Bacon Genealogy 1


The family is of very early origin, and while there are several versions as to the derivation of the name, I think the general opinion is that it originated from the Saxon word "baccen" or "buccen," meaning a beech tree. Burke's Peerage says that "Various conjectures have been hazarded as to the origin of the surname of Bacon, but to little purpose. It matters not, however; the antiquity of the family is beyond dispute; and there are few houses in the kingdom more distinguished for the production of great and eminent men." Lowers Patronymica Britannica says, "Bacon, A seignory in Normandy."

According to the genealogy of the great Suffolk family of Bacon, one Grimbald, a relative of the Norman chieftain William de Warenne, came into England at the time of the conquest and settled near Holt. His great-grandson is stated to have taken the name of Bacon. This was only an assumption of an ancient Norman surname which is still existing in the north of France. William Bacon, in 1082, endowed the Abbey of the Holy Trinity at Caen.

In "Family Names and their Story," published by S. Baring Gould, he says that Bacon comes from Bascoin, the family name of the Seigneurs of Molai. He speaks of William Bacon who founded the Abbey of the Holy Trinity as being Lord of Molai.

William Arthur, in his "Dictionary of Family and Christian Names," gives the origin of the name as from the Anglo Saxon bacan to bake, to dry by heat.


TOC | Index: A-Et Bacon | Eu-Li Bacon | Lo-V Bacon | W-Zu Bacon
Other Last Names: A-Dou | Dov-Man | Man-Ste | Sti-Zyx


He also says that some derive the surname from the Saxon baccen or buccen, a beech tree.

"The Baronetage of England," published in 1801 by the Rev. William Betham, says, regarding the name: "The learned Cambden, in his 'Britannia,' says that Buckinghamshire and Bucknam in Norfolk were so called from the buchen or beechen trees there growing ... and from thence it may be the surname of the family, being anciently written de Bachone or Bacchone as Trithemius; or Baucan or Baccoun, as Matthew Westminster, and some old records call them; as well as the word bacon, both in Latin and English, for swine's flesh, which Cambden, Verstegan and Minshew say came from the same word, because the best of that kind was made upon their feeding upon beechen mast."

As has been said, one Grimbald came from Normandy at the time of the conquest and settled at Letheringsete near Holt in the county of Norfolk where he had grants of land. He had three sons: Rudolf, who became the Lord of Letheringsete; Ranulf, and Edmund. The latter was appointed rector of the Church of Letheringsete, which was founded by his father. The son Ranulf, or Reynolds, resided at Thorp, Norfolk. It has been stated that he was the one who assumed the name Bacon or Bacon-Thorpe, but some authorities attribute this name to his son Roger. There were several places called Thorp in Norfolk, and he added this name to distinguish him from other lords of Thorp. The name Bacon having been said to have been taken from the word buchen or beechen, meaning beech tree, we might call him lord of the beech tree village. The word Thorp is said to have been the saxon name for village.

This family, as been said, produced a large num-



ber of eminent and learned men. Among the earliest of them was Roger Bacon, sometimes called Roger of the Black Art. He ws born in 1214, and few, if any, men in that century took higher rank than he. He wrote many works both scientific and philosophical, and in 1278 his works were condemned and he was imprisoned for fourteen years.

Another Bacon at a little later date was John Bacon, sometimes called Baconthorp from the name of the village where he was born. He became a learned monk and is known as The Resolute Doctor. He died in London in 1346.

Coming down to more recent times, we come to Sir Nicholas Bacon, who in the reign of Queen Elizabeth was lord keeper of the great seal. He was the first person to be created a baronet by James I. His [adopted] son wasFrancis Bacon, who in 1617 was appointed Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. In 1618 Francis was made Lord High Chancellor of England and the same year was created Baron Verulam and Viscount of St. Albans.

These Bacons were not in a direct line with our Michael, but are mentioned as illustrations of the noted position held by this family.

"The Baronetage of England," by Kimber and Johnson, speaking of this family, says: "Of this name there have been many persons of great account in former ages; but that particular family, of which we are now to treat, derive their descent from Grimbaldus who came into England at the time of the Norman conquest in company with William Earl Warren to whom he was related, which Grimbaldus had lands in Normandy, and after his arrival in England settled at Letheringsett near Holt in Norfolk, where he founded


TOC | Index: A-Et Bacon | Eu-Li Bacon | Lo-V Bacon | W-Zu Bacon
Other Last Names: A-Dou | Dov-Man | Man-Ste | Sti-Zyx


the church and made his second son Edmund parson of it. His other sons were Radulph [sic] and Ranulf.

