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Batteley, John (DNB00)

BATTELEY, JOHN, D.D. (1646–1708), a Kentish antiquary and archdeacon and prebendary of Canterbury, was the son of Nicholas Batteley, an apothecary, and was born at St. Edmundsbury in Suffolk in 1646. He matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, on 5 July 1662. His tutor was Mr. Pulleyn, who in the previous year had exercised the same authority over Isaac Newton. Batteley was subsequently elected a fellow of his college, and was himself for several years one of the tutors. He was appointed domestic chaplain to Archbishop Sancroft, and acted later in the same capacity for Archbishop Tillotson, whose sermons he published after the primate's death.

In 1683 Batteley became rector of Hunton; in 1684 was collated by Archbishop Sancroft to the rectory of Adisham in Kent, and appointed chancellor of Brecknock. He was collated to the archdeaconry of Canterbury on 23 March 1687, and was installed on the following day, in succession to Dr. Samuel Parker. On 1 Sept. 1688 he was inducted master of King's Bridge (or Eastbridge) Hospital, and it is recorded of him that he was a good and generous benefactor to this hospital, ‘as well in the extraordinary reliefs which he afforded the poor of it, as in the repairing and beautifying the buildings, chapel, and hall of it.’ He rebuilt in 1708 three of the sisters' lodgings, and renovated other parts of the building, and at his death left by his will to the in-brothers and sisters 100l., the interest of which he ordered should be proportioned by Mr. John Bradock of St. Stephen's (who afterwards became master), and Mr. Somerscales, vicar of Doddington. Batteley was collated by Archbishop Sancroft to a prebend of Canterbury on 5 Nov. 1688.

He was a good scholar and was able to render useful service to Bishop Fell and others in collating manuscripts; the bishop mentions his services several times in his writings. Batteley was the author of ‘Antiquitates Rutupinæ,’ published in 1711 at Oxford, after his death, by Dr. Thomas Terry, canon of Christchurch. The work is composed in Latin in the form of a dialogue between the author and his two friends and brother chaplains, Dr. Henry Maurice and Mr. Henry Wharton, the subject being the ancient state of the Isle of Thanet. A second (quarto) edition of the original was published later, in 1745, together with the author's ‘Antiquitates S. Edmundburgii,’ an unfinished history of his native place and its ancient monastery down to 1272. This was published by his nephew Oliver Batteley, with an appendix and the list of abbots continued by Sir James Burrough. In 1774 Mr. John Duncombe published a translation of the ‘Antiquitates Rutupinæ,’ under the title of ‘Antiquities of Richborough and Reculver, abridged from the Latin of Mr. Archdeacon Batteley,’ London, 1774, 12mo. Batteley also published, in 1726, ‘The original Institution of the Sabbath: and the observation due to it, consider'd,’ and a ‘Sermon preach'd before the Queen’ in 1694. Dr. Batteley was twice married, but left no issue. His second wife, a daughter of Sir Henry Oxenden of Deane, survived him thirty years. He died on 10 Oct. 1708, aged 61, and is said to have declared himself on his deathbed very uneasy on account of having held pluralities. He was buried at Canterbury in the lower south wing or cross aisle of the cathedral, where, in the corner between the south door and St. Michael's Chapel, a mural monument is erected to his memory. His epitaph describes him as ‘vir integerrimâ in Deum pietate, honestissimus et suavissimus.’

[Hasted's History of Kent, iv. 606, 630, 787; Antiquitat. Rutup.; Wood's Athenæ (ed. Bliss), iv. 235; Duncombe's preface to Antiq. of Richborough; Nichols's Illustrations of Literature, iv. 85.]

R. H.