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HENRY BATHURST, D.C.L
BISHOP OF NORWICH.
DR. HENRY BATHURST, Bishop In the month of November, 1744, of Norwich, is descended from an Mrs. Bathurst was taken prematureancient family, which took their ly in labour, and at the end of seven surname, or rather a part of it, from months gave birth to her son Henry. a place called Batters, in the Dachy. It is a fact worthy remark,that a man of Luneburg. One or more of them who was a seven month's child should coming into England in the time of have reached the advanced age of the Saxons, gained a settlement near seventy-nine, and should enjoy at Battle Abhey, in Sussex, which they that age, not only considerable Damed Battershurst, that is, Batter's health of body, but that animation, Grove. Battershurst came at length energy, and vigour of intellect, and to be corrupted, or shortened into those peculiar powers of memory, Bathurst, and the wood upon the which distinguished him in early spot is now called Bathurst's Wood, youth. It seems as if that Providence It would be needless to give the which had marked him out to advowhole descent, however honorable, cate the best interests of civil and of the venerated subject of this me religious liberty, watched over him moir : I shall therefore content my as a precious vessel, hallowed to self with saying, that Benjamin those uses ; and to be preserved unBathurst, Esquire, third son of Şir injured, and unbroken, to the end. Benjamin Bathurst, and brother to His father, Mr. Benjamin Batthe celebrated Allen Lord Bathurst, hurst, had represented the City of was the father of Henry Bathurst. Gloucester in parliament between This gentleman inherited the estates twenty and thirty years, after which of Battlesden and Mixbury, the the Duke of Beaufort requested to former of which he exchanged for bring him in for Monmouth, which Lydney Park, Gloucestershire; and borough lie also represented for a having married Miss Poole, an
great many years. It is worthy of heiress, had issue by her twenty-two notice, that he was father of the children; and by his second wife, House of Commons at the same time Miss Broderick, daughter of Dr. that his brother, Earl Bathurst, was Broderick, a clergyman, and brother father of the House of Lords. Mr. to Lord Middleton, he had a second Bathurst was a steady, opposer of family of fourteen children, of whom Sir Robert Walpole and the whigs, Dr. Bathurst was the third son. a staunch supporter of the Stuart
family, and an attached friend of the Bathurst went for a short time to Pretender's, which rendered his son Eton as tutor to the present Lord Henry's early and steady inclination Bathurst, who was then Lord Apsley, for the opposite principles the more son of the Lord Chancellor Bathurst; remarkable. This inclination he im- he staid there nearly a year, when he bibed, in a great measure, from stu was succeeded by the present Dean dying in his earliest years, the of Gloucester, Dr. Plumptre. Greek and Roman writers; from In the year 1771, Miss Catherine perusing the sublime compositions Bathurst, his sister, was married by of Milton in his youthful days; and him to Dr. Charles Coote, Dean of the works of Loeke and Hoadley as Kilfenora, in Ireland, and brother to he advanced to manhood: writers the gallant Sir Eyre Coote, who diswho were all of them well calculated tinguished himself so much in India, to form the basis of those principles and died at Madras in 1783. There of toleration, of that civil and reli- he first met Miss Coote, the Dean's gious liberty the advocacy of which only daughter by his first wife, the has distinguished him throngh life, beautiful and excellent lady whom and will endear his memory to those he afterwards married ; but they had who love and value the best interests many difficulties and obstacles to of mankind.
surmount before the aftachment, to He was first sent to a preparatory which that meeting gave birth, was school at Oxford, and at the age of crowned by a happy union. eleven years he went to Winchester, In 1775 he was offered by Lord on the foundation; hut he was never Bathurst, as Chancellor, the living studious as a boy; and is another of Bletchingly, in Surry, the resiproof added to those already on re dence of the Clayton family; but cord, that, in literary attainments, that family went in a body to Lord the performance of the man may North to request him to propose to considerably exceed the promise of Mr. Bathurst an exchange, as they the child.
