Berthod Anselme

Berthod Anselme a French ecclesiastic of the order of St.Vannes, was born at Rupt (in the Franche-Comte), Feb. 21,. 1733. He took the vow of the order of St. Benedict, Sept. 8, 1752. His superiors confided to him the direction of the library of Besancon, which contained a quantity of important documents for the history of Belgium-autograph letters of the cardinal of Granville, and of the emperors and kings of Spain. Berthod sent to the Academy of Besancon, of which he was a member in 1769, several extracts from this rich collection. About 1770 he applied himself to a very difficult work. He undertook to classify a large number of testaments of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, which were lying in disorder in the archives of the bishopric of Besancon. After he had completed the arrangement of these, they were found very useful to the families of Burgundy, Alsatia, and Switzerland. This gained for him a reputation, and the minister of state, Berlin, appointed him to search through Europe for the manuscripts necessary to clear up certain obscure points in the history of France. In this work he was very successful, but after Berlin had retired from the ministry, in 1780, the work was abandoned. Berthod employed his time in writing commentaries upon the.rule of St. Benedict, and a breviary for the use of the order. In 1782 he was appointed grandprior of Luxeuil, and the year following general visitor of the congregation of St. Vannes. As he was looking to the highest dignities of his order, the emperor Joseph II designated him, upon the presentation of the counsellor of Kulberg, for the successor of Ign. Hubens, one of the hagiographers charged with the continuation of the Acta Sanctorum. But his election was not pleasing to the people, and he was not well received. In effect, many of the Benedictines of this period approved the five propositions of Jansenius. In order to dissipate certain suspicions, he published a very orthodox profession of faith. It is believed that these difficulties so wore on him as to shorten his life. He died at Brussels, March 19, 1788. He wrote several short treatises upon L'Histoire des Comtes de Bourgogne, etc.; published in the Memoires de l'Academie de Besancon. Those which have not been published are preserved in the archives of the Academy. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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