Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/129

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Beesley
Beeston
125


(Oxford, 1790); 'Letter to a County Member on the means of securing a safe and honourable Peace' (London, 1798); and 'Observations on the Roman Roads in Great Britain.'

[Gent. Mag. new series, vol. vii.; Farley's Bristol Journal (Bristol, 18 March 1837); Egerton MS. 2, f. 193; Addit MSS. 31229 to 31232; M'Culloch's Literature of Political Economy, London, 1845).]

F. W-t.


BEESLEY, ALFRED (1800–1847), topographer, was apprenticed to a watchmaker at Deddington, Oxfordshire, but only served a portion of his time, and subsequently devoted himself to literary and scientific pursuits. He died on 10 April 1847, and was buried in Banbury churchyard. He published a collection of poems, and 'The History of Banbury, including copious historical and antiquarian notices,' Lond. 1841, 8vo.

[Gent. Mag. new ser. xv. 65, xxviii. 99.]

T. C.


BEESLEY or BISLEY, GEORGE (d. 1591), catholic missioner, was born at a place called the Mount, in Goosnargh parish, in Lancashire. He was an alumnus of Douay College while it was located at Rheims. Ordained priest in 1587 he was sent upon the English mission in 1588. Falling into the hands of the persecutors he was so frequently tortured by the notorious Topcliffe that he was reduced to a mere skeleton. He steadily refused, however, to divulge anything that might have brought others into danger. He was condemned on account of his priestly character, and for remaining in England contrary to the statute of the 27th Elizabeth, and was executed in Fleet Street, London, on 2 July 1591. Another priest, Monford Scot, suffered at the same time and place.

[Diaries of Douay College; Challoner's Missionary Priests (1741), i. 259; Dodd's Church Hist. ii. 90.]

T. C.


BEESTON, Sir WILLIAM (b. 1636, fl. 1702), lieutenant-governor of Jamaica, was born at Tichfield, Hampshire, being second son of William Beeston of Posbrook, by Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Bromfield. His elder brother, Henry, was master of Winchester School and warden of New College, Oxford. Beeston went to Jamaica in 1660. In 1664 he was elected, as member for Port Royal, to the first house of assembly; he was sent to prison by the speaker for contempt of his authority, was brought before the governor and council, reprimanded and released (Addit. MS. 12430, fol. 30). Beeston tells us (ib.) that when this assembly, which had been 'marked by parties, great heate, and ill-humours,' adjourned, 'to make amends for their jangling, and to cement the rents that had been made, it was determined to treat the governor and council to a dinner, and a splendid dinner was provided, with wine and music, and what else might make it great. This held well till the plenty of wine made the old wounds appear, for then all went together by the ears, and in the unlucky conflict honest Captain Rutter, a worthy gentleman of the assembly, was killed by Major Joy, who was of the council, and had always been his friend, but the drink and other men's quarrels made them fall out.' In December of this year Beeston was made a judge of the court of common pleas, Jamaica (Cal. State Papers). In 1665 the governor, Sir Thomas Modyford, sent him to negotiate with a force of privateers who were threatening St. Spiritus, Cuba. In 1668 Sir Thomas Lynch (who had succeeded Sir Thomas Modyford as governor) sent 'Major Beeston with a fleet to carry articles of peace with the Spaniards to Cartagena, and to bring away the English prisoners;' and on his return to Jamaica gave him the command of a frigate (Addit. MS. 12430, fol. 33). The following year he sailed to Cuba and Hispaniola 'to look after pirates and privateers,' and to Havanna 'to fetch away the prisoners.' On 10 July 1672 he convoyed a fleet of merchantmen to Eng- land (ib.). In 1675 Beeston and Sir Henry Morgan (of buccaneering celebrity) were appointed commissioners of the admiralty (ib. fol. 33). In 1677 and the two following years 'Lieutenant-Colonel Beeston,' as speaker of the house of assembly, zealously promoted the opposition to the efforts of the governor, the Earl of Carlisle, to assimilate the government of Jamaica to that then existing in Ireland, and to obtain an act settling a perpetual revenue upon the crown. The governor dissolved the assembly, and ordered Colonel Long (late chief justice) and Colonel Beeston to England to answer for their contumacy. On their arrival they brought counter charges against his lordship. He was superseded in the government, and 'his majesty, after hearing Colonel Long and Colonel Beeston, not only returned to their island its former government and all privileges they had hitherto enjoyed, but enlarged them' (Long's Hist. of Jamaica, i. 16).

Beeston does not appear to have returned to Jamaica until 1693, having at the close of the previous year been knighted at Kensington and appointed lieutenant-governor of the island. He found it still suffering from the effects of the fearful earthquake of