Secrets of the Virgin Queen – Part 2

In Secrets of the Virgin Queen – Part 1, I cover the evidence that Queen Elizabeth I of England – popularly known as the Virgin Queen – wasn’t actually a virgin, and had an illegitimate son by Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester – namely, Arthur Dudley.

In this post, I will cover how famous philosopher Sir Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban was not the biological son of his official parents – Lord Nicholas and Lady Anne Bacon (nee Cooke) – and quite likely the biological son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley.

All this information is taken from

Here is a quote from the 1895 edition of the 16th volume of the Dictionary of National Biography:

“Whatever were the Queen’s relations with Dudley before his wife’s death, they became closer after. It was reported that she was formally betrothed to him, and that she had secretly married him in Lord Pembroke’s house, and that she was a mother already.”

“In 1562 the reports that Elizabeth had children by Dudley were revived. One Robert Brooks, of Devizes, was sent to prison for publishing the slander, and seven years later a man named Marsham, of Norwich, was punished for the same offence.”

Very interesting.

Francis’ mother, Lady Anne, wrote in a letter to her husband in 1593: “…it is not my meaning to treat him {Francis} as a ward: Such a word is far from my Motherly feeling for him. I mean to do him good.”  This is one of the most direct evidences yet that Francis was adopted.

(Remember that Lady Anne Bacon was chief Lady-In-Waiting to Elizabeth I, and a close confidant.)

Bacon’s chaplain, secretary, confidant and friend Dr Rawley wrote of him:

“Francis Bacon, the Glory of his Age and Nation, the Adorner and Ornament of Learning, was born in York-House or York-Place in the Strand.”

What’s so significant about that statement?  Oh, nothing… except that while York House was Lord Bacon’s residence, York Place was the personal residence of Elizabeth I and several other English monarchs.

Google “York Place”, and you’ll come up with heaps of results about the now-former Royal Palace, later known as Whitehall.

How the heck did Bacon’s personal SECRETARY “accidentally” name the Queen’s private home as his birth place?  Unless this was a subtle clue most people would overlook?

It’s worth noting that he wrote the phrase York House or York Place in italics, as if to draw the reader’s attention to this detail.

It’s also known that the Queen WAS in York Place at the time of Francis’ birth – January 1561 – and had no public engagements or other official activities at the time.

The first official biography of Bacon – published in 1631 – contained this EXTREMELY revealing statement:

“He was born to the Purple and brought up with the expectation of a great career. He employed several years of his youth in travelling France, Italy, and Spain. He saw himself destined one day to hold in his hand, the Helm of the Kingdom.”

That is ONLY the description of a Monarch’s son – specifically, a LEGITIMATE monarch’s son, a PRINCE.

And this was in Bacon’s first official biography!

Really, does it get any more blatant?!

The rumours of the Queen’s alleged secret marriage to Dudley suddenly look possible – and even more so the rumour that Bacon was their son.

And then there’s Lady Anne’s incomplete statement about Francis in a letter:

“He was his Father’s First Chi…”

Despite attempts to claim the incomplete word is “choice” – clearly wrong – it looks much more like the word “child”.


HOWEVER – if he were Dudley’s child, then that statement becomes completely accurate.


An equally significant fact now comes to light. The child [Francis Bacon] is registered as “MR. Franciscus Bacon” in the Church at St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, London. The actual entry is on the first page in the book and runs :

“1560, 25 Januarie Baptizatus fuit Mr. Franciscus Bacon.”

Someone in a different handwriting, written a little later in paler ink, has added :

“filius Dm Nicho : Bacon Magni Anglie Sigilli Custodis.”