were anxious that one of their own In the year 1761, at the age of six. connections should possess the living. teen, he succeeded as founder's kin In consequence of which Lord North from Winchester to New College, begged the Chancellor to offer Mr. Oxford, where he soon became de Bathurst a stall at Windsor, Darvoted to literature, and indefatigable ham, Winchester, or the canonry of in the pursuit of it. He was fellow Christ Church, which last he acof New College fourteen years, and cepted, having previously taken his classical tutor two years. At the doctor's degree ; but he continued age of twenty-two he lost his father, to live at New College during the who left his widow in distressed cir first year, in order to defray the cumstances; and Mr. Bathurst, in expense of furnishing his house. order to be able to relieve her from About this period he had the option his college allowance, went into De of changing his canonry of Christ vonshire, after having taken priest's Church for the Irish Bishopric,which orders, as tutor to Sir Charles Bam Dr. Clever afterwards accepted. fylde. He afterwards returned to On the 15th of August, 1780, Dr. Oxford with his pupil, where he Bathurst was married to Miss Coote continued as classical tutor for two by the Dean her father, and departed years longer. At this time his uncle, immediately for England. After Allen Lord Bathurst, who was then his marriage, Dr. Bathurst resided far advanced in years, having heard for many years entirely at Christ of his great attachment to literature, Church, where his house was operi and of his attention to his own fa- in an evening to those young men ther, was anxious that he should of his acquaintance with whom he reside constantly with him. He was most intimate, and many of the accordingly took up his abode for noblemen and gentlemen who now nearly two years principally with take the lead in public affairs were his uncle, and he soon became a fa- of the number. vorite companion of that celebrated The living of Saperton was given pobleman, to whom he usually read to him by his uncle, Lord Bathurst, from four to six hours in the day. in 1772, but four or five years after
After the death of his uncle, Mr. wards he vacated it by aecepting a
New College benefice, the rectory of profession, he then proceeded to give Witchingham, in Norfolk: this rec a general view of religion; and in tory, though of more value than his own eloquent and able manner Saperton, he resigned about the year disclosed those opinions on religious 1790, and accepted Saperton a se toleration to which he has uniformly cond time, to which he was present- adhered, on which he has constantly ed by Lord Chancellor Bathurst, at acted, and which will shed a radithe particular request of the present ance on that page of parliamentary Lord, his son.
history which shall record his name. During Dr. Bathurst's residence On the 27th of May, 1808, Lord at Oxford, he became acquainted Grenville moved for the House of with the Bishop of Darbam (the Lords to resolve itself into a comHon. Shute Barrington), and in the mittee to consider of the petition of year 1795, that venerable prelate of the Irish Catholics. After an adfered him, without any solicitation, dress, which led to a most importthe second best stall in his church, ant and interesting debate, he was which he accepted.
supported by the Bishop of Norwich, Jø 1803 Dr. Bathurst was appoint- who commenced his speech in the ed to the See of Norwich, and en following words:-" I rise for the tered on the duties of his sacred first time in my life to address office. On the primary visitation of your Lordships, and I rise with his diocese, in 1806, he delivered a unaffected reluctance, not because charge to the clergy, which was I entertain the smallest doubt ressince printed at their request, and pecting either the expediency, the dedicated to them. In this composi- policy, or the justice of the meation he congratulates himself on sure now under consideration, but being placed over such a respectable because to a person in my situa. body of men. “ I shall 'study,” tion it must be exceedingly painful says he, “ to conciliate their affec- (however firmly persuaded lie may tion and esteem, not, however, by be in his own mind), to find himself any mean, unmanly compliance with impelled by a sense of duty to mainthe prejudice, the passions, or the tain an opinion directly the reverse selfish views of individuals,—and of that which is supported by so still less by granting any indulgence many wise and good men who beto idleness, or to the least wilful neg- long to the same profession, and lect of that solemn obligation which who sit upon the same bench with we all of us entered into when we me. Important occasions, however, were ordained, -but by giving every sometimes arise on which an indivione who may have occasion to come dual may be called to avow his own to me a patient hearing, and a kind sentiments explicitly and unequivoreception; particularly to the few cally, without any undue deference who may want of me the best advice to the judgment of others;—such which it is in my power to suggest.
