Bellot, Hugh (DNB00)

BELLOT, HUGH, D.D. (1542–1596), bishop of Chester, the second son of Thomas Bellot, Esq., of Great Moreton, Cheshire, matriculated at Cambridge as pensioner of Christ's College 21 May 1561, became B.A. 1563–4, M.A. 1567. In the latter year he migrated to Jesus College, of which he was elected fellow. In 1570 he was one of the proctors of the university. In 1571 he became rector of Tyd St. Giles in Cambridgeshire, being at that time chaplain to Cox, bishop of Ely, who, on 16 March 1572–3, collated him to the rectory of Doddington-cum-March, in the isle of Ely, then vacant by the death of Christopher Tye, Mus. D., the noted composer. About the same period he vacated his fellowship at Jesus. In 1579 he was created D.D. In 1584 he obtained the rectory of Caerwys in Flintshire, and the vicarage of Gresford in Denbighshire.

On 3 Dec. 1585 he was elected bishop of Bangor, being consecrated at Lambeth 30 Jan. 1585-6. With the bishopric he held the deanery in commendam. He was nominated one of the council of Wales. He was translated to the see of Chester 26 June 1596, and retained possession of it until his death, which took place at Berse Hall or Plàs Power, in the parish of Wrexham, Denbighshire, 13 June 1596. His body was interred in the chancel of Wrexham Church. His funeral was solemnised at Chester Cathedral 22 June. The following inscription to his memory was placed on his monument at Wrexham, erected by his brother Cuthbert, prebendary of Chester: 'Sub certa spe gloriosæ resurrectionis hic in Domino obdormivit reverendus in Christo pater Hugo Bellot, sacre theologiæ doctor ex antiqua familia Bellotorum de Moreton in Cestriæ oriundus: quem ob singularem in Deum pietatem, vitæ integritatem, prudentiam et doctrinam, regina Elizabetha primum ad episcopatum Bangorensem, in quo decem annos sedit, postea ad episcopatum Cestrensem transtulit, ex quo post paucos menses Christus in cœlestem patriam evocavit an. Dom. 1596, æetatis suæ 54. Cuthbertus Bellot fratri optimo et charissimo mœstissimus posuit.'

Bellot was a great persecutor of the catholics. He assisted William Morgan in translating the Bible into Welsh. He was intimate with Gabriel Goodman, dean of Westminster, who probably helped him to procure some of his preferments. Mr. Yorke, in his 'Royal Tribes,' says that Bishop Bellot was employed by Elizabeth as one of the translators of the English Bible, but on what authority he does not mention. His name is not given in Strype's 'Parker,' and we may therefore suppose that the aid he afforded to the Welsh translation of Morgan may have led to the mistake, if it be one.

The Bellots were an ancient family, early seated in Norfolk, and became subsequently located in Cheshire by the marriage of John Bellot, temp. Henry VI, with Katherine, sister and heir of Ralph Moreton, of Great Moreton, in the Palatinate. Of this alliance the lineal descendant, Sir John Bellot, was created a baronet in 1663. It has been suggested that the name is derived from belette, a weasel, or bellotte, gentle, pretty. Thomas Bellot, R.N., author of Bellot's 'Sanskrit Derivations,' thought that the name might even go back to the Romans, 'Bellus,' as it is still found in Italy and France, We find the name spelt in various ways—Billet, Bellott, Billett, &c,

[Ormerod's Cheshire, i. 75, 125, 146; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 105, 111, iii. 259; Notes and Queries. 2nd ser. iii, 469; Churton's Nowell, 268, 282; Newcome's Goodmans, 35, 37; Cooper's Ath. Cant. ii. 264, 548.]

J. M.