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Bacon, Nathaniel

Male Abt 1548 - 1622

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  • Born  Abt 1548  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  15 Nov 1622  Stikey, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I06540  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  10 Feb 2015 

    Family 1  Gresham, Anne,   b. Abt 1549, Of London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1594, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  29 Jun 1569  St Sepulchre, Holborn, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Bacon, Anne,   c. 7 Aug 1573, Waxham, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Nov 1622, Norwich, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Bacon, Elizabeth,   c. 1 May 1575, Cockthorpe, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1632, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Bacon, Winifried,   c. 4 May 1578, Cockthorpe, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1623, St Andrew, Claxton, Norfolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F01911  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Hopton, Dorothy, Of Witham, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  21 Jul 1597  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F01914  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Description Will of Sir Nathaniel Bacon of Stiffkey, Norfolk Date 24 January 1623 Catalogue reference PROB 11/141

      Sir Nathaniel Bacon (died 7 November 1622 ), of Stiffkey in Norfolk was an English lawyer and Member of Parliament (MP). He was the second son of Sir Nicholas Bacon _(courtier)> and half-brother of Sir Francis Bacon He was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1562, and became an "ancient" of the Inn in 1576. He was MP for Tavistock (1571-83), Norfolk. (1584-5, 1593 and 1604-11, and defeated there in 1601) and King's Lynn UK.(1597-8); a Puritan , he was an occasionally vocal member of their parliamentary faction during Elizabeth's reign. He also served as High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1599, and was knighted in 1604. Bacon was married twice. He left no male heir; his eldest daughter, Anne, married Sir John Townshend (1564-1603)>.
      From a Volume op Dispensations at the Faculty Office.
      1569. 11 Eliz., June 29^. Dispensatio friit cum Nathanieli Bacon filio honorandi riri Nich*i Bacon Militis D*^ Custodis Magni Sigilli Angliao et t • • • - Grediam Virginia ut ipsi possint solum matrimonium absoue bannis tempore prohibito in quacun^ue Ecclesia (sive oratorio) fin tne margin] p'donatur quia honorand' vin Nich'i Bacon Mil. D°* Custod. Magni SigiUi AnglisB filius.

