Thursday 25 August 2022

(523) Beckett of Somerby Park and Yorkshire, baronets and Barons Grimthorpe

This post has been divided into two parts. Part 1 provides an introduction to the history of the family and an account of the many houses which the family owned in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, while this second part includes the genealogical and biographical information about members of the family.

Beckett family, baronets and Barons Grimthorpe


Beckett, John (1704-67). Son of Gervase Beckett (1669-1719) of Barnsley (Yorks WR), wire drawer, and his wife Eleanor (1678-1756), daughter of Jonas Clarke (d. 1680) of Barnsley, baptised at Barnsley, 4 November 1704. Grocer in Barnsley. He married 1st, 17 February 1731/2 at Darfield (Yorks WR), Mary Crooke (d. 1732), and 2nd, 11 December 1740 at Ecclesfield (Yorks WR), Elizabeth (c.1716-1803), daughter of Joseph Wilson of Monk Bretton (Yorks WR), a Quaker, and had issue:
(2.1) Elizabeth Beckett (1741-42), baptised at Barnsley, 4 December 1741; died in infancy and was buried at Barnsley, 20 March 1741/2;
(2.2) Sir John Beckett (1743-1826), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(2.3) Gervase Beckett (b. & d. c.1744), born about 1744; died in infancy;
(2.3) Mary Beckett (b. 1745), baptised at Barnsley, 3 April 1745; living in 1773 but death not traced;
(2.4) William Beckett (1748-51), born 29 January 1748/9; died young and was buried at Barnsley, 15 February 1750/1;
(2.6) Joseph Beckett (1751-1840), of Barnsley, born 31 August and baptised at Barnsley, 5 October 1751; succeeded to his father's grocery business at Barnsley and expanded into linen manufacture and bleaching, and then into banking; JP and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire; married, 23 June 1785 at Holy Trinity. Hull (Yorks ER), Mary (d. 1840), daughter of John Staniforth of Hull, and had issue one son and five daughters; died 11 February and was buried with his wife (who died just two days later), 22 February 1840 at Barnsley;
(2.7) Helen (alias Ellen or Eleanor) Beckett (1755-73), baptised at Barnsley, 19 March 1755; died unmarried and was buried at Barnsley, 18 July 1773.
He built a house in Church St., Barnsley for his retirement, and purchased the manor of Corringham (Lincs) in 1756 jointly with Matthew Wilson of Gainsborough.
He was buried at Barnsley, 3 July 1767. His first wife died of consumption, 11 July 1732, and was buried at Royston (Yorks WR), 13 July 1732. His widow died 18 January 1803.

