Constance Pott


January 22, 1862-1957
(birthday same day as Francis Bacon)

Mrs. Pott started the Francis Bacon Society with it's first meeting in December of 1885. The next year it officially became a Society. Mrs. Pott is author of Francis Bacon and His Secret Society and arranged the publication of Bacon's private notebook The Promus of Formularies and Elegancies; Private Notes, circa. 1594-6.

The following is a retrospective review she wrote for Baconiana.


Vol. X-- New Series

January, 1902

No.37


A Retrospective Review

by

C.M.Pott


It is interesting to note that this essay illustrates the difficulties that members of the Bacon Society experienced back over a hundred years ago in not being able to obtain important research documents from various institutions. Today, 1999, there has been little change! Libraries both public and private should not limit research to the privileged few-- especially in regards to the Authorship of Shakespeare, where there should be an open attitude of encouragement to release important archives that have been collecting dust without seeing the light of day. Encouragement for research and researchers should be the norm. The confusion that exists today around the authorship has been deliberately sustained by these institutions who make it almost impossible to get access to historical documents surrounding Francis Bacon, his identity, and Shakespeare. However, Mather Walker states the following," Pott pin points an interesting aspect of this authorship question. We are denied the weight of any collective evidence. On first glance this seems unfair. But then, when you take a closer look at it, it really does create a level playing field. Because the Stratfordians don't have any collective evidence to support their candidate. They do it all with smoke and mirrors and a blind adherence to what had been believed (tradition) in the past."
Isn't it time for a change in policy?Isn't it time for the academic world and the literary institutions to catch up and acknowledge the documented research that's already been released instead of ignoring it? What do you think? -
-Lawrence Gerald


Seven years have passed since we attempted to review our position, and to measure the advance made by the Bacon Society, since 1884, when we still lingered and beat about round the then absorbing question, Did Bacon write Shakespeare? The process of analysis by which we have reached the absolute conclusion that Francis "Bacon" and "Shakespeare," maybe partly inferred from the lists given in an article on "Elementary Baconism."(Baconiana, July 1897, vol. v. pp.135-138) These lists correspond in part to a collection of comparative extracts reduced to alphabetical form, and which now fill upwards of 150 portfolios of MS. 8vo. The language and philology of Bacon and Shakespeare, vocabulary, turns of speech, grammar, and every peculiarity of diction and style which has been noted, is added, or in process of being added to these MS Dictionaries.

It was soon found necessary to attempt a collation of the books of the "Minor Poets and Dramatists," and indeed, of the works of all great writers or supposed authors of the Baconian age. This business is still in an elementary condition, but enough has been done to satisfy the workers in this field that one ruling mind controlled the vast literature of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Close inquiry has been made into the origin and owners of the first paper mills and printing houses in Great Britain and the Continent; the methods by which they marked the books which they issued, the designs and symbols by which they illustrated them, the "errors," false pagination, peculiar marks, formerly hand made, now done mechanically, which are found scattered throughout them, and inserted even in the tooling of the binding. Such examinations tend to show that the whole of the printing and publishing trades, here and abroad, were parts of a vast secret or semi- secret society working in harmony, and that the same methods modified, and adapted to the machinery and requirements of the day, remain in perfect working order.

Efforts to reach collections of MSS. and books containing the required information on these apparently simple subjects led to a conviction that organized resistance is offered to such researches. Further it has been found that there are in the British Museum, the Royal Society, the Bodleian, York Minster and other old libraries, collections of books, MSS., prints, practically withheld and screened from the general eye, but open to the privileged circle, or to those provided with the requisite "Open Sesame."

One such collection is (or was not long ago), at the Royal Society, which Francis "Bacon" founded. It is said to contain mathematical papers in his own handwriting, which we have reason to believe concern his mathematical ciphers.

Another collection was, during the life of the late Earl of Verulam at Gorhambury, where the Earl informed a member of our Society, that in the chest which contained these interesting papers, were the playbills of the first performances of the Shakespeare Plays. These papers, said Lord Verulam, would be made public after his death, but as yet nothing more has been heard of them. We trust that the historical MSS. commission will soon turn their attention to them.

Towards the end of 1899, many eyes were turned towards the"Douce Collection" left, we were led to believe, by the former "Keeper of the MSS." at the British Museum, to be opened and made over to the nation in January, 1900. Since then repeated inquiries have failed to produce any but the most contrary information concerning this long promised store. Any one wishing for further particulars can have them by applying by letter to the editor of this journal. The general conclusion seems to be that it has been the object of the custodians to make applicants in London believe the collection to be at the Bodleian, and open to inspection, whilst inquirers at the Bodleian were informed sometimes that it was in London, or else in part at the Bodleian, but not to be seen. Meanwhile, it now seems certain that one box of papers of "no importance" remains at the British Museum, and why, under such circumstance these unimportant papers should have been treated so importantly, and kept so mysteriously, remains an enigma. If, as we have it in writing, from one inquirer, the papers are to be seen at the Bodleian, and are esteemed of great value, why are they not thoroughly well known? for, according to an authoritative statement at the British Museum, they have been for the last 67 years at the Bodleian, and according to another statement at Oxford "there is no concealment whatever." Since this, yet another applicant at the Bodleian has been told that "the Douche MSS. are all at the British Museum," and when he urged the opposite statement made at the British Museum, this was declared to be "quite a mistake."

Our attention has also been called to a sealed bag of papers at the Record Office. It was, it is said, sealed at the death of Queen Elizabeth, and to be opened only by joint consent of the reigning Sovereign, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Lord Chancellor. Is not the time come when we may fitly memoralise His Majesty, King Edward, to command or sanction the opening or revelation?

The whole question of "reservations" is curious, and tends to confirm the conviction that Baconian literature, documents, and relics of every kind are still controlled by the Secret Society of Francis St. Alban.

The subject of ciphers(so needful in a secret society) has been so long suppressed, that we note with pleasure the interest stimulated by a more general comprehension of this intricate subject. The pioneer efforts of Mr. Donnelley in this new old art or science, stimulated Mr. Wigston, Mr. Cary, Mr. Gould, Dr. Owen, Dr. Pryer, the Hon. H. Gibson, Mr. Bidder, Mr. E.V. Tanner and others, to prosecute this beguiling study. The work of each, though independent, seems to harmonize and to afford help to others. Thus the "word" (or phrase?) cipher of Dr. Owen led Mrs. Wells Gallup to embark in the attempt to apply "Bacon's" Biliteral Method ( a new piece entitled The White Rose of Britaine is preparing for the press. We understand that the relation between the "word" cipher, and the "Biliteral" will here be shown.)to the works which pass by that name. Hitherto nothing has appeared to disapprove the accuracy of Mrs. Gallup's work or of the highly important matter revealed through this cipher, on the contrary other laborers in the same field confirm the results. Nevertheless the efforts of literary men seem to be for the most part directed to destroy rather than to construct or to aid in true advancement. The vastness of the subject prohibits any worthy discussion of it in this place.

Mr. Cary's calculations brought out circumstantial particulars about a deposit in the orb under the cross on St. Paul's Cathedral and of the existence of "A continuation of the New Atlantis," which were at the time denied, but which have since been verified, Mr. Cary's researches have been of great assistance to Mr. Tanner, the work of both these gentlemen being based upon arithmetic or numerical processes absolutely and mathematically exact.

In April ,1896, Dr. Cantor of the Universities of Halle and Wittenburg, called upon us to give attention to the collection of 33 eulogies on The Incomparable Francis of Verulam, printed in 1626, the year generally assigned as the year of his death. These elegies are collectively found in the Harleian Miscellanies, and in Gambold's edition of Bacon's works(1765) and have been translated and printed in Baconiana(Vols. iv.,v.). Considering the nature of their contents it is remarkable that these pieces should have attracted so little notice, and we ask why, when so many learned men must be acquainted with them, they are never quoted or alluded to by the few worthy biographers of "Bacon"--Francis St. Alban? Here we find him described as the "Tenth Muse," "Quirinus the Spear-Shaker;"he is comedian, tragedian, and the one poet,"Teller of Tales in Courts of Kings;"he is the priceless gem of Concealed oratory," "Sole Master of Things, and not only of Arts." We learn also to know him as the head of an "Areogagus," a supreme tribunal of Literature of Science. His deep interest in religion; his efforts to produce unity in the Church of Christ; his perpetual efforts to raise all knowledge a few yards above the earth and to"pursue Astrea to realms of light" where he would see "unclouded Truth," are rather hinted than proclaimed, yet one line sounds no uncertain note as to his profound though little paraded faith:---

"A stole he wears dyed in Thy blood, O Christ."
(from Manes Verulamiani)

But (Proteus-like) "walks not each day showing the same face,"(verses to the Author of the Instauration--Baconiana, Vol.iv.pp.39) and "only those who seek will know the man these records hide." Surely these records and their writers deserve more attention than has yet fallen to their lot.

The secrets of Baconism, like those of Masonry, seem to be chiefly attainable by the process of putting two and two together. Here are some ways by which the concealed Author was enabled to conceal, as well as to revel himself. They have already been described in Baconiana, but we enumerate them, as being of importance, and because by observation they lead to further discoveries.

1. Feigned Portraits
2. Feigned Histories
3. Feigned Eulogies in Dedications
4. Feigned Letters
5. Feigned Epitaphs and Inscriptions
6. Feigned Errors in Typography,Spelling,etc.
7. Garbled Catalogues and Indexes
8. Hieroglyphics or Symbolic Designs.

