Francis Bacon

From Book Owners Online

Francis BACON

Biographical Note

An untraced individual ‘lately deceased’ whose ‘collection of choice English books, all in folio, curiously bound, gilt, and lettered on the back, consisting of various subjects, but chiefly history’ was auctioned in London, beginning 19 May 1686.


The catalogue is a brief one, listing 183 books, all English language folios, in one alphabetical sequence. About a quarter of the whole are historical works – there are 44 titles listed as ‘History of ...’ – but the largest subject block is theology, which comprises about 40% of the whole. Otherwise, there is a mixture of commonly-encountered works in geography, travel, medicine, law, literature, and other subjects (e.g. Gerard’s Herbal, Paré’s Chirurgery, Guillim’s Display of heraldry, Chaucer, Davenant, Killigrew, Margaret Cavendish). 60% of the imprints date from the second half of the 17th century, the rest mostly from the first half, with a sprinkling of 16th-century books.


  • Bibliotheca Baconica, London, 1686, ESTC r25902.
  • Alston, R. C. Inventory of sale catalogues 1676-1800. St Philip, 2010.