The Tomb of Sir Francis Bacon



1561-1626

The Tomb of Sir Francis Bacon is marked by this monument. Bacon is seen sitting in contemplation, with his left hand supporting his head. The marble tomb was erected by the care and gratitude of Sir Thomas Meauty's, Knight, Bacon's secretary. Here is Bacon's epitaph, written by Sir Thomas Wooton:

FRANCISVS BACON DE VERLA STA
ALBNI VICMS
SEV NOTIORIBVS TITVIS
SCIENTIARVM LVMEN FACVNDIAE LEX
SIC SEDEBAT





QVI POSTQVAM OMNIA NATVRALIS SAPIENTIAE
ET CIVILIS ARCANA EVOLVISSET
NATVRAE DECRETVM EXPLEVIT
COMPOSITA SOLVANTVR
ANO DNI MDCXXVI
AETAT LXVI


TANTI VIRI
MEM.
THOMAS MEAVTYS
SVPERSTITIS CVLTOR.
DEFVNCTI ADMIRATOR
H.P.

 

TRANSLATION

Francis Bacon
Baron of Verulan, Viscount St. Albans
or, by more conspicuous titles,
of Science the Light, of Eloquence the Law,
sat thus.



Who after all Natural Wisdom
And Secrets of Civil Life he had unfolded
Nature's Law fulfilled--
Let Compounds be dissolved! In the year of our Lord 1626, aged 66.



Of such a man, that the memory
might remain,
Thomas Meautys
living his Attendant, dead his Admirer,
places this Monument.


In regards to Bacon's death : from a past issue of Baconiana Roderick Eagle, a Baconian, wrote:

"At the age of 66 he had already far exceeded the average span of life in those days, and he had always been of a delicate constitution.The fact that he reached that age is quite surprising.

All the writers of the Manes Verulamiani (a book of eulogies to Francis Bacon) had been informed of Bacon's death in 1626. Were they the victims of a lie?

We have no records of the deaths and funerals of many famous men of the period who died at the height of their renown and power. Why then, should we expect an exception to be made in Bacon's case ?

That Bacon was buried, in accordance with his own wish, in St. Michael's Church is well attested by the desecration of his skull by Dr. King of St. Albans, when the remains were exposed at the funeral of Sir Thomas Meautys.(Bacon's secretary) The incident is recorded in The History of King Charles by H. L. Esquire in 1656. and also in Fuller's "Worthies, 1662". The occurrence is well authenticated, and provides sufficient proof that Bacon was buried in St. Michael's Church, and that Sir Thomas Meautys lies in an adjoining grave. Presumably Dr. King was the physician who had attended Meautys who died in 1649. Dr. King was one of the Governors of St. Albans School, and he was also a Justice of the Peace."

From John Aubrey's book Brief Lives, it is stated that,

" This October 1681, it rang over all of St. Albans that Sir Harbottle Grimston, Master of the Rolles, had removed the coffin of this most renowned Lord Chancellour to make room for his owne to lye-in the vault there at St.Michael's Church."