BECKFORD, Richard (d.1796), of Nicholas Lane, Lombard St., London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - 1784
14 June 1784 - 1790
28 Mar. 1791 - 1796

Family and Education

1st illegit. s. of Alderman William Beckford. unm.

Offices Held


Beckford was a West India merchant, and by 1774 was established in partnership as Beckford and James, of Nicholas Lane, Lombard St., where he remained till his death.

In 1774 and again in 1776 he unsuccessfully contested Hindon, the interest of his father’s widow and legitimate family going against him. In 1780 he was returned at Bridport with the support of Humphry Sturt. The English Chronicle wrote in 1780 that he

inherits his father’s principles, though it is not probable that he will ever be actuated either by similar zeal, or be distinguished for similar influence. His vote, and good wishes, will be the only assistance the minority will derive from him in Parliament, he having got an impediment in his speech

and there is no record of his having spoken in the House. He voted in opposition in all the recorded divisions between December 1781 and March 1782 and against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783. He voted for parliamentary reform, 7 May 1783; and for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783, being classed as a Foxite in Robinson’s list of January 1784, and Stockdale’s of 19 Mar. He did not stand at the general election, but in June 1784 was returned unopposed for Arundel, in place of Lord Surrey, who elected to sit for Carlisle. He voted for parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785, and in general remained in opposition throughout this Parliament.

He died 12 Aug. 1796.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond