Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/24

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Beatson
Beatson
20

French as by his own countrymen. He held several French preferments, the abbey de la Sie in Poitou, the priory of St. Peter's, and the treasurership of St. Hilary of Poictiers; but it was thought much to his credit that he had sent none of the revenues which he drew from them out of the kingdom. During his life Beaton was a constant benefactor to the Scots College founded in Paris in 1325 for the benefit of poor Scots scholars, and at his death he left to it his fortune and his manuscripts, including a vast mass of correspondence. These manuscripts, together with the greater part of the ancient records which he had brought with him from Glasgow, were, on the outbreak of the revolution, sent to St. Omer for safety, and have since been lost sight of. He died in Paris, and was buried by his own desire in the church of St. Jean de Lateran, within the precincts of which he had lived for forty-five years (30 April 1603). In his éloge funèbre, which was attended by the nuncio and many other magnates and a great concourse of people, he is styled 'unique Phœnix de la nation écossaise en qualité de pré1at.' Unique he certainly was among the churchmen of that time in leaving behind him an unblemished reputation, for even his enemies could rake up no scandal either in his private or public life to bring against him.

[Oraison Funèbre by Abbé Gayer, Paris, 1603; Register of the Diocese of Glasgow; Knox's History with Laing's notes; Queen Mary's Letters; Cosmo Innes's Sketches of Early Scottish History; Chambers's Biographies of Eminent Scotchmen.]

M. M'A.


BEATSON, ALEXANDER (1759–1833), lieutenant-general in the East India Company's service, governor of St. Helena, and experimental agriculturist, was second son of Robert Beatson, Esq., of Kilrie, co. Fife. He obtained a cadetship in 1775, and was appointed to an ensigncy in the Madras infantry, 21 Nov. 1776. He served as an engineer officer in the war with Hyder Ali, although he appears never to have belonged to the engineers. As lieutenant, he served with the Guides in Lord Cornwallis's campaigns against Tippoo Sultaun; and eight years after, as a field officer, was surveyor-general with the army under Lieutenant-general Harris, which captured Seringapatam in 1799. He attained the rank of colonel 1 Jan. 1801.

After he had quitted India, Beatson was appointed to the governorship of St. Helena, which he held from 1808 to 1813. The island, which then belonged to the East India Company, was in a very unsatisfactory condition. The scanty population had been nearly swept off by an epidemic of measles a short time previously, and, although recruited by emigrants from England and by Chinese coolies, was in a wretched state. The acts of the home authorities in suppressing the spirit traffic and other matters gave rise to great discontent, resulting in a mutiny in 1811, which was put down by the firmness of Beatson, who also introduced a better system of cultivation and many other beneficial measures. After his return to England, he devoted much attention to experiments in agriculture at Knole farm near Tunbridge Wells, and Henley, Essex. He became major-general July 1810, lieutenant-general June 1814, and died 14 July 1833.

Beatson was the author of the following works: 1. 'An Account of the Isles of France and Bourbon,' 1794, which was never printed, and remains in manuscript at the British Museum (Add. MS. 13868). 2. 'A View of the Origin and Conduct of the War against Tippoo Sultaun' (London, 1800, 4to). 3. 'Tracts relative to the Island of St. Helena,' with views (London, 1816, 4to), and other smaller works on the island besides contributions to the St. Helena 'Monthly Register.' 4. 'A New System of Cultivation without Lime or Dung, or Summer Fallowing, as practised at Knole Farm, Sussex' (London, 1820, 8vo); and various papers on improvements in agriculture.

[Dodswell and Miles's Alph. Lists Ind. Army; Vibart's Hist, of Madras Sappers and Miners, vol. i.; Beatson's writings.]

H. M. C.


BEATSON, BENJAMIN WRIGGLESWORTH (1803–1874), classical scholar, was educated first at Merchant Taylors' School, and afterwards at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1825 and M.A. in 1828. He was elected a fellow of his college soon after taking his first degree, and was senior fellow at the time of his death (24 July 1874). He compiled the 'Index Græcitatis Æschyleæ,' which was published at Cambridge in 1830 in the first volume of the 'Index in Tragicos Græcos.' An edition of Ainsworth's 'Thesaurus Linguæ Latinæ,' revised by Beatson, was issued in 1829, and republished in 1830 and in 1860. His other works were : 1. 'Progressive Exercises on the Composition of Greek Iambic Verse . . . For the use of King's School, Canterbury,' Cambridge, 1836; a popular school book, which reached a tenth edition in 1871. 2. 'Exercises on Latin Prose Composition,' 1840. 3. 'Lessons in Ancient History,' 1853.