Belleman, John (DNB00)

BELLEMAN or BELMAIN, JOHN (fl. 1553), was, according to Fuller, the French tutor of Edward VI. The prince appears to have commenced his studies under his instructor in his seventh year (1534). Belleman seems, however, to have been retained in the royal service till the close of Edward's reign, for there is still extant in the British Museum a manuscript translation into French of the second Prayer-book of Edward VI, written by Belleman, with a dedicatory epistle to his former pupil. This preface is dated 18 April 1553 from the royal palace of Sheen. In the same collection of manuscripts there is also to be found a translation of Basil the Great's letter to St. Gregory on the solitary life. This work Belleman, in a somewhat curious preface, dedicates to the Lady Elizabeth, with the assurance that it is rendered from the original Greek. This introductory letter contains a rather sharp attack on the phonetic principle of French orthography then coming into vogue, though its author seems perfectly willing to adopt a well-considered reformed method of spelling; and indeed he pronounces his intention of writing a treatise on the subject. There does not seem to be any means of ascertaining the date of this translation, but it is probably earlier than the French version of the Prayer-book.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 94; Fuller's Church History, edit. 1655. p. 422; MSS. Biblioth. Reg. in British Museum, 20 A, xiv. and 16 E 1.]

T. A. A.