Now why was the babe registered as “MR.”? It was contrary to all customs of registration. Would his actual parents– if they were really Sir and Lady Nicholas–be likely to dignify a few hours’ old baby with the title of “MR.”? Sir Nicholas never designated his three baby sons by a former wife as “Mr. Nicholas”, “Mr. Nathaniel”, “Mr. Edward.” Nor did he describe his boy born two years previously to Lady Ann as “Mr. Anthony.” It is impossible to think that such a prefix would ever have occurred to them had he been their own child. It is similarly unreasonable to suppose that a nurse or a messenger would do so without specific authorization. It is, on the contrary, easily understandable that if Francis Bacon were really a young Prince, his foster parents would seek to dignify the babe in the only way they could, by giving him an extraordinary title as a covert mark of respect.

It is equally significant that the entry is made, apparently, in the first instance, without the name of the parent being declared. It is only later in the day, and by a different hand, that someone had added, “son of Nicholas Bacon.” The “Mr.” was deliberately interpolated for a purpose….for some good reason, and no historian has hitherto arisen to tell us the why an the wherefore.


A comtemporary indicates that Sir Nicholas Bacon was a Foster-Father only by the following enigmatical sentence :

“He (Sir Nicholas Bacon) was the Lord Keeper of England and a Father to Francis Bacon.”

We thus know that he was not THE father of Francis, but “A father”, i.e. he acted towards the child Francis as a father.

A further piece of evidence is given by Mme. D von Kunow in her work, p.13 :

“In the family Genealogy of Nicholas Bacon, Francis was never entered.”

This deliberate omission provides very strong positive evidence that Francis Bacon was never regarded as having sprung from the loins of the Bacons. It is a recorded act of omission tantamount to saying :

“He is not our child….He is not of our Line…We were foster-parents only.”

On what other grounds could his name be left out of the family tree? It could not be the result of carelessness. It was a studied act. Taken in conjunction with the foregoing, the last act of Sir Nicholas is equally significant in witnessing the truth of the secret birth as his first act when he registered the baby “Mr. Francis”. Despite repeated tokens of warm affection for Francis, Sir Nicholas made a detailed and elaborate Will, in which he provided freely and handsomely for all his dependants EXCEPT YOUNG FRANCIS. He is not left a single half-penny. ” He left nothing to Francis,” says P. Woodward, a solicitor. “I obtained a copy of the WILL from Somerset House.” (The Early Life of F.B., p. 19)

Is not this act very direct proof that he did not regard the boy as his physical child? Why should Sir Nicholas have left his “SON” (?) penniless? There is no clear answer save one : Sir Nicholas believed that the young aristocrat would naturally succeed to riches from another source, and that hs expectations lay elsewhere.

Right throughout, the facts shape themselves exactly as we should expect them to do, if Francis Bacon were, in reality, a Tudor Prince placed with foster parents as a concealed love-child.

Two years after Francis was born, Sir Nicholas Bacon was commanded by the Queen to build a mansion in Gorhambury, St. Albans……….

And in case anyone doubts the “a father” reference: can you imagine describing Queen Elizabeth II as “Queen of the United Kingdom and a mother to Prince Charles”?

Didn’t think so.

And it’s worth noting that while Francis Bacon bore no resemblance to his official parents, he DID bear a resemblance to the Queen.

Image result for elizabeth i francis bacon look alike

Image result for elizabeth i

On the removal of Sir Nicholas to Gorhambury, we find the Queen gravitating there year after year….from 1565 to 1578. Robert Dudley had been made the Earl of Leicester in 1564 and always accompanied her. She holds her Court only a short distance away, at the home of Lord Burleigh. These two places–fifteen miles apart–were amongst the Queen’s summer residences. As she regularly visited the home of Sir Nicholas, it may be fairly be said, without any undue straining, that “she secretly watched, supervised and inspired his education,” quite uncertain as to the best course to pursue regarding his future. He remained a concealed child by a morganatic marriage?

