First Dominican theologian at the University of Oxford and earliest Dominican writer; b. after 1150; d. Oxford, England, 1248. He studied probably at the University of Paris c. 1210 under John of Abbeville, became master of theology in 1219, and was exercising his functions as professor when he joined the Dominicans sometime before 1234. A close associate of St. edmund of abingdon and richard fishacre, he was active in Church, royal, civic, and university affairs. Most noteworthy was his public denunciation of peter des roches before Henry III in his sermon before the Parliament of 1233. As a theologian Bacon was of the Augustinian tradition, conservative in content and method. Few of his works survive, but it is known that he composed a commentary on the Psalms, scriptural glosses, treatises in moral theology and in philosophy, sermons, and homilies. It was long believed he had composed an early life of St. Edmund, but this theory is now rejected.
Bibliography: b. smalley, "Robert Bacon and the Early Dominican School at Oxford," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 4th ser. 30 (1948) 1–19. w. a. hinnebusch, The Early English Friars Preachers (Rome 1951) 360–363. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 (Oxford 1957–59) 1:87.
[j. f. hinnebusch]