Beckett, Sir John (1743-1826), 1st bt. Eldest son of John Beckett (1704-67) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Wilson of Monk Bretton (Yorks WR), born 30 April and baptised at Barnsley (Yorks WR), 2 June 1743. A woollen merchant in Leeds, who about 1774 developed banking alongside his mercantile interests, which included the import and export of goods from Portugal. The bank was known initially as Wilson, Arthington, Beckett & Calverley, but went through many changes of name as the partnership evolved in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Beckett was listed first, and was presumably the senior partner, by the late 1780s, when the bank was known as Beckett, Calverley, Lodge & Co. It became Beckett, Calverley, Lodge & Wilson from 1790; Beckett, Calverley & Co from 1797; Beckett, Blayds & Co from about 1812; and Beckett & Co from about 1829.  He was Mayor of Leeds, 1775-76, 1797-98, JP for Leeds and the West Riding of Yorkshire, and was created a baronet, 2 November 1813, probably largely in recognition of his eldest son's political service. He married, 3 March 1774, Mary (1749-1833), daughter of Rt. Rev. Christopher Wilson (1714-92), who was Bishop of Bristol but came from a Leeds family, and had issue:
(1) twin, Rt. Hon. Sir John Beckett (1775-1847), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2) twin, Mary Beckett (1775-1858), born 17 May and baptised at St Peter, Leeds, 12 June 1775; lived at Meanwood Park and with her younger sister, Elizabeth, built and endowed Meanwood church; died unmarried and was buried at Meanwood, 14 May 1858;
(3) Christopher Beckett (1777-1847), baptised at St Peter, Leeds, 26 January 1777; senior partner in Beckett & Co. of Leeds, bankers from 1826; proprietor of the Leeds Intelligencer; JP and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire and JP for Leeds (until 1832); Mayor of Leeds, 1819-20, 1829-30; an enthusiastic churchman, who played a large part in the founding of the Diocesan Church Building Society and the Diocesan Education Board; he also contributed to many other public philanthropic causes and was known for acts of private charity; purchased Meanwood Park, Leeds in about 1824; died at Torquay (Devon), 15 March, and was buried at Leeds, 22 March 1847; died intestate and administration of his goods was granted 1847 (estate under £180,000);
(4) Sir Thomas Beckett (1779-1872), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(5) Elizabeth Beckett (1781-1864), born 19 January and baptised at St Peter, Leeds, 23 February 1781; lived at Meanwood Park  and with her elder sister, Mary, built and endowed Meanwood church; died unmarried 26 March, and was buried at Leeds, 1 April 1864;
(6) Capt. Richard Beckett (1782-1809), born 18 June 1782; educated at Eton (admitted 1796); an officer in the Coldstream Guards (Ensign, 1800; Lt. & Capt., 1801), who served in the Napoleonic Wars in Egypt, Germany, Denmark and Spain; he made nine appearances in first class cricket, 1804-07, including five for the MCC; killed in action at the Battle of Talavera (Spain), 28 July 1809, and is commemorated, with his brother officer Capt. Samuel Walker*, by a fine monument designed by John Flaxman and erected by public subscription in St Peter, Leeds;
(7) William Beckett (1784-1863), born 3 March 1784; partner in Beckett & Co. of Leeds, bankers; an officer in the Yorkshire Hussars (Capt., 1817; Maj., 1837; Lt-Col, 1839; commanding officer, 1841-43; retired 1859); Conservative MP for Leeds, 1841-52, and Ripon, 1852-57; inherited Kirkstall Grange from his elder brother Sir John Beckett in 1847 and is said to have remodelled it; married, 20 November 1841, Frances Adeline (1797-1871), daughter of Hugo Meynell and sister of Hugh Meynell-Ingram of Temple Newsam House, Leeds, but had no issue; died 26 January 1863; will proved 2 March 1863 (effects under £700,000);
(8) Sir Edmund Beckett (1787-1874), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(9) Anne Beckett (1788-1867), born 3 September and baptised at St Peter, Leeds, 14 November 1788; married, 7 January 1811 at St Peter, Leeds, Gen. Thomas Marriott (1773-1847), of Pershore (Worcs) and had issue four sons and three daughters; died 20 October 1867; will proved 16 January 1868 (effects under £35,000) and a further grant of administration made 9 February 1900 (estate £44,788);
(10) Henry Beckett (1791-1871), born 11 April 1791; merchant and British consul at Philadelphia (USA); bought Point Breeze at Bordentown (New Jersey), built for Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte (1768-1844), formerly King of Spain and regarded as one of the finest houses in the USA, but as a fervent Francophobe he demolished it and replaced it in 1850 by a smaller and inferior house, which he called Hammond House; married, 12 November 1818, Mary (1796-1829), daughter of James Lyle of Philadelphia (USA), merchant, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 11 September and was buried at Bordentown, New Jersey (USA), 15 September 1871; will proved 4 December 1872 (effects in England under £10,000);
(11) Rev. George Beckett (1793-1843), born 10 February 1793; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1811; BA 1815; MA 1819); vicar of Gainsborough (Lincs) and prebendary of Lincoln, 1822-43; rector of Epworth, 1823-43; died unmarried at his 'small bachelor residence' in London, 13 April 1843 and was buried at Fulham (Middx), where he is commemorated with his eldest brother on a monument.
He inherited the manor of Corringham from his father and purchased the adjoining Somerby Hall estate in 1786. He lived latterly at Gledhow Hall, Leeds (Yorks WR).
He died 18 September and was buried at St John Leeds, 23 September 1826. His widow died 21 February 1833.
* Walker, a captain in the 3rd Foot Guards, was also a native of Leeds, and was killed in the same battle.

