WRIXON BECHER, William (1780-1850), of Ballygiblin, Mallow, co. Cork.
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Family and Education
b. 31 July 1780, 1st s. of William Wrixon of Cecilstown by Mary, da. of John Townsend Becher of Annisgrove, sis. and h. of Henry Becher of Creagh. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1796. m. 18 Dec. 1819, Elizabeth, da. of John O’Neill, actor-manager, of Drogheda, co. Louth, 3s. 2da. Took additional name of Becher by sign manual 29 Sept. 1831; cr. Bt. 30 Sept. 1831.
Wrixon Becher was a first cousin of James Lawrence Cotter, whom he ousted as Member for Mallow in 1818. He owed his return chiefly to the Catholic interest1 and supported their claims in Parliament. Tom Moore was glad to hear of his ‘very sensible’ speech on the subject, 3 May 1819, as he thought Becher ‘a good, manly, sensible fellow’.2 In other respects he was cautiously independent; indeed ‘independence’ was his favourite theme at Westminster and Mallow. On 19 Feb. 1819 he had spoken on the merits and demerits of the Irish grand jury bill. On the hustings in 1820 he alleged that he normally voted against ministers, but only because he thought little of their measures. ‘In many cases’, he added, he ‘did not vote against them, considering the opposition to their measures vexatious.’3 Government had in fact considered him as ‘Opposition’4 and with some justice, for he voted against them over 20 times including all major issues except the conduct of Windham Quin*, 29 Mar. 1819. On 1 July 1819 he voted for parliamentary reform. After 2 Dec. 1819, when he voted against the seditious meetings bill, his absence from the opposition lobby can doubtless be explained by his forthcoming marriage to the actress Eliza O’Neill.5 Wrixon Becher died 23 Oct. 1850.