Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/98

This page has been validated.

lord justice-general. In 1568 he and George Buchanan accompanied the regent Murray when he went to York to take part in the inquiry of English and Scottish commissioners into the alleged guilt of Queen Mary of Scots. In recompense of his many services the regent bestowed upon him the lands of Letham in Fife. He retired from the bench previous to October 1574, and died, according to Dr. Mackenzie, in 1579. Calderwood and Sadler, following Melville and Knox, eulogise Balnaves as one of the mainstays of the Scottish reformation. Knox describes him as 'a very learned and pious man,' and Melville as 'a godly, learned, wise, and long experienced counsellor.' Dr. Irving enrolled him among the minor minstrels of Scotland, on the strength of a short ballad signed 'Balnaves,' which appeared in Allan Ramsay's 'Evergreen,' entitled 'Advise to a headstrong Faith.' It commences—

O gallandis all, I cry and call

[McCrie's Life of John Knox, and of Melville; Diplomata Regis, vii. 176; Rymer's Fœdera, xv. 133; Calderwood's History; Melville's Memoirs, p. 27; Anderson's Scottish Nation;Irving's Lives of Scottish Poets; Bannatyne MS. (Hunterian Society).]

A. B. G.

BALNEA, HENRY de (fl. 1400?), an English monk of the Carthusian order, was author of a work entitled 'Speculum Spiritualium,' which was preserved at Norwich in Tanner's days. Of the exact date at which he flourished there seems to be no certain information; but as he quotes from both Richard Hampole, who died in 1349, and Walter Hylton, who died in 1395, he cannot well be assigned to an earlier period than the fifteenth century. Tanner infers that Henry de Balnea was an Englishman from the fact that he quotes Hylton in that tongue.

[Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibenica.]

T. A. A.

BALSHAM, HUGH de (d. 1286), bishop of Ely and founder of Peterhouse, Cambridge, was born in the earlier part of the thirteenth century, most probably in the Cambridgeshire village from which he may be presumed to have taken his name. Matthew Paris, in the only passage where he mentions the bishop by name, calls him Hugo de Belesale, which is doubtless the reason why Fuller introduces him as 'Hugo de Balsham (for so he is truly written)' (see Chronica Majora, v. 589, and Worthies, i, 165). 'It was fashionable,' says Fuller, 'for clergy-men in that age to assume their surnames from the place of their nativity;' and 'there is no other village of that name throughout the dominions of England.' The bishop's supposed birthplace lies about ten miles from Camhridge and nine from Newmarket, in a pleasant neighbourhood, which justifies to this day Henry of Huntingdon's description of it, cited by Fuller, as 'amœnissima Montana de Balsham.' The village is one of those specified in 1401, in connection with a long-standing controversy between the bishops of Ely and the arch-deacons of Ely who called themselves arch-deacons of Cambridge, as under the direct jurisdiction of the bishops (Bentham's Ely, 269). At one time the place was an episcopal manor-seat, and Bishop Simon Montague from time to time abode there (Mullinger, 224, note 3). The church, which has been recently restored, contains some ancient monuments, among them a small brass figure on a slab, said to be that of Hugh de Balsham.

At the time of the death of William de Kilkenny, which occurred in September 1256 (Stubbs), or possibly as late as January 1257 (Abp. Parker), and in any case within two years after his election to the bishopric of Ely, Hugh de Balsham was (according to the usually accepted reading of Matthew Paris) sub-prior of the monastery of Ely. As such, it was his duty to assist the prior, and in his absence to preside over the convent; he was accordingly lodged in convenient apartments, and a sufficient income was assigned to his office (Bentham). The Ely monks cannot but have been mindful of the unfairness with which, in the earlier part of the century, Hervey, the first bishop of the see, had carried out the royal mandate for a division of the lands of the monastery of Ely between the convent itself and the newly created see; and this may have helped to determine their independent conduct on the death of William de Kilkenny. The last two bishops had been personages of political consequence. It appears to have been the intention of Henry III to insure the appointment at Ely of a successor of the same stamp; for upon William's death the king immediately, by special supplicatory letters and official messengers, urged upon the monks the election of his chancellor, Henry de Wengham,to the vacant see. But the monks, or the seven of them whom it was usual for the whole conventual body to name as electors, acting on the principle (says Matthew Paris) that it is unwise to prefer the unknown to the known, without delay chose their sub-prior, 'a man fitted for the office, and of blameless character.' The king, angered at this repulse, refused to accept the election, and allowed John de Waleran, to whom he had committed the custody of the temporalities of the see, shamefully to abuse