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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Anne Bacon

b. circa 1528, probably Essex, England; d. 1610, England

The household in which Anne Cooke Bacon grew up was hailed by the Elizabethan intellectual Walter Haddon as a “small university.” Each of Anthony Cooke’s five daughters received a thorough humanist education in languages and the classics, and each acquired considerable reputations as scholars. Anne, who excelled in Greek, Latin, and Italian, made an enduring contribution to English religious literature with her translation of John Jewel’s Apologie of the Anglican Church (1564). Jewel’s intellectual defense of the Church of England, and his clarification of the differences between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism, were critical to Elizabeth I’s religious policies. Anne herself was a formidable proponent of radical puritanism and exhorted leading ecclesiastical figures to remove all traces of “popery” from the Church of England. She married Sir Nicholas Bacon in 1553; their son, Francis Bacon, launched a scientific revolution with his method of inductive reasoning.