Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was born in London to parents who were members of the court of Queen Elizabeth I. He attended Trinity College, entered the practice of law in his late teens, and became a member of the House of Commons at the age of 23. His career flourished under King James I, but later scandals ended his life as a politician. A philosopher/scientist by nature and one of the most admired thinkers of his day, Bacon was a founder of the modern empirical tradition based on closely observing the physical world, conducting controlled experiments, and interpreting the results rationally to discover the workings of the universe. Of his many published works, he is best remembered for his Essays (collected from 1597 until after his death), brief meditations noted for their wit and insight.