Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/548

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BENTNEY


BENZONI


Heart chapel in the churcli of the Jesuit Fathers at Farm Street; and the decoration at Carlton Towers. In lS9-t, he received his commission to build the cathedral at Westminster, and at once started for Italy to make a careful study of the various great basilicas, and the mosaic work at Ravenna. He devoted himself with great con- centration to this, his life memorial, producing the most remarkable ecclesiastical building erected in England since the Reformation, and receiving high praise all over Europe on his extraordinary success.

He was a person of brusque, reser\'ed manner, but kind and friendly to those who really knew him. He had the strongest dislike to the preparation of show drawings and to the system of architectural competition and, being a man wholly lacking in self-assertion, and reticent in conversation, was never as well known in general circles as he deserved to be. His great characteristics as an architect were his careful attention to detail, his solicitude that all the fittings should be in perfect harmony with the building, and the sparing use he made of iron. He was awarded the gold medal of the In- stitute of Architects in February, 1902, but never received it, as on the 1st of March he was seized with paralysis and died the following morning. He was present at the trial of acoustic qualities made in his cathedral, but w'as not spared to see its formal opening. He was buried at Mortlake.

Architectural Rmew, XI. XII; The Builder. LXXXII; JtHimal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, IX; Obituary Notice in The Times (Lonjon, March, 1902).

George Charles Williamson.

Bentney (alias Bennet), William, an English Jesuit priest b. in Cheshire, 1609; d. 30 October, 1692. He entered the Society of Jesus 7 September, 1630, was sent to the English mission in 1640, and laboured there with great zeal and success for forty-two years. He was then arrested, at the instigation of a noble- man to whose sisters he was administering the sacra- ments, and was taken to Leicester gaol. No one in those parts being willing to bear witness against him, Bentney was at once transferred to Derby, where he was tried and sentenced to death at the spring assizes of 1682. His execution was delayed for unknown reasons, and on the accession of James II he was released. He was rearrested, however, tried, and condemned after the Revolution, but the sentence remained suspended, and in 1692 he died in Leicester gaol.

Foley, Records, V, 490, and Collect.; Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Ejig. Cath.

Sydney F. Smith.

Benziger, Aloysius. See Quilon, Diocese of.

Benziger, Joseph Charles, founder of the Catholic publishing house that bears his name, b. at Einsiedeln, Switzerland, 1762; d. there, 1841. In 1792 he started a small business in religious articles, but he soon felt the effects of the French Revolution. The French invasion forced him to take flight with his family, and for about a year they resided at Feldkirch, Austria, where his eldest son, Charles, was born. In 1800 they returned to Einsiedeln, which had been devastated by pillage and army requisitions. All Mr. Benziger's modest fortune was gone, but with redoubled efforts he set about repairing his losses, and started in business as a bookseller. He was made president of the county, and his credit and personal financial sac- rifices proved of great help, especially during the famine of 1817. In 1833, Charles and Nicholas Benziger succeeded their father under the firm name of "Charles and Nicholas Benziger Brothers", and two years later, in addition to their book pub- lishing business began the lithographing of religious pictures, as well as the colouring of them by hand, before the introduction of chromolithography.


Charles Benziger, son of the founder, b. 1799, d. 1873, a man of unusual strength and energy, with a good classical education, devoted himself especially to the literary end of the business. In 1840 the "Einsiedler Kalender" was founded; it is still published and furnishes an interesting il- lustration of the development of the art of printing. "The Pilgrim", a popular Catholic periodical es- tablished at the same time, lasted only ten years. Charles, too, took an active part in public life, and showed moderation and energy as President of the Canton of Schwyz. His health failed and in 1860 he retired from business.

Nicholas Benziger, brother of the preceding, b. 1808, d. 1864, who took charge of the technical part of the business, proved himself a pioneer, in- troducing to the mountain village of Einsiedeln a series of improved trades methods as they appeared from time to time in the great centres of Europe and America. Under his guidance the work of book-binding, which was formerly carried on in the family at home, was systematized. In 1844 the old hand-press was superseded by the first power press. Stereotyping was introduced in 1846; in 1856 steel and copper printing; and in 1858 electro- typing. In 1853, a house was opened in New York. By this time the two brothers had built up a business in Catholic books and prints that was known the world over. They also took an active part in charitable work, and started a fund for a hospital, which has since been erected.

On the retirement of Charles and Nicholas Ben- ziger (1860) the business was continued by Charles, Martin, and J. N. Adelrich, sons of the former, and Nicholas, Adelrich, and Louis, sons of the latter. LTnder this third generation, the different branches of the house were still further developed, chromolith- ography and other modern printing methods being added. In 1867, the "Alfe und Neue Welt", the first illustrated popular Catholic German magazine on a large scale, was begun, and then appeared a number of illustrated family books of devout reading and a series of school books, including a Bible history in twelve languages, together with prayer books by well-known authors. Between 1880 and 1895 a fourth generation succeeded to the business, and the firm name was changed to Ben- ziger and Company.

The house of Benziger Brothers in the United States was established in New York in 1853 by the Swiss house, but its development as a publishing house did not begin until 1860 when J. N. Adelrich Benziger (d. 1878) and Louis Benziger (d. 1896) took charge. In 1860, a house was opened in Cincinnati and in 1887 one in Chicago. The pub- lishing of English Catholic books was vigorously undertaken, and to-day the catalogue covers the field of devotional, educational, and juvenile liter- ature, besides works of a theological character. Since 1S64 the firm has manufactured sacred vessels and church furniture. The American firm of Benziger Brothers is now independent of the Swiss house. The Holy See conferred on the firm the title "Printers to the Holy Apostolic See" in 1867, and "The Pontifical Institute of Christian Art" in ISSS. Thomas F. Meehan.

Benzoni, Girolamo, b. at Milan about 1519. He went to America in 1541 and successively visited the Antilles and the Isthmus, Guatemala, and the west coast of South America. He returned to Spain and thence to Italy, in 1556. Of his subsequent life nothing is known. Some hints in his book suggest that his main purpose in the New World was com- merce, which he often had to carry on with difficulty, as trading by foreigners in the Spanish colonies was not looked upon with favour by the Span-