According to Dr. Rawley, he was introduced early to Court (Resuscitatio, p. 2) :

“His first and Childish years were not without some Mark of Eminency…Pregnant of Wit……Presages of that deep and universal apprehension which was manifest in him afterwards, and caused him to be taken notice of by several Persons of Worth and Place, and especially by the Queen, who, as I have been informed, delighted much to confer with him, and to prove him with questions.
“Her Majesty would often term him, ‘The Young Lord Keeper.’
Once being asked by the Queen how old he was, he answered with much discretion, being but a boy, That he was two years younger than Her Majesty’s happy Reign : with which answer the Queen was much taken.”

(Francis, it is said, would then be about five years of age.)
There is no room for doubt that as a growing boy, Francis was often with the Queen at Gorhambury, at York House, at York Place (the Queen’s Palace) or at Lord Burleigh’s Mansion, the Prime Minister and Secretary of State, was. through the Bacon’s, nominal uncle to Francis. He had the most wonderful Palace and grounds in England. It was a stone’s throw away from from “The Temple”, Francis Bacon’s home.

A contemporary writer, Nicholls, “betrays curious interest in the frequency of the Queen’s visits” to Gorhambury. He traced many of them and left a record entitled, Progress of Queen Elizabeth.

A passage from the Duke of Norfolk’s Confession incidentally tells of a CHILD in the Queen’s Private Apartments:

“When the Court was at Guilford, I went unaware into the Queen’s Privy Chamber, and found Her Majesty sitting on the threshold of the door listening with one ear to a little child who was singing and playing on the lute to her, and with the other to Leicester who was kneeling by her side. Leicester rose and the Queen continued listening to the child.” (Strickland, p. 265)

Who was the CHILD? What was he or she doing in the Queen’s Privy Apartments with Leicester? The historians do not know. They do not even hazard a guess respecting the child’s identity : Or what the three were doing together on such terms of domestic intimacy?

Norfolk does not give the child’s name. He was then fighting for his life on a charge of treason, and dared not be too specific respecting something which he knew must be regarded as a State Secret, if the child were verifiably the Queen’s. The picture tells quite clearly the story of a father, mother and son, a happy family. Who else could the child be but Francis Bacon?–then about nine years of age. An echo of such happy rememberances is seen in Shake-speare’s Sonnets 9-viiii):

“Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling Sire, and Child, and Happy Mother,
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing.”

Three years later there is another little item of import. Parker Woodward says (Francis Bacon, p.9) that “at the age of twelve the Queen went specially to Gorhamabury, and a terra-cotta bust of the boy (which shows abnormal brain development) was made for the occasion.” No bust was sculptured for the eldest son, Anthony Bacon. It is at least singular that the youngest son (presumably) of Sir Nicholas should be thus honoured and the elder one disregarded.

“At the age of thirteen, following a visit of the Queen to Gorhambury House, Francis was sent…. to Cambridge University. He did not go to St. Bennet’s College, where Sir Nicholas had been educated, but to Trinity College, founded by Henry VIII, and visited by Leicester inn 1564.
“Here he was placed in charge of Whitgift, the Head of the College, who was made one of the Queen’s private Chaplains.” (Ibid., p. 9, Parker Woodward.)

The Queen Sends Francis to France

Francis returned from the University at the age of fifteen. He was entered at Gray’s Inn. He probably attended Court. Whether he did or not, he must have been in contact with the Queen, for we next learn that he is suddenly torn from his legal studies by the Queen and sent to France. We know he was sent away personally and directly by Elizabeth because he writes :

“I went with Sir Amyas Paulet into France from her Majesty’s Royal hand…. Since then I have made Her Majesty’s service the scope of my life.” Dr. Rawley, Resuscitatio, p. 73, 1671)

He again associates the Queen with his departure, so that there may be no mistake, in a letter to Cecil, 1594/5 :

“…….These one and twenty years, for so long it is that I kissed Her Majesty’s hands upon my journey into France.”

What were the circumstances which gave rise to this sudden departure? Why did the Queen send him hurriedly away for three years? There may be no direct answer to these questions from open records of history, but we can surmise that something of fateful import must have occurred.

