Family and Education
b. c.1620, o.s. of Nathaniel Bacon of Friston by Anne, da. of Sir Thomas Le Gros of Crostwick, Norf. educ. Corpus Christi, Camb. 1637; G. Inn 1640, called 1651, ancient 1658. m. (1) Elizabeth (d. 2 Jan. 1649), da. of Sir Robert Brooke† of Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suff., 1s. d.v.p. 1da.; (2) Martha, da. of Sir John Reade of Wrangle, Lincs., wid. of Edward Empson of Boston, Lincs., 1da. suc. fa. 1644.
Bacon’s great-grandfather, a younger brother of the Elizabethan lord keeper, bought Friston some time before his death in 1573. Bacon’s father served on the county committee in the Civil War, and Bacon himself, though a Presbyterian like his cousins of the Shrubland branch, retained local office during the Interregnum. He represented the county under the Protectorate, but early in 1660 he signed the Suffolk petition for a free Parliament and on behalf of the county gentry thanked the common council of London for their efforts in the same cause.
At the general election of 1660 Bacon was returned for Aldeburgh, a borough three miles from his home, of which his cousin Francis Bacon, was recorder. Lord Wharton classed him as a friend, and appears to have entrusted to him the management of the county Members Sir Henry Felton and Henry North, as well as Sir Dudley North I and John Gurdon; but he was not active in the Convention. He may have been appointed to seven committees, including those to prepare a declaration against Roman Catholics, to draft a petition for a fast, and to consider the bill for the suppression of profanity. He did not stand again, though he remained a j.p. until 1687 and presumably conformed to the established Church. He sold Friston to Henry Johnson in 1674, and after his only son Nathaniel had died of brain-fever while leading a rebellion in Virginia, he seems to have moved to Surrey, though he still owned a substantial farm in Suffolk. He made his will on 30 Apr. 1695, though it was not proved till 6 Nov. 1699. His heir was his granddaughter, who married the distinguished obstetrician, Hugh Chamberlain.
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