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thematician, and practised painting only for his amusement, and explained the principles of it to his son. By an assiduous practice for some years, Beisch proved a good artist, and was employed at the court of Munich, to paint the battles which the elector Maximilian Emanuel had fought in Hungary. While the elector was absent on some of his expeditions, Beisch embraced that opportunity to visit Italy, and took the most effectual methods for his improvement, by studying and copying those celebrated spots which have always claimed general admiration. He had three different manners : his first, before his journey to Italy, was true, but too dark ; his second had more clearness and more truth; and, his last, still inore clear, was likewise weaker than all. The scenes of his landscapes, however, are agreeably chosen, and very picturesque : his touch is light, tender, and full of spirit; and his style of composition frequently resembled that of Gaspar Poussin, or Salvator Rosa. Solimene, a superior artist, did not disdain to copy some of Beisch's landscapes. This artist died in 1748, aged eighty-three.'

BEITHAR, better known under the name of Ebn Bei. thar, was likewise called Aschab, which signifies, botanist or herbalist. He was an African by birth, and died in the 646th year of the begira. We have of him the “ Giamé al adviat al mofredat,” in 4 vols. which is a general history of simples or of plants ranged in alphabetical order. He has likewise written “Mogni si adviat al Mofredat,” in which he treats of the use of simples in the cure of every parti. cular part of the body. Ebn Beithar also answered in a book which he called Taalik, to a work of Ebn Giazlah, who accused his works of many imperfections 2

BEK, or BEC, or BEAK (ANTHONY), bishop of Durham in the reigns of Edward I. and II. was advanced, with the king's consent, from the archdeaconry of Durham and other preferments to the bishopric. Of his extraction and education we have no account. He was elected by the monks on the 9th of July 1283, and consecrated, in the presence of the king and several of the nobles, by William Wicwane, archbishop of York, on the 9th of January following. At the time of his consecration, the archbishop, having had a dispute, during the vacancy of the see, with

Pilkington.--Descamps, vol. IV. ° D'Herbelot.Saxii Onomasticon.--Fabr. Bibl. Græc,

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the chapter of Durham, obliged the prior to go out of the church; and the next day enjoined the new bishop, upon his canonical' obedience, to excommunicate the superior and several of the monks: but Bek refused to obey the archbishop, saying, “I was yesterday consecrated their bishop, and shall 1 excommunicate them to-day? no obe. dience shall force me to this.” He was enthroned on Christmas eve, 1285; on which occasion a dispute arising between the prior and the official of York about the right of performing that ceremony, Bek was installed by his brother Thomas Bek bishop of St. David's. This prelate had a long dispute with the monks of Durham ; which proved very detrimental to the revenues and privileges of

He is said to have been the richest bishop (if we except Wolsey) that had ever held the see of Durham : for, besides the revenues of his bishopric, he had a temporal estate of five thousand marks per annum; part of which, we are told, he gained by unjustly converting to his own use an estate, which he held in trust for the natural son of the barou of Vescey. He procured the translation of the body of St. William, formerly archbishop of York, and bore the whole expence of the ceremony, which was performed in the church of York. He assisted king Edward I. in his war against John Baliol, king of Scotland, and brought into the field a large body of forces. In 1294, he was sent ambassador from king Edward to the emperor of Germany, to conclude a treaty with that prince, against the increasing power of France. In 1295, the pope having sent two cardinals on an embassy to the English court, this prelate was appointed to answer them in the king's name. He had the title of patriarch of Jerusalem conferred on him by the pope in 1305; and about the same time received from the king a grant of the principality of the island of Man. An act passed in his time, in the parliament of Carlisle, 1307, to prevent the bishop of Durham or his officers, from cutting down the woods belonging to the bishopric. This prelate expended large sums in building. He fortified the bishop's seat at Aukland, and turned it into a castle; and he built, or enlarged, the castles of Bernard in the bishopric of Durham ; of Alnwick in Northumberland; of Gainford in the bishopric of Durham; of Somerton in Lincolnshire, which he gave to king Edward I. ; and of Eltham in Kent, which he gave to queen Eleanor. He founded the priory of Alvingham in Lincolnshire, the

revenue of which, at the dissolution, was valued at 1411. 155. per annum.

He founded, likewise, a collegiate church, with a dean and seven prebendaries, at Chesterupon-the-street, and at Lanchester, in the bishopric of Durham. He also gave to the church of Durham two pictures, containing the history of our Saviour's nativity, to be hung as an ornament over the great altar on the festival of Christmas. He died at Eltham, March 3, 1310, having sat twenty-eight years, and was buried in the church of Durham near the east front, contrary to the custom of his predecessors, who, out of respect to the body of St. Cuthbert, were never laid within the church.

