retired from public life. He died on the 7th of August 1902.
See biographical notices by A. Kiepert (2nd ed., Hanover, 1902), and E. Schreck (Hanover, 1894).
BENNINGTON, a village and one of the county-seats of Bennington county, Vermont, U.S.A., situated in the S.W. part of the state, about 30 m. E.N.E. of Troy, New York. Pop. (1890) 3971; (1900) 5656 (965 foreign-born); (1910) 6211. The township of the same name, in which it is situated, had in 1910 a population of 8698, living chiefly in the villages of Bennington, North Bennington and Bennington Centre, the last a summer resort. The village of Bennington is served by the Rutland railway, and is connected by electric railway with North Adams and Pittsfield, Mass., and Hoosick Falls, N.Y. It is picturesquely situated at the foot of the Green Mountains, and the summit of the neighbouring Mt. Anthony (2345 ft.) commands a magnificent view. The village has woollen mills, knitting mills, stereoscope, box, and collar and cuff factories and machine shops. There are white clay and yellow ochre works in different parts of the township. Bennington is the seat of the Vermont state soldiers’ home. The Bennington Battle Monument, a shaft 301 ft. high, is said to be the highest battle monument in the world. It commemorates the success gained on the 16th of August 1777 by a force of nearly 2000 “Green Mountain Boys” and New Hampshire and Massachusetts militia under General John Stark over two detachments of General Burgoyne’s army, totalling about 1200 men, under Col. Friedrich Baum and Col. Breyman. These came up one after the other in search of provisions and were practically annihilated, Col. Baum being mortally wounded and 700 men taken prisoners. The scene of the battle is about 5 m. from the village. The victory had an important influence on Burgoyne’s campaign (see American War of Independence), weakening Burgoyne and encouraging the American militia to take the field against him. Bennington was settled in 1761 and was named in honour of Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire. The township was organized in 1762. It was one of the “New Hampshire Grant” towns, both New York and New Hampshire claiming jurisdiction over it, and, being the home of Ethan Alien and Seth Warner, it became the centre of activities of the “Green Mountain Boys,” of whom they were leaders. During the fifteen years in which Vermont was an independent commonwealth, Bennington was the headquarters of the council of safety. In 1828-1829 W. L. Garrison edited here a paper called The Journal of the Times. The village of Bennington was incorporated in 1849.
See Merrill and Merrill, Sketches of Historic Bennington (Cambridge, Mass., 1898).
BENNO (1010-1106), bishop of Meissen, was the son of Werner, count of Woldenburg, was educated at Gosslar, and in 1066 was nominated by the emperor Henry IV. to the see of Meissen. In the troubles between empire and papacy that followed Benno took part against the emperor. In 1085 he was deposed by the synod of Mainz, but after the death of Pope Gregory VII. he submitted, and on the recommendation of the imperialist Pope Clement III. was restored to his see, which he held till his death. He did much for his diocese, both by ecclesiastical reforms on the Hildebrandine model and by material developments. He was long reverenced in his own diocese as a saint before, in 1523, he was canonized by Pope Adrian VI. His canonization drew from Luther a violent brochure “against the new false god and old devil, who is to be lifted up at Meissen.”
For bibliography, see Ulysse Chevalier, Répertoire des sources hist.: Bio-bibliographie, s.v. “Bennon.”
BENOIT, PETER LEONARD LEOPOLD (1834-1901), Flemish composer, was born on the 17th of August 1834 at Harlebeke in Flanders. His father and a local village organist were his first teachers. In 1851 Benoit entered the Brussels Conservatoire, where he remained till 1855, studying chiefly under F. J. Fétis. During this period he composed music to many melodramas, and to an opera Le Village dans les montagnes for the Park theatre, of which in 1856 he became conductor. He won a government prize and a money grant in 1857 by his cantata Le Meurtre d’Abel, and this enabled him to travel through Germany. In course of his journeyings he found time to write a considerable amount of music, as well as an essay L’École de musique flamande et son avenir. Fétis loudly praised his Messe solennelle, which Benoit produced at Brussels on his return from Germany. In 1861 he visited Paris for the production of his opera Le Roi des Aulnes (“Erlkönig”), which, though accepted by the Théâtre Lyrique, was never mounted; while there he conducted at the Bouffes-Parisiens. Again returning home, he astonished a section of the musical world by the production at Antwerp of a sacred tetralogy, consisting of his Cantate de Noël, the above-mentioned Mass, a Te Deum and a Requiem, in which were embodied to a large extent his theories of Flemish music. It was in consequence of his passion for the founding of an entirely separate Flemish school that Benoit changed his name from Pierre to Peter. By prodigious efforts he succeeded in gathering round him a small band of enthusiasts, who affected to see with him possibilities in the foundation of a school whose music should differ completely from that of the French and German schools. In its main features this school failed, for its faith was pinned to Benoit’s music, which is hardly more Flemish than French or German. Benoit’s more important compositions include the Flemish oratorios De Schelde and Lucifer, the latter of which met with complete failure on its production in London in 1888; the operas Het Dorp int Gebirgte and Isa, the Drama Christi; an enormous mass of songs, choruses, small cantatas and motets. Benoit also wrote a great number of essays on musical matters. He died at Antwerp on the 8th of March 1901.
BENOÎT DE SAINTE-MORE, or Sainte-Maure, 12th century French trouvère, is supposed to have been a native of Sainte-Maure in Touraine. Very little is known of his personal history. The maître prefixed to his name implies that he had graduated at the university, but there is nothing to show whether he was a simple trouvère by profession or belonged to the clergy. He was a loyal subject of Henry II. of England, to whose court he was attached, and when he speaks of the French, it is as “they.” Wace had begun a history of the dukes of Normandy in his Roman du Rou. This he brought down to the reign of Henry I., but here Henry II. seems to have withdrawn his patronage, and at the end of his poem Wace refers to a maistre Beneeit who had received a similar commission. There is no other contemporary poem extant dealing with the subject except the Chronique des ducs de Normandie, and it would seem reasonable to assume the identity of Wace’s rival with Benoît de Sainte-More, whose authorship of the chronicle has, nevertheless, been often disputed. But a comparison of the Roman de Troie, which is certainly Benoît’s work, with the Chronique, confirms the supposition that they are by the same author. The poem contains over forty thousand lines, and relates the history of the Norman dukes from Rollo to Henry I., with a preliminary sketch of the Danish invasions and the adventures of Hastings and his companions. It has no claims to be considered an original authority. Benoît drew his information from the De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum of Dudon de Saint Quentin as far as 1002, following his model very closely. From that time he avails himself of the chronicle of William of Jumièges, also of Ordericus Vitalis and others. The Chronique probably dates from about 1172 to 1176. In the Roman de Troie, written about 1160, Benoît expressly asserts his authorship. He mentions “Omers” with great respect as li clers merveillos, but his authority for the story is naturally not Homer, of whom he could have no first-hand knowledge. He follows the apocryphal Historia de excidio Trojae of Dares the Phrygian and the Ephemerides belli Trojani of Dictys of Crete. The poem runs to about 30,000 lines. The personages of the classical story are converted into heroes of romance. They have their castles and their abbeys, and act in accordance with feudal custom. The supernatural machinery of Homer is missing both in Benoît’s original and his own narrative. The story begins with the capture of the Golden Fleece and comes down to the return of the Greek princes after