Young noblemen who were going abroad never went ordinarily to kiss the Queen’s hand prior to departure. No other youth was sent to France directly “from Her Majesty’s hand.” No other youth was sent in the entourage of the Queen’s amabassador and given the entre’e to the French Court. The phrase is used that the reader may understand that “the hand is indicative of power”, and that he “went to France” as a consequence of “the Hand of Power.” He uses it, as he uses the word later, in the Felicities of Elizabeth : and “those whom she raised to honour she carried such a discrete Hand over them ….. that she remained in all things an Absolute Princess.” (Dr. Rawley, ibid, p.147)

“A Mr. Duncombe was sent with Francis as his tutor. Amyas Paulet was knighted and put in charge of Francis, and they crossed the Channel in Sept. In February of the following year, Sir Amyas Paulet succeeded Dr. Dale as Ambassador to France. They move along in attendance at the French Court, visiting Blois, Paris, Poictiers, and other places. ” (P. Woodward, Sir Francis Bacon, p. 12)

In the foregoing historical facts it is self-evident that there was some subtle connection between Queen Elizabeth and Francis Bacon that has not, as yet, been generally understood or recognized. Not only was he sent direct from under her hand, but the Queen raises a gentleman to knighthood and places the youth in his charge. It requires little detective instinct to surmise that Francis had discovered the secret of his birth, and that the Queen, not knowing what to do for the best, had resolved to send him abroad for a long stay.

In any case, Francis must still have been in touch with the Queen and the Court, for he returned to England in 1578– probably with despatches– and while he was here “the Queen’s private Court Limner, Hilyard, painted a miniature of him.” One was also painted about the same time of the Queen, by the same artist.
The fact that Hilyard paints both persons in a very similar style at the same time is strikingly evidential of kinship. No other youth of eighteen was similarly honoured by Elizabeth save one who later was known as “Robert Earl of Essex.”

Any impartial examination of the portraits of the Queen and Francis show similar characteristics of feature, which are exactly what we might expect from mother and son. It is unthinkable that the Queen would have allowed two such miniatures to have been painted had young Francis been a Bacon an not a Tudor. At that time, Elizabeth was undoubtedly proud of the youth’s mental attainments as evidenced by Hilyard who wrote round the portrait in Latin, “Could I but paint his mind.”

An examination of the portraits of the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex show the same facial characteristics. They look like father and son, just as the Hilyard portraits– posed from the same angle, once a follow-on of the other– look like mother and son. There is not the slightest resemblance between Francis and his foster parents.

While Francis was in France, Sir Nicholas died. He returns to England to find that his reputed father has provided for everyone of his dependants except himself. There had been no personal quarrel. It could not have been for want of heart. Nothing had eventuated that would have provided any ordinary motive for such pointed neglect.

The singular thing is that this penniless young aristocrat makes no complaint at such apparently harsh treatment. It is not even considered strange by Lady Bacon or Anthony Bacon. There is no mention of the matter in their letters; nor does Francis, later, when pressed for monies, ever seem to remember the omission as a grievance, as would ordianrily be the case. It is taken by the entire family of the Bacons as a matter of course and the proper thing. The only common-sense interpretation of the no-bequest enigma is that the family understood that Francis’s expectations lay elsewhere.

Penniless Francis As A “Queen’s Pensioner”The penniless youth resumes his studies at Gray’s Inn. Who provided for him? Who kept him? Who clothed him? Did Lady Bacon or the Queen?

Lady Bacon’s legacy could not have permitted her to do very much. Her letters show she provided him with certain foodstuffs of her own making and growing when he was in Chambers, but she does not appear to have provided him with an income. Yet an income he must have had from some source. From the age of twenty, Francis had nothing to live on, the Bacon family having no responsibility. How did he keep pace with the expenses of Gray’s Inn? And hold his own with the students, many the sons of wealthy noblemen?