Bek was a man of uncommon pride, which more or less entered into the whole of his conduct. He was fond of military parade, and the attendance of a retinue of soldiers, although he took little pains to attach them to bim. His magnificent taste appeared not only in the lasting monuments already noticed, but in his more domestic expences. He is said on one occasion to have paid forty shillings (a sum now equivalent to 80l) for forty fresh herrings in London, when they had been refused by the most opulent persons of the realın, then assembled in parliament. He was so impatient of rest, that he never took more than one sleep, saying it was unbecoming a man to turn from one side to the other in bed. He was perpetually either riding from one manor to another, or hunting or hawking. Though his expences were great, he was provident enough never to want money. He always rose from his meals with an appetite: and his continence was so singular that he never looked a woman full in the face. We are even gravely told, that in the translation of the body of St. William of York, when the other bishops declined touching that saint's remains, conscious of their failings in point of chastity, he alone boldly handled them, and assisted the ceremony. His taste in architecture, however, and his munificence in contributing to so many once noble edifices, are the only favourable circumstances in his character, nor should we have thought him worthy of much notice, had he not been admitted by the original editors of our national biography.'

BEK, or BECK, or BEEK (DAVID), a famous painter, born at Delft in the Netherlands, May 25, 1621, was trained under Van Dyke, and other celebrated masters. Skill in

1 Biog. Brit.-Hutchinson's Hist. of Durham, vol. I. p. 228.


his profession, joined to politeness of manners, acquired him esteem in almost all the courts of Europe. He was in high favour with Charles I. king of England, and taught the principles of drawing to his sons, Charles and James. He was afterwards in the service of the kings of France and Denmark: he went next into the service of Christina of Sweden, who esteemed him

very highly,

', gave him many rich presents, and made him first gentleman of her bedchamber. She sent him also to Italy, Spain, France, England, Denmark, and to all the courts of Germany, to take the portraits of the different kings and princes; and then presented each of them with their pictures. His manner of painting was extremely free and quick, so that king Charles I. told him one day, “ he believed he could paint while he was riding post.” A very singular adventure bap-, pened to this painter, as he travelled through Germany, which seems not unworthy of being recited. He was suddenly and violently taken ill at the inn where be lodged, and was laid out as a corpse, seeming to all appearance quite dead. His valets expressed the strongest marks of grief for the loss of their master; and while they sat beside his bed, they drank very freely, by way of consolation. At last one of them, who grew much intoxicated, said to his companions, “Our master was fond of his glass while he was alive ; and out of gratitude, let us give him a glass now he is dead.” As the rest of the servants assented to the proposal, he raised up the head of his master, and endeavoured to pour some of the liquor into his mouth. By the fragrance of the wine, or probably by a small quantity that imperceptibly got down his throat, Bek opened his eyes ; and the servant being excessively drunk, and forgetting that his master was considered as dead, compelled bim to swallow what wine remained in the glass. The painter gradually revived, and by proper management and care recovered perfectly, and escaped an interment. How highly the works of this master were esteemed, inay appear from the many marks of distinction and honour which were shewn him; for he received from different princes, as an acknowledgment of his singular merit, nine gold chains, and several medals of gold of a large size. The manner of his death is represented by the Dutch writers, as implying a reflection of his royal patroness the queen of Sweden. He was very desirous of returning to his nativé country, permission for which that princess refused, until having


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occasion herself to go to France, Bek had the courage to ask leave to go to Holland. She granted this on condition he should punctually return within a certain number of weeks; but he went away with a determination never to return. She wrote to him to come to Paris, but he gave her no answer, and remained at the Hague, where he died suddenly, Dec. 20, 1656, not without suspicion of poison, as the Dutch writers insinuate.'

BEKA, or BEC (JOHN DE), in Latin, BECANUS, a canon of the church of Utrecht, who lived about the middle of the fourteenth century, wrote a chronicle of his church, embracing its history from St. Willibrod, first bishop of Utrecht, to 1346. There are various editions of this chronicle, continued down by another hand to, 1393, the worst of which, according to Vossius, is that of Furmerius, and the best that of Bachellius, Utrecht, 1643, fol. entitled “De Episcopis Ultrajectinis.

BEKINSAU (JOHN), author of a book entitled “ De Supremo et Absoluto Regis Imperio," was born at Broadchalke in Wiltshire, and educated at Wykeham's school near Winchester : from whence he was sent very early to New-college in Oxford; where, having served two years of probation, he was admitted perpetual fellow in 1520. In 1526 he took the degree of master of arts, being that year (as one of the university registers informs us) “ about to take a journey beyond the seas for the sake of study." In his college he distinguished himself by his extraordinary skill in the Greek language. In 1538 he resigned his fellowship, and married. What preferment or employment he had afterwards is uncertain. He was familiarly acquainted with, and highly esteemed by, the most learned men of the nation, particularly Leland, who has bestowed an encomium on him. He was also in good esteem with king Henry VIII. and king Edward Vi. When queen Mary came to the crown, and endeavoured to destroy all that her father and brother had done towards the reformation of the church, Bekinsau became a zealous Roman catholic. After Queen Elizabeth's accession, he retired to an obscure village in Hampshire, called Sherbourne; where he spent the remainder of his life in great discontent, and was buried in the church of that place, the 20th of Dec.

1 Descamps.-Pilkington.—Moreri.
? Moreri. Vossius de Script, Lat. -Cave, vol. II.--Saxii Onomasticon.

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