Beckett, Rt. Hon. Sir John (1775-1847), 2nd bt. Eldest son of Sir John Beckett (c.1750-1826) and his wife Mary, daughter of Rt. Rev. Christopher Wilson, bishop of Bristol, born 17 May 1775. Educated at Leeds Grammar School, Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1791; BA 1795; MA 1798), Inner Temple (admitted 1795; bencher, 1840) and Middle Temple (admitted 1799; called 1803). Barrister-at-law on the Northern Circuit. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1797-1816. A 'zealous and consistent Conservative' in politics, he was MP for Cockermouth, 1818-21, Haslemere, 1826-32, and Leeds, 1835-37. Under-Secretary for Home Affairs, 1806-17; sworn of Privy Council, 1817; Judge Advocate-General, 1817-27, 1828-30, 1834-35; briefly a Lord of the Treasury, 1834. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 18 September 1826. After the disappointment of the passing of the Great Reform Act and the Municipal Corporations Act he took less interest in political affairs, and devoted more time to business affairs. He was a partner in Beckett, Blayds & Co. of Leeds, bankers, but also became a promoter and director of several railway companies. Fellow of the Royal Society, 1816-47. He married, 20 January 1817, Lady Anne Lowther (1788-1871), daughter of William Lowther KG, 2nd Viscount and later 1st Earl of Lonsdale, but had no issue.
He inherited the Somerby Park estate from his father in 1826 and purchased New Grange, Headingley (which he renamed Kirkstall Grange) in 1832.
He died at Brighton (Sussex), 31 May, and was buried at Fulham (Middx), 7 June 1847, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 12 July 1847. His widow died 8 November 1871; her will was proved 28 November 1871 (effects under £45,000).

Beckett, Sir Thomas (1779-1872), 3rd bt. Third son of Sir John Beckett (1743-1826), 1st bt., and his wife Mary, daughter of Rt. Rev. Christopher Wilson, bishop of Bristol, born 1 January 1779. Partner in Beckett & Co. of Leeds, bankers. Mayor of Leeds, 1826-27. JP and DL for Lincolnshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Registrar of the Diocese of Bristol. He succeeded his eldest brother as 3rd baronet, 31 May 1847. He married, 3 March 1825, his first cousin, Caroline (1788-1878), daughter of Joseph Beckett (1751-1840) of Barnsley, and had issue:
(1) Mary Beckett (1827-1915), born 6 April and baptised at St Peter, Leeds (Yorks WR), 11 October 1827; inherited the Somerby Park and Meanwood Park, Leeds estates from her father in 1872; known for her generous philanthropic work, including the restoration of Corringham church; died unmarried, 21 February 1915; will proved 25 August 1915 (estate £291,489);
(2) Elizabeth Beckett (1829-85), born 9 September and baptised at St Peter, Leeds, 31 October 1829; married, 17 March 1853 at Corringham (Lincs), Sir Henry Hickman Bacon (1820-72), 10th/11th bt., and had issue five sons and three daughters, to the eldest of whom the Somerby estate passed after 1915; died 29 November and was buried at Raveningham (Norfk), 3 December 1885; her will was proved 16 February 1886 (effects £246,597).
He inherited the Somerby Park estate from his elder brother in 1847 and Meanwood Park  from his brother Christopher in the same year.
He died aged 93 on 17 November 1872, and at the time of his death was the oldest living baronet; he was buried at Corringham (Lincs), 22 November 1872 and his will was proved 7 December 1872 (effects under £350,000). His widow died aged 89 on 22 January 1878; her will was proved 12 February 1878 (effects under £50,000).

