Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, died on this day in 1626. Bacon was something of a Renaissance Man, a “natural philosopher” – or what we would now call a scientist – and philosopher as well as a lawyer and statesman (and one of those instrumental in the creation of the colonies in the Americas). Ironically, it was evidently his scientific curiosity that led to his death – he caught a chill while experimenting with freezing a chicken with snow!
He is commemorated by a statue in Gray’s Inn, where he received his legal training.
Both he and his father Nicholas, as sometime Lords Keeper of the Great Seal, once lived in York House, not far from Whitehall. Francis also once lived in Canonbury House in Islington.
Incidentally, Nicholas Bacon died in 1579, and is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral. His memorial shows signs of charring from the Great Fire of 1666!