BACON, Anne Cook

(c. 1528-1610)
Anne Cook Bacon was recognized during the late sixteenth century for her prowess as a translator of religious works. Bacon and her sisters—Mildred Cook Cecil, Elizabeth Cook Hoby, Katherine Cook Kiligrew, and Margaret Cook - were educated privately in the humanist tradition. Their father, Sir Anthony Cook, was tutor to Edward VI, a task with which Anne is thought to have assisted him. Sir Anthony Cook later presented the Act of Uniformity to the House of Lords. Anne Cook married Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the privy seal and a member of Elizabeth's Privy Council, and raised two sons, Sir Anthony and Sir Francis Bacon,* philosopher, essayist, and lord chancellor.
Anne Cook Bacon's translation of Apologia ecclesiae anglicanae (Apology for the Church of England) remains among the finest translations of this tract. Attributed to John Jewel, the Apologia was written in Latin in 1562 to explain and justify the English church's reforms to continental theologians. It focused especially upon areas criticized by Roman Catholics. The Convocation of 1563 ordered that it be "in all cathedral and collegiate churches, and also in private houses." Bacon's version, first printed in 1564, became the definitive translation, and in 1565 Thomas Harding, the Roman Catholic divine, used Bacon's edition as the basis for his Confutation of a Booke Intituled an Apologie of the Church of England. In addition, Bacon translated the sermons of the Italian Calvinist Bernardino Ochino*; her own translations of his sermons "concerning the pre­destination and election of God" were printed probably in 1548 and 1551, and her work, along with that of Richard Argentine, was published in collections of Ochino's sermons, probably in 1551 and 1570. Her letters to her sons also survive and are printed in modern editions of Francis Bacon's letters.
Bibliography
A. C. Bacon, in The Early Modern Englishwoman: Printed Writings, 1500-1640, vol. 1, 1998.
M. E. Lamb, "The Cooke Sisters: Attitudes toward Learned Women in the Renaissance," in Silent But for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, ed. M. Hannay, 1985: 107-25.
Karen Nelson

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

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