BACON, Francis (1600-63), of Gray's Inn and Ipswich, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

8 Jan. 1646

Family and Education

b. 30 Sept. 1600, 5th s. of Sir Edward Bacon of Shrubland, Barham by Eleanor, da. and h. of Thomas Little of Bray, Berks.; bro. of Nathaniel Bacon. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1617, G. Inn 1618, called 1626, ancient 1645. m. 30 Apr. 1633, Katherine, da. of Sir Thomas Wingfield of Letheringham, Suff., 6s. (4 d.v.p.) 2da.2

Offices Held

J.p. Suff. 1640-d., Mdx. 1662-d.; town clerk, Ipswich 1643-7, freeman 1645, bailiff 1652-3; commr. for execution of ordinances, Suff. 1643, assessment, Suff. 1643-52, 1657, Jan. 1660, Aldeburgh and Ipswich 1647-52, 1657, Jan. 1660-1, Westminster 1657, Aldeburgh 1661-d., eastern assoc., Suff. 1643, elder, Coddenham classis 1647; recorder, Aldeburgh by 1647-Aug. 1660; bencher, G. Inn 1648, reader 1662; commr. for militia, Suff. 1648, Suff. and Westminster Mar. 1660, drainage of the fens, Suff. 1649, poor prisoners 1653, scandalous ministers 1654.3

Master of requests 1656-9.4

Biography

Bacon, unlike his brother, seems to have retained his legal practice in London, even after acquiring a house in Ipswich, a local recordership, and lands worth £500 p.a. A parliamentary committeeman during the Civil War, and a recruiter for Ipswich, he was secluded at Pride’s Purge, and never sat in the Rump, even though he was formally readmitted in 1649. Together with his brother he acted as master of requests under the Protectorate; but Roger Whitley listed him among the Suffolk Royalists in 1658, and he signed the petition for a free Parliament in 1660.5

Bacon was re-elected for Ipswich at the general election and marked as a friend by Lord Wharton, to be managed by William Ellys. Probably inactive in the Convention, he was appointed by full name to only seven committees, including the committee of elections and privileges. Although not named to the drafting committee on 3 May, he served on it as one of the ‘gentlemen of the long robe’. He reported on 5 May a declaration postponing Easter term, and later in the same day an amended version which was accepted and entrusted to him for conveyance to the House of Lords. He was named to the committees to consider the bill confirming parliamentary privilege and to bring in rates for the poll-tax. He was among those added on 7 July to a committee on a private bill, which he subsequently reported and carried up. Although as recorder of Aldeburgh he had been active in petitioning the Government for help with the defence of the borough, he resigned the post on 10 Aug. on the grounds that ‘my occasions require my settling in London’. Doubtless a supporter of the Opposition, he received from Wharton a copy of the case for modified episcopacy; but there is no evidence that he attended the second session or stood again in 1661. On 10 Sept. 1663 he added a codicil to his will, which was proved a month later. None of his descendants entered Parliament.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Paula Watson

Notes

  • 1. Did not sit after Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 6 June 1649.
  • 2. East Anglian, n.s. iv. 33; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 109-10; Suff. Par. Reg. iv. 119; M. E. Wingfield, Muns. of Wingfield, 4; Add. 19116, f. 48.
  • 3. Add. 25335, ff. 9, 52; County of Suff. Divided (1645), 4; HMC Var. iv. 298.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1656-7, p. 182.