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"Empericks of state": manuscript verse and the impeachment of Francis Bacon.

Sometimes April really is the cruelest month. On 27 January 1621, Francis Bacon was created Viscount St Alban; by 30 April, the "Confession and humble Submission" in which he declared himself guilty of corruption had been read to the House of Lords. The great seal that he held as Lord Chancellor was taken from him on 1 May, and, on 2 May, when Bacon was required by the Lords to attend them on the following morning, the Gentleman Usher and the Serjeant-at-Arms bearing the notice found its intended recipient "sick in bed" and unable to attend. (1) The sentence pronounced against him in his absence, as John Chamberlain reported, was to be "fined at 40000 , to be imprisoned in the Towre during the Kings pleasure, disabled ever to beare office in the court or commonwealth, to have no voyce in parlement, not to come within the vierge (or twelve miles) of the court." As Brian Vickers intones, having echoed Chamberlains precise, headlong summary: "Few public figures in Britain have experienced so rapid and so complete a reversal." (2) It certainly seemed so to Bacons contemporaries, as also to Bacon himself; and what mattered particularly was the place of this vertiginous fall between the public and the private. Writing on 2 May, the day on which the Lords issued their notification to Bacon, Chamberlain clearly anticipated the differences between a public and a private resolution to the impeachment proceedings and clearly thought that it would matter to his correspondent, Dudley Carleton: "Whether he shall come to aunswer and receve sentence in publike or private is not yet knowne." (3)

The distinction between public and private offered by Chamberlain is important, but it has not often been easily drawn, for all that writers, including Bacon, were regularly drawn to it. This can be seen in the advice Bacon offered to Elizabeth following the Essex Rebellion "that he should not be called in question in the open and ordinary place of offenders in the Star Chamber, ... but in a more private manner at my Lord Keeper's house." (4) Yet here as later in Bacon's own case, when the polarity offers temptingly to align a series of oppositions--such as those between the open and the private, the state and the family, or the public and the domestic--so does that polarity prove in use resistant to fixed definitions. Bacon found himself the victim of just such a slippery set of oppositions: caught between, and to some extent the victim of, a tension between the high politics of the House of Commons and (so it was alleged) the low mismanagement of his household. Across these overlapping spheres, but particularly in the household, the mirroring interchangeability with which personal (and so private) domestic behavior reversed into and was understood in the light of professional (and so public) actions continued to multiply and refract his actions in others' view. (5) Bacon employed the same precise legal phrasing reported earlier by Chamberlain (disable could mean "to incapacitate legally": see OED v.2) in the dedicatory epistle to addressed to Lancelot Andrewes that prefaced An Advertisement Touching An Holy Wane, begun in the spring of 1622, circulated in early manuscript forms, but not first printed until its inclusion in William Rawley's posthumous collection, Certain Miscellany Works of 1629. (6) There Bacon reflected by comparison on the relationship of his own situation to those of "Demosthenes, Cicero, and Seneca; Persons" as he put it, "that I durst not claime Affinity with, except the Similitude of our Fortunes had contracted it. When I had caste mine Eyes vpon these Examples, I was carried on further to obserue, how they did beare their Fortunes, and principally, how they did employ their Times, being banished, and disabled for Publike Businesse." (7) In the semiprivate space of the dedicatory epistle, Bacon saw the uneasy paradox that the consequences of his enforced public disgrace were nothing so much as an enforced privacy. Much recent scholarship, extending the kinds of enquiries sponsored by the always pliable binary of public and private, has attended to the idea of the public and private as they were deployed by Bacon's contemporaries, whether as in the work of Peter Lake and Steven Pincus as part of a larger, post-Habermasian project involved in rethinking the public sphere in early modern England, as an effect of the "spatial history" pursued by Lena Cowen Orlin across the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or as a rhetorical counterpart to the developing cultural and institutional history of professionalization through the later part of the seventeenth century described by Benjamin Kohlmann in his work on Samuel Pepys's Diary. (8)

The article argues for the place of manuscript verse in and among these public and private debates, for the many manuscript libels that circulated around the period of Bacon's impeachment offer a fascinating case study both of the conceptual relations between public and private and the sociability of textual exchanges made possible in manuscript. (9) Such a study offers a contrast to related discussions of the place and meaning of the public sphere in the early modern theatre. (10) The study of manuscript libels has, of course, over the past two decades become both more sophisticated and, more recently, texts of the poems themselves much easier of access, thanks predominantly to the fine online edition, Early Stuart Libels, edited by Alastair Bellany and Andrew McRae. (11) Seen within that larger scholarly and generic context, it is clear, the manuscript poetry addressing Bacon's impeachment and subsequent fall from office participates in a larger project as it both meditates on the distinctions to be drawn between the public and private and at the same time makes materially problematic such binary distinctions. More particularly, as I will argue, study of these poems allows us to place Bacon's household, its members and their shared textual economy within this dialogue between the public and private.

The verse generated by Bacon's impeachment offers, then, an opportunity to examine again what Lake and Pincus described: "the interactions of print and manuscript and the relationship between what "really happened" and the stories people told about what was happening." This kind of communication, as Lake and Pincus describe it, "the relaying of accounts of political processes to different audiences," was what Chamberlain did in his manuscript newsletters to Dudley Carleton, and what the circulating manuscript verse libels extended:

Divers Lords do visit him dayly and the Lord of Buckingam more then any, which the world thincks is not without a misterie, and many things are spoken that are not to be written. The Spanish ambassador was likewise to visit, but he desired to be excused, yet sending him word Withall that he was now neerer his religion then ever, for that he began to beleve and feele a purgatorie. Many indignities are said and don against him, and divers libells cast abroad to his disgrace not worth the repeating as savoring of too much malice and scurrilitie: God send him patience and that he may make the best use of this affliction. (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:356)

In this close politics of private visits and public words, "what 'really happened' and the stories people told about what was happening," do not maintain any single fixed relationship; and, as Chamberlain saw clearly, manuscript verse libels make available for study, and at the same time make problematic, the relationship between the public and the private. Chamberlain, appraising the various maneuverings of things done and undone, visits made and not made, things spoken, unspoken, and perhaps unspeakable (let alone unwritable), invites us, too, to explore the material diversity of the surviving manuscript texts. For, as will be seen, new manuscript evidence makes clear that the variance within the texts of manuscript verse libels addressing Bacons impeachment was as important to their early meanings as the variance of opinion between them.