an occasion I conceive the present to I know how difficult it is to please all be, and shall, without further apolomen, be their situations in life what it gy, trouble your Lordships with a may; nor am I solicitous to do this; few remarks.” but the approbation of the wise and This memoir would be extended good, of every rank and of every beyond the limits of a magazine age, I am truly desirous of obtain were the writer of this article to ining; because I consider such appro- dulge in the pleasure of giving more bation as the best earthly reward of of this admirable and luminous those humble but strenuous efforts speech : suffice it, that it was said to which I am called upon by so many charm even those whom it failed to motives to exert, and which I will convince, and was a sufficient pledge endeavour to exert in support of a of the wisdom, the benevolence, and cause so deeply interesting to us all the truly christian spirit which -I mean the cause of religion and on every similar occasion, has distinmorality."
guished the speeches of the Bishop In conformity with ancient cus of Norwich. His last speech in partom, that a bishop should deliver his liament, delivered a short time ago, sentiments respecting the leading though spoken at the advanced age topics connected with the clerical of seventy-nine, is a proof, not only
of unfaded vigour of intellect, but joyed promotion purchased at the of that devotion to the canse of re expense of that father's integriligious freedom which has enabled ty; for the fact is, that the archhim uniformly to set the temptations deaconry was given to the able and of worldly interest at defiance. useful clergyman who now possesses
In August, 1816, during the re it in consequence of a promise given sidence of the Bishop and Mrs. by the Bishop, many years ago, to a Bathurst at Lepperston, the seat of most amiable and honored friend, that lady's eldest brother, Lord Cas. Mr. Coke, of Norfolk. But, howtle Coote, the Catholics of Ireland ever party-spirit may attempt to presented an address to him, inscrib- throw a cloud over the character of ed “to the Rev. Champion of the the Bishop of Norwich during bis Catholic cause." The Bishop re life, posterity will do him justice, ceived the deputation at the house and join his name to that of a Hoadof Mr. Gore, in St. Stephen's-green, ley, and a Shipley. It may perhaps, Dublin. The procession, which was while contemplating his ever active very splendid, consisted of the Earl and disinterested benevolence, be of Fingal, accompanied by all the willing to exclaim, in the word of a members of the Catholic Board then distinguished writer of the present resident in that city. The address, day, in a letter to a friend, “The together with the Bishop's reply, Bishop of Norwich is an honor to are admirable examples of eloquence humanity! In Cuba he would have and right feeling, and I am sorry been a Las Casas pleading the cause that I am not able to give copious of the poor Indians, so cruelly murextracts from them.
dered by his countrymen. In France If the limits of a memoir allowed he would have been a Fenelon. At me to offer more minute details of Marseilles he would like its much the events of Dr. Bathurst's life, I celebrated bishop, have exposed himshould still abstain from doing so, self cheerfully to the dangers of as those details will, no doubt, be contagion in order to succour and given at some future day by a far to save the victims of the plague more able pen than mine ; for the who were bourly falling around name of Henry Batburst, Bishop of him." Norwich, belongs to history; and In that interesting tale from the the future historian will expect to pen of Miss Knight, called “Dinarbe enabled, by a biography derived bas." the hero is supposed to be from the most authentic sources, dead, and he arrives in his native to enrich his pages with a full ac- city time enough to hear his own count of that dauntless prelate, who funeral enlogium pronounced- & ventured into the arena of parlia- pleasure of no common sort, but one mentary warfare, unaided by his which the Bishop of Norwich was mitred brethren, to fight the christi- very near enjoying, and, did indeed, an battles of religious toleration. in a degree enjoy; for a short time
It may here not be irrevelant since, on the erroneous insertion of to remark, that a very uncommon his death in the newspapers, one of charge has recently been brought his most valued friends poured forth against this amiable prelate, for the warm feelings of his affectionate bishops are frequently reproached and distressed heart on the occasiou with providing too bountifully for in a letter to the Archdeacon, the their own families, but rarely with Bishop's eldest son ;--and the Cougiving a preference, over their near. rier, after expressing his sorrow af est of kin, to the interests of others. being obliged to announce the death Dr. Batlıurst, however, has lately of that amiable prelate, the Bishop been reproached with doing this, and of Norwich, added, " for a further with giving preferment to a friend account see our next.” Unhappily, in preference to his own son, and for however, a contradiction of the this reason, that the friend is a report reached the Courier, and prewhig and the son a tory. Sare am vented the character of Dr. Bathurst I that the amiable son alluded to from being given by the pea of a would be the first to repel this political enemy, a circumstance much unjust charge against his affection- to be regretied; for perhaps the ate father, nor would he have en Courier would have proved a joss