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Constructing the Past

Publication Date

4-2013

Abstract

Sir Francis Bacon was a corrupt political pedant, a shameless puppet for James I, and an incorrigible opportunist. He was a frustrated man bedraggled in matters of morals, a bold and blatant self-promoter, and his conscience was perpetually drenched in the swamp of his own financial destitution. Although he remained one of the most brilliant scientific minds in England during the seventeenth-century, during his life Bacon was verily detested by his contemporaries. To achieve his lofty ambitions as advisor,judge, and ultimately Lord Chancellor to the King, Bacon would betray friend and benefactor, publicly and privately, without remorse. He would never act with honor or charity unless it could elevate his position in court. So it stands that when the national hero Sir Walter Raleigh returned a broken and defeated man from a failed expedition in the New World, Bacon advocated the will of James I and the insidious Spanish Ambassador Count Gondomar rather than the will of the people and judged Raleigh vilified and humiliated, subsequently executing him without appeal. These actions of sycophantic statesmanship by Bacon in A Declaration of the Demeanor and Cariage Of Sir Walter Raleigh suggest that Raleigh was unjustly tried and condemned.

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