Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/40

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Beauclerk
Beaufeu
36

Walpole speaks of her art with all the extravagant enthusiasm which he employs in praising his friends. She executed a series of seven large designs 'in sut-water' (her first attempt of the kind) for his 'Mysterious Mother.' To these he devoted a closet at Strawberry Hill, which he christened the 'Beauclerk Closet,' where they hung on Indian blue damask. 'Salvator Kosa and Guido could not surpass their expression and beauty,' he says (Correspondence, ed. Cunningham, vi. 311, 462, vii. 265). In 1778 she made a drawing of Georgiana, duchess of Devonshire, which Bartolozzi engraved. He also engraved a set of illustrations which she prepared for the Hon. W. R. Spencer's translation of Bürger's 'Leonora,' published by Bensley in 1796. In the following year the same publisher issued the 'Fables of John Dryden,' with 'engravings from the pencil of the Right Hon. Lady Diana Beauclerc,' engraved by Bartolozzi, and his pupil, W. N. Gardiner. Bartolozzi also reproduced some of her designs of children, cupids, &c. Reynolds painted her portrait in 1763, when she was Lady Bolingbroke. According to a note in Hardy's 'Life of Charlemont,' 1812, i. 345, Sir Joshua thought highly of her artistic abilities, and said that 'many of her ladyship's drawings might be studied as models.'

Hume describes her as 'handsome and agreeable and ingenious, far beyond the ordinary rate' (Private Corr. 1820, 251-2), and Boswell on his own account (Life of Johnson, ch. xxix.) bears witness to her 'charming conversation.' Lady Beauclerk died in 1808, aged 74.

[Walpole's Letters, and Anecdotes of Painting; Boswell's Johnson; Tuer's Bartolozzi.]

A. D.


BEAUCLERK, TOPHAM (1739–1780), a friend of Dr. Johnson, was the only son of Lord Sydney Beauclerk and a grandson of the first Duke of St. Albans. He was born in December 1739, and on the death of his father, 23 Nov. 1744, succeeded to the estates which Lord Sydney Beauclerk, a man notorious in his day for fortune-hunting, had inherited from Mr. Richard Topham, M.P. for Windsor. Topham Beauclerk matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, 11 November 1767, but does not seem to have taken any degree.

Whilst there he had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Bennet Langton. Beauclerk's tastes were widespread, both in science and literature; his conversation was easy and vivacious, with that 'air of the world' which showed that he had seen much, and knew how to describe what he had seen. But his talents would have passed away without leaving any record behind them had he not sought the acquaintance of Dr. Johnson, and been loved by him with signal devotion. From 1767 to 1780 his name and his good qualities are written in the pages of Boswell. He married, at St. George's, Hanover Square, 12 March 1768, Lady Diana Spencer, eldest daughter of the second Duke of Marlborough, two days after she had been divorced from Lord St. John and Bolingbroke, and she made an excellent wife to her new husband. Beauclerk died at Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, 11 March 1780, leaving issue one son and two daughters. His library of 30,000 volumes, housed, as Horace Walpole remarks, in a building 'that reaches half-way to Highgate,' was sold by auction April-June 1781, and was especially rich in English plays and English history, travels and science. A catalogue ('Bibliotheca Beauclerkiana') is in the British Museum. Many of Beauclerk's letters are in the possession of Lord Charlemont.

[Brydges's Collins's Peerage, i. 249; Gent Mag. 1. 155 (1780); Hardy's Lord Charlemont; Cornhill Mag. xxx. 281-96 (1875), by G. B. H. (Hill).]

W. P. C.


BEAUFEU, BELLOFAGO, or BELLOFOCO, ROBERT de (fl. 1190), was a secular canon of Salisbury. Educated at Oxford he gained, at an early age, a reputation for learning, and became the friend of Giraldus Cambrensis, Walter Map, and other scholars. He is said to have written a work entitled 'Encomium Topographiæ,' after hearing the 'Topographia Hiberniæ' of Giraldus read by the author at a festival at Oxford. A second work, 'Monita salubria,' is also attributed to him by Bale; and a poem in praise of ale, 'Versus de commendatione Cervisiæ,' in a manuscript in the Cambridge University Library (Gg. vi. 42), bears his name.

[Bale, iii. 36; Works of Giraldus Cambr. (Rolls Series), vol. i. 1861, p. 72, vol. iii. 1863, p. 92; Wright's Biog. Brit. Lit. Anglo-Norman Period, 1846. p. 469.]

E. M. T.


BEAUFEU or BELLO FAGO, ROGER de (fl. 1305), judge, was probably of the same family as Nicholas de Beaufo of Beaufo's Manor, Norfolk, a contemporary of the judge. One Radulphus de Bello or Bella Fago (both genders are found, though the masculine predominates) is mentioned in Domesday Book as holding extensive estates in Norfolk, and the bishop of Thetford also there mentioned we know from other sources to have been William de Beaufo, called by Godwin inaccurately Galsagus, and by others still more corruptly Welson. It may be mentioned in