Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bate, John

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1126200Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 03 — Bate, John1885Thomas Andrew Archer

BATE, JOHN (d. 1429), theologian and philosopher, was, according to Leland's account, born west of the Severn (inter Transabrinos), but seems to have been brought up in the Carmelite monastery at York, where his progress in learning was so great that he was despatched to complete his studies at Oxford. Philosophy and theology seem to have divided his attention, and on asking his master's degree in both these subjects he proceeded to add to his reputation by authorship. He was acknowledged to be an authority in his own university, and the news of his acquirements soon spread abroad. His name became known to the heads of his order, and at last his fellow-Carmelites of York elected him their prior. It was probably somewhat earlier than this that he was ordained sub-deacon and deacon in March and May 1415 by Clifford, bishop of London. Bate appears to have continued in his new office till February 1429, when he died, ‘weighed down by a violent disease.’ According to Bale (Heliades, f. 82), Walden, the great English provincial of the Carmelites, deputed to represent the English at the council of Constance, speaks of him with great praise. The principal works of this writer, whose titles have come down to our days, are treatises on the ‘Parts of Speech,’ on Porphyry's ‘Universals,’ and on Aristotle's ‘Ethics.’ Other works of Aristotle also seem to have engaged his attention. We are also told that he wrote a book on Gilbert de la Porée's ‘Sex Prædicamenta.’ A long list of his productions may be made out by comparing the various titles given by the biographers cited at the foot of this article. Both Leland and Bale declare that Bate was a good Greek scholar; but the latter assures us, with the zeal of a newly made convert, that Bate devoted his talents to propping up the blasphemies of Antichrist and disseminating evil dogmas. Bate died and was buried at York, where his tomb seems to have been extant in the days of Bale, who quotes one verse from the Latin epitaph inscribed upon it: ‘Bati doctoris hæc condit petra cadaver.’

[Leland, 434; Bale, 567; Pits, 613; Tanner; Bale's Heliades, Harley MS. 3838 f. 82; St. Etienne's Bibliotheca Carmelitana, i. 791–2.]

T. A. A.