Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Beckford, William

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BECKFORD, William, West Indian planter, b. in Jamaica in December, 1709; d. in London, 21 June, 1770. After receiving his education in England, he fell heir to large plantations in the West Indies, and, entering public life, became a member of parliament and alderman of London, and in 1762, and again in 1768, was elected lord mayor of London. With John Wilkes, he led the popular opposition, and on 23 May, 1770, delivered a memorable remonstrance to the king, complaining of the falsification of election returns. He left estates worth £100,000 a year, and a million of money. His son was the author of “Vathek.”