widow, Dame Susan Balchen, and a monument to his memory was erected at the public cost in Westminster Abbey. His portrait, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and bearing the inscription above referred to, is in the Painted Hall at Greenwich. He had one son, George, a captain in the navy, who died in command of the Pembroke in the West Indies, in December 1745.
[Official Letters and other Documents in the Public Record Office; Charnock's account (Biog. Nav. iii. 156), more especially of the early part of Balchen's career, is very imperfect and inaccurate; Lediard's Naval History (under date).]
BALD, ALEXANDER (1783–1859), poetical writer, was born at Alloa, 9 June 1783. His father was for a long time engaged in superintending coal works in the neighbourhood, and was the author of the 'Corn Dealer's Assistant,' for many years an indispensable book for tenant-farmers in Scotland. A brother, Robert, attained some eminence as an engineer. Alexander was from an early age trained for commerce, and for more than fifty years conducted business at Alloa as a timber-merchant and brick-manufacturer. Throughout his life he devoted much of his leisure to literature, and was the friend and patron of many literary men in Scotland. He was among the first to acknowledge the merits of the poems of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, and paid him a visit many years before he had obtained general recognition as a poet. He established a Shakespeare Association in his native town, and at its annual celebrations secured the presence of eminent men of letters. To the 'Scots Magazine,' at the beginning of this century, Bald was a regular poetical contributor; but his poems show a very thin vein of poetical sentiment. One of them, 'The Lily of the Vale,' has been erroneously attributed to Allan Ramsay. Bald died at the age of 76, at Alloa, in 1859.
[Rogers's Century of Scottish Life, p. 237; Rogers's Modern Scottish Minstrelsy, v. 34.]
BALDOCK, RALPH de (d. 1313), bishop of London and lord chancellor, whose early history is unknown, first appears in 1271 as holding the prebendal stall of Holborn, in which Robert Burnel, Edward I's great chancellor, had preceded him. This disposes of Godwin's assertion that he was educated at Merton College, Oxford, which was not founded till 1274. His influence and ability must have been considerable, for he obtained the highest preferment in his diocese. In 1276 he was collated to the archdeaconry of Middlesex; became dean of St. Paul's in 1294; and was elected bishop of London in 1304. Three canons, who had been deprived by the archbishop during the vacancy of the see, appealed to the pope to declare the election void owing to their exclusion, but the bishop-elect won his cause at Rome, and was consecrated at Lyons in 1306. Though he does not appear to have spent his life at court or in the ministerial offices, he attracted the attention of Edward I, who nominated him lord chancellor in April 1307. The king's death followed in July, and Baldock was at once removed by Edward II at the instigation of the favourite Gaveston. His position and character marked him out as one of the ordainers forced by the parliament of 1310 on the king for the better regulation of his household. But he took little part in public affairs, preferring the duties and pastimes of a churchman. He wrote a history of England, and collected the statutes and customs of St. Paul's, works which existed in the sixteenth century, but are now lost. St. Paul's Cathedral was at this time being rebuilt and enlarged, and its new lady chapel was built by Baldock. He began it while he was yet dean, continued it as bishop, bequeathed money for its completion, and in it he was buried, after his death in 1313, 'under a goodly marble, wherein his portraiture in brass was curiously represented.'
[Wharton's Hist, de Episc. Lond. pp. 108-12; Godwin de Præsul.; Newcotrt's Repertorium; Rot. Pat. et Fin. temp. Ed. I; Foss's Judges of England, iii. 220-3.]
BALDOCK, ROBERT de (d. 1327), lord chancellor, first appears in the records as obtaining a grant of the royal rights over a manor in Surrey in 1287. As he held a stall in St. Paul's whilst his namesake [see Baldock, Ralph de] was yet bishop of London, it may be inferred that they were related. Admitted to the prebend of Holywell in 1312, he obtained the archdeaconry of Middlesex two years later. But his attention was fixed on the court rather than on the church, which was looked upon by many clever adventurers at this time as a mere stepping-stone to ministerial greatness. Most of them, reading the signs of the times, were opposed to the government of Edward II. Baldock, on the contrary, was blinded to future dangers by the prospect of immediate aggrandisement. Soon after he became archdeacon he was permanently employed about the court, and grew wealthy by the gift of pluralities. Yet he never succeeded in obtaining a bishopric. In 1322, that of Winchester falling vacant,