The Tudor Society
  • August 27 – Lady Anne Bacon (née Cooke)

    On this day in history, 27th August 1610, Lady Anne Bacon (née Cooke), mother of Sir Francis Bacon, was laid to rest at St Michael’s Church, near St Albans. She was in her early eighties when she died.

    Anne was the second daughter of the humanist scholar Sir Anthony Cooke, and the wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon, who served Elizabeth I as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. The couple had two children together, Tudor spy Anthony Bacon and politician, philosopher, author and scientist Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban.

    [Read More...]
  • Lady Anne Bacon (née Cooke) 1527/8-1610

    A portrait of Anne Bacon attributed to George Gower

    Anne Cooke was born the second daughter (and sixth child) of Anthony Cooke; noted tutor to King Edward VI. As the patriarch of the Cooke household, Anthony was renowned for his progressive attitude towards female education. Befitting his position, Cooke earned a distinguished reputation as England’s pre-eminent humanist scholar, alongside figures such as Sir Thomas More. Similarly, he chose to train his daughters in the same classical curriculum that he offered his four sons. (The family had four sons and five daughters) Contemporary academics, such as Dr Katherine Mair, argue that the Cooke sons have failed to remain relevant in twenty-first century historiography, in contrast to the impeccably educated Cooke daughters; women noted for their erudition and learnedness. Anne and her sisters excelled academically, in similarity to Thomas More’s daughter, Margaret, and shared a variety of scholarly interests. These included: Latin, Greek and translations. The women effectively violated the expected standards of sixteenth-century femininity by engaging in independent religious debate and writing. In terms of this article, it will intend to discuss several themes regarding Anne’s life, including her epistolary pursuits, religion, and general life.

    [Read More...]