Roger, the son of Ranulph, was father of Robert, the first of the family we find mentioned by the name of Bacon, whose brother, William Bacon, was of Monks Bradfield in the county of Suffolk temp. Ric. I, which William is taken notice of among the knights bearing banners as well Normans as of other provinces in the reign of King Philip II of France; and by a daughter of Thomas Lord Bardolph was father of another William of the same place, whose son Adam lived in the time of Edw. I and left two sons, Wido Bacon of Bradfield, aforesaid, who died without issue, and Robert Bacon of Hessett, alias Hegesett, in the said county.

The said Robert by Alice, his wife, daughter of Burgate, has issue John Bacon of Hesset and Bradfield who was father of John Bacon, and he of another John of the same place, who married Helena, daughter of _____ Gedding and by her left a son of his own name, married (first), Helena, daughter of Sir George Tillot of Rougham, in Norfolk, Knt; and (secondly), Julia, daughter of _____ Bardwell, from which second marriage proceeded the Bacons of Hesset, who flourished there five hundred years and have not been extinct a century.

John, son of the said John Bacon (by Helena, his first wife) married Margery, daughter and heir of John Thorp, son of William Thorp (by the daughter and heir of _____ Quaplod), son of Sir William Thorp (by the daughter and heir of Sir Roger Bacon, a commander in the wars, temp. Edw. II and Edw. III son of Sir Henry Bacon, son of another Sir Henry, a judge itinerant temp. Hen. III lineally descended from Grimbaldus), since which marriage of this branch of the family



quarter the arms of Quaplod with their own, viz., Barrs of six or and Azure and Bend Gules.

The said John Bacon was father of Edmund Bacon of Drinkston, who married Elizabeth, daughter of _____ Crofts, by whom he had issue John Bacon who married Agnes, daughter of Thomas Cockfield, and had issue Robert Bacon of Drinkston."

This authority then goes on to tell of the descendants of Robert Bacon, and it is from this line that are descended not only Sir Francis, but also Nathaniel Bacon of the Virginia Rebellion, and the Bacons who settled on Cape Cod, as well as those who came to Hingham.

In a genealogy of the Cleveland family compiled by Edmund James Cleveland and Horace Gillette Cleveland there is a notice of the Bacon ancestry, from which I take the following extract:

"Bacon ancestry. Grimbaldus, the patriarch of the Bacon family, a Norman gentleman came to Eng. 1066 with and was related to William de Warren, Earl Surrey, was of Letheringsete, Norfolk co[ounty] had sons, Randulph, Edmund (who each took the name of his abode thus, Ranulph de Laringsete) and Ranulf, Reynold or Ralph, who was of Thorpe, Norf. and took name Ralph de Bacons-thorpe (Becuns Thorp, Beechtree village), was founder of this illustrious family was father of Roger (whose s. Robert assumed the name Bacon) and of George whose s. Roger was progenitor of Bacons of Drinkston and Hessett, Suffolk co[unty] ...[sic] John Bacon of H.m. Cecilly Hoo or How and had John who m. Hellen Gedding, whose s. John m. 1st Hellena Tillotts da[ughter]. Sir Geroge of Rougham and had John who m. Margery Thorpe da. of John (s. of William by w. Margaret Quapladde) s. of Sir William Thorpe by w. Beatrix Bacon da. of Sir Roger Bacon12 (Sir Henry11 m. Margaret Ludham, Sir Henry10, Richard9, Reginald8, Richard7, Reginald6, Robert5, Roger4, George3, Ralph2, Grimbald1) commander in the wars temp. Edw. II and III, and had Edmund of Drinst, father of John, who m. Agnes Cokefield, whose s. Robert


TOC | Index: A-Et Bacon | Eu-Li Bacon | Lo-V Bacon | W-Zu Bacon
Other Last Names: A-Dou | Dov-Man | Man-Ste | Sti-Zyx


m. Isabella Cage, da. John and had Sir Nicholas (father of Lord Francis b. London, Jan. 22, 1561, Baron Verulam Hertford Co. and Viscount St. Albans) and Alderman James of London the ancestor of Nathaniel of Virginia, 1670."

Mrs. Eliza Buckingham Bacon of New Haven has been much interested in and has given much study to the antiquity of the Bacon family and has had printed a chart showing the line of the early Bacons. To help in making clear what has already been said concerning the Bacons, a copy of the chart has been inserted here. Mr. Alexander S. Bacon of New York, who traces his ancestry back to John, son of Edmund of Drinkston, but who is not of the line of Michael, has a chart prepared by Mr. Anjou, a genealogist, and also has his genealogical line written by the same party. From this genealogy I have obtained the following items regarding marriages of some of these early Bacons. Agnes Cokefield, the wife of John, was daughter of Thomas Cokefield. Their son Robert married Isabella, daughter of John Cage of Perkenham, Co. Suffolk. This Robert was father of James Bacon, an alderman of London, who married Mary, daughter of John Gardner of Grove, Buck. He married second, Margaret, daughter of William Rawline, a grocer, and widow of Richard Goldston of London, a salter. This Alderman James had two sons, one of whom was Sir James of Freston Suffolk, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Bacon of Hesset and Ann Drury. He was the great-grandfather of Nathaniel Bacon, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Drake, and emigrated to Virginia and was the Bacon of Bacon's Rebellion. Sir James was father of Rev. James who married Martha Honeywood and emigrated to Hingham, but returned to England and died there. This




(unnumbered page)
[Note: Reverse side of this folio is blank.]


