FRANCIS BACON AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE HELMET
One of these men is genius to the other
And so of these, which is the natural man
And which the spirit? Who deciphers them?
SCIENCE AND MAGIC
The greatest repository of Bacon's scientific notions is the Sylva Sylvarum. This seems to be the sweepings of his notebooks of a lifetime, and it is curious that some of the quaintest of his theories reappear, almost in the same words, in the Shakespearean drama. The Sylva Sylvarum is in many ways a forest rather than a garden, but it is a forest which is flecked here and there with a strange and fleeting beauty. Who but a poet, for example, would have introduced such an image as this into a scientific speculation?
"This writing of our Sylva Sylvarum", says Bacon, "is . . . not natural history but a high kind of natural magic".
KNIGHTS OF THE HELMET
This "invisible" Order, dedicated to Pallas Athene, seems to have started at Gray's Inn*. The names "William" and "Wilhelm" are derived from the word "Helmet". It seems that Francis Bacon was the acknowledge leader of a talented group, and that Ben Jonson eventually became his "My Man John". Anthony Bacon and Tobie Matthew were obviously trusted members and I am willing to believe that the Earls of Oxford, Southampton, Derby, Pembroke and Montgomery were also associated with this group.
While he was establishing the educative aspect of Rosicrosse activities by printing and publishing text books,etc., Francis Bacon has also began another important work intended to be the crown of his labours, the establishment of an organized, Brotherhood with Rites and Ceremonial based on the Ancient Mysteries, Classical Myths, the craft-customs of the defunct guild of operative masons.... a Rite in which the Nature Wisdom of Egypt should be blended with the simple, ethical New Commandment of Jesus...."That ye LOVE one another." It was, virtually, a remodelling of the Contiental Templar Knights Secret Order which was then almost moribund....confined to a fast diminishing select few, and had outlived its former usefulness and grandeur. Francis Bacon aimed at remoulding the Ceremonial on broader grounds that would have, ultimately, a popular appeal as well as an esoteric one. He finally redrafted the Nine Degrees of the Templars into Thirty-Three, half of which were based on purely Christian Ethical Concepts. "Thirty-Three" was chosen as the Highest Degree because the number "33", was the numerical signature of "Bacon" :
B A C O N
2 +1+ 3+ 14+ 13 = 33
The first modern Freemasons' Lodge was held at Twickenham Park and Gray's Inn. It consisted of Three Degrees and the Royal Arch. It's first members were drawn from the Rosicrosse Literary Society : A Rosicrosse-Mason was a Brother who was privy to the Secrets of the Craft and the Rose.