Betham, Edward, B. D.

an English divine, received his education at Eton, of which seminary he was a distinguished ornament; was elected from thence to King’s college, Cambridge, in 1728, of which he became a fellow in 1731; was some time bursar, and by the provost and fellows, when senior fellow, was presented to the living of Greenford in Middlesex. He was also one of the Whitehall preachers. In 1771 the provost and fellows of Eton elected him to a vacant fellowship in that society. So unexceptionable was his life, that he may truly be said to have made no enemy in the progress of it. His fortune was not large, yet his liberality kept more than equal pace with it, and pointed out objects to which it was impossible for his nature to resist lending his assistance. In his lifetime he gave 2,000l. for the better maintaining the | botanical garden at Cambridge, thereby encouraging a study which did peculiar honour to his taste, and materially benefited mankind. So humane was his disposition, that in 1780 he founded and endowed a charity school in his own parish and this most nobly in his life-time, when avarice might have forbid it, or the fear of want might have excepted against it. Having previously built a school-house, he gave, by a deed in chancery, the sum of 1600l. bankstock, of which he appropriated 30l. a-year to a master and mistress to instruct thirty boys and girls thirty shillings for coals for the school and the remainder of the interest, except 10l. to clothe such aged men and women as should frequently attend the sacrament, is appropriated to clothe the children, buy books, and keep the school in repair. As in his life he indicated the most extensive liberality, so at his death he exhibited a lasting record of his gratitude. Impressed with the highest sense of the muni-! ficence of the royal founder of Eton, within whose walls he had imbibed the first seeds of education, he by his will directed a statue of marble, in honour of Henry VI. to be erected at the expence of 700l. And, in Order infallibly to carry his purpose into execution, he contracted a few months before his death with Mr. Bacon. This statue was accordingly executed by that excellent artist, and is in the chapel, with the inscription “Posuit Edvardus Betham, collegii hujusce socius.” The founder holds a model of Eton college in his hand. Mr. Bethatn also gave a bust of the king to the college library, and placed some ancient painted glass in the chancel windows of his church at Greenford. He died in 1783. 1


Gent. Mag. 1783.—Lysons’s Environs,—Harwood’s Alumni Etonenses.