Bacon, Sir Nicholas, 1509–79, English jurist. Called to the bar in 1533, he was made attorney of the court of wards and liveries in 1546 and, although a staunch Protestant, held this office through the reign of Mary I. On the accession (1558) of Elizabeth I, he was appointed lord keeper of the privy seal, possibly through the influence of William Cecil, later Lord Burghley (whose wife's sister Bacon married). In 1559 he was authorized to exercise the jurisdiction of the lord chancellor. He regarded Mary Queen of Scots as a menace to English peace and opposed any measure of compromise with her. He was the father of Francis Bacon.
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