Bacon’s Lane, N6

Place Name

Francis Bacon (January 22, 1561 – April 9, 1626), 1st Viscount St Alban, was a philosopher, a scientist and an essayist, who served as both Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. He was a MP for several south west constituencies, and an advisor and favourite of monarchs. But this road was so-called because he died while staying at Lord Arundel’s mansion on April 9, 1626 after developing pneumonia. He had caught a chill while experimenting with refrigeration, having stuffed a chicken with snow to see if it would preserve the meat. According to the account in John Aubrey’s Brief Lives: “The Snow so chilled him that he immediately fell so extremely ill, that he could not return to his Lodging … but went to the Earle of Arundel’s house at Highgate, where they put him into… a damp bed that had not been layn-in… which gave him such a cold that in 2 or 3 days as I remember Mr Hobbes told me, he died of Suffocation.”

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