BACON, Sir Nicholas (c.1622-87), of Shrubland, Barham, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. c.1622, 1st s. of Nicholas Bacon of Shrubland by Martha, da. and h. of Sir Richard Bingham of Bingham’s Melcombe, Dorset. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1640; G. Inn 1647. m. bef. 1656, Bridget (d.1674), da. of Sir Lionel Tollemache†, 2nd Bt., of Helmingham, Suff., 4s. 3da. suc. fa. 1658; KB 23 Apr. 1661.1
J.p. Suff. 1658-d., commr. for militia Mar. 1660, assessment Aug. 1660-80, sewers, Bedford level 1663; dep. lt. Suff. by 1665-d., portman, Ipswich 1684-d.2
The rise of the Bacons from yeoman status, chiefly through the legal profession, is one of the great success stories of Tudor England. Bacon’s grandfather, a younger son of the Elizabethan lord keeper, acquired Shrubland, six miles from Ipswich, by marriage. His father, the eldest brother of Francis Bacon and Nathaniel Bacon, was a leading Puritan who served on the county committee during the Civil War and remained on the Suffolk commission of the peace during the Interregnum. But Bacon himself seems to have been an Anglican. He was listed as a Royalist in 1658 and signed the Suffolk petition for a free Parliament in January 1660. At the coronation of Charles £II he received the order of the Bath. To his inherited estate of 1,350 p.a. he added four manors in 1675 at a cost of £4,000. He was active in the county militia, but took no known part in politics until he was nominated to the corporation of Ipswich in the charter of 1684. He presented the loyal address from the borough to James II on his accession, and in the following month was elected to Parliament as a Tory. A moderately active Member, he was appointed to seven committees, including those to recommend expunctions from the Journals and to encourage shipbuilding and tillage. The last of his family to sit in Parliament, his will was proved on 28 May 1687.3