Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/15

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Beamish
Beamont
11

guards, in which corps he purchased a troop in 1823. In 1825 he published an English translation of a small cavalry manual written by Count F. A. von Bismarck, a distinguished officer then engaged in the reorganisation of the Würtemberg cavalry. Beamish's professional abilities brought him to notice, and he received a half-pay majority in the following year. Whilst attached to the vice-regal suite in Hanover he subsequently published a translation of Count von Bismarck's 'Lectures on Cavalry,' with original notes, in which he suggested various changes soon after adopted in the British cavalry. He also completed and edited a history of 'the King's German Legion' from its formation in the British service in 1803 to its disbandment in 1816, which was published in England in 1834-7, and is a model of military compilations of its class. After quitting Hanover Beamish devoted much attention to Norse antiquities, and in 1841 published a summary of the researches of Professor Rafn of Copenhagen, relative to the discovery of America by the Northmen in the tenth century. Although the fact had been notified as early as 1828 (in a letter in Nile's Register, Boston, U.S.), it was very little known. Beamish's modest volume not only popularised the discovery by epitomising the principal details in Rafn's great work 'Antiquitates Americanæ' (Copenhagen, 1837), but it contains, in the shape of translations from the Sagas, one of the best summaries of Icelandic historical literature anywhere to be found within an equal space. Beamish, like his younger brother, Richard, who was at one time in the Grenadier guards, was a F.R.S. Lond. and an associate of various learned bodies. He died at Annmount, co. Cork, on 27 April 1872.

His works were:

  1. 'Instructions for the Field Service of Cavalry, from the German of Count von Bismarck,' London, 1825, 12mo.
  2. 'Lectures on the Duties of Cavalry, from the German of Count von Bismarck,' London, 1827, 8vo.
  3. 'History of the King's German Legion,' 2 vols. London, 1834-7, 8vo.
  4. 'The Discovery of America by the Northmen in the Tenth Century, with Notes on the Early Settlement of the Irish in the Western Hemisphere,' London, 1841, 8vo; a reprint of this work, edited by the Rev. E. F. Slafter, A.M., was published by the Prince Society of Albany, N.Y., in 1877.
  5. 'On the Alterations of Level in the Baltic,' British Association Reports, 1843.
  6. 'On the Uses and Application of Cavalry in War,' London, 1855, 8vo.

[Burke's Landed Gentry; Army Lists; Publications of the Prince Society, Albany, N.Y.; Beamish 's Works.]

H. M. C.


BEAMONT, WILLIAM JOHN (1828–1868), clergyman and author, was born at Warrington, Lancashire, 16 Jan. 1828, being the only son of William Beamont, solicitor, of that town, and author of 'Annals of the Lords of Warrington,' and other works. After attending the Warrington grammar school for five years he was, in 1842, removed to Eton College, where he remained till 1846, bearing off Prince Albert's prize for modern languages, and the Newcastle medal and other prizes. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1846, took high honours, gained the chancellor's medal, and was awarded a fellowship in 1852. He graduated B.A. in 1850, and M.A. in 1853. After his election as fellow of Trinity he commenced a tour in Egypt and Palestine, and on being ordained in 1854 he spent some time at Jerusalem, where he engaged earnestly in the education of intending missionaries to Abyssinia, in Sunday school work, and in preaching not only to the English residents but to the Arabs in their own tongue. He afterwards acted as chaplain in the camp hospitals of the British army before Sebastopol. In 1855 Beamont returned home, and became curate of St. John's, Broad Street, Drury Lane, London, in which parish he worked with great zeal until 1858, when he accepted the vicarage of St. Michael's, Cambridge. He died at Cambridge, 6 Aug. 1868, at the age of forty, his death being hastened by a fever caught in the East. He was buried in Trinity College Chapel. Beamont's life was one of unremitting self-denying usefulness, and in addition to his successful parochial labours and his pioneer efforts for church extension in Barnwell and Chesterton, he was the main instrument of founding the Cambridge School of Art (1858) and the Church Defence Association (1859). He was also the originator of the Church Congress (1861), in the foundation of which he was aided by his friend, Mr. R. Reynolds Rowe, F.S.A. His published writings are:

  1. 'Catherine, the Egyptian Slave,' 1852.
  2. 'Concise Grammar of the Arabic Language,' 1861.
  3. 'Cairo to Sinai and Sinai to Cairo, in November and December 1860' (1861).

In conjunction with Canon W. M. Campion he wrote a learned yet popular exposition of the Book of Common Prayer, entitled 'The Prayer-Book Interleaved,' 1868. Among his pamphlets are the 'Catechumen's Manual,' 'Paper on Clergy Discipline,' and 'Fine Art as a Branch of Academic Study.'

[Information from Mr. W. Beamont and Mr. R. R. Rowe; Warrington Guardian; Cambridge Chronicle, 15 Aug. 1868; G. W. Weldon, in the Churchman, August 1883, p. 326.]

C. W. S.