Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/310

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Bentley
Bentley
306

navy, but resigned it on being promoted to his flag, 28 Dec. 1763. He held no further command, but became a vice-admiral in October 1770, and died 3 Jan. 1772.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. v. 280; Gent. Mag. (1772), xlii. 46.]

J. K. L.

BENTLEY, JOSEPH CLAYTON (1809–1851), line-engraver, was born at Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1809. He commenced life as a landscape-painter, but in 1832 he came to London and studied engraving under Robert Brandard. He did not, however, entirely abandon painting, but exhibited occasionally from 1833 onwards landscapes, chiefly views in Yorkshire, painted with a great freedom of hand and a nice feeling for colour, at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Society of British Artists, and the exhibitions of several provincial towns. Many of his plates were executed for the publications of Messrs. Fisher and Messrs. Virtue, and especially for the ‘Gems of European Art,’ for which he engraved ‘The Fountain,’ after Zuccarelli, and ‘A Sunny Day,’ after Cuyp, and for the ‘Art Journal.’ Some of his best works are those for the Vernon Gallery: ‘The Brook by the Way,’ after Gainsborough, ‘Lake Avernus,’ after Richard Wilson, ‘The Valley Farm,’ after Constable, ‘The Windmill,’ after John Linnell, ‘The Way to Church,’ after Creswick, and ‘The Wooden Bridge,’ the ‘Port of Leghorn,’ and ‘Sea-shore in Holland,’ after Sir Augustus W. Callcott. His style of engraving was not of the highest class, but he threw much artistic feeling into his works, and laboured so incessantly that he undermined a naturally weak constitution and brought on an illness which terminated his life at Sydenham on 9 Oct. 1851.

[Art Journal, 1851, p. 280. 1852. p. 15.]

R. E. G.

BENTLEY, NATHANIEL (1735?–1809), called Dirty Dick, kept a warehouse in Leadenhall Street. It was the first glazed handware shop in London, having been glazed by Pick's father. The elder Bentley had a country house at Edmonton. He presented a bell to the church of St. Catherine Cree in 1754 to he rung on his birthday as long as he lived. He died in 1760. Young Nathaniel Bentley was well educated, but ran away from home to escape the severity of his father, he learned several modern languages during his absence. he afterwards entered the business of his father, from whom he inherited a considerable estate, besides the business in Leadenhall Street. For some years before and after his father's death, Bentley was known as the 'Beau of Leadenhall Street,' exhibiting a fastidious taste, whether in dress or in manners, and frequently presenting himself at court. At Paris he was introduced personally to Louis XVI, and 'was considered the handsomest and best dressed English gentleman then at the French court' Granger's Wonderful Museum). But with this occasional magnificence, he was developing strange habits of squalor, which increased with his years. The filth of his premises became proverbial. His eccentricity has been attributed to a shock caused by the death on the eve of the marriage of a lady to whom he was betrothed. He always kept closed the room which had been made ready for the wedding breakfast. In business transactions, although miserly, he was prompt and honourable. Bentley quitted the premises in which the undisturbed dirt of forty years had accumulated in February 1804. He lived in Jewry Street, Aldgate, for three years, and then in Leonard Street, Shoreditch. Here he was robbed of a considerable sum, so that little remained to him beyond a balance of 400l. at the bank. He lived in Leonard Street for about twelve months when he 'commenced a perambulation from one country place to another, more in the habit of a beggar than a traveller for pleasure.' He died at Haddington about the close of the year 1809, and was buried in the churchyard.

[History of the Extraordinary Dirty Warehouse in Leadenhall Street, together with the Memoirs of its Eccentric Inhabitant. Nath. Bentley, Esq., 8vo, 1803; Granger's Wonderful Museum, vols. i. and ii., 1802 and 1804, and Life of the celebrated Nath. Bentley, Esq., &c., 12mo. London. extracted from Granger; Wilson's Wonderful Characters. 1821, i. 166-80.]

A. H. G.

BENTLEY, RICHARD (1662–1742), scholar and critic, was the son of Thomas Bentley by his second wife, Sarah Willie, and was born on 27 Jan. 1662 at Oulton, in the parish of Rothwell, near Wakefield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The Bentleys were yeomen of the richer sort. They had been somewhat impoverished by the civil war, in which Bentley's grandfather had served as a royalist captain; but his father still had a small estate at Woodlesford near Oulton. Bentley was called Richard after his maternal grandfather, Richard Willie, a well-to-do builder, it would seem, who is said to have held a major's commission on the king's side. Having learned the elements of Latin grammar from his mother, Bentley was sent first to a day school at Methley, near Oulton, and then, when he was about eleven, to the Wakefield grammar