Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/410

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Bather
Bathilda
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on the Art of Catechizing,’ was published at London by his widow in 1848 (3rd edit. 1852); a collection of ‘Sermons on Old Testament Histories,’ selected from his parochial discourses, appeared in 1850; and a selection from his charges, ‘On some Ministerial Duties: Catechizing, Preaching, &c.,’ was edited, with a preface, by Charley John Vaughan, D.D., master of the Temple, London, 1876.

[Gent. Mag. N.S., xxviii. 542; Cat. of Oxford Graduates (1851), 40; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), i. 575, 635; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

T. C.

BATHER, LUCY ELIZABETH (1836–1864), writer for children, known as ‘Aunt Elizabeth ,’ the fourth daughter, by his second marriage, of Dr. Blomfield, bishop of London, was born at Fulham, 31 March 1836. Her education, like that of her brothers and sisters, was watched, and even to some extent conducted, by their father, and she learned something of the classical languages (Memoir of Bishop Blomfield, ii. 225). On 29 Aug. 1861, Lucy Blomfield became the wife of Mr. Arthur Henry Bather, of Meol Brace, Shropshire, fourth son of John Bather, Esq., recorder of Shrewsbury. She died at The Hall, Meol Brace, near Shrewsbury, after a very short illness, on 5 Sept. 1864. She possessed the happy faculty of interesting the young by apt and attractive instruction, and wrote a number of stories for juvenile readers, and a volume entitled ‘Footprints on the Sands of Time. Biographies for Young People. Dedicated to her Nephews and Nieces, by L. E. B.,’ 12mo, Oxford and London, 1860. The Introduction, addressed to ‘My dear Young Friends,’ is subscribed ‘Aunt Lucy,’ the pseudonym by which the authoress was best known.

[Morning Post, 2 Sept. 1861; Record, 9 Sept. 1864; Gent. Mag. October 1864; Blomfield's Memoir of Charles James Blomfield, D.D., Bishop of London, &c., 1863.]

A. H. G.

BATHILDA, BALTECHILDIS, BALDECHILD, or BALDHILD (d. 678?), the wife of one and mother of three Frankish kings, was, according to her contemporary biographers, of noble birth. The same authorities state that while yet of tender years she was carried off by pirates, who sold her to Erchinwald, mayor of the palace (640–c. 658), in the times of Dagobert and his son Clovis II. From a comparison of texts it would appear that she was of English, or rather of Saxon birth, for both the anonymous lives above alluded to say that she came from parts beyond sea (‘de partibus transmarinis’), while one of them adds that she was a Saxon by race—a statement which is corroborated by nearly all the chronicles of the age (compare Fredegarius ap. Du Chesne, i. 767, Gesta Reg. Franc. 568, and Chronicon Adonis, 669, ap. Dom. Bouq. ii., with Vita Bath. ci. ap. Boll. For ‘transmarinus’ used of an Englishman see Eddius, Vit. Wilfr. ch. vi.). On being received into Erchinwald's household her industry and humility were so pleasing to the mayor of the palace that he first appointed her to bring him his evening draught, and afterwards, on his wife's death, determined to marry her. But Bathilda, we are told, hid herself among the rushes till her lord had secured another partner. Later, about 649, she married Clovis II, to whom she bore three sons, all destined in their turn to rule over the kingdom of the Franks. It was now that Bathilda had her first opportunity of showing that lavish generosity for which her name is famous in French ecclesiastical history. But she seems to have been exemplary in all the other duties of her station, ‘obeying the king as her lord, showing herself as a mother to the chiefs, a daughter to the priests, and encouraging the young in all studies.’ Clovis II was ready to help her in so pious a work, and gave her Genesius, afterwards archbishop of Lyons, to be her almoner. In a short time her power in the kingdom was probably increased by the sudden madness which befell her husband in the last two years of his reign—a misfortune which has variously been attributed to sacrilege, to over-devotion, and to intemperance. On Clovis II's death (656) his young son, Clothaire III, a boy of but some seven years of age, was recognised as king over both Austrasia and Neustria; but the chroniclers are explicit in saying that his mother ruled with him (Gesta Reg. apud Dom. Bouquet, ii. 569; Fredegarius apud Du Chesne, i. 767). The next few years seem to have been comparatively peaceful, and were spent by the queen in all kinds of good works. She was urgent in building or enlarging churches and monasteries, and in reforming the abuses of the time. She endeavoured in every direction to enforce obedience to monastic vows, to suppress simony, to encourage learning, and to put down slavery. She purchased the freedom of several captives, and emancipated many children of both sexes to be trained up for a life of prayer. Her biographer adds that she was particularly kind to those of her own Saxon or Anglian race. In the meanwhile Bathilda had been founding many churches and monasteries, and several of the most famous abbeys of France were largely indebted to her generosity. To the abbeys of Jumièges, of Fontenelle, and of