James was father of Col. Nathaniel Bacon, who was Governor of Virginia.

William Bacon, brother of Sir James, married Margaret Pepper, daughter of Samuel Pepper and Mercy, June 4, 1598, and their grandchildren Nathaniel, Samuel and Elizabeth emigrated to New England and settled at Barnstable and are the ancestors of the Bacons of Cape Cod.

Text and illustration insertion between horizontal rules: June, 1999.

Bacon Coat of Arms found in the frontispiece of "Instauratio Magna," Sir Francis Bacon's masterpiece of 1620      Bacon Coat of Arms      Another Bacon CoA

    These depictions of the Bacon Coat of Arms did not appear in the original Baldwin text of 1915. The Coat of Arms on the left appears in the frontispiece of Sir Francis Bacon's Instauratio Magna of 1620, published just twenty years before Michael's immigration to Dedham. The two on the right are more contenporary graphic representations. The center one is of unknown origin; on the right from an on-line collection called Designs of Wonder. Yet another modern depiction appears here. Compare each of them to the original blazon (descriptive text) granted to Sir Nicholas dated February 22, 1568 reproduced on p.9ff.
    It should be noted that these arms (left) were "grant[ed] unto the said Sir Nicholas Bacon Kt, and to his posterity forever, &c.&c." Michael Bacon of Dedham is not a descendant of Sir Nicholas Bacon. -----GFB

The subject of a coat of arms of the family it may be of interest to take up here. After some investigation and examination of evidence, it seems to me that the early Bacons, several generations back of Michael, had the right to a coat of arms, but I have not seen any representation of any that I could authoritatively say was theirs. In 1568 a grant of a coat of arms was made to Sir Nicholas Bacon, father of Lord Francis. From this grant, an extract from which is given in Betham's Barnetage of England, it will be seen that the officials conferring it were of the opinion that the ancestors of Sir Nicholas, who also were the ancestors of Michael, had the right to a coat of arms. The extract from the grant above alluded to runs as follows:

"To all and singular as well nobels and gentils as others, to whom these presentes shall come, be seen, read, heard or understande, we, Sir Gilbert Dethick Kt. alias Garter Principall King at Arms; Robert Cook, Esq, alias Clarencieux King of Arms, of the south partes of Englonde; and William Flower, Esq. alias Norroy King of Arms, of the north partes of Englonde, beyond the river of Trent, send greeting, &c. Forasmuch as aunciently, &c., (in common form) emongest the number whereof, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Kt, lord keeper of the great seal of Englonde, being one of the bearers of these tokens of honour, to witte, of arms with heaulme, mantells, force and crest, and yet not mind to bear, use or shew forth any other than such as he lawfully may, hath required us, the said king of arms, to make search for the auncient


TOC | Index: A-Et Bacon | Eu-Li Bacon | Lo-V Bacon | W-Zu Bacon
Other Last Names: A-Dou | Dov-Man | Man-Ste | Sti-Zyx


arms belonging unto him from his auncestors, and to that name and family whereof he is descended, at whose suit and request we have not only diligently sought in the registers and records of our office remaining in the College of Heraultes, kept and holden at Derbie Place within the city of London, but also examined his old writings, and certain books sometimes appertaining to the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, in the countie of Suffolk, together with diverse coppies of records remaining in the Tower of London shewed unto us in our said office, by John Hunte of Little Bradley in the countie of Suffolk, one of the gentlemen ushers to the said lord keeper and by exact trial thereof we do find the said Sir Nicholas Bacon Kt, is the second son of Robert Bacon late of Drinkston, in the said countie of Suffolk, Gent, which Robert was son and heir of John Bacon, son and heir of John Bacon, son and heir of Walter Bacon of Drinkstone aforesaid, son and heir of Robert Bacon who lived in the times of King Henry IV and King Henry V and was high sheriffe of Norfolk and Suffolk in the fift year of the reign of King Henry IV aforesaid, which Robert Bacon was son and heir of Henry Bacon, son and heir of Adam Bacon, son and heir of John Bacon, Kt, second son of Sir Edmund Bacon, Kt and heir to dame Margery; the second wife of the said Sir Edmund Bacon, daughter and heir of Robert Quapladde, Esq., which Sir Edmund was son and heir of William Bacon, Esq., who lived in the time of the reign of King Edward II, and so finding by disentes the antiquities of his ancestors, we could not without the great prejudice of him and his posterity, but accordingly assign unto him and them, all those arms descended unto him and them for his and their ancestors, as doth and may appear by the descent and declaration before specified, that is to say, that he and they may bear two several coates of arms quarterly as followeth:---

[Again, these graphics did not appear in the Baldwin text.]

