Categories: English Notables.
Named in his father's will as "my dear beloved son William Beckford".
Another possible birth date & place: 29 September 1760 at Fonthill, Gifford, Wiltshire, England.
He was baptised on 6 January 1761 at Fonthill, Gifford, Wiltshire, England.
William Thomas Beckford (1 October 1760 – 2 May 1844), usually known as William Beckford, was an English novelist, a profligate and consummately knowledgeable art collector and patron of works of decorative art, a critic, travel writer and sometime politician, reputed at one stage in his life to be the richest commoner in England. His parents were William Beckford and Maria Hamilton, daughter of the Hon. George Hamilton. He was Member of Parliament for Wells from 1784 to 1790, for Hindon from 1790 to 1795 and 1806 to 1820. He is remembered as the author of the Gothic novel Vathek, the builder of the remarkable lost Fonthill Abbey and Lansdown Tower ("Beckford's Tower"), Bath, and especially for his art collection.
Beckford was born on 1 October 1760 in the family's London home at 22 Soho Square. At the age of ten, he inherited a fortune from his father William Beckford, who had been twice a Lord Mayor of London, consisting of £1 million in cash (£121 million as of 2014), an estate at Fonthill in Wiltshire (including the Palladian mansion Fonthill Splendens), and several sugar plantations in Jamaica, worked by slaves. This fortune allowed him to indulge his interest in art and architecture, as well as writing. He was briefly trained in music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but his drawing master, Alexander Cozens, was a greater influence, and Beckford continued to correspond with him for some years until they fell out.
See also : https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/22232
"The Peerage" Website
LEGHORN MERCHANT NETWORKS
Jamaican connections in Livorno #2: The Beckfords Friday, Oct 8 2010
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