      The right worshipfull Sir Nathaniell Bacon of Stifkey in the Countye of Norff. Knight, second sonne of Sir Nicholas Bacon late lord Keeper of the great Seale of England, departed this life at Stifkey aforesaide the vij*** daye of November 1622 being 77 yearee of age and lyes buried in Stifkey Churche : He maried two Wives his first was Anne daughter and sole heire of Sir Thomas Gresham of London Knight and by her had yssue Anne who maried to Sir John Townsend of Baynham in the Countye of Norff. aforesaid Knight, Elizabeth who maried to Sir Thomas Kjievet of Ashwellthorpe in the saide County of Norff. Knight and Wynefrid who maried to Sir Robert Gbwdy of Clayton in the Countye of Norff. Knight : His second wife was Dorothy daughter of Sir Arthur Hopton and Widdowe of . . . Smith in Suff. This worthy Knight lined in great reputacon in his Countrey and this certificate is testified to be true by the subscription of the hands of the said Sir Eobert Gbwdy and Dame Elizabeth Knevet and Dame Winifred Gawdy being the two Executors of the last Will and Testament of the said Defunct taken the vij*** of Maye 1622 by me Henry Chillinge, Chester Herauld.
      A true Copy from Register marked ** I 22 Funeral Certificates ** folios 74 & 75 now remaining in the College of Arms London & examined therewith this first day of June 1870 by me Geo. Habbisok Windsor Herald.
      Hostage to Fortune
      The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon
      Hill and Wang
      ...For Nicholas Bacon, the social rise which had begun with his education in the liberal arts and the law was consolidated by marriage. His first wife was a Suffolk merchant's daughter named Jane Fernley, who was to provide him with an important family link to the influential London merchant banker (and financial agent to the Queen) Sir Thomas Gresham, who married her sister Anne. Jane bore him seven children, then died suddenly in late 1552. With six surviving offspring, all under twelve, to be cared for, a second marriage had to be arranged as a matter of urgency: Sir Nicholas took a new wife within weeks. In spite of the speed with which the marriage contract must have been negotiated, it was an equally shrewd move in terms of the bereaved Sir Nicholas' future prospects within the Tudor gentry.
      Sir Nicholas' second bride, Anne Cooke, came from the intellectual milieu he took such pleasure in frequenting. The suspicion with which his first wife's family always regarded her suggests the possibility that she had already taken his fancy even before the ailing Jane died. Anne was one of the five daughters of Sir Anthony Cooke, widely esteemed from their youth for their erudition and piety.
      ...Nathaniel, three years younger than Nicholas, was destined to lead Norfolk society from his estate at Stiffkey. His wife was another Anne, the young illegitimate daughter of Sir Nicholas' brother-in-law Sir Thomas Gresham. Acknowledged from birth by her father, she too brought a considerable fortune to her marriage. Building out from Stiffkey, Nathaniel's estate soon included four Suffolk manors settled on the couple by Gresham and two Norfolk manors bought up by his father. The Bacon daughters, too, were well set up. The eldest, Elizabeth, married the courtier Sir Robert Doyly; Ann married Henry Woodhouse of Wraxham, son of a prominent Norfolk family; and the youngest (confusingly also named Elizabeth) married the recorder of Norwich, Sir Francis Wyndham, who later became a Judge of Common Pleas. Each had a substantial marriage portion (£800 in the case of the elder Elizabeth; one thousand marks each for the two younger sisters). .....In the summer of 1569, as noted above, Nathaniel Bacon married Anne, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Thomas Gresham by a Mistress Dutton, one of his household servants who had been married off by her master to Thomas Dutton, a factor employed by Gresham in Antwerp and Hamburg. Anne's education naturally left much to be desired, and as the bride of Sir Nicholas' son she had to be turned into a lady at speed. Nathaniel knew exactly how this was to be done. Immediately after the marriage he arranged for her to join his much younger half-brothers in the schoolroom at Gorhambury.
      Sir Thomas Gresham's wife Anne was not entirely comfortable to see Anne Dutton-Gresham under Lady Bacon's roof. Nathaniel wrote first to one of Sir Thomas' servants, asking him to put the case to his parents-in-law: `I require no great time for my wife to be with my Lady [Lady Bacon], half a year or a quarter, more or less as my father[-in-law] shall appoint the time certain, and within that space if upon any occasion he shall mislike of her usage, I will undertake it shall be so.' To Lady Gresham herself he wrote reassuring her that the cost at least would be met elsewhere: `In my talk had with your Ladyship I perceived you were not minded, if my wife were placed here, to be at any charge with her. I shall undertake that shall be so rather than any let [hindrance] shall thereby grow; only I require that you and my father[-in-law] will show a good liking of her coming hither, for otherwise I know my Lady [Lady Bacon] will not have her.'
      Some years later Nathaniel recalled the circumstances, and acknowledged his debt to his stepmother:
      Your ladyship knoweth how, being matched in marriage as I am, it stood me upon to have some care of the well bringing up of my wife, for these words of Erasmus are very true: plus est bene instrui quam bene nasci [it is better to have been well instructed than well born]. If she should have had the want of both, I had just cause to fear what might befall. Hereupon, being not able to remedy the one, I did as much as in me lay to provide for the other, and therefore I sought by all the means I could to have her placed with your ladyship. This is it for which I think myself so greatly beholding to your ladyship, in that you were content to trouble yourself with having my wife, and not that alone, but during her being with you to have such care over her and better to use her than I myself could have wished. Yea, I often said, and yet say, a more strait manner of usage would have wrought a greater good. Yet such was your ladyship's goodwill, which I will not live to be unmindful of: for the care had of her, I account it had of me; the good done to her, I account it done to me, for I persuade myself it was done in respect of me.
      Anne Gresham Bacon herself was fulsome in her acknowledgement of the pains Lady Bacon had taken with her, and retained fond memories of those shared lessons, sending warm wishes, when she wrote to her mother-in-law, `to my brother Anthony and my good brother Frank'.

      The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.
      Educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1561; G. Inn 1562. Married first Anne, illegit. dau. of Sir Thomas Gresham , of whom he had one son, d.v.p., and three daughters. Married second Dorothy, dau. of Arthur Hopton of Witham, Som., widow of William Smyth, s.p. Kntd. 1604. After leaving Cambridge without graduating, Bacon proceeded to Gray's Inn where he shared the lord keeper's chamber with his brothers Nicholas and Edward, and his half-brother Anthony. Bacon's two periods as Member for Tavistock were no doubt the result of religious affinity and family friendship with Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford , his own local standing explains his membership for Norfolk and King's Lynn. J.p. Norf. from 1574, q. by 1577, sheriff 1586-7, 1599-1600, dep. lt. by 1601; ancient, G. Inn 1576; commr. grain 1576, piracy 1578; dep. steward of duchy of Lancaster lands in Norf., Suff. and Camb. 1583, steward 1599; commr. sewers c.1586; collector for the loan 1589-1604; commr. recusancy 1592, musters 1596; freeman, King's Lynn 1597; commr. imprest of mariners 1598; feodary, coroner, escheator and clerk of the market of Methwold 1604....In 1614, expecting death, Bacon made a detailed will, asking to be buried in Stiffkey church, under or near a family monument of black marble ‘which the workmen have now in hand’. His three daughters, who had married John Townshend , Robert Gawdy and Thomas Knyvett, were named as executrices, the estates being shared between them and his wife, with provision for his grandchildren. Bacon apologised for giving ‘no greater legacies’, since he was heavily in debt to his elder step-son, Owen Smyth, the profits of whose lands he had used during Smyth's minority. He had, moreover, given his second wife ‘£400 a year more than I assured her before marriage’ Bacon died in Nov 1622.