Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

and “boot”) meaning to improve in condition, especially in the case of animals by feeding; so, to feed gluttonously; the word is used figuratively of prospering at the expense of another.

BATTENBERG, the name of a family of German counts which died out about 1314, whose seat was the castle of Kellerburg, near Battenberg, a small place now in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. The title was revived in 1851, when Alexander (1823-1888), a younger son of Louis II., grand-duke of Hesse, contracted a morganatic marriage with a Polish lady, Countess Julia Theresa von Haucke (1825-1895), who was then created countess of Battenberg. Raised to the rank of a princess in 1858, the countess and her children were allowed to style themselves princes and princesses of Battenberg, with the addition of Durchlaucht or Serene Highness. The eldest son of this union, Louis Alexander (b. 1854), married in 1884 Victoria, daughter of Louis IV., grand-duke of Hesse, and became an admiral in the British navy. The second son, Alexander Joseph (q.v.), was prince of Bulgaria from 1879 to 1886. The third son, Henry Maurice, was born in 1858, and married on the 23rd of July 1885 Beatrice, youngest daughter of Victoria, queen of England. He died at sea on the 20th of January 1896 when returning from active service with the British troops during the Ashanti War, and left three sons and a daughter, Victoria Eugénie, who was married in 1906 to Alphonso XIII., king of Spain. The fourth son, Francis Joseph, born in 1861, married in 1897 Anna, daughter of Nicholas I., prince of Montenegro, and is the author of Die volkswirtschaftliche Entwickelung Bulgariens von 1879 bis zur Gegenwart (Leipzig, 1891). The only daughter of the princess of Battenberg, Marie Caroline, born in 1852, was married in 1871 to Gustavus Ernest, prince and count of Erbach-Schönberg.

BATTER, an architectural term of unknown origin, used of the face of a wall which is slightly inclined to the perpendicular. It is most commonly employed in retaining walls, the lower courses of which are laid at right angles to the batter, so as to resist the thrust of the earth inside. For aesthetic reasons it is often adopted in the lowest or basement porticos of a great building. From a historical point of view it is the most ancient system employed, as throughout Egypt and Chaldaea all the temples built in unburnt brick were perforce obliged to be thicker at the bottom, and this gave rise to the batter or raking side which was afterwards in Egypt copied in stone. For defensive purposes the walls of the lower portions of a fortress were built with a batter as in the case of the tower of David and some of the walls built by Herod at Jerusalem. The Crusaders also largely adopted the principle, which was followed in some of the castles of the middle ages throughout Europe.

BATTERING RAM (Lat. aries, ram), a military engine used before the invention of cannon, for beating down the walls of besieged fortresses. It consisted of a long heavy beam of timber, armed at the extremity with iron fashioned something like the head of a ram. In its simplest form the beam was carried in the hands of the soldiers, who assailed the walls with it by main force. The improved ram was composed of a longer beam, in some cases extending to 120 ft., shod with iron at one end, and suspended, either by the middle or from two points, from another beam laid across two posts. This is the kind described by Josephus as having been used at the siege of Jerusalem (B.J. iii. 7. 19). The ram was shielded from the missiles of the besieged by a penthouse (vinea) or other overhead protection. It was often mounted on wheels, which greatly facilitated its operations. A hundred soldiers at a time, and sometimes even a greater number, were employed to work it, and the parties were relieved in constant succession. No wall could resist the continued application of the ram, and the greatest efforts were always made to destroy it by various means, such as dropping heavy stones on the head of the ram and on the roof of the penthouse; another method being to seize the ram head with grapnels and then haul it up to a vertical position by suitable windlasses on the wall of the fortress. Sometimes the besieged ran countermines under the ram penthouse; this if successful would cause the whole engine to fall into the excavation. In medieval warfare the low penthouse, called cat, was generally employed with some form of ram.

BATTERSEA, a south-western metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded N. by the Thames, N.E. by Lambeth, and S.E., S., and W. by Wandsworth. Pop. (1901) 168,907. The principal thoroughfares are Wandsworth Road and Battersea Park and York Roads from east to west, connected north and south with the Victoria or Chelsea, Albert and Battersea bridges over the Thames. The two first of these three are handsome suspension bridges; the third, an iron structure, replaced a wooden bridge of many arches which was closed in 1881, after standing a little over a century. Battersea is a district mainly consisting of artisans’ houses, and there are several large factories by the river. The parish church of St Mary, Church Road (1776), preserves from an earlier building stained glass and monuments, including one to Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke (d. 1751), and his second wife, who had a mansion close by. Of this a portion remains on the riverside, containing a room associated with Pope, who is said to have worked here upon the “Essay on Man.” Wandsworth Common and Clapham Common (220 acres) lie partly within the borough, but the principal public recreation ground is Battersea Park, bordering the Thames between Albert and Victoria Bridges, beautifully laid out, containing a lake and subtropical garden, and having an area of nearly 200 acres. It was constructed with difficulty by embanking the river and raising the level of the formerly marshy ground, and was opened in 1858. Among institutions are the Battersea Polytechnic, the Royal Masonic Institution for girls, founded in 1788, and Church of England and Wesleyan Training Colleges. Battersea is in the parliamentary borough of Battersea and Clapham, including the whole of the Battersea division and part of the Clapham division. The borough council consists of a mayor, 9 aldermen and 54 councillors. Area, 2160.3 acres.

An early form of the name is Patricsey or Peter’s Island; the manor at the time of the Domesday survey, and until the suppression of the monasteries, belonging to the abbey of St Peter, Westminster. It next passed to the crown, and subsequently to the family of St John and to the earls Spencer. York Road recalls the existence of a palace of the archbishops of York, occasionally occupied by them between the reigns of Edward IV. and Mary. Battersea Fields, bordering the river, were formerly a favourite resort, so that the park also perpetuates a memory. The art of enamelling was introduced, c. 1750, at works in Battersea, examples from which are highly valued.

BATTERY (Fr. batterie, from battre, to beat), the action of beating, especially in law the unlawful wounding of another (see Assault). The term is applied to the apparatus used in battering, hence its use in military organization for the unit of mobile artillery of all kinds. This consists of from four to eight guns with their personnel, wagons and train. In the British service the term is applied to field, horse, field-howitzer, heavy and mountain artillery units. “Battery” is also used to imply a mass of guns in action, especially in connexion with the military history of the 18th and early 19th centuries. In siegecraft, a battery is simply an emplacement for guns, howitzers or mortars, constructed for the purposes of the siege, and protected as a rule by a parapet. In fortification the term is applied similarly to permanent or semi-permanent emplacements for the artillery of the defence. In all these senses the presence of artillery is implied in the use of the word (see Artillery, and Fortification and Siegecraft). The word is also used for the “pitcher” and “catcher” in baseball; for a collection of utensils, primarily of hammered copper or brass, especially in the French term batterie de cuisine; and for the instruments of percussion in an orchestra.

Electric Battery—This term was applied by the old electricians to a collection of Leyden jars, but is now used of a device for generating electricity by chemical action, or more exactly, of a number of such devices joined up together. There are two main classes of electric battery. In primary batteries, composed of a number of galvanic or voltaic “cells,” “couples” or “elements,” on the completion of the interactions between the substances on which the production of electricity depends, the activity of the cells comes to an end, and can only be restored with the aid of