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A New and General Biographical Dictionary, Vol. 2 of 8

A New and General Biographical Dictionary, Vol. 2 of 8

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Excerpt from A New and General Biographical Dictionary, Vol. 2 of 8: Containing an Historical, Critical, and Impartial Account of the Lives and Writings of the Most Eminent Persons in Every Nation in the World; Particularly the British and Irish, From the Earliest Accounts of Time to the Present Period

Bathe (henry de), a learned knight,_an eminent and finlful juf'ticiary of the 13th century, was born at that ancient feat of this family, called Bathehoufe, in the county of Devon. Being a younger brother, it is not unnatural to imagine he might, upon that; account, apply himfelf to the {tudy and profeflion ofthe laws of his country, in the knowledge of which he grew fo eminent, that he was advanced by King Henry iii..in 1238, to be one of the juftices' of the Common Pleas, and in 1246 'was con?ituted one of the ju?ices itinerant (as they were then called) for the county of Hart ford, and in 1248 he was appointed the fame for Ell'ex and Sorry, in 1249 for Kent, Berks, Southampton, and Middlefex, and in 1250 for Lincolnfhire; at which time he had allowed him out of the Ex chequer, by a peculiar favour, an hundred pounds a year for his fuf tentation in the difcharge of his office. But the year following he fell from the king's grace and favour, the occafion of which were certain crimes laid to his charge viz. That he had not exercifed his office uprightly, but to his own private gain, having perverted ju?icc through bribes, upon an oceafion of a fuit betwixt him and one Eve tard Trumpington, which was chiefly fupported' againf't him by one Philip de Arets, Knight, who alfo added treafon to that of infidelity in his ofiice. The accufed was attached in the king's court; but one Manfel, who was now become agreat favourite at court,offered bail for his appearance. King Henry refufed this; the cafe, as he al ledged,' not being bailable, he t'erming him guilty of high treafon. Full: Ballet, however, then bifhop of London, and a great many of De Bathe's friends interceding, the king at laft gave orders that he Ihould be bailed, twenty-four knights becoming fureties for his ap pearing, and fianding to the judgment of the court. But De Bathe feems to have been confcious of his own demerits, or the prepof fellion of his judges againfi him for he was no fooner fet at liberty, than he wrote to all his relations either by blood or'marriage, ~de firing that they would apply to the king in his favour, at firft by fair fpeeches and prefents, and that if thefe did not prevail, they fhould appear in a more warlike manner, thereby to intimidate the court. This they faithfully and unanimou?y promifed to do, upon the encouragement given them by a bold knight, one Nicholas de Sandford: but the king, imagining that his own power, and the intereft of De Bathe's accufers, infinitely outweighed all the pre parations of the others, appeared the more inexorable upon the in timation of thefe proceedings; he rejected all prefents from the friends of the accufed, and put on an air as if nothing but his pu~ nifhment fhould falisfy his' and the nation's juf'tice. De Bathe knew well to what all this outward in?exibility tended; butwas cer tain, that if Henry perfifted in his refolution, he himfelf muff perifh. He therefore had recourfe to a more prudent meafureg he applied himfelf to the bifliop of London, and other his fpecial friends, and with a great poffe of thefe goes to Richard earl of Cornwall (after.

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