Finer speculations on the distinction between the public and private, it should be said, were not all that occupied libel-poets in the late spring of 1621: there was fun to be had in the meantime with names. If early in the proceedings John Hoskyns could wonder with a performed puzzlement "That Bacon should neglected be, when it is most in season," a later withdrawal of support from Bacon by James in order to insulate Buckingham from Parliamentary attack was certainly what Hoskyns implied when he mused that "Perhaps the Game of Buck hath villif"d the Bore" (Early Stuart Libels, Mii3). As Richard Cust has reminded us, James's use of Prince Charles in the first session of the 1621 Parliament, and in particular his presence on the committee investigating Sir Giles Mompesson, strongly indicated his support for proceedings in the Commons against patentees and monopolists. (12) To another anonymous libeler, the surname of Bacon's longtime adversary, Sir Edward Coke, provided too tempting an opportunity to be missed: "For if thy faults grow common, / Thou soone wilt find a nimble Cooke / Slice rashers from thy gammon" the poem "On Fran. Ld. Verulam Keeper of greate seale" none-too-helpfully suggests (Early Stuart Libels, Mii2). The libel beginning "Tire measled Boare is frankt" similarly combines a density of meanings into its opening line. The poem's interest in peculation and porculation, a word glossed (and perhaps coined) in Henry Cockeram's English Dictionary of 1623 as meaning "a feeding of swine," is layered over an interest in heraldry, the lines punning not only on the boar crest worn by Bacon's servants on their liveries, but aligning this with Bacon's brief period of imprisonment, a frank in this sense being an enclosure for feeding swine (Early Stuart Libels, Miil). Of another poem, "The greate assemblie of the parliamente," Bellany and McRae--properly disposed as editors to think the best of the material they transcribed and annotated--say only this: "Much of the humour depends on a correlation between political corruption and the physical corruption of a piece of bacon." Drawing to the present the poem's speaker ends by asking "now how to remedy this rustie bacon /I doe not know unless it be downe taken" (Early Stuart Libels, Mii5), rusty here having the sense of reasty, rancid (OED adj.2).

Other poems, however, when they fight off the urge simply to pun, do think structurally about the place of Bacon's impeachment in the public and the private; they do this most often--in a way that today we can interrogate--that aligns public political practice with private sexual practice. One poem, known from only one witness, explicitly conflates Bacon's practice as Lord Chancellor with his practice as head of his household:
   Why shoulde poore chauncelour be condemned by a cry
   Who tooke from few yett gave to many
   He strove to make his Lady rich we finde
   He lov'd her well but alas he went behinde
   God knowes he husband' not his store
   He should have done his youth less: his Lady more
   But now's the time all freely speake theire minde
   Thy judgments are he wente too much behinde.

   (Early Start Libels, Mii4)

The variation from "he went behinde" to "too much behinde" does not quite protect this poem from the charge of overusing its one moment of interest, the conflation of what are (in the poem's terms) legal and sexual malpractice. To go behind here maps the bribes taken by Bacon in office onto the sexual relationships it was alleged that he had maintained with members of his household, writing into the same phrase the consecutive statements that John Aubrey later reported: "His Ganimeds and Favourites tooke Bribes," though the poem stops short of adding Aubreys balancing concession, "but his Lordship alwayes gave Judgement secundum aequum et bonum" (13) The truth or otherwise of the charges matters less than the ways in which public and private conduct are described in the poem in mutually reinforcing senses: there is a paradoxical consistency to the behavior attributed to Bacon here, equating the kind of crimes of which he had been publicly accused with the kind of domestic crimes that were being privately insinuated.

Another of the libels brings together both the laboured jokes on porcinity and the allegations of public and private misconduct. The four lines of "Upon Sir F. Ba.," edited by Bellany and McRae from two sources, represent either the apogee of this tradition or its opposite, depending on your viewpoint:
   Within this sty heer now doth ly
   A hog wel fed with bribery
   A pig, a hog, a boare, a bacon
   Whom God hath left, and the Divel taken.

This is the main text recorded by Bellany and McRae; but they record, from Sir Simond D'Ewes's Autobiography, a variant they call "more pointed," but which might better be thought more spatially interesting than it is textually illuminating. This version is even more punitive:
   Within this sty a hog doth ly,
   That must be hang'd for sodomy.

This text, D'Ewes records, was left on a sheet of paper in York House, Bacons London residence (Early Stuart Libels, Mii7). It asks to be understood spatially on two scores, partly because of the obvious way in which this text--like many other examples in the early Stuart period--enacted a particular kind of consonance with the space in which it was presented or encountered, (14) and more particularly for the way in which its second line allows the two alleged crimes of bribery and sodomy to occupy by the same space within the two verse lines: as in the previous libel, the two allegations are reducible under and into the same dubious pun, and here they hold the same rhythmic, rhyming, and syntactical place in the libeller's conceptualisation of Bacon's fall. (15)

So far, so nasty. What makes Bacon's impeachment stand out from the other libellous episodes gathered together in Early Stuart Libels, and what gives it a particular purchase on the relations of the public to the private, is that the same medium used to attack Bacon was used also for his defense. William Lewis, newly appointed as one of Bacon's two chaplains at the start of 1618 and, as the direct beneficiary of his patronage, Provost of Oriel College, Oxford, wrote a long poem of committed defense, "When you awake, dull Brittons, and behould." (16) The poem widely circulated in the period: to the 24 manuscript witnesses noted by Bellany and McRae in 2005, we can add today at least a further four witnesses; (17) and even though a full textual history of the poem's transmission will never be possible, detailed study of the surviving manuscript texts does allow us to extend and to complicate the range of the poem's meanings, tracing the connections between surviving witnesses, and contextualizing the localities and institutions within which the poem circulated. (18) This manuscript evidence allows us, too, to focus more precisely the question of the poem's genre, and its place within the range of texts and practices that Bacon had in 1589 called "inter-libelling." (19) As Bellany and McRae have described it, Lewis's poem is a kind of "anti-libel," inhabiting its genre to turn that genre against itself, and the unlikeliness of the poem's enterprise, in being written on, and launched in defense of, Bacon, bear setting out. It is, for one thing, far longer than the poems libeling Bacon, by over 100 lines (although it did generate another long poem in response to it, perhaps an anti-anti-libel, discussed later); for another, it demonstrates a curious kind of naivety about its central project, which is to turn a medium of attack into one of defense.

Martin Dzelzainis has written well of the extent to which Bacon's professional career, right from the start of the 1590s, "was taken up ... with the business of sedition and libel." (20) In "An Aduertisement towching seditious wrytings," probably written in 1594, and closely related to his Observations on a Libell published this Present year 1592, Bacon saw clearly the dangerous connection that libellous or defamatory writing made between the public and the private, arguing that "surely to defame a private man is indeed to him a losse Invaluable, but to deface a prince or gouvernor dissolveth and subverteth the state." (21) Bacon's Observations were not printed until 1657 in Resuscitatio, the collection of texts edited from manuscript by Bacons later chaplain, William Rawley, part of a suggestive pattern of editorial and curatorial activity associated with Bacon's household, as will be seen. In that text, now titled Certain Observations, upon a Libell--the libel in question being not a pamphlet of the Jesuit Robert Parsons as James Spedding suggested but, as new editorial work has demonstrated, A Declaration of the True Causes of the Great Troubles, Presupposed to be Intended Against the Realme of England (1592)--Bacon suggested that libels typically were written by those "nourished, rather in Listening after News, and Intelligences, and in Whisperings, then in any Commendable Learning." (22) Bacon was clear, that is to say, that libels were written by those paying closest attention to the stories told by people about what was really happening. He was clear, too, that to reply to them in their own kind was certainly to make a mistake. Offer instead, Bacon advised, "certain Observations; Not in Form, of a just Answer, lest, I should fall into the Error, whereof Salomon, speaketh thus; Answer not a Foole, in his own kind, least thou also be like him." (23) The counsel, from Proverbs 26:4, was repeated at the close of the manuscript "Aduertisement": "For it were to much honour vnto them to vouchsafe them a particular aunswer as their writings leade, as it is saide (Proverbes c.xxvi. ver. 4) Aunswer not a foole according to his folly least thou also become like him" (24) What Bacon cannot perhaps have anticipated as a theorist of sedition and libel is that he might in time become their subject.

