Bensalem’s Legal System by Francis Bacon (New Atlantis) and James I (True Law): Representations of God, kingship, knowledge and peace by Andres Font Galarza
This paper compares Bensalem's legal system in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis with James I’s True Law tract. Whilst differing in form – fiction and political tract – both artefacts unite in their belief that the people should be ruled by an enlightened, absolutist, legal framework. In addition, this paper also analyses a Simon de Passe engraving that, echoing the aforementioned works, represents an early seventeenth-century Jacobean Britain, marked by royal absolutism, which was justified by God’s delegation of earthly authority to the king. Yet, this absolutism was moderated by a search for knowledge and peace.