[The Life of Mr. Thomas Betterton, 1710; Roscius Anglicanus, with additions by the late Mr. Thomas Davies, 1789; Colley Cibber's Apology, 1740; Ib. by Bellingham, 1822; Aston's Continuation (1740?); Genest's Account of the English Stage, 1832; A Comparison between the Two Stages, in Dialogue, 1702; Biographia Dramatica, 1812; History of the English Stage, by Betterton, 1741; Langbaine's Dramatick Poets, 1691; The Tatler, vols. i., ii., and iv.; Dibdin's History of the Stage, no date (1795); Biographia Britannica, vol. ii., ed. 1777-98; Halliwell's Dictionary of Old English Plays. 1860; Davies's Dramatic Miscellanies, 1784; Stanley's Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, 1868; Lives of the Poets by T. Cibber, 1763; Pepys's Diary, by Lord Braybrooke; Malone's Supplement to Shakespeare's Plays, 1780.]
BETTES, JOHN (d. 1570?), miniature painter, is commonly stated to have been a pupil of Nicholas Hilliard. This opinion is based upon the statement of Vertue and a quotation from Richard Haydock's translation of 'Lomazzo on Painting,' which, however, will hardly bear the construction which has been put upon it: — 'Limnings, much used in former times in church books, as also in drawing by the life in small models, of late years by some of our countrymen, as Shoote, Betts, &c. But brought to the rare perfection which we now see by the most ingenious, painful, and skilful master, Nicholas Hilliard, and his well-profiting scholar, whose farther commendations I refer to the curiositie of his works.' The pupil here referred to is most probably Isaac Oliver [Oliver and Rowland Lockey are elsewhere mentioned by Haydock as the scholars of Hilliard]. The italicised words 'which we now see' in the quoted extract certainly seem to refer Bettes to an earlier date than Hilliard. In the exhibition of 'Old Masters' at the Academy 1875 was a picture attributed to Bettes with the date 1545. Hilliard was born 1547. Bettes painted a miniature in oils of Queen Elizabeth, which is said to have been highly succesflful. He is mentioned by Foxe in his 'Ecclesiastical History' as having engraved a pedigree and some vignettes for Hall's 'Chronicle.' He is also said to have painted the portrait of Sir John Godsalve. Foxe speaks of Bettes as already dead in 1576. His brother Thomas was also a miniature painter.
[Anecdotes of Painting; Walpole, 1849; Lomazzo on Painting, Englished by R[ichard] H[aydockl, 1698; Meres's Wit's Commonwealth, 1598; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878.]
BETTESWORTH, GEORGE EDMUND BYRON (1780–1808), naval captain, was the second son of John Bettesworth of Carhayes, Cornwall, who married Frances Elinor, daughter of Francis Tomkyns of Pembrokeshire. At an early age he was sent to sea as midshipman under Captain Robert Barlow, commanding the frigate Phoebe. In this ship he remained for several years, but in January 1804 he was lieutenant of the Centaur, and took part in the action with the Curieux, when the latter vessel was taken from the French. Bettesworth received a slight wound in this engagement, but his commanding officer suffered so severely that he died, and his lieutenant succeeded to the command of the Curieux. Whilst in this position he engaged in an action with the Dame Ernouf about twenty leagues from the Barbadoes. After a sharp fight the French vessel surrendered, but Bettesworth was again wounded. In the same year (1805) he brought home from Antigua the despatches of Nelson, apprising the government of Villeneuve's homeward flight from the West Indies, and at once received from Lord Barham a post-captain's commission. Lord Byron, in October 1807, wrote: 'Next January ... I am going to sea for four or five months with my cousin, Captain Bettesworth, who commands the Tartar, the finest frigate in the navy ... We are going probably to the Mediterranean or to the West Indies, or to the devil; and if there is a possibility of taking me to the latter, Bettesworth will do it, for he has received four-and-twenty wounds in different places, and at this moment possesses a letter from the late Lord Nelson stating that Bettesworth is the only officer in the navy who had more wounds than himself.' The promised voyage never took place. In May 1808, Bettesworth was engaged in watching some vessels off Bergen, when it was deemed possible to cut some of them off from the protecting gunboats. In this attempt the Tartar became becalmed amid the rocks, and was attacked by a schooner and five gunboats, when its brave captain was killed by the first shot, 16 May 1808. The body was buried at Howick, Northumberland, in the vault of the Grey family, on 27 May. Major Trevanion, ‘a brother of Captain Bettesworth,' was a chief mourner. Byron's grandmother was a Miss Trevanion. Bettesworth had married at St. George's, Hanover Square, 24 Sept. 1807, Hannah Althea, second daughter of the first Earl Grey. His widow married, in October 1809, Mr. Edward Ellice, a well-known whig politician. Captain Bettesworth was only twenty-three years old at the time of his death, and was the beau idéal of an English officer.