Sir Edmund Beckett-Denison, 4th bt. 
Image: National Railway Museum
Beckett (later Beckett-Denison then Beckett), Sir Edmund (1787-1874), 4th bt. 
Sixth son of Sir John Beckett (1743-1826), 1st bt., and his wife Mary, daughter of Rt. Rev. Christopher Wilson, bishop of Bristol, born at Gledhow Hall, Leeds, 29 January 1787. Banker in Leeds; Chairman of the Yorkshire Post newspaper; principal promoter of the Great Northern Railway, which after a great battle with its rivals, the Midland Railway and London & North-Western Railway, was licensed by Act of Parliament in 1846. Conservative MP for the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1841-47, 1848-59; DL for West Riding of Yorkshire from 1821 and for the East Riding from 1831. He took the additional surname Denison in 1816 in accordance with the terms of the will of his wife's great-great-aunt, but reverted to Beckett only by royal licence when he succeeded his elder brother as 4th baronet in 1872. He does not come across as a sympathetic character, and even his obituarist in his own paper described him as "brusque in his manner, impatient to a degree of human vanity in all its ugly shapes, and with little trace of sentiment or poetry of any description". He married, 14 December 1814, Maria (1795-1874), daughter of William Beverley of Beverley (Yorks ER) (and great-great-niece of Lady Denison, widow of Sir Thomas Denison, a Justice of the King's Bench, 1741-65), and had issue:
(1) Sir Edmund Beckett Denison (later Beckett) (1816-1905), 5th bt. and 1st Baron Grimthorpe (q.v.);
(2) Maria Beckett Denison (1817-18), baptised at Norwell & Carlton-on-Trent (Notts), 30 October 1817; died in infancy, 6 April 1818;
(3) Mary Beckett Denison (1818-1902), baptised at St George, Doncaster (Yorks WR), 31 December 1818; married, 21 June 1837 at St George, Doncaster, Charles Wilson Faber (1813-78) of Northaw (Herts), barrister-at-law and director of Great Northern Railway, and had issue three sons and four daughters; died 30 May and was buried at Brompton Cemetery, 3 June 1902; will proved 14 August 1902 (estate £56,903);
(4) Elizabeth Beckett Denison (1820-70), born 25 December 1870 and baptised at St George, Doncaster, 4 June 1822; married, 25 March 1841 at St George, Doncaster, William Frogatt Bethell (1809-79) of Rise Hall (Yorks ER), and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 26 July 1870;
(5) Sophia Beckett Denison (1822-1906), born 23 March and baptised at St George, Doncaster, 4 June 1822; married, 19 August 1847 at St George, Doncaster, Rev. Thomas Bradley Paget (1812-93), vicar of Welton and canon of York Minster, and had issue four daughters; died 23 September 1906; will proved 30 October 1906 (estate £34,354);
(6) Augusta Beckett Denison (1823-1916), born 24 August 1823 and baptised at Doncaster, 22 March 1825; lived at The Hall, Doncaster; noted for her charitable work, which included managing and supporting the Doncaster Girls' Home and School of Industry, 1862-1901 and running a soup kitchen for the poor each winter; died unmarried, aged 92, on 24 May 1916 and was buried at Christ Church, Doncaster; will proved 3 August 1916 (estate £134,953);
(7) Christopher Beckett Denison (1825-84), born 9 May 1825 and baptised at Doncaster, 20 June 1827; educated at Uppingham and Haileybury College; an officer in the Bengal Civil Service, 1845-65, who was thanked by Parliament for assistance rendered to the military forces during the Indian Mutiny; a partner in Beckett & Co. of Leeds, bankers, and a director of the Great Northern Railway; Conservative MP for West Riding of Yorkshire East, 1868-80; JP and DL for Yorkshire (WR); died unmarried and without issue in Ireland, 30 October, and was buried at Christ Church, Doncaster, 5 November 1884;
(8) William Beckett Denison (later Beckett) (1826-90) (q.v.).
He lived chiefly at Doncaster. He inherited Kirkstall Grange from his brother William Beckett in 1863. His wife brought him an estate at Grimthorpe near Pocklington (Yorks ER), but this did not have a country house attached to it.
He died aged 87 on 24 May, just two months after his wife, and was buried at Christ Church, Doncaster, 29 May 1874; his will was proved 2 July 1874 (effects under £350,000). His wife died 27 March and was buried at Christ Church, Doncaster, 2 April 1874; administration of her goods was granted 4 December 1874 (effects under £5,000).

