RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoMS 647-662
Extent16 volumes
TitleBacon, Anthony (1558-1601)
DescriptionPapers of Anthony Bacon, son of Sir Nicholas Bacon and his second wife Ann, daughter of Sir Anthony Cook. The papers are primarily concerned either with his official duties or with family matters, and are most numerous from 1591. There are in addition a small number of papers from earlier years in MS. 647.
ArrangementThe items in each volume were numbered in the 18th century, but have been foliated and the references in the catalogue are to the foliation.
FindingAidsCatalogue descriptions based on E.G.W. Bill, 'Index to the papers of Anthony Bacon (1558-1601) in Lambeth Palace Library (MSS. 647-662)' (1974).
PhysicalDescriptionThe manuscripts were bound in volumes also in the 18th century, but sustained considerable damage in use subsequently and were completely repaired and rebound in 1969-71.
AdminHistoryIn 1593 Bacon entered the service of Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, and became his private secretary for foreign affairs.
AcquisitionIt is probable that the Bacon Papers reached Lambeth through Archbishop Tenison, a friend of William Rawley, the son of Francis Bacon's chaplain. The collection was described and the present manuscript numbers were assigned in David Wilkins' unpublished Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library dated 1720 (Library Records F. 40).

On the provenance of MS 2086:
Thomas Birch states that Rawley's executor, John Rawley, 'put into the hands of his friend Dr. Tenison these papers of Lord Bacon, which composed the 'Baconiana' ', with other Bacon Papers now Lambeth MSS. 647-62 (preface to 'Letters of Francis Bacon', 1763). The manuscript (which appears to have been numbered as MS. 1034 'Miscellaneous collections temp. Jac. I and Car. I') subsequently disappeared and was rediscovered in the library in 1967, when a new number (MS. 2086) was allocated to it.
CopiesMicropublication of the Bacon Papers is available from World Microfilms Publications. Copies of the microfilms may be available in other libraries.

Copies are also available from the British Library Microform Research Collections:

Lambeth Palace Library microfilm: MS Film 792-800.

Access to the Bacon papers is also available by subscription from Adam Matthew Digital:
RelatedMaterialThe papers of Francis Bacon (MS. 936) in the library were acquired from the same source although they did not enter the library, according to Thomas Birch's preface in his edition of the 'Letters of Francis Bacon', until 1748 [amongst the 'Gibson papers' deriving from the personal papers and collections of Archbishop Tenison]. A manuscript of William Rawley the elder (MS. 2086) probably formed part of the 'undigested bundles', as Birch described them, which comprised this second deposit of Bacon Papers.
Also: British Library, Manuscript Collections; Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.
PublnNoteThe papers of Anthony Bacon were extensively used by Birch in 'Memoirs of the reign of Queen Elizabeth', 1754, and an index of them by him was presented to the library on the completion of this work (MS. 1117).

'The Letters of Lady Anne Bacon' edited by Gemma Allen (Camden Fifth Series, volume 44) [KA20.C2].

Marion E. Colthorpe, 'The Elizabethan Court Day by Day', available online:

W. Tosh, "Testimonies of Affection and Dispatches of Intelligence: The Letters of Anthony Bacon" (PhD thesis, Queen Mary, University of London, 2014) and his 'Male Friendship and Testimonies of Love in Shakespeare’s England' (2016) include substantial quotations from the Bacon letters.

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
GB/109/14512Bacon; Anthony (1558-1601); diplomat and spy1558-1601
GB/109/21741Birch; Thomas (1705-1766); historian1705-1766
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