Babington (Bebington), Brutus (Brute, Bruce) (c.1558–1611), bishop of Derry, was born in Cheshire, England, second of five sons of Richard Bebington of Nantwich, Cheshire, and Anne Bebington (née Starkey). He entered Christ's College, Cambridge (1572), and graduated BA (1575/6), MA from St John's College (1579), became a fellow of Christ's (1574–84), BD (1586), and was appointed a university preacher (1582); he was subsequently incorporated BA (1578) at Oxford. Ordained at Chester (1577), he was appointed rector of Thurcaston (1583–1610) and of Cossington (1605), both in Leicestershire; and prebendary of Lichfield (1592–1601) and vicar of Tettenhall (1602), both in Staffordshire.
Appointed by James I to the bishopric of Derry (1610), he was faced with the task of converting the native inhabitants and a hostile clergy to the established church. Choosing gentle persuasion, he ‘did not violently go to work with them nor urge them by authority, but endeavoured rather to persuade their consciences by arguments and reasons’ (Ford, 139), and according to his own account, was more successful than his predecessors in winning over leading priests. Sensitive to the culture of the local inhabitants, he tempered the anglicising trends of the established church and allowed the conforming clergy to read those scriptures that had been translated into English and to use the Irish translation of the Prayer Book. He established an ecclesiastical court, which he attended weekly, and punished offenders with moderation, believing that thereby he would ‘in a short time bring this rude and uncivilised people to some good conformity’ (Ford, 140). He died suddenly 10 September 1611. He married Joan (surname unknown); they had two sons, who both settled in Ireland. One son, Edwin, was a government agent (1608) for money granted in aid of the distressed citizens of Derry.