Excerpt from Vathek: An Arabian TaleWilliam Beckford, who was born in 1759, came of an old Gloucestershire stock established for many years at the village of Beckford, near Tewkesbury. The family appears to have fallen upon evil times after theMoreExcerpt from Vathek: An Arabian TaleWilliam Beckford, who was born in 1759, came of an old Gloucestershire stock established for many years at the village of Beckford, near Tewkesbury.
The family appears to have fallen upon evil times after the Battle of Bosworth where in support of Richard III. the Beckford of the day lost his life and the family their fortune. A period of two hundred and seventeen years elapsed before the name re-appeared in history in the person of Peter Beckford, a Jamaica planter of some substance who in 1702 was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the colony and who subsequently died in a fit of passion, induced by the opposition of the House of Representatives.
His grandson was William Beckford, father of the author of Vathek, alderman and twice Lord Mayor of London.The Jamaican properties had appreciated so enormously in value that Alderman Beckford was one of the wealthiest men in England. He was noted for the simplicity of his private life and the sumptuousness of his public entertainments- and in politics for his courageous support of John Wilkes. It is recorded that on one occasion, when heading a deputation to George III., he astonished and enraged his Majesty by reading him a stiff lecture on his constitutional shortcomings.
Of this affair Horace Walpole, writing to Sir Horace Mann in 1770, avers that it reduced the King to the alternative of sitting silent, or tucking up his train, jumping from the throne, and taking sanctuary in the royal closet.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comThis book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy.
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