Francis Bacon was born on the 28th of October 1909, in a Dublin nursing home at 63 Lower Baggot Street. His father, Anthony Edward (‘Eddy’) Mortimer Bacon, was a retired captain in the Durham Light Infantry who had begun a new career as a horse-trainer. His mother, Christina Winifred Loxley Bacon (née Firth), inherited wealth from her family’s steel company.
Bacon’s parents, both English, lived at Cannycourt House in County Kildare in Ireland, to take advantage of the area’s equestrian facilities and the proximity of the Curragh. Their home was run by Eddy Bacon on military lines. Francis was asthmatic and allergic to horses and dogs. This was perceived by his father as a weakness. Bacon said he later initiated his first sexual encounters with stable grooms.
In 1915, one year after war broke out, the family moved back to 6 Westbourne Crescent in London, where Bacon’s father worked for the Territorial Force of the British Army. In 1918, Bacon’s parents moved to his grandmother’s house near Abbeyleix, called ‘Farmleigh’, where the young Francis enjoyed spending time with his cherished ‘Granny Supple’. He was fond of this house with its beautiful curved rooms, the memory of which he later suggested as the likely origin of the curved backgrounds in so many of his compositions. Subsequently the family moved to and from Ireland and England several times.