Many subjects offer themselves or serious research. We need a special fund for the purpose.

We are still in darkness as to where Francis St. Alban was born, where and how he lived, how much he traveled, when and where he died, who saw him die, where he was buried, and who were witnesses to these things?

Modern biographies are for the most part founded upon Dr. Rawley's "Life" of his Master, but even this "Life" must in many particulars be ranked with the Feigned histories. The Register of the birth of Francis, son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, at St. Martin's Church, Charing Cross, is unattested by witnesses, and no place of birth is mentioned. Registers at that date were, and are almost to be reckoned amongst the "deficiencies." If Sir Nicholas had caused the birth of this son to be registered, he was not a man to allow an imperfect entry to be made. Also if Francis were registered how came it that his supposed elder brother was ignored? But there is no entry about Anthony Bacon.

Until recently, the fact has passed unobserved that Dr. Rawley purposely in his account of the birth of Francis, confounds the residence of Sir Nicholas Bacon "York House" with the Royal palace of Whitehall, "York House" with the Royal palace of Whitehall, "York Place." If Francis were truly born at York Place, he was born at the residence of Queen Elizabeth, and this at the present stage of inquiry is important.

The interesting researches of Miss A.A. Leith have revealed the fact that Francis Lord Verulam rented Canonbury Tower, Islington, for 40 years from Lord and Lady Compton, and lived there from 1616, the year of Shakespeare's death.

The subject should be closely followed up. Let it be inquired --How long did Lord Verulam live at Canonbury? What did he do there? Who were the friends who visited him there? what use was made of the mysterious and underground passage which seems to connect the Tower with St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, and this again with the Bull Theatre, with Crosby Hall, and Sir Thomas More, whom we are learning to regard as the forerunner of Francis St. Alban in his visions, though not in his well ordered methods for the establishment of speculative masonry,and for the revival and advancement of learning.

Until recently it has seemed to be uncertain where Robert "Devereux, Earl of Essex" (now supposed to be the only brother of Francis), was buried. Light appears, however, on this point, and we hope to be able to supply some information with regard to it in this or the following Baconiana.

The subject, St.Alban, our British proto-Matyr, represented as as aTudor Prince, holding a mason's symbolic staff , and surrounded by masonic emblems the work of Messrs. Bacon & Sons, Newman Street, to quote Bocaccio, "Cast off the old man and put on the new, and thus what seems dark will be clear and easy."

It is satisfactory to hear of meetings of Baconian lectures, private as well as public,with affiliated societies springing up in various parts of this country and in America. Sketches or reports of such meetings will always be gladly received by the Hon. Sec. of this Society.

Mr. A. P. Sinnett has lately delivered a successful and telling lecture on the subject of Baconian theories in general, and we hear gladly that this is to be soon followed up by another with further developments. The Rev. William Sutton, who has done us excellent service by this series of eight papers in the "The New Ireland Review," has been invited to deliver a lecture at Cork, and from Birmingham we hear of a Bacon Society being quietly formed which we trust will be affiliated with our organization in London.

We begin to hope that subjects full of extraordinary interest and world wide scope will not longer be prevented from coming into the light by ordinary methods. We are fully aware of the difficulties attending on this most exceptional case; but when secrets have become known, they are secrets no longer, and elaborate methods for withholding them from the public eye are mere anachronisms.

We should have been glad to notice the lectures with or without lantern illustrations which have been given in various places, but space does not admit of this; they have sometimes been repeated, they should be repeated frequently, and reported, and we desire to see this pleasant means of conveying information largely developed. Any help possible will be afforded to reciters or lecturers who please to apply to the Hon. Secretary of this Society.

We cannot conclude this brief review of events without recording the fact which has given us the greatest pleasure of all. It is not generally known that our late beloved Queen Victoria was pleased not only to accept graciously a copy of Biliteral Cipher submitted to her by Mrs. Wells Gallup, but the librarian at Windsor Castle was "desired to return thanks for this interesting addition to the Royal Library." The late Queen was not one who would accept as "interesting" a book of whose contents she had no knowledge: she was thorough in all that she did. We now know that it was her Majesty's intention to master this book, probably, since sight failed, by having it read to her. The volume is therefore to be seen on the shelves of the Royal Library, by her command marked by the librarian in order to facilitate her study of this extraordinary subject.
Copies of Baconiana have also been graciously accepted by King Edward, and by their Royal Highnesses Princess Christian and Princess Louise, the Duchess of Argyle.

Such episodes seem to be signs of the times, and are full of encouragement. We work in faith, and with a strong and growing hope that the triumph of truth may not be long delayed, or that at least her chariot wheels stayed by intentional obstruction.

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