The truth is that Francis Bacon became one of Her Majesty’s “Gentleman Pensioners”, though “name did not appear on the official list any more than George Puttenham’s.” (W. Begley, M.A., Resuscitatio, Vol. I, p. 102) He became “entirely a Pensioner on the Queen’s bounty” , says Parker Woodward. Putting it bluntly, he got an allowance from his mother the Queen.

This is proved clearly because of a letter he writes on the 15th October 1580 to the Secretary of State, his uncle, Lord Burleigh, to “present his more than humble thanks to the Queen for her princely liberality.” He also asks for some other favours which he had in mind.

Why should the Queen concern herself with the son of the late Lord Keeper, and make him a monetary allowance, if there were no tie between them? There is no other young aristocrat that she takes under her wing in such a peculiar fashion.

There is no one else who asks the Queen for favours at this time. Judging from the letters and records, Parker Woodward says :

“He had evidently been promised that something satisfactory should occur in the future, and that in the meantime he was to be considered in the Queen’s service and to have a satisfactory monetary allowance.” ( Early Life of F.B. , p. 29)

From various little hints and asides, it is certain that Francis in his twentieth year knew the secret of his parentage : that he was a concealed Prince of the House of Tudor. He seems to have taken his allowance from the Queen without any shamefacedness, as his natural right. And she is sufficiently independent to jeopardize, later his allowance by thwarting the Government, when had got into Parliament, rather than compromise with his conscience. The Queen is vexed. He is forbidden Court. His allowance is apparently stopped, for he gets into financial difficulties.

When he returned from France, he had no desire to study Law. He was therefore much perturbed at an order through Lord Burleigh, from the Queen obviously, that he was to enter Gray’s Inn. He even writes to Lord and Lady Burleigh pointing out how incongruos it is for a person in his position to be employed in studying the common law. He says :

“I do not understand how anyone well off or friended should be put to the study of the common law instead of studies of greater delight.”

Had Francis been the real son of a lawyer, it would have been impossible for him to feel it infra dig to study common law. As a Prince, though concealed, hoping would be publicly called to the Succession of the English Throne, he would naturally feel such drudgery to be a little beneath him. To ease his discontent, Burleigh procures him a dispensation from his compulsory attendance of “keeping Commons.” The entry, in Burleigh’s handwriting, is still to be seen in the records of Gray’s Inn. Is it not passing strange he should have declined to take his meals with the law students, barristers? Even six years later (1586), an order was again specially made, permitting him to take his meals at the Reader’s or Master’s table, although not entitled to by seniority. He passed over the heads of barristers and ancients, care having to be taken to reserve their rights to pension in view of his supercession.

When he attained twenty-one, it was decided to send him for a year’s travel abroad, according to the practice of the period for Prince’s and Noblemen’s sons. There are records which show that Lord Burleigh was interested in the best routes he had to travel.

These odd glimpses show the inter-relation between Francis, the Queen, and Lord Burleigh, the Queen’s private confidant and Secretary of State. There is a definite intertwining that would never have been possible or probable, had Francis Bacon been the son of Lady Bacon. Why should Lord Burleigh and the Queen have worried themselves about him at all unless there was a secret relationship between her and the youth?The fact that there was a secret bond is evidenced in numerous ways as the years pass, too numerous to deal with here.

When he was about twenty-four, he was elected Member of Parliament for Melcombe (1584). How did this young law student, without local influence, property or income, get into Parliament? He could only have been placed there, as Lord Burleigh’s nominee, by the powerful influence of the Queen. The difficulty of a penniless man obtaining a seat in the House of Commons is slurred over by all his orthodox biographers, who take it as a matter of course that he simply walked into Parliament. It cannot be done today and it certaintly could not be done in Elizabethan times. Men could not obtain such a distinction in those days without very powerful State influence. It is a distinguishable honour, and it would be difficult to explain ordinarily how he came to obtain it. It again indicates a connection between Francis and the Ruler of England. Without some strong motive it is impossible to see why the Queen or Burleigh should have taken more notice of Francis than any other youth. His great ability would not be a sufficient reason. He was undoubtedly the Government’s nominee. More likely than not, Burleigh, knowing that he was restless, got him into public life to keep him actively employed, to save him from nursing a grievance because he was not openly recognized as a Tudor.

