Since its founding in 1886 this Literary Society has been voluntarily supported by those who regard Sir Francis Bacon, polymath, as probably the greatest unacknowledged Englishman ever born. In Bacon’s own words, the purpose of his work was: ‘for the benefit of mankind’. This same purpose is why the Society was founded over 130 years ago. Our objects remain:
To encourage, for the benefit of the public, the study of the works of Francis Bacon as philosopher, statesman and poet; also his character, genius and life, his influence on his own and succeeding times, and the tendencies and results of his writing.
To encourage for the benefit of the public, the general study of the evidence in favour of Francis Bacon’s authorship of the plays commonly ascribed to Shakespeare, and to investigate his connection with other works of the Elizabethan period.
The Society is a small, discreet charitable trust and custodian of a vast amount of information and data relating to Francis Bacon and in particular the authorship question. Much of this comprises 1300 books on loan to University of London, Senate House library.
The Baconiana journal, first published in 1886, runs to nearly 200 editions, the last six of which will shortly be available on this website. As a trusted Society, donors continue to give us books and material; we recently accepted several copies of a seventeenth-century edition of Bacon’s Complete Works from the collection of the late Alfred Dodd.
Over the years the Society has published and circulated books and pamphlets. Many of the noted writers on Bacon have been members of the Society or have been supported by the Society: Mrs Henry Pott, Harold Bailey, Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Sir George Greenwood, A.E.Waite, Kendra Baker, W.G.C.Gundry, Beryl Pogson, , Edward Johnson, R.M. Theobald, B.G. Theobald, W.S.Melsome, R.L.Eagle, Frank Woodward Ewen MacDuff, Peter Dawkins, N.B. Cockburn and past vice-President Lady Browning aka Daphne Du Maurier.
We support academic research: most recently an MA in European Classical Acting (with a heavy focus upon the plays attributed to Shakespeare), an MA in Authorship Studies, and a PhD using linguistic analysis to demonstrate Bacon’s contribution to The Tempest, Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Comedy of Errors. Currently we are seeking a candidate to research the papers of Mrs Henry Pott, particularly with a view to finding and publishing Mrs Pott’s Shakespeare - Bacon dictionary. We have also funded the cataloguing of University library collections of books concerning Bacon.
The Society also sponsors work to investigate MS and other material which may reveal Francis Bacon’s authorship of the works of Shakespeare.
We hold quarterly meetings in London for members and their guests which include presentations by academics and researchers, actors and enthusiasts. Starting in 2015, the talks are now filmed and available for viewing on YouTube.
In 2016 we celebrated our 130th anniversary with a lunch for members at the Elizabethan Middle Temple Hall in London, where the first performance of Twelfth Night took place.
We update our News posts regularly, and for members only we provide ‘Of Discourse’: a roundup of interesting correspondence and information regarding Bacon from within the Society. We welcome contributions from members and non members; recently we received an excellent piece of academic research which will be published in Baconiana, and a fine poem from a Bacon admirer which we will include as a reading at one of our meetings.
We answer queries from members and the general public as best we can in our voluntary capacity, and warmly welcome contributions.
Joining the Society
If you would like to support the objectives of the Society by joining, please send an email with a few details about yourself and your interest in Bacon to our webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership is payable by cheque, PayPal, and on line bank transfer. Please note that all membership applications must be approved by the Council.