Bergne, John Brodribb (DNB00)

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BERGNE, JOHN BRODRIBB (1800–1873), numismatist and antiquary, was descended from a family originally of Auvergne, France, but settled in England since the French revolution. He was born at Kensington in 1800, and having entered the Foreign Office in January 1817 was for some time attached as clerk to the treaty department, of which he became superintendent in 1854. This part of the office was then, to some extent, remodelled, in order that the secretary of state might avail himself of Bergne's special knowledge and ability. No one, probably, could have occupied this post more efficiently than Bergne, who for many years was a trusted adviser of successive secretaries of state, and whose reputation as an authority on all matters connected with treaties extended far beyond English official circles. In 1865 he was a member of the commission appointed to revise the slave trade instructions. He remained the head of the treaty department till his death, early in 1878. Although Bergne's name did not come prominently before the general public, the sterling services which his remarkable memory, accuracy, and judgment enabled him to render during the long years of his life in the Foreign Office were universally and cordially recognised by his colleagues, Bergne will be remembered not less as antiquary and numismatist than as an important public sentint. He was one of the founders of the Numismatic Society, of which he was treasurer from 1848 to 1857, and was several times afterwards elected a vice-president, He was also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. As a numismatist Bergne devoted his attention chiefly to Roman and English coins, his collection of which was dispersed at his death, when many of the most valuable examples were purchased for the British Museum. The following are his contributions to the 'Numismatic Chronicle' from its first publication in 1838: 'Pennies of William the Conqueror;' 'Additions to Mr. Walpole's Account of the Family of Roetiers;' 'Irish Penny of Edward I;' 'Remarks on the Pennies of Henry with the Short and Long Cross;' 'Half-crowns of Charles II of Uncertain Mints;' 'Unpublished Exeter Half-crowns of Charles I;' 'Numismatic Sermon preached in 1694;' 'Unpublished Coins of Guthred, Baldred, and William the Conqueror;' 'Coin of Cerausius of a New and Unpublished Type;' 'Another coin of Baldred;' 'Denarius of Pescenninus Niger;' 'Coin Pedigrees;' 'Unpublished Coins;' 'Foreign or Counterfeit Sterlings.'

[Private information; Proceedings of the Numisimatic Society.]

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