The manuscript evidence for the meanings and form of Lewis's poem is, then, more complex than has previously been recognized. For all that, Arthur Marotti, though he misdates the poem to 1623, gives a fair summary of its overall shape and purpose when he describes it as "a long poem addressing the Commons as an unfair tribunal that condemned an intelligent and talented public servant whose few faults supposedly were far outweighed by his many virtues." (25) Andrew McRae's short account of the poem emphasises, too, the opposition that Lewis's poem draws between the House of Commons, "figured as grotesquely representative of the people," and the exemplary virtues of the wise counsellor, Bacon. (26) For the purposes of their larger arguments, neither Marotti nor Bellany attend to the close detail of Lewis's poem, and it remains true that its impeccably uninspired Jacobean couplets rarely surprise the reader by their quality. But in the language taken up into and shaping Lewis's arguments, we do see a considered response to Bacon's circumstances. The central ground of Lewis's defense of Bacon comes to wards the close of the poem, a twelve-line section that identifies charity as an enabling condition of Bacons forgiveness:
   Then wher is charitie become of late
   Is her place beggd? her office given state?
   Is their a pattent got for her restrainte
   Or monopoly gain'd by false complaint?
   If so? pursue the patentees, for sure
   Falce information did the writt procure:
   The seale is counterfeict, the referrees
   Have taken bribes: then first examine these,
   Restore faire Charitie to her place againe,
   And he that suffers now may then complaine:
   Set her at Justice feete, then let the poize
   By them directed be, and not by noise.

   (Early Stuart Libels, Mii8)

This section is rich in the precisely contemporary language of Bacons impeachment, and the wider complaints--against monopolies, patentees, and the bribery of referees--that were debated in the House in the first session of the 1621 Parliament. John Chamberlain, as ever, caught and recorded the new cries. Lionel Cranfield, already in February 1621, had complained of "the burthen of patents" on which subject, Chamberlain recorded, "he spake largely and freely" (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:345). Ten days later, Chamberlain added to his account, repeating punctually the same set of vocabulary in the letters to Carleton. On 27 February 1621: "They are now in hand with patents ... there be many glaunces and aspersions upon the referendaries, who gave way and certified of the lawfulnes or conveniencie of these patents, but they are for the most part such as are like to be out of their reach" (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:347). And again on 10 March 1621: "Touching the parlement they are very busie about Sir Giles Mompesson and the rest of that crue, in which number they are willing to spare none no not Sir Edward Villers, nor the refferrees be they never so great" (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:350). Bacon, by this stage of proceedings, was clearly becoming the main target of the attacks, and it is easy to see why: he had in 1621 alone refereed potentially monopolizing grants for apothecaries, apprentices, gold thread, inns, lobsters, pedlers, seamarks, warrens, Welsh butter, and wool broggers (wool-brokers). (27) His support began to fall away, as his former patrons, chief among them Buckingham, planned exit strategies. Buckingham "so washt his handes and cleered himself," Chamberlain wrote, "that he renounced all kind of protection of such persons and left the aspersion on those, on whom the King relied"--a phrase more chilling for the unspoken qualifier, formerly (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:351). A short fortnight later, the argument had become not less but more heroic, shovelling their way through the press of business. The MPs, Chamberlain wrote, "find yt more then Hercules labour purgare hoc Stabulum Augiae of monopolies, patents, and the like: and they are now fallen into another labirinth (whence they see no way out,) of briberies and extortions in matters of justice, and the first tempest is fallen upon my Lord Chauncellor, against whom there come in daylie more petitions and accusations then they can overcome" (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:354).

Read against Chamberlain's letters, the language of Lewis's poem is given a powerful historical charge, and the ambition of its project--to undo the coupling between, on the one hand, monopolies and monopolists, and, on the other, legal corruption--become yet more pronounced. Adopting and disputing the public discourse of Parliament, there is an aspect of well-intentioned maladroitness to the poem: Lewis concedes so many of the charges against Bacon before mounting his defense that the eventual grounds for support are delayed and diminished. Viewed charitably--as it asks its readers to view Bacon, after all--we might say that the balance struck here, weighed in the "poize" imagined by the poem, is one that sets the personal campaign against Bacon against the wider political context that motivated it. Certainly it is this version of Lewis's poem that circulates most widely in the period, and to this extent the choice of British Library MS Sloane 826 as the base text for the transcription in Early Stuart Libels sits well with the edition's principles. The editors write: "this edition reproduces one sound version of every known libel, and does not depart in any way from the selected version unless there is a special reason for doing so." The online edition, as Bellany and McRae emphasize, lists all the known sources for each libel; and, faced with such a geographically dispersed variety of witnesses to any given poem, "the task of transcribing and comparing all these sources ... would be immense." More importantly--and here perhaps less convincingly--they argue that "there is very little evidence of readers concerning themselves with variant texts and questions of authorship" in the tradition as it survives.

The survival, apparently in a unique witness, of a variant text of Lewis's poem offers, then, an opportunity to test where, in fact, manuscript libels were in this way fixed rather than fluid, and single rather than multiply engaged. (28) It offers an opportunity at the same time to think about the private as well as the public conceptions of these texts and their languages. Leeds University Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 44, which preserves a new and previously unrecognized version of Lewis's poem, is a vellum-bound, folio collection, handsomely transcribed in a single professional hand; the manuscript's physical structure, in which leaves were excised in the process of transcription, presumably to remove scribal errors and to leave a clear and elegant text for purchase, supports this. The manuscript's mainly generic organization includes not only political, amatory, and memorial poetry of the early- to mid- 1620s of the kind found in many miscellanies of the period, but also other unique survivals, one of which, a series of eight poems addressed to Hatfield House and the household of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury (1591-1668), I have transcribed and edited elsewhere. (29) A smaller second layer of mainly political and memorial poems was copied into MS Lt q 44 later in the 1640s in an amateur hand, not that of the later owner who inscribed "At Leith the 4 June 1649 / Ro: Carre" on the manuscript's front pastedown. In the first layer of transcription, under a very long title, "Verses in favor of Sr Frances Bacon lord Chancellor of England Vicont of St Albons after his beinge dismist the house of Parliamt and before his Censor the Author thinkinge that as hee had liued like a Romane Epicure soe hee would haue dyed wth a Romaines Resolution," the Brotherton manuscript offers a fascinatingly different text of Lewis's poem; a full transcription is included as an appendix to this article.

