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Bathurst, Theodore (DNB00)

BATHURST, THEODORE (d. 1651), Latin poet, descended from an ancient family of Hothorpe in Northamptonshire, and a relative of Dr. Ralph Bathurst [q. v.], the famous English physician, scholar, and divine, was a student of Pembroke College, Cambridge, the college to which Edmund Spenser belonged, and while there executed his translation of that poet's ‘Shepherd's Calendar.’ This translation had the honour of being highly commended by Sir Richard Fanshawe, who has himself left us specimens of Latin translations of English verse. Bathurst led a private life, and was a man of little ambition. So much the more, says one of his editors, he deserved honour as he desired it less. Bathurst's translation was edited first by Dr. William Dillingham, of Emmanuel College, and dedicated to Francis Lane. It was republished by John Ball, who, in his address to the reader, says he had much and long labour in procuring a copy of Bathurst's work. It was then already rare among the booksellers. Dillingham's edition is not to be found in the British Museum. Ball's edition is accompanied by the original eclogues on the opposite pages. He speaks of Bathurst, in the address above mentioned, as ‘poeta non minus ornatus quam gravis idem postea theologus, qui has eclogas ita Latinè vertit ut obscuris lucem, asperis lævitatem, atque omnibus fere nitorem et elegantiam fœneraverit.’ He added a Latin dissertation, ‘De vita Spenseri et scriptis,’ Lond. 8vo, no date and 1732. The precise title of Bathurst's book is ‘Calendarium Pastorale sive Eclogæ duodecim totidem anni mensibus accommodatæ Anglicè olim scriptæ ab Edmundo Spenser Anglorum poetarum principe; nunc autem eleganti Latino carmine donatæ a Theodoro Bathurst Aulæ Pembrochianæ apud Cantabrigienses aliquando socio,’ Lond. 8vo, 1653.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. ii. 262; Brit. Mus. Catal.]

J. M.