Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Bateman, James

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

BATEMAN, JAMES (1811–1897), horticulturist, born on 18 July 1811 at Redivals, near Bury in Lancashire,' was the only child of John Bateman (1782–1858) of Knypersley Hall in Staffordshire, and of Tolson Hall in Westmoreland, by his wife Elizabeth (d. 1857), second daughter of George Holt of Redivals. He matriculated from Lincoln College, Oxford, on 2 April 1829, graduating B.A. from Magdalen College in 1834, and M.A. in 1845.

While a young man Bateman took a great interest in cultivating tropical fruits, and succeeded at Knypersley in bringing to maturity for the first time in England the fruit of the carambola (Averrhoa Carambola). He is best known to botanists, however, for his work in connection with orchids. In 1833 he sent, at his own expense, the collector Colley to Demerara and Berbice to collect plants, of which he afterwards published a description in 'Loudon's Gardeners' Magazine.' Shortly afterwards he induced G. Ure Skinner, a merchant trading with Guatemala, to send him orchids. In 1837 he commenced the publication of his work on 'Orchidaceæ of Mexico and Guatemala,' which he completed in 1843. The book, which was in atlas folio, comprised a series of coloured plates, each costing over 200l. Only one hundred copies were printed at twelve guineas each. At the sale of the sixth Duke of Marlborough's Library a copy was sold for 77l. Bateman was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society on 19 March 1833 and of the Royal Society on 8 Feb. 1838. He was also a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society. In 1867 he issued 'A Second Century of Orchidaceous Plants' (London, 4to). Between 1864 and 1874 he published his 'Monograph of Odontoglossum.' Bateman was not only the pioneer of orchid culture, he was also one of the first to advocate 'cool' orchid cultivation. By his lectures he greatly increased the popularity of the plants in England. His 'Chinese garden,' his 'Egyptian court,' and his 'Wellingtonia avenue' at Biddulph were among the first experiments of the kind attempted in England. For some years Bateman resided at Home House, Farncombe Road, Worthing, where he cultivated rare plants in a miniature Alpine garden. He afterwards removed to Springbank, Victoria Road, where he died on 27 Nov. 1897. He was buried on 2 Dec. in Worthing cemetery. On 24 April 1838 he married Maria Sybilla, third daughter of Rowland Egerton Warburton and sister of Peter Egerton Warburton [q. v.] By her he had three sons——John, Rowland, and Robert——and a daughter, Katherine, married to Ulrick Ralph Burke [q. v. Suppl.] Bateman published several theological pamphlets and lectures.

[Burke's Landed Gentry; Worthing Gazette, 8 Dec. 1897; Times, 2 Dec. 1897; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit.; Simms's Bibliotheca Stafford.]

E. I. C.