It is not clear what the provenance of this variant text may have been, though clearly the Brotherton manuscript drew on a privileged set of manuscript witnesses to judge by the very rarity of the texts it contains. Where the text of "When you awake ..." included Early Stuart Libels engages with and deploys the richly historicized vocabulary of monopoly, patents, referees and complaint, the equivalent section of the Brotherton manuscript reads and develops rather differently:
   then where is charitie become of late
   is her place begd her office giuen to hate
   is mercie bannisht to and are all those
   that should protect her now become her foes
   sett her att Iustice feat and lett them poyse
   by them derected bee and not by noyse
      Weygh but his meritts once with his offence
      and you shall find a mighty difference
   The skillfull Churgion cutts not of a lim
   whilst there is hope/,\ o deale soe then with him/,   Race not a goodly building for a toye

   /,\tis better to repayre then to distroy/,   tis easier for to make a sicke man hole
   then to create or to infuse a soule
   you are phisitians to the Common wealth
   and nought should studie but the kingdomes health
   to rectifie and not to Ruine then
   hath byne the practice of all learned men
   vnless you wilbee Empericks of state
   you must examine whats suffisticate
   whats simple what Compounded whats pure whats mixt
   and with a knowing consience Iudg betwixt
   truth and opinion, and not bee led
   by every idle rash or factious head[.] (30)

That a variant text of such a contentious poem should have survived is not, on the face of it, unlikely: Peter Beal's detailed account of Sidneys Letter to Queen Elizabeth shows just how important revisions could be in texts whose transmission complicates the bounds of the public and the private. (31) Perhaps more unlikely is that, at first reading, this variant section of the poem seems carefully to rinse it of topicality, replacing the powerfully contemporary vocabulary heard earlier in the received text of the poem with one that treats mainly in generalities and paralleled platitudes: protectors become foes, it is better to repair than to destroy, as it is better to rectify and not to ruin. This seems less directly to stem from the England of early 1621 than it does from a more abstract consideration of an abstract "Common wealth"; the Romanitas of the title given to the poem in manuscript only further distances this text on first reading.

But seen in relation to what must be its source, rather than its immediate political context, this variant section has its own, equally precise argument to make; for it seems to be unpacking, very deliberately, the arguments advanced a decade and half earlier by Bacon himself, in The Advancement of Learning (1605):

And for matter of policie and gouernement, that Learning should rather hurt, than inable thereunto, is a thing verie improbable: we see it is accounted an errour, to commit a naturall body to Empirique Phisitions, which commonly haue a fewe pleasing receits, whereupon they are confident and aduenturous, but know neither the causes of diseases, nor the complexions of Patients, nor perill of accidents, nor the true method of Cures; We see it is a like Error to rely vpon Aduocates or Lawyers, which are onely men of practice, and not grounded in their Bookes, who are many times easily surprised, when matter falleth out besides their experience, to the preiudice of the causes they handle: so by like reason it cannot be but a matter of doubtful consequence, if States be managed by Empirique Statesmen, not well mingled with men grounded in Learning. But contrary wise, it is almost without instance contradictorie, that euer any gouernment was disastrous, that was in the hands of learned Gouernors. (32)

Bacon's defense here for the interactions of knowledge and government is founded on their regulation by the "true correctiue thereof": "This correctiue spice, the mixture whereof maketh knowledge so souerainge, is Charitie, which the Apostle immediately addeth to the former clause, for so he sayth, Knowledge bloweth vp, but Charitie buildeth yp[.]" (33) The two texts--Bacon's earlier Advancement and Lewis's later poem of solidarity and defense--run in parallel through this section; and they inhabit the same generic codes, too, Lewis's poem the personal equivalent to the institutional defense that Bacon mounted against "the disgraces which learning receiueth from Politiques." (34) That parallelism, in a way, holds in place the appositional phrasing of Lewis's poem, as it provided the figures of the empiric practitioner in medicine and statescraft.

One key detail serves to pin the two texts yet more firmly together: the adjective empiric. Michael Kiernan glosses the passage on "Empirique Phisitions" in The Advancement with reference to "the clash between theoretically and experientially based medicine," a classical debate given contemporary nuance in 1605 by the self-description as "learned physicians" of the College of Physicians, and Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History (1601). (35) The OED suggests that the reference might have been more pointed than this in 1621: this example from The Advancement is its first quotation in support of "empiric" used adjectivally. In fact, although it remains an unusual word through the century, (36) empiric in Lewis's usage may both be less rare and more Baconian than has been previously recognized, the specific choice of adjective here embodying a particular connection between the two texts and the two men. In his Apologie in certaine imputations concerning the late Earle of Essex (1604), Bacon reported advice offered to him by Queen Elizabeth: "the Queene said againe, I will tell you Bacon the error of it, the maner of these Phisitions and especially these Empericks is to continue one kind of medicine, which at the first is proper, being to draw out the ill humor, but after they haue not the discretion to change their medicine." (37) Later, in Phaenomena universi, probably composed in or about 1611, as part of the planned Instauratio magna, Bacon disdained "universum Mechanicorum & Empiricorum genus" ("the whole pack of mechanics and empirics"). (38) There is, then, a textual context for this variant section of Lewis's poem, and one that is consistent with what we know from the evidence of Bacon's Apophthegmes: that throughout his life he repeated stories and phrases to those close to him; a pair that came with such a provenance--both royal and politically sensitive, as any account of the Queen's confiding speech in the aftermath of the Essex rebellion must have been--may well have moved as an outlier among with those that were recorded in the various witnesses to their text. (39) If the received version of Lewis's poem of defense, then, could be thought of as offering itself on public grounds, deploying the language of the House in its defense of Bacon, could this new version, by contrast, be employing a private and inward language of defense, in the language of Bacon's household?

Detailed new research into the scribal and textual cultures of Bacon's household offers support to this identification, both from the larger pattern of Bacon's work on The Advancement between its first publication (in English) in 1605 and its later revision and expansion (in Latin) in 1623, and the local habits of composition and revision shown in the texts compiled by, and circulating between, Bacon, his scribes and his various amanuenses of whom, it is clear, Lewis must have been one. Much of this work centered on the very text on which this new version of Lewis's text depends for its meanings. The full history of the complicated process of revision and expansion by which The Advancement of Learning became De dignitate & augmentis scientarium awaits the publication of volumes 9 and 10 of The Oxford Francis Bacon. In the scrupulous preliminary account offered in his edition of The Advancement, Michael Kiernan notes that from the two linked entries for books 1 and 2 in the Stationers' Register in August and September 1605, The Advancement was bilingual: "to be printed bothe in Englishe and Lattin," in the words of the first entry, and "A booke Aswell in Latyn as in Englishe" in the words of the second. (40) As Kiernan suggests, it seems unlikely that a Latin version was "in hand" in 1605, though one soon may have been: in a letter probably no later than July 1608, Bacon wrote to Thomas Playfere, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, to invite him to embark upon a Latin translation, "the privateness of the language considered wherein it is written, excluding so many readers." (41) The terminal date for this letter is given by a notebook entry of 1608 in which Bacon wrote of "Proceeding with the translation of my book of Advancement of learning; harkenyng to some other yf playfere should faile." (42) Fail, after a fashion, is what Playfere, did, for as Thomas Tenison later reported the "Specimen of such superfine Latinity" that Playfere submitted gave Bacon no cause to "encourage him to labour further in that work, in the penning of which, he desired not so much neat and polite, as clear Masculine, and apt Expression." (43) It might be that after this disappointment Bacon hearkened increasingly to members of his own household for this and other projects.

