Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bathurst, Benjamin

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BATHURST, BENJAMIN (1784–1809), diplomatist, born in London on 14 March 1784, was the third son of Henry Bathurst [q. v.], bishop of Norwich. He is worthy of notice on account of his mysterious death. At an early age he was employed in diplomatic missions, holding at one time the post of secretary of legation at Leghorn. In 1809, when acting as envoy to the court of Vienna, Bathurst was returning to England with important despatches. He left Berlin with passports from the Prussian government, and travelled towards Hamburg without a servant. On the road he disappeared. The only clue to his fate was a portion of his clothing discovered near Lützen. The prevailing idea was that Bathurst was assassinated by French soldiers for the sake of the despatches, but his death remains a mystery. He married, 25 May 1805, Phillida, daughter of Sir William Pratt Call, by whom he had one daughter.

[European Magazine, lvii. 67; Foster's Peerage; Memoirs of Dr. Bathurst, by Mrs. Thistlethwaite, 1853.]

A. G-n.