The first for Bacon, gules on a chief silver, two mullets sables. The second for Quapladde Barrey of six pieces, gold and azure, a bend gules. And for as much as there can be no certain proof made of any crest or cognisance belonging or appertaining to the said armes (as to very many ancient coat of armes there is none) we, the said Kings of Armes by power and authoritie to us committed, and also with the consent of the high and mighty Prince Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, Erle Marechall of Englonde, have assigned, given and granted unto the aforesaid Sir Nicholas



Bacon Kt lord keeper of the great seal of England, to these his ancient armes a creast due and lawful to be borne, that is to say, on a force silver and gules, a bore passant, ermine mantely'd asure doubled gold, as more playnly appeareth depicted in the margent, which armes and creast, and every part and parcell thereof we, the said Kings of Arms do by these presentes ratify confirm give and grant unto the said Sir Nicholas Bacon Kt, and to his posterity forever, &c.&c.

In witness &c Feb. 22, 1568
G. Dethick, alias Garter Principall King of Armes
Robert Cooke, alias Clarencieux Roy D'Armes
P. Moy William Flower alias Norroy Roy D'Armes."

In reading this extract it will be seen that the line of ancestry given of Sir Nicholas does not agree with that in the chart of Mrs. Bacon, which is inserted in this book. In the same book from which I have quoted the above extract is printed a table of the family of Bacon from Grimbaldus to Robert, father of Sir Nicholas, and this table, with the exception of one or two of the earlier generations, is in accord with Mrs. Bacon's chart. The following footnote is appended to the table in the book:

"This table is taken from that drawn up by John Whiting of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Temp Car. II and since followed by Wotton and others; and though it does not perfectly agree with that mentioned in the grant to Sir Nicholas Bacon it deseres considerable credit, as many quotations might be made from our most ancient writers, and particularly from Weever's Monuments, wherein there is mention made of many of the family."

The two books which have been here alluded to, viz., "The Baronetage of England," by Rev. William Betham, published in 1801, and "The Baronetage of England," by Kimber and Johnson, published in 1771, both contain extended accounts of the family, not only


TOC | Index: A-Et Bacon | Eu-Li Bacon | Lo-V Bacon | W-Zu Bacon
Other Last Names: A-Dou | Dov-Man | Man-Ste | Sti-Zyx


of the early ones, but also of the later ones who remained in England.

From the chart it will be seen that John Bacon, son of Edmund, had, in addition to a son Robert, who has been spoken of, sons John, Thomas, Henry and William. Thomas, the ancestor of Michael of Dedham, was of Helmingham, Norfolk Co. His will was proved at Helmingham Feb. 28, 1535, and is here given.


"In the name of god Amen I Thomas Bakon of Helmynghm in th dioc of Norwich hole of minde & goode off remembraunce being the last daye off Julye in the yere of our lord god th MCCCCC XXX IIIIth do ordeyne & make this my prsent testament & Last will in the manr & fourme folowing. Rvokyng & dyssannullying all other testaments & wills by me afore this tyme made. ffirst I comend & bequeth my soule to allmyghtie god to our Lady saynt Marye & to all the sayntts in Hevyn & my body to be buryede in the church yarde of the said Helmynghm. To the which high Aulter of the saide church of Helmynghm for my tythes & offeryngs forgotten & negligentlye payed I bequeth iiis iiiid. And to the high Aulter of the prsh church of Ashbakkyng xiid. And to the high Aulter of the prsh church of Otleye other xiid. Itm I will that myn executors of John my son shall dystrybute & geve to all people att my buriall ther beyng present praying for my soule & for all Crystian souls pennye dole, mette & drynke. Itm I will that Johan my wyff shall have all thos my lands & tentts aswell Arabyll as pasture & medows wt all th apprtenances both free & copye sytting & lyeng in Helmngham, Otley, Wynston & Pethawe. To have & to hold all the prmisses aforesaide to the said Johan my wyff & to her assynes all the terme of hyr lyff naturall & to Myclmas after hyr decease except all those my land & tentts that shall remayne to the said John my son as here aftr shal be declared. And after the decease of the said Johan my wyff & the ffest of Mychallmasse aftr that Then I will that my tents callyed Julkyngs & Stoldyngs wt th apprtenances in Helmynghm shall remayn to Thomas Bakon my son. To have & to hold the said Tentts callyed Julkyns & Stoldyngs to the said


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