That Lewis, in his role as Bacons chaplain, may have participated in the detailed, ongoing work of revision and translation is made more likely by the evidence of others associated with Bacon who certainly fulfilled such roles. A proud Thomas Hobbes told John Aubrey as much, linking the range of secretarial roles that he fulfilled for Bacon with those of another amanuensis in the grounds and walks of Gorhambury:

Here his Lordship much meditated, his servant Mr Bushell attending him with his pen and inke home to sett downe his present Notions. Mr Thomas Hobbes told me, that his Lordship would employ him often in this service whilest he was there, and was better pleased with his Minutes, or notes sett downe by him, then by others who did not well understand his Lordship. He told me that he was employed in translating part of the Essayes, viz. three of them, one wherof was that of the Greatnesse of Cities, the other two I have now forgott. (44)

The links that Hobbes gestures towards here speak of an inwardness between Bacon and his unofficial secretariat, founded on intellectual and linguistic closeness, of a kind that we have come increasingly to recognize in the official secretariats of the nobility. The case for the fuller organization and working habits of Bacons many secretaries, chaplains, amanuenses and others scribes remains to be documented in the archive, but the comparable examples of intellectual and other assistance offered to the Cecil family or the Earl of Essex offer models that might be examined, (45) as does the detailed reconstruction of Edmund Spenser's work among a team of secretaries to Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton. (46)

More particularly, in the evidence of others who served Bacon in various capacities, domestic and textual, one can see a blurring or multiplication of roles among members of the household which, paradoxically, is partly at least confirmed by the allegations lodged against Bacon in the period, though there--in the form in which the manuscript libels circulated it: that Bacon's servants were also his lovers--pushed and distorted to a paranoid anxiety. As a key member of Bacon's household to 1621, and a conduit for, as well as personal beneficiary of, his patronage, Lewis seems fully to have participated in the workings of this household and its textual community: the closeness of language and thought between his poem and Bacons Advancement makes this clear. William Rawley, who in publishing Bacons Resuscitatio in 1657 described himself on the volumes title page as "His / Lordships First, and Last, Chapleine," seems more likely to have followed Lewis into Bacon's employment than to have preceded him. Nonetheless, Rawley's description of "Having been employed, as an Amenuensis, or dayly instrument, to this Honourable Authour; And acquainted with his Lordships Conceits, in the composing, of his Works, for many years together; Especially, in his writing Time" chimes suggestively with the evidence provided by Hobbes and others of Bacon's extended authorial and scribal practices. (47) Rawley must also, to judge by the material collected in 1657, have very soon after Bacons death had either privileged access to, or perhaps custody of, what we would now call Bacons manuscript archive, parts of which also passed to the diplomat William Boswell. (48) Bacon's archive, by Rawley's account, was itself substantially disordered between the public and the private, Bacon's earlier ambitions that his texts should be "reposed, in some Private shrine, or Library" having been defeated by his habit of determinedly "loose keeping" those papers "whilest he lived." (49)

There are, then, strong reasons to think that the variant text of Lewis's poem now preserved in the Brotherton manuscript is evidence not only for the increased textual complexity of this one early modern libel, but further evidence for the textual and intellectual culture of Bacon's household, in which the role of his chaplains such as Lewis and Rawley needs to be integrated alongside the work of his professional scribes and secretaries such as Sir Thomas Meautys. The closeness of the detail, and the intimacy of allusion in the new text, suggest strongly that the Brotherton manuscript preserves an authorially variant text of Lewis's poem addressing not the public world of the "monster multitude" but the private coterie of the household: the intimate few with whom Bacon lived, worked, and wrote. If so, the impetus for such a variance is impeccably Baconian. As Angus Vine has argued, Bacon was cannily aware of the uses (and reuses) to which retained manuscript material could be put in changed circumstances, and the particular charge that variant texts of single works could deliver to different audiences. In his detailed account of Bacon's composition books, Vine describes a rolling process of revision in Bacon's manuscripts in which, coming back periodically to review, order and archive his papers annotated his own documentary past. (50) Closer yet to the example of the variant texts of Lewis's poem is that of Bacon's Apologie in certain imputations concerning the late Earle of Essex (1604). As Vine has described in detail, the new manuscript of the Apologie in Bodleian MS Rawl. D. 672 suggests a pattern of "deliberate revision on Bacon's part," adding immediacy and inwardness to this version of the text that is not present in the many other manuscript and print witnesses. If the text is framed in print, as Vine writes, "for public consumption," the new manuscript version of the Apologie "assumes a greater familiarity and directness," through subtle, delicate use of a shared vocabulary to create a tone and mode "more appropriate to a private letter than a public epistle." (51) The audacity of Lewis's poem might be, then, to have created--or to have attempted to create--two different audiences in manuscript for its defense of Bacon. The new version recovered in the Brotherton manuscript is in this way characterized by its awareness of, and sensitivity to, nuances which can have been restricted only to the closest members of the household textual community, using habits of revision and textual repositioning, as well as a specific cultural vocabulary, learned from, and emulated in, his former patron.


Apparently a unique survival, the Brotherton manuscript of "When you awake ..." tells the private story, it may seem, of Lewis's defense of his patron. The public story, as it told out over the remaining months of 1621 is less edifying; and it survives partly at least to the extent that Lewis himself became the story. On 30 April 1621, "William Lewis, maister in arts of Oriall Colledge in Oxford" was granted a "passe" by the Privy Council "to travaile for three yeares, and to carrie with him his necessarie provision (not being prohibited), with a provisoe not to goe to Rome," swearing his necessary oath of allegiance in to the Council. (52) Following so closely the date on which Bacon's "Confession and humble Submission" was read to the House of Lords, 24 April 1621, Lewis's appearance before the Privy Council is striking. (53) Whether between them the two records offers a date for the composition of "When you awake ..." is less certain, though, since the only dated transcription of the poem yet identified subscribes it "i62i Mense Junij," recording either the rapidity with which Lewis composed his poem or, more likely, the rapidity with which it circulated among interested readers and compilers. (54) A further possibility at least exists that "When you awake ...," a poem reflecting on the withdrawal of, or withdrawal from public office, in Bacon's case is also the product of Lewis's own resignation from Oriel on 29 June 1621. New research by Kenneth Fincham in the Oriel archives suggests strongly that Lewis left the college on good terms, but seventeenth-and early-eighteenth-century accounts of his resignation are less generous in their attribution of motives. (55) Why did he resign? John Walker, looking back nearly 100 years later in An attempt towards recovering an account of the numbers and sufferings of the clergy of the Church of England, reported of Lewis's provostship that, "indulging himself in some things very unbecoming of it, he was in a manner forced to resign it." (56) Chamberlain, earlier and in the less public form of the manuscript letter, had been less circumspect, directly linking Bacon's disgrace to Lewis's: "One Lewis a fine chaplain of his whom he preferred to be provost of Oriall College against the haire, is run away to Paris, some say for debt, some for a fowler fault, and that he was Domini similis" (Letters of John Chamberlain, 2:385). "Like his master" here again has a double (if unwitting) force, for Lewis's poem shows clearly how emulation and the patterning of a household vocabulary create and memorialize a shared community, whether or not this is figured through any presumed sexual behavior. It is perhaps characteristic that only one of these potential meanings should have survived in the account of Lewis's departure offered by William Prynne. Prynne, despite his antipathy might have been in a good place to know something of the situation: he matriculated at Oriel in 1616, and was awarded his BA on 22 January 1621. But in the index to his Canterburies Doome (1646) he wrote simply and laconically, that Lewis had "fled hence for sodomy." (57)

