Bathurst, Henry 1744-1837, bishop of Norwich, seventh son of Benjamin, younger brother of Allen, first Earl Bathurst, was born at Brackley, Northamptonshire, on 16 Oct. 1744, and was educated at Winchester, and New College, Oxford. He became rector of Witchingham in Norfolk; in 1775 was made canon of Christ Church, Oxford; and in 1795 prebendary of Durham. In 1805, on the translation of Dr. Manners-Sutton to Canterbury, he was consecrated bishop of Norwich. Dr. Bathurst died in London, 1837, and was buried at Great Malvern. He was distinguished throughout his life for the liberality of his principles, and for many years was considered to be the only liberal bishop in the House of Lords. He warmly supported Roman catholic emancipation, both by his speeches in the house, and by his presentation of a petition in favour of that movement from the Roman catholics of Tuam. In 1835, when over ninety, he went to the house to vote in support of Lord Melbourne's government. He died 5 April 1837
Though his published writings were but scanty, comprising only a few sermons, two of his charges (1806, 1815) and a Letter to the late Mr. Wilberforce on Christianity and Politics, how far they are reconcilable (1818), Dr. Bathurst's love of literature was great, and his literary instinct just: he refused to believe in the authenticity of the Rowley poems, which, he said, had no mark of antiquity, but might pass for a modern work, if the spelling and obsolete words were taken away
The bishop married a daughter of Charles Coote, dean of Kilfenora, and brother of Sir Eyre Coote. His eldest son, Henry Bathurst, was fellow of New College, Oxford, became chancellor of the church of Norwich in 1805; held the rectories of Oby (1806), North Creake (1809), and Hollesley (1828); and was appointed archdeacon of Norwich in 1814. His chief work was Memoirs of the late Dr. Henry Bathurst, Lord Bishop of Norwich, 1837, in the appendix to which appeared a charge (1815) and a sermon (1816) by himself. He issued in 1842 a supplement, with additional letters of his father, entitled An Easter Offering for the Whigs — being a Supplement to the Memoirs of the late Bishop of Norwich, 1842, in which he sought to expose the injustice of the whig party in constantly refusing to promote his father to a richer see. Archdeacon Bathurst died 10 Sept. 1844 (Gent. Mag. xxii. (new ser.), p. 652). The bishop's third son, Benjamin [qv.], is believed to have been murdered; his elder daughter, Mrs. Thistlethwayte, rewrote her father's memoirs from her eldest brother's papers.
Memoirs and Correspondence of Dr. Bathurst, by Mrs. Thistlethwayte, 1853
Gent. Mag. vol. vii., new series.
Contributor: E. I. [Elizabeth Ingall]