Bateman, Thomas (1821-1861) (DNB00)

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BATEMAN, THOMAS (1821–1861), archæologist, born 8 Nov. 1821 at Rowsley, Derbyshire, was the only son of William Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgrave, in the same county, by his wife, Mary, daughter of James Crompton, of Brightmet, Lancashire. A country gentleman of large property, situate in one of the most beautiful portions of the Peak, he devoted his time and wealth to antiquarian and ethnological pursuits. This taste was inherited from his grandfather and father, who severally laid the foundation of a fine library and museum. Bateman himself crowned their work by adding greatly to both, and by an extensive series of excavations in the tumuli of Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire, but more especially in the latter county. It has been well remarked that he did for Derbyshire what Sir R. C. Hoare did for Wiltshire in the last century. The results of his researches were published in three several volumes: 1. ‘Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, and the Sepulchral Usages of its Inhabitants,’ 8vo, London, 1848, in which he was assisted by Mr. Stephen Glover; 2. ‘A Descriptive Catalogue of the Antiquities and Miscellaneous Objects preserved in the Museum at Lomberdale House,’ 8vo, Bakewell, 1855; 3. ‘Ten Years' Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Gravehills,’ 8vo, London, 1861. This last work, which was issued about a fortnight before its author's death, gives a detailed account not only of his own investigations, but of those of his friends, Mr. Samuel Carrington, of Wetton, and Mr. James Ruddock, of Pickering. Besides his separate publications Bateman contributed very largely to the ‘Archæological Journal,’ the ‘Journal of the British Archæological Association,’ and various other antiquarian periodicals. He was an early fellow of the Ethnological Society, as originally constituted. Although never a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, he acted from 1854 to 1860 as its local secretary for Derbyshire. He died 28 Aug. 1861 at his seat, Lomberdale House, near Bakewell, after two or three days' illness. At the time of his premature death Bateman was preparing for the press a catalogue of the manuscripts in his library, with palæographic and bibliographical notes; and he was engaged upon a second volume of the catalogue of his museum. Both library and museum, it is gratifying to know, are strictly entailed. The latter collection is justly ranked as one of the wonders of the Peak. ‘It is rich in Greek, Roman, Mexican, and mediæval antiquities; and its collection of Samian ware, particularly that part of it which once belonged to the Cook collection at York, is very fine. But it is in prehistoric Celtic, and to a degree in Anglo-Saxon antiquities, that it chiefly excels other private museums.’

Thomas Bateman's father, William Bateman, F.S.A. (1787–1835), following in the footsteps of Pegge and Major Rooke, made excavations into several of the barrows of the Peak district, and communicated some of the results to the ‘Archæologia.’ His memoranda of the ‘Opening of Tumuli, principally at Middleton by Youlgrave, from 1821 to 1832,’ were arranged by his son, and published in vol. i. of C. R. Smith's ‘Collectanea Antiqua.’ William Bateman died 11 June 1835, when within a month of completing his forty-eighth year.

[Athenæum, 7 Sept. 1861, pp. 321–2; Reliquary, ii. 87–97; Gent. Mag. (1861), xi. 450–2; Journ. Brit. Archæol. Assoc. xviii. 362–7; Cox's Churches of Derbyshire, vol. ii. passim.]

G. G.