Writers of contemporary verse libels had earlier made the connection between Bacon, Lewis's defense, and Lewis's departure. "Blame not the poet though he mack sutch moane / For's Lord sine in his case he pleads his owne," begins one poem, known by Bellany and McRae from British Library MS Add. 25303. In fact, as noticed above, the text in MS Add. 25303 derives from an earliear text in British Library MS Harley 3910:
   Blame not the poet though he mack sutch moane
   For's Lord sine in his case he pleads his owne,
   If that his Lord must sutch sharp censur haue
   What then must he that was so very a knaue
   Yet as his faults wear more, so may we saye
   His wits wear for he quickly ran awaye,
   Licke to the man that saw his master kis
   The popes foote feard that a worse place was his
   May the Lords cure succeed his punishment
   And Justice him oretacke that It orewent,
      Though scapd his first he staye tell the last doom
      And crye Let har alone tell y' daye come. (58)

The situational politics of this poem are no less unpleasant than the charges levelled by Prynne, with its barely suppressed fears of Catholicism and power, though the sensitivity to language of censure and judgement speaks to the extent to which libel poetry takes up, and repeats with variation, a core set of key terms. A second poem, "A defence to the Answer made for the Lord Bacon," apparently a unique survival, was transcribed later in the century among a collection of "answer" poems in a manuscript now in the Huntington, is a far more serious poem than "Blame not the poet ... offering not only precedents for why Bacon ought to have been punished, but the possibility of his redemption: that he might "be washt by pennytence." (59) It is also, among other things, a poem capable of thinking outside itself, recognizing the way in which in scandals of the kind that engulfed Bacon, and in texts addressing them, categories often come uncomfortably to collapse, one into another: "theer's no defence / found in retorting crimes," the poem says; "Answer not a Foole, in his own kind, least thou also be like him," Bacon had written in 1594 in "An Aduertisement Towching Seditious Wrytings," quoted earlier.

To see this poem catching its own attention, and bringing Bacon back to ours, is to be reminded again of the fundamental distinction that Bacon drew between the public and the private--"And surely to defame a private man is indeede to him a losse Invaluable, but to deface a prince or gouvernor dissolveth and subverteth the state"--and of the continued capacity of literary language and manuscript circulation to undo and to complicate any such distinction. In the case of Bacon's impeachment that distinction is yet harder to maintain, precisely because it was the proper relationship between the private and the public that his accusers sought to define, and that poems such as Lewis's complicate to this day.

University of Birmingham


Leeds University Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 44, fols 10r-12v. In the semi-diplomatic transcription that follows, letters supplied following the expansion of contractions are indicated in italics; superscript letters have been lowered; insertions on the writing line within /inward angled obliques\; insertions above the writing line within \outward angled obliques/; and deleted text is indicated [-thus], or [-illeg.]. A line count has been added, excluding the poem's title, to facilitate comparison with Early Stuart Libels.
   Verses in fauor of Sir Frances Bacon
   Lord Chancellor of England Vicont of
   St Albons after his beinge dismist the
   house of Parliament and before his
   Censor the Author thinkinge that
   as hee had liued like a Romane
      Epicure soe hee would
        haue dyed with a
      Romaines Resolution

