Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/412

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Bathilda
Bathurst
406

question discussed, Acta Sanct. 26 Jan., p. 737; Ste-Marthe's Gallia Christ iv. 43–7; Mabillon's Annal. Benedict. i. 425).

But, besides being a church patron, Bathilda was a stateswoman, and it may be that it is in the last capacity that she appears in the preceding paragraph. In 660, mainly, we are told, by her management and that of her councillors, Bishop Chrodobert of Paris, Audoen of Rouen, and Ebroin, her second son, Childeric, was appointed king of Austrasia, an event which seems to have led to a more or less settled peace between the two countries. Some four years later (664 or 665?), when her eldest son was of fit age to govern, Bathilda at last found herself able to carry out her long-cherished desire of retiring from the world. Her nobles had been strongly opposed to this step, for ‘the Franks,’ we are told, ‘loved her very greatly,’ and it was only by an accident that she finally accomplished her wish. A certain Sigoberrand, apparently one of her most trusted councillors, had given offence to his fellow Franks, and they, conspiring together, put him to death without due trial (‘contra legem’). Fearing lest Bathilda should take vengeance for her friend's murder, they now consented to her retirement; and she, having first taken counsel with the priests, pardoned the offenders.

From this time the queen's life seems to have been spent in works of piety. In the nunnery of Chelles she submitted to the rule of that Bertila whom she had herself made abbess. Nor did the lowhest offices of the household or the kitchen shock her. Sometimes, however, she would revisit the outside world. At the request of Bertila she would carry the ‘eulogia’ or gifts to the royal court, so that the king and his nobles might protect her favourite foundation. She took the poor and the stranger guests under her special care; and so continued her pious life till (c 678) she fell sick of an internal disease, ‘quod medici ileos vocant,’ and had to entrust herself to a physician's hands. As her last hours drew on, she refused to let the sisters call up the aged abbess to her bedside, because, being so infirm, the shock might kill her. From her dying couch she gave orders that her little godchild, Radegunde, should be placed beside her in the tomb, and so died, seeing, according to the pious fancy of the times, her old friend Genesius with a choir of angels waiting to receive her soul. She was buried at Chelles in the church of the Holy Cross, where the remains of her eldest son, Clothaire III, had lain since 670. Some hundred and fifty years later her body was removed to the church of St. Mary, by order of Hegilwich, abbess of Chelles, and mother of Judith, wife of Louis the Pious.

There are two early lives of St. Bathilda, of which the first seems, from internal evidence, to have been written shortly after her death. The second, which is very largely based upon the former, is considered by the Bollandist fathers to be nearly contemporary, but is assigned by Mabillon (Annal. Benedict. 555) to the middle of the eighth century.

[Act. Sanct. 26 Jan. 732–49; Fredegarius apud Dom. Bouquet, 449, &c.; Gesta Reg. apud Dom. Bouq. ii. 569, &c.; Vita S. Leodegarii apud Dom. Bouquet, ii. 612, &c.; Vita Bertilæ ap. Du Chesne, i. 669, 618; Acta Sanct. apud Bolland in Vita Wandregesil, 22 July, 276; Vita Frodoberti, 8 Jan. 508; Vita Ansberti, 9 Feb. 347; and Vita Philiberti, 20 Aug. 76; Mabillon's Annales Benedict. i.; D'Achery's Acta Sanct. Benedict. sæc. ii. 994; Le Cointe's Annales Eccles. Franc. iii.; Ghesquière's Acta Sanct. Belg. in Vita S. Eligii, iii. 286–9; Bede's Hist. Eccles. iv. c. 23, iii. 8; Barthélemy's Vie de St. Eloi; Binet's Vie de Ste. Bathilde; and authorities cited above.]

T. A. A.

BATHURST, ALLEN (1684–1775), first Earl Bathurst, statesman, was the eldest son of Sir Benjamin Bathurst, governor of the East India Company 1688–9, treasurer to Princess Anne of Denmark on the establishment of her household, and cofferer from her accession until her death. Sir Benjamin died on 27 April 1704; his widow, Frances, second daughter of Sir Allen Apsley of Apsley, Sussex, survived until August 1727; both lie buried in the church of Paulerspury, Northamptonshire. Allen Bathurst was born at St. James's Square, Westminster, on 16 Nov. 1684, and educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where his uncle, Dean Bathurst, was president, but his degree is not recorded. He represented Cirencester in parliament from May 1705 until January 1712, when he was created Baron Bathurst, being one of the twelve tory gentlemen who were raised to the peerage at the same time. Throughout life he was an ardent supporter of the principles of his party, and became conspicuous whilst in the upper house by his zealous advocacy of Bishop Atterbury and by his keen criticisms of Sir Robert Walpole. On the latter's fall from office Lord Bathurst was made a privy councillor and captain of the band of pensioners, an office which he retained from the summer of 1742 to the end of 1744. Shortly after the accession of George III a pension of 2,000l. a year on the Irish revenues was granted to him, and on 12 Aug. 1772 he received a further mark of royal favour in his elevation to an earldom. He died near Cirencester on 16 Sept.