Interestingly, in a letter to the Queen, Bacon self-describes as “one of the Natural and True-Bred Children of Unfeigned Affection“.

From the first link I gave:

For five years, from 1580 to 1585, Bacon continually petitioned the Queen and others, regarding his “suit.” Could this be recognition as the Queen’s son? In 1592 he wrote to his uncle Lord Burleigh (William Cecil) :

“My matter is an endless question. Her Majesty has, by set speech, more than once assured me of her intention to call me to her service; which I could not understand out of the place I had been named to. I do confess, primus amour, the first love will not easily be cast off.”

In another letter to Burleigh he wrote:

“I have been like a piece of stuff betoken in a shop.” Coming from a commoner, this would be regarded as gross impertinence. Another complaint was made about the Queen in a letter to Anthony Bacon: ” I receive so little thence, where I deserve the best.”

In 1584, at the age of 23, Bacon was made Member of Parliament for Melcombe Regis (Portland), a royal borough. In those days, M.P.’s were not paid. At the same time Bacon had no brief’s, as a barrister. Who paid his fees?

In 1593, while still poor, Bacon was given Twickenham Park, a villa with 87 acres of parkland, opposite the Queen’s Palace at Richmond. It was at this house that most of his great works were written.

During her lifetime, rumours about the Queen’s secret children were frequent, at times rampant.  Those who did openly suggest that Elizabeth Tudor wasn’t a virgin were often punished.

(The most notable of these was in 1581 when Henry Hawkins claimed that the Queen and Dudley had had 5 children together.)

It’s interesting that Bacon, after the ascension of Elizabeth’s cousin James I to the throne, wrote to him mentioning his “sacrifice”:

“not only to bring you peace- offerings, but to sacrifice himself a burnt-offering to your Majesty’s service.”

“I wish that I am the first, so I may be the last of sacrifices in your times.”

One of course wonders how Bacon was James’ “sacrifice” – especially since Bacon was knighted, made a peer, given his first full-time office, and even made Lord Chancellor by the new King – and why Bacon would write such a thing immediately after King James’ ascension – but if he was the Queen’s secret, possibly legitimate son, then that explains a lot.

It ALSO explains Queen Elizabeth I’s refusal to name an heir – and even forbid discussing a line of succession – throughout her reign.

And then there’s a house Bacon owned, which contains an inscription from towards the end of his stay there listing all the English monarchs from William the Conqueror to Charles I (James’ son and successor) – but between Elizabeth I and James I, there is an extra name scratched out; one that appears to start with an F.  Was this Bacon’s private frustration at being denied the throne?

Also interesting is that when Bacon was arrested (and put in the Tower of London) for bribery, he almost immediately wrote this extremely peremptory letter to the Duke of Buckingham (the de facto Prime Minister of England, and James I’s rumoured lover):

May 31, 1621

“Good my Lord,

Procure the warrant for my discharge this day. To die before the time of his Majesty’s grace, and in this disgraceful place, is even the worst that could be.”

How many politicians, when arrested for corruption, write to the Prime Minister/President/Whoever-the-Head-of-Government-Is demanding “Get me out today,” AND GETS OUT THAT DAY?  (Which is what happened to Bacon.)  One who held a secret that threatened the King, perhaps.

In his memoirs of Queen Elizabeth, Bacon calls her “a wife and a loving confederate.”  Here is an interesting examination of Bacon’s eulogy to her:

The following is another very interesting read on the subject:

24 thoughts on “Secrets of the Virgin Queen – Part 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s