   When you awake/,\ dull brittaines/,\ and behold
   what treasure you haue throne even into molde
   your Ignorance in pruning of a state
   you shall confess, and such your rashnes hate,
   For in a senceless furye you haue slayne                 5
   a man as far behoynd the spungye brayne
   of Common knolwedg, as is heauen from hell
   and yett you fleere and think you haue done well
   o that the monster multitude should sitt
   in place of Iustice, reason, concience, witt             10
   nay in a /s\pheare or throne aboue them all
   for tis a supreame power that can call
   all these to th bar, and with a frowning brow
   make Senators nay mightie consulls bow,
   hold pleibeans, the tyme will come I know                15
   when such a Cato, such a Cicero,
      Shalbee more worth then the first borne can bee
      of all your ancestors or posterity.
   But hees not dead youl say, oh but the soule
   once cheackt, once contrould that vsd to controule,      20
   coucheth her winges and dare not fly
   att other game then faier eternity
   each spiritt is Retyerd to a Roome
   and made his liueing body but at Tombe
      On which such Epitaphes may welbee read                25
      as would the gaeser strike with sorowe dead
   O that I could but giue his worth a name
   that if not you your sonnes might blush for shame,
   whoe in Arethmatick hath greatest skill
   his good partes cannot number, yett his ill,             30
   cannot be calde a number since its knowne
   hee had but few that could bee calde his owne
   and those in other men eyen in theis tymes,
   are often praisd and vertues calde not crymes,
   but as in purest things the smalest spott                35
   is sooner found then either stayne or blott
   in baser stuff, euen soe his chance was such
   to haue of faults to few of worth to much,
      Soe by the brightnes of his owne cleare light
      the motes hee had lay open to all sight, 40
   If you would haue a man in all poynts good
   you must not haue him made of flesh and blood
   an act of Parlament you first must [-salte] /setle   and force dame nature worke on better malte
   Some faultes hee had, noe more then serued to proue,     45
   he drew his lyne from Adam not from Ioue,
   and those smale staynes in natures forct offence
   like moones in Armorye wear, makeing difference
   twixt him and Angells, beinge noe other
   then marks to know him for ther yonger brother           50
      Such spotts remoued/,\ not to prophane/,\ hee then
      might well bee stilde a demye god mongst men
   A diamond flawde saphers or Rubies staynde
   but vnder valewd ar, not quite disdaynde
   which by a foyle recouered they then becom               55
   as worthy of esteeme, yeild noe less sum,
   a gardnor findinge once a Cankor grone
   vpon a tree that hee hath fruitfull knowne
   grubs it not vp, but with a carefull hand
   opens the Roote remoues the clay or sand                 60
   that causd this cankor, or with cunninge arte
   pares of the Ryne but comes not neare the harte
      Only such trees the axes edge indure
      as near bare fruite or else ar past all cure
   The prudent husbandman thrust not his sheare             65
   into the corne because some weedes are there
   but takes his hooke and gently as hee may
   walks through the feild and plucks them all away,
   a house of many Roomes on may commaund
   but yett it shall require many a hand                    70
   to keepe it cleane, and if some filth bee found
   Crope in by negligence, is't cast to th ground
   fie not, but first the supreame owner comes
   examins euery office veiwes the Roomes
   maks them bee cleansd, and on some certaine payne        75
   commaunds they neuer bee found soe againe
   The Temple elce should ouerthrone haue byne
   because [-soe] /som\ many brokers wear therein
   the arke had sunck and perisht in the flood
   because some beasts crope in that wear not good          80
   Adam had with a Thunderbolte bine strooke
   when hee from Eue that golden aple tooke
   but should the maker of mankinde doe soe
   whoe should wryte man, whoe should to man state groe,
   shall hee bee put then to th extreames of law            85
   because his consience had a little flaw,
   will you want conscience cleane/,\ because that hee/,   stumbld or slipt but in a smale degree
   o first looke back to all your owne past acts
   then pass your censor, punnish all the facts             90
   by him committed, then lie sweare hee shall
   confess that you are vpright Chanclors all
      And for the tyme to come with all his might
      striue to outdoe you all in doinge right,
   Oh would his predicessors ghost appeare                  95
   and tell how fowle his master leaft the cheare
   how euery feather that hee satt vpon
   infectious was, and that there was not stone
   on which some contract was not made to fright
   the fatherless or widdowes from there right              100
   noe stoole noe boord noe bench \no Rush/ on which
   the poore man was not sould vnto the rich
      You would giue longer tyme the Roomes to ayre
      and what you now call fowle you would thinke faire
   Hee tooke to keepe tis knowne, this but to hue,          105
   hee robd to purchace landes, and this to giue,
   and had hee bine soe blest ins owne borne treasure
   hee would haue giuen much more with much more pleasure
   but fortune still a niggard men shall find
   to such as are by nature free or kind                    110
      Ever favors are bestowd on such alone
      as haue the guifte to keepe and part with non
   The nyghts greate lamp from the rich sea will take
   to lend the thirstie land, and from each lake
   that hath an ouerplus borowes a share                    115
   /,\not to her owne vse/,\ but to repaire
   the ruins of some parcht and dryed up hill
   [-for] \soel this vnconstant planett/,\ far more ill/,   Envie cannot speake of him, tooke from some flood
   not to his owne vse but to doe others good               120
   but such misfortune dogd his honest will
   as what hee toke ith rong he gaue as ill
      For those his bounty nurst as all suppose
      not those hee proued his greatest foes,
   Soe foolish mothers from there wyeser mates              125
   ofte filch and steale, weaken there owne estates
   to feed the humor of some wanton boye,
   they silly weomen hoping to haye Ioye
   of this ranck plant when they are sapless grone
   but seld or neuer hath it yett bine knowne               130
      That pamperd youth gaue parents more releefe
      then what increast there age through care & greefe,
   Such ouersights of nature former tymes
   haue rather pitied then condemd as crymes,
   then where is charitie become of late                    135
   is her place begd her office giuen to hate
   is mercie bannisht to and are all those
   that should protect her now become her foes
   sett her att Iustice feat and lett them poyse
   by them derected bee and not by noyse                    140
      Weygh but his meritts once with his offence
      and you shall find a mighty difference
   The skillfull Churgion cutts not of a lim
   whilst there is hope/,\ o deale soe then with him/,   Race not a goodly building for a toye                    145
   /,\tis better to repayre then to distroy/,   tis easier for to make a sicke man hole
   then to create or to infuse a soule
   you are phisitians to the Common wealth
   and nought should studie but the kingdomes health        150
   to rectifie and not to Ruine then
   hath byne the practice of all learned men
   vnless you wilbee Empericks of state
   you must examine whats suffisticate
   whats simple what Compounded whats pure whats mixt       155
   and with a knowing consience Iudg betwixt
   truth and opinion, and not bee led
   by every idle rash or factious head,
   would you Anotamise would you desect
   for your experience, oh you may elect,                   160
   out of that house where you as Iudges sitt
   many for execution much more fitt,
   rong not then your vnsuspected Judgments
   by makeing them first cald first presidents
   but when you find theman that/s\ ouer grone              165
   with fowle coruption, lett him bee throne
   att Iustice feett, lett him bee sacrificd,
   lett there bee new tortures new plagues devisd
   such as may fright the liueing from like crymes
   and bee a president for after tymes                      170
   soe shall your censors edicts, acttes, and lawes,
   crowne your memories with desearud aplause
      which long liue'd recordes to insueinge dayes
      shall still proclame to your eternall prayse.


I am grateful to audiences in Birmingham, Durham, Sheffield, and Stratford for their comments on earlier versions of this paper, and in particular to Angus Vine, Gillian Wright, and PQ's anonymous readers for their detailed improvements to my drafts. A Falconer Madan Prize awarded by the Bibliographical Society supported my research into the manuscript texts of the poems discussed here.

(1) Lisa Jardine and Alan Stewart, Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon (New York: Hill and Wang, 1999), 442-69; Markku Peltonen, "Bacon, Francis, Viscount St Alban (1561-1626)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,

(2) Francis Bacon: The Major Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Oxford U. Press, 2002), 695.

(3) The Letters of John Chamberlain, ed. N. E. McClure, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1939), 2:368. Subsequent references are parenthetic.

(4) A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons Attempted and Committed by Robert, Late Earl of Essex (1601) in James Spedding, The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, 7 vols. (London: Longman, 1861-74), 2:259-60.

(5) On earlier states of this tension between the Household and the household, see Colin Burrow, "The Reformation of the Household," Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History, ed. Brian Cummings and James Simpson (Oxford U. Press, 2010), 459-79.

(6) Francis Bacon, "The Historie of the raigne of King Henry the seventh" and Other Works of the 1620s, ed. Michael Kiernan (Oxford U. Press, 2012), lx, cix-xv.

(7) Bacon, "Historie of the raigne," 184.

(8) Peter Lake and Steven Pincus, "Rethinking the Public Sphere in Early Modern England," The Politics of the Public Sphere in Early Modern England, ed. Peter Lake and Steven Pincus (Manchester U. Press, 2007), 1-30, earlier printed in Journal of British Studies 45 (2006): 270-92; Lena Cowen Orlin, Locating Privacy in Tudor London (Oxford U. Press, 2007), 10; Benjamin Kohlmann, '"Men of Sobriety and Buisnes': Pepys, Privacy and Public Duty," RES 61 (2010): 553-71.

(9) This episode in Bacon's career has earlier been considered by Alan Stewart, "Bribery, Buggery, and the Fall of Lord Chancellor Bacon," Rhetoric and Law in Early Modern England, ed. Victoria Kahn and Lorna Hutson (Yale U. Press, 2001), 125-42, to parts of which my argument runs independently in parallel.

(10) See Paul E. J. Hammer, '"The Smiling Crocodile: The Earl of Essex and Late Elizabethan 'Popularity,'" Lake and Pincus, Politics of the Public Sphere, 95-115; and Jeffrey S. Doty, "Shakespeare's Richard 11, 'Popularity,' and the Early Modern Public Sphere," Shakespeare Quarterly 61 (2010): 193-205.

(11) A full bibliography of work in the field to 2008 can be found in Gary Schneider, "Libelous Letters in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England," MP 97 (2008): 475-509; Early Stuart Libels: An Edition of Poetry from Manuscript Sources, ed. Alastair Bellany and Andrew McRae, Early Modern Literary Studies, Text Series 1(2005), texts/libels/, from which source I quote unless specifics of the manuscript witnesses are material to my argument. Subsequent citations are parenthetic.

(12) Richard Cust, "Prince Charles and the Second Session of the 1621 Parliament," English Historical Review 122 (2007): 427-41.

