It was upon a cold day in January in 1560 that Francis Bacon "came crying into the world."* He was born in a fine house and was the child of great people, his father being Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper
of the Great Seal.
[Footnote: Macaulay's well-known essay on Bacon is marred by Macaulay's besetting faults of superficiality and dogmatism and is best left unread.] Francis Bacon, intellectually one of the most eminent Englishmen of all times, and chief formulator of the methods of modern science, was born in 1561 (three years before Shakspere), the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper
of the Great Seal under Queen Elizabeth and one of her most trusted earlier advisers.
Other historical figures linked with the castle include Lord Leicester, Bishop Morgan, the translator of the first Welsh Bible, and Archbishop John Williams, Lord Keeper
under Charles I.
Poet John Donne has eloped with the Lord Keeper
's niece, Anne More; barely able to scrape by, he is summoned to serve the Crown as a spy.
They settled for Ashburnham, after the Earl of Ashburnham, the lord keeper
of the king's bedroom.
Lady Drury was granddaughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Lord Keeper
of Elizabeth I, and was a friend of John Donne and Joseph Hall, a clergyman and writer on Protestant meditations.
Just as problematic has been the issue of the inconsistencies of a Puritan woman, who wrote the life of her husband, a man arrested for the regicide of Charles I, yet who translated a notoriously atheistic text, which is dedicated to the "Lord Keeper
of His Majesty's Privy Seal & One of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council." However, the contradictions surrounding Arthur Annesley, Earl of Anglesey (1614-1686), who may well have "come to her husband's aid in 1660," simultaneously highlight and reflect the complexities involved in the text as a whole, and the editors here do the first extended work at unfolding them (cxiii).
In 1625 Thomas was created Lord Keeper
, effectively acting as the middle-man between King and Parliament.
government during his visit in June 1957 to lighten life sentences for the 10 war criminals, released on parole, including Koichi Kido, a former lord keeper
of the privy seal.
Since then, he has held the positions of Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Keeper
of the Privy Seal, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and now Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.