Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bacon, John (1738-1816)

BACON, JOHN, F.S.A. (1738–1816), spent nearly the whole of his working life in the first-fruits department of the office of Queen Anne's Bounty, and is now remembered by church antiquaries for his improved edition of Ecton's 'Thesaurus,' a detailed account of the valuations of all ecclesiastical benefices which were charged with first fruits and tenths. His first appointment in that branch of the office was as junior clerk to the deputy remembrancer, and he rose to become the senior clerk in 1778 and the receiver in 1782. With these offices he combined the duties of treasurer to the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy. He obtained the leasehold interest, under the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, of the manor of Whetstone, or Friern Barnet, and when the Land Tax Redemption Act authorised them to effect a sale of their landed property, he purchased the reversion of the manor-house and the whole of their estate in the parish of Friern Barnet. A description of the house and the curiosities which it contained may be found in Lysons's 'Environs of London,' ii. 22. He died in the manor-house 26 Feb. 1816, and was buried in a small vault on the outside of the church. His tombstone in the churchyard records his second son and his son's wife; his only daughter, Maria, was married to Sir William Johnston, of that ilk, Aberdeenshire. His edition of the 'Liber regis, vel thesaurus rerum ecclesiasticarum' was published in 1786, and some severe, but not unjustifiable, comments were made at that time in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' on the omission of any mention in the title-page or the preface of the previous compilation of John Ecton.

[Gent. Mag. lxxxvi. pt. i. 276 (1816); Cansick 's Epitaphs of Middlesex, iii. 123; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, ix. 5-7.]

W. P. C.