(13) John Aubrey, Brief Lives, ed. John Buchanan-Brown and Michael Hunter (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2000), 29.

(14) This argument is pursued further in Andrew Gordon, "The Act of Libel: Conscripting Civic Space in Early Modern England," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32 (2002): 375-97.

(15) The nuances of these polarities are well explored by Jardine and Stewart, Hostage to Fortune, 444-69; on the difficulties of definition and anachronism in writing about relations between men in this period, see Paul Hammond, Figuring Sex Between Men from Shakespeare to Rochester (Oxford U. Press, 2002), 5-61.

(16) See ODNB; and, on these appointments and the uses of poetry in Lewis's career, see Tom Lockwood, "Poetry, Patronage and Cultural Agency: The Career of William Lewis," The Cultural Agency of Early Modern Chaplains: Literature, Patronage and Religion, ed. Hugh Adlington, Tom Lockwood, and Gillian Wright (Manchester U. Press, forthcoming).

(17) The newly identified manuscripts are Beinecke Osborn MS fb.23, p.269; Beinecke Osborn MS b.200, p.19; Leicestershire Record Office, MS DG7 Lit2, fol. 323r (I am grateful to Peter Redford for this reference); and Pierpoint Morgan Library, MS MA 1057, p.55. One manuscript needs also to be removed from Bellany and McRaes list: British Library MS Harley 6917, which at fol. 10lr contains a poem not on Bacon but instead "To V: S: this melon when she awakes" ('When you awake, who find before your view").

(18) For instance: the shared description of Lewis's poem as a "foolish invective" in British Library MS Harley 3910 and Add. MS 25303, noted by Bellany and McRae, arises because Add. MS 25303 was transcribed from MS Harley 3910, the omission markers used by the scribe of the earlier manuscript having been incorrectly interpreted by the later scribe.

(19) An Advertisement Touching the Controveries of the Church of England in Spedding, Letters and Life, l:78n, quoting a variant from BL MS Add. 4263.

(20) Martin Dzelzainis, "'The Feminine part of every Rebellion': Francis Bacon on Sedition and Libel, and the Beginning of Ideology," Huntington Library Quarterly 69 (2006): 139-52.

(21) National Archives, SP 12/235/81, fols 178r-179r, quoted from Kenneth Cardwell, "An Overlooked Tract by Francis Bacon," Huntington Library Quarterly 65 (2002): 421-33.

(22) I owe this correction to PQ's anonymous reader.

(23) William Rawley, ed., Resuscitatio; or, Bringing into Publick Light Severall Pieces of the Work ... Of ... Francis Bacon (London: 1657), 106, quoted by Dzelzainis, "'The Feminine part,"' 143.

(24) Cardwell, "Overlooked Tract," 433.

(25) Arthur F. Marotti, Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric (Cornell U. Press, 1995), 105.

(26) Andrew McRae, Literature, Satire and the Early Stuart State (Cambridge U. Press, 2004), 136-37.

(27) Wallace Notestein, F. H. Relf and H. Simpson, ed., Commons Debates, 1621 (Yale U. Press, 1935), q.v.

(28) A transcription of this version follows as an Appendix.

(29) Tom Lockwood, "'All Hayle to Hatfeild': A New Series of Country House Poems from Leeds University Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 44 (with text)," ELR, 38 (2008): 270-303; reprinted in the Fortieth Anniversary Virtual Issue of ELR (2012).

(30) An account of transcription conventions is included in the Appendix; lines 141-45 here include and transpose a couplet that is lines 153-54 of the received text in Early Stuart Libels.

(31) Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and Their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Clarendon Press, 1998), 109-46.

(32) Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, ed., Michael Kiernan (Oxford U. Press, 2000), 10-11.

(33) Bacon, Advancement, 7.

(34) Bacon, Advancement, 9.

(35) Bacon, Advancement, 211-12.

(36) In "To My Lord Chancellor" (1662), John Dryden uses the phrase "emp'ric politicians" (line 67), linking the elements of Lewis's poem again; I am grateful to Paul Hammond for this reference.

(37) Francis Bacon, Apologie in certaine imputations concerning the late Earle of Essex (London: 1604), D4r-v; I owe this and the following example to Angus Vine.

(38) Francis Bacon, Philosophical Studies, C.1611-C.1619,ed. Graham Rees (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), xxvii, 2-3.

(39) Bacon, "Historic of the raigne" lxxiv-lxxviii.

(40) Bacon, Advancement, lviii.

(41) Spedding, Letters and Life, 3:300-1.

(42) Bacon, Advancement, lviii.

(43) "An Account of all the Lord Bacons Works" in Thomas Tenison, ed., Baconiana; or Certaine Genuine Remains of Sir Francis Bacon (London: 1679), 26.

(44) Aubrey, Brief Lives, 34-35.

(45) Alan G. R. Smith, "The Secretariat of the Cecils, circa 1580-1612," English Historical Review 83 (1968): 481-504; P. E. J. Hammer, "The Uses of Scholarship: The Secretariat of Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, c. 1585-1601," English Historical Review 109 (1994): 26-51, questioned importantly in some points of detail by Gabriel Heaton, Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments from George Gascoigne to Ben Jonson (Oxford U. Press, 2010), 84-85.

(46) Christopher Burlinson and Andrew Zurcher, '"Secretary to the Lord Grey Lord Deputy Here': Edmund Spenser's Irish Papers," The Library, 7th ser., 6 (2005): 30-69; Edmund Spenser, Selected Letters and Other Papers, ed. Christopher Burlinson and Andrew Zurcher (Oxford U. Press, 2009).

(47) Rawley, Resuscitatio, alr; see further Angus Vine, '"His Lordships First, and Last, Chapleine': William Rawley and Francis Bacon," Adlington, Lockwood, and Wright, Early Modern Chaplains.

(48) Peter Beal, Index of English Literary Manuscripts, Volume One: 1450-1625,2pts. (London: Mansell, 1980), i:19, gives a compact summary.

(49) Rawley, Resuscitatio, alr-v.

(50) Angus Vine, "Francis Bacon's Composition Books," Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 14 (2008): 1-32.

(51) Angus Vine, "A New Version of Bacons Apologie: MS. Rawl. D. 672," Bodleian Library Record, 20 (2007): 118-37.

(52) Acts of the Privy Council, 1619-1621 (London: HMSO, 1930), 378.

(53) Spedding, Letters and Life, 7:242-45.

(54) Bodleian MS Rawl. Poet. B. 151.

(55) Kenneth Fincham, "Expansion and Retrenchment," Oriel College: A History, ed. Jeremy Catto (Oxford U. Press, forthcoming).

(56) John Walker, An Attempt Towards Recovering an Account of the Numbers and Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England, 2 pts. in 1 (London: 1714), 2:77.

(57) William Lamont, "Prynne, William (1600-1669)," ODNB,; W. Prynne, Canterburies Doome (London: 1646), "The Table," C2v.

(58) Early Stuart Libels, Mii10; British Library Harley MS 3910, fol.10v.

(59) Early Stuart Libels Mii9; Huntington MS HM 198, 1.134-36.
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Date:Jan 1, 2012
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