Battier, Henrietta (Fleming ) (1751?–1813), poet and satirist. Little is known of Battier's background, other than she was the daughter of John Fleming of Staholmock, Co. Meath. In November 1768 she married in Carnarvon, north Wales, Capt. John Gaspard (Gasper, Gaspar) Battier, 5th Regiment of Foot, Ireland, son of a Dublin huguenot banker. His personal difficulties with his father left the couple in a financially precarious position, a result of which was her turning to writing to subsidise her family's income.
Visiting London in 1783–4, she performed as an amateur at the Drury Lane theatre. She also used the occasions to enlist subscribers for her poetry, among them Samuel Johnson, who encouraged her in her writing. Her first publication, The protected fugitives, appeared after some delays in 1791, attracting subscribers such as Henry Grattan (qv), Joshua Reynolds, William Drennan (qv), and Henry Hely Hutchinson. The volume, for the most part, adopted a domestic and personal tone, consisting of poems to family and friends, conventional anglican religious poetry, and a dedication in verse to her deceased daughter Mary. In its preface she described herself as ‘a better housewife than a poet’.
Subsequent publications by Battier chose overtly political subjects, reflecting her endorsement of Irish liberty and religious toleration. In that same year, in an allusion to ‘Peter Pindar’ (John Wolcott), she first adopted the pseudonym ‘Patt. Pindar’ for her satirical poem The Kirwanade, or Poetical epistle, in which she mocked one of her earlier subscribers, Walter Kirwan (qv). The Gibbonade (1793; reprinted 1794) included a withering and highly personal attack on the lord chancellor, John Fitzgibbon (qv).
Following the death of her husband, in December 1794, she was left in a financially unstable position, and, with two daughters to support, she continued to write prolifically. Among her later publications are Bitter orange, which appeared in the United Irishman's paper The Press, her anti-union The terrors of majesty, and The lemon (1797), a rebuff to John Giffard's (qv) ultra-loyalist The Orange. Her Marriage ode royal (1795), a parody of Dryden's Alexander's feast, lampooned the prince of Wales. She also produced odes on the death of the duke of Leinster, and to Edward Byrne (qv) and Archibald Hamilton Rowan (qv). As ‘H. B.’ she contributed poetry to Anthologica Hibernica, and most probably as ‘A lady’ to the Sentimental and Masonic Magazine (1792–5). Her political radicalism and satirical wit connected her with the ‘king of Dalkey’ for whom she acted as a ‘poet laureate’, resulting in her title ‘Countess of Laurel’. Her Address on the subject of the projected union (1790) is addressed to ‘ill-starred Stephen III of Dalkey’.
Considered a bluestocking, she was a friend and associate of Thomas Moore (qv), who visited her in her tiny lodgings in 17 Fade St. He remembered her as an ‘odd, acute, warm-hearted and intrepid little woman’ (Moore, Memoirs, i, 40). Battier's literary popularity was not sustained in later years, resulting in increased financial difficulties. She died in poverty in the autumn of 1813 in Sandymount, Dublin.