Being a politician in Tudor England was a risky occupation and many lost their heads over it. However, it was Bacon's role as a scientist that lead to his death. A highly original thinker, Bacon had the idea during a snowstorm that snow might be used to preserve meat. He bought a gutted chicken from a woman in Highgate Hill, with the intention of testing out his theory on returning home. He became cold and feverish in the snow before being able to get home and took refuge at the Earl of Arundel's house in Highgate. He remained in bed there for 2 or 3 days and died - either of pneumonia or of an infection from the raw chicken meat.
Francis Bacon did not propose an actual philosophy, but rather a method of developing philosophy; he wrote that, whilst philosophy at the time used the deductive syllogism to interpret nature, the philosopher should instead proceed through inductive reasoning from fact to axiom to law. Before beginning this induction, the inquirer is to free his mind from certain false notions or tendencies which distort the truth. These are called "Idols" (idola), and are of four kinds: "Idols of the Tribe" (idola tribus), which are common to the race; "Idols of the Den" (idola specus), which are peculiar to the individual; "Idols of the Marketplace" (idola fori), coming from the misuse of language; and "Idols of the Theater" (idola theatri), which result from an abuse of authority. The end of induction is the discovery of forms, the ways in which natural phenomena occur, the causes from which they proceed.
Upon the solid foundation of the known, trained minds can build toward universal knowing, which is the end of the work. Knowledge alone can preserve and perfect human life. In spite of his scientific approach, Bacon in no way discounted the spiritual content in the world. Knowledge might arise from inspiration and the internal illumination of the consciousness, but this illumination is not knowledge until, through experimentation, the truth is physically established.