Banshee, Or Benshee, in popular superstition, an invisible being, supposed to announce by mournful presence and voice the approaching death of some members of certain ancient houses in Ireland and Scotland. It was said that, on the decease of a hero, the harps of his bards voluntarily emitted mournful sounds. In later times it was popularly supposed that each family had its banshee, which gave warning of misfortune or haunted the scenes of past troubles.
Banz, probably the finest and richest abbey of the Benedictines known in history, situated in the circle of Upper Franconia, Bavaria, 3 m. from Lichtenfels, on the Main. It was founded about the middle of the 11th century, and the monks became celebrated for their scientific attainments, their collections in natural history, and their librarv. It was destroyed during the peasants' war in the 16th century, but was soon after rebuilt. During the 30 years' war it was again destroyed and rebuilt, and its library and museums became more extensive and valuable than ever. The monastery was broken up in 1802, and the library and cabinets were dispersed among several institutions of Germany. The building was sold to the elector (afterward king) of Bavaria, and is now a summer residence of the royal family.
Bapaume, a town of France, in the department of Pas-de-Calais, situated in a wide plain, 18 m. S. S. E. of Arras; pop. in 1866, 3,174. It has several oil and soap manufactories. On Jan. 3, 1871, after some fighting on the preceding day in the vicinity, a battle took place at Bapaume between the French army of the north under Faidherbe, advancing for the relief of Paris, and a portion of the first Prussian army under Von Goeben. The French were repulsed, and on the next day fell back on Arras and Douai. The particulars of the battle became the subject of an animated controversy between Faidherbe and Von Goeben.
Bapbomet, Or Baffoniet, a mysterious symbol used among the knights templar. The word was believed to be a corruption of Mahomet, to whose faith the templars were accused of inclining. According to more recent views, it had reference to Gnostic mysteries, and was connected with the Gnostic baptism, or baptism of fire. Some of these curious symbols were found in 1818 in the imperial museum of Vienna, and described by Von Hammer. They are of stone, and represent a female figure with two male faces, inscribed with a serpent, a truncated cross, or Egyptian key of life and death, the sun and moon, a chessboard, a candlestick with seven branches, and numerous Arabic inscriptions.
Baptist Wriotheslcy Noel, an English clergyman, born in July, 1799, died in London, Jan. 20, 1873. He was a younger brother of the earl of Gainsborough. He was educated at Trinity college, Cambridge, and was one of the chaplains of the queen, and occupied the pulpit of St. John's, Bedford row, London, a proprietary chapel. In 1849 he seceded from the established church, joined the Baptists, and became pastor of John street chapel, where his eloquence attracted large audiences. His "Union of the Church and State" (1849) and writings on baptism have a wide circulation.