Little is known of the origins of Roger Bacon, Franciscan philosopher and scientific thinker. He was born ca. 1213–19. His writings reveal his English origins: his birthplace is unknown. His family was well-off and scholarly, able to assist him in the buying of books and scientific instruments. Educated at Oxford and Paris, he received the degree of master of arts around 1240 and lectured on Aristotle’s natural philosophy for many years.