests thereby presenting a very strong case for Baconian authorship. To view this significant new research and in-depth analysis of the authorship question click here.
- November 2014 A 1740 edition of Bacon’s Complete Works, once belonging to the eminent Baconian authorship scholar Alfred Dodd, has been handed over to the society by Dodd’s family. The books were transferred to Senate House Library by members of the society, where they will be kept with the rest of the society’s collection. The books are available for members’ reference by appointment with Senate House Library. Click here to view pictures of the books and the handover.
- October 2014 The poet David Morphet has released a new collection of poetry, which includes poems inspired by Sir Francis Bacon. The book is available to buy via Notion books, and all details about the book and purchasing it can be found here.
- Tuesday 16th September 2014 The Annual General Meeting of the Francis Bacon Society took place at the College of Psychic Studies, London. This was followed by a talk for members of the society by Simon Bentley, the Principal of the White Eagle School of Astrology, entitled, ‘Starring Sir Francis Bacon: A closer look at Sir Francis Bacon through the medium of his horoscope’. For details, click here.
- September 2014 The Francis Bacon Society is now on Wikipedia. Details of the Francis Bacon Society, as well as an account of Baconian research into the authorship question, can now be found on the Wikipedia page entitled ‘Baconian Theory of Shakespeare Authorship‘.
- June 2014 A depiction of Sir Francis Bacon has been painted on the railway bridge next to the city station in St Albans, where Bacon spent a large portion of his life. This mural depicts a timeline of historical figures and events from the town’s Roman foundation to the present day. To see a picture, click here, and to read about the mural click here.
- June 2014 The new edition of Baconiana (Vol. 1 No. 5), edited by our newBaconiana editor Dave Patrick is now available to read online here.
- Tuesday 25th March 2014 Professor John Henry gave a talk for members entitled, ‘“Isaac Newton, occult philosopher ~ Francis Bacon and why Newton could only have been an Englishman”. For details, click here.
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