Sir Nicholas Bacon, 1st Baronet, of Redgrave


Sir Nicholas Bacon, 1st Baronet, of Redgrave
Reign22 May 1611-1624
SuccessorSir Edmund Bacon, 2nd Baronet, of Redgrave
Died22 November 1624
FatherSir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
MotherJane Ferneley

Sir Nicholas Bacon, 1st Baronet (ca. 1540 – 22 November 1624), of Redgrave, Suffolk, English Member of Parliament.[1][2] In 1611 he was the first man to be created a baronet. Bacon would serve on many commissions. The Privy Council constantly called upon him to conduct inquiries.[3] Bacon was a leader of puritanism in Suffolk. The power and prestige of the puritan ministries in many areas of the country owed their power to Bacon. Sir Nicholas Bacon was considered a good Christian by his contemporaries.[4] Especially his chaplain, Robert Allen.[3] Robert Allen stated that Sir Bacon's wife was dedicated to "God's holy religion and worship by every good and Christian means in the sight of men."[3] Allen would even dedicate his Doctrine of the Gospel to Sir Nicholas and other members of the family.[3]


Bacon was born the eldest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal and his first wife, Jane Ferneley. He was the half brother of Sir Francis Bacon. Sir Nicholas Bacon was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.[4] Bacon was admitted to Gray's Inn in 1562. He entered Parliament in 1563 as a member for Beverley.[5][3] He obtained this position with the help of Sir Robert Dudley. In 1572, with the help of his father obtained the position of representing Suffolk.[3][5] He would have this position until 1583.[3] By 1576 Bacon had become an "ancient" member of the Gray's Inn society.[6] Nicholas Bacon was knighted on 22 August 1578 by Queen Elizabeth.[6] Later, in 1568 he would build an estate in Culford, the estate would be finished in 1591. Bacon would use the estate as a sheep farm.[3] He owned other estates in Blackbourne, Shipmeadow, Redgrave, Ingham and Barnham. In 1586 Bacon accused a man named Thomas Lovell of interfering with witnesses in a trial.[3] This resulted in Lovell trying to fight a duel with Bacon. However, before the duel could take place, in 1593 the debate was settled and Lovell was kicked of a commission.[3] In 1595 Nicholas married his daughter to Bassingbourne Gawdy II.[3] Together with the Gawdy family, Bacon's family would stand in opposition to the Lovell Family. Nicholas was appointed High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1581.[6]

In 1609 he and his wife inherited Foxearth Hall and Westons estate in Essex. On 22 May 1611, Bacon was created a baronet, of Redgrave in Suffolk, by James VI and I.[6] This made him England's premier baronet. He married Anne Butts, granddaughter of Sir William Butts of Thornage, Norfolk, who had been a physician of Henry VIII.[3][2] Because of this marriage he received many estates.[3] In 1612, he was visited by the king. The king came to Culford in January 1619, to see his granddaughter Anne Gawdye, who was widely praised at this time, and admired by Prince Charles.[7]

Nicholas Bacon died in 1624.[2][3]

Shortly before Nicholas' death, it was uncovered that he had embezzled funds.[3] In Bacon's will he left his household stuff among three younger sons and a daughter-in-law. He gave some of his wealth to his relatives, grandchildren and a great number of servants. Bacon left £100 to the poor people living on his manors, and directed the creation of a trust towards the repair of the Hepworth and Wattisfield causeway. His two eldest sons, were charged with the repayment of his debts, including £1,000 due to his old colleague in county administration, Sir Robert Jermyn. The last words of the will were "Christ, none but Christ only! Go out my soul, go out! The angels are ready to guard thee into the presence of my God. And therefore be not dismayed, but go out oh my soul, go out. I pray God to bless my children and deliver the kingdom from popery."[3]


The children of Nicholas Bacon and Anne Butts included:

  • Elizabeth Bacon
  • Dorothy Bacon, "Doll", who in 1595 married Bassingbourne Gawdy (died 1606)
  • Anne Bacon Drury, who married Sir Robert Drury.[2][8]
  • Jemimah Bacon.[9]
  • Nathaniel Bacon, a painter. It is believed that he is an ancestor of the figurative painter, Francis Bacon.[10][11]
  • Sir Robert Bacon, who married Anne Osbourne, a daughter of Sir Edward Osborne.[12]
  • Sir Edmund Bacon, Second Baronet of Redgrave.[6]


  1. ^ Cokayne, George E. (June 1900). Complete baronetage. Exeter. hdl:2027/uc1.c005356530.
  2. ^ a b c d "Kindred Britain". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "BACON, Nicholas (c.1540-1624), of Redgrave and Culford, Suff. | History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Bacon, Nicholas (BCN561N2)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. ^ a b "Baronetage". 3 May 2018. Archived from the original on 24 October 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2020 – via maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e Lee, Sidney, "Bacon Nicholas", Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, 02, retrieved 26 August 2020
  7. ^ John Nichols, Progresses of James the First, vol. 3 (London, 1828), pp. 525-6.
  8. ^ J.P. Ferris, 'Drury, Sir Robert (1575-1615), of Hawstead, Suff. and Drury House, Westminster', in A. Thrush and J.P. Ferris (eds), The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), History of Parliament online.
  9. ^ H. L. Meakin, The Painted Closet of Lady Anne Bacon Drury (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2013), p. 42.
  10. ^ Peppiatt (1996)
  11. ^ "Sir Nicholas Bacon (1540-1624) - Find A Grave..." Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  12. ^ Wotton, Thomas (1771). The Baronetage of England: Containing a Genealogical and Historical Account of All the English Baronets Now Existing ... Illustrated with Their Coats of Arms ... To which is Added an Account of Such Nova Scotia Baronets as are of English Families; and a Dictionary of Heraldry ... by E. Kimber and R. Johnson. G. Woodfall.