1st Baron Grimthorpe
Beckett Denison 
(later Beckett), Sir Edmund Mackenzie Sidmouth (1816-1905), 5th bt. and 1st Baron Grimthorpe. 
Eldest son of Sir Edmund Beckett (later Beckett-Denison) (1787-1874), 4th bt., and his wife Maria, daughter of William Beverley of Beverley (Yorks ER), born 12 May 1816 and baptised at St Mary & St Nicholas, Beverley, 31 July 1818. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics (matriculated 1834; BA 1838; MA 1841; LLD 1863) before going on to Lincoln's Inn to study for the bar (admitted 1838; called 1841; bencher, 1854; Treasurer, 1856). As a barrister-at-law (QC, 1854; retired 1882), he quickly developed a large practice at the parliamentary bar (chiefly in connection with railway bills) and made a fortune; he later became an authority on ecclesiastical law, and was Chancellor and Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of York, 1877-1900. 
He had extensive interests outside the law, and was a noted locksmith and horologist, whose A Rudimentary Treatise on Clock and Watchmaking (1850), went through eight editions, in the last of which he claimed to have designed over forty clocks for public buildings in Britain and across the Empire, including those of the Houses of Parliament and Trinity College, Cambridge; he was President of the British Horological Institute, 1868-1905. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1866 and wrote Astronomy without Mathematics (1871). He also acted as an amateur architect, designing his own house and undertaking (and funding) a controversial 'restoration' of parts of St. Albans Abbey as well as designing, or co-designing, a number of other churches and restorations. He was a vigorous and acrimonious participant in debates on controversial subjects in religion, architecture and science, in which the skills he had acquired as a barrister made him a formidable, if bombastic and dictatorial, opponent. Alarmed by the spread of ritualism in the church, he became first President of the Protestant Churchmen's Alliance in 1889, and his Review of Hume and Huxley on Miracles (1883), published by the SPCK, was hailed as 'one of the best books in defence of Christianity'. He was a JP for Hertfordshire and Yorkshire (WR). He succeeded his father as 5th baronet, 24 May 1874, and was created Baron Grimthorpe, 17 February 1886, with a special remainder to the heirs male of his father. He married, 7 October 1845 at Eccleshall (Staffs), Fanny Catherine (1823-1901), daughter of Rt. Rev. John Lonsdale DD (1788-1867), Bishop of Lichfield, but had no issue.
He built Batchwood Hall at St. Albans (Herts) in 1874-76; on his death this passed to his nephew and heir, the 2nd Baron Grimthorpe.
He died 29 April 1905 and was buried in the grounds of St Albans Cathedral; administration of his goods (with will and 25 codicils annexed) was granted 17 October 1905 (estate £1,562,500), but the complexity of his testamentary provisions led to a great deal of litigation. His wife died 8 December 1901; her will was proved 14 January 1902 (estate £16,869).

Denison (later Beckett), William Beckett (1826-90). Third and youngest son of Sir Edmund Beckett (later Beckett Denison) (1787-1874), 4th bt., and his wife Maria, daughter of William Beverley of Beverley (Yorks), born 10 September and baptised at Doncaster, 11 October 1826. Educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1845). An officer in the Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry Cavalry (Cornet, 1854; Lt., 1858; Capt., 1861; retired 1873). Partner in Beckett & Co., bankers, of Leeds, 1847-90 (senior partner from 1865) and President of the Bankers' Association. Conservative MP for East Retford, 1876-80, and for Bassetlaw, 1885-90. In addition he was Chairman of the Yorkshire Post group, a director of the Great Northern Railway, the London & South-Western Railway (on which he was killed) and the Aire & Calder Navigation Co, and gave liberally of his time and money to support a wide range of religious and charitable activities in Leeds. DL for West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1886, he took the name Beckett in lieu of Denison. He married, 17 February 1855 at St George, Hanover Sq., Westminster (Middx), the Hon. Helen (1831-96), third daughter of William Duncombe (1798-1867), 2nd Baron Feversham, and had issue:
(1) Ernest William Denison (later Beckett) (1856-1917), 2nd Baron Grimthorpe (q.v.);
(2) Helen Louise Denison (later Beckett) (1858-1935), born 25 February and baptised at Roundhay (Yorks WR), 18 April 1858; took the name Beckett in lieu of Denison in 1886; lived latterly at Pinehurst, Eridge (Sussex); died unmarried, 26 April 1935; administration of her goods granted 7 June 1935 (estate 13,193);
(3) Adeline Gertrude Denison (1859-1902), born 14 May and baptised at Helmsley (Yorks WR), 14 August 1859; married, 19 October 1880 at Bolton Percy (Yorks WR), Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick George Milner (1849-1931), 7th bt., MP for York, 1883-85 and for Bassetlaw, 1890-1906, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 7 July 1902; will proved 21 November 1902 (estate £5,687);
(4) Violet Katherine Denison (1860-83), born 25 July and baptised at Kirkstall (Yorks WR), 30 September 1860; married, 7 March 1882 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (Middx), Col. Reginald Walkelyne Chandos-Pole (1853-1930) of Radbourne Hall (Derbys) (who m2, 26 October 1898 at Geneva (Switzerland), Inez Blanche Marie Eva Clothilde (1881?-1941), daughter of Col. Gustav Freidrich Alfred Arent, a German officer, and had further issue one son and one daughter), son of Edward Sacheverell Chandos-Pole, and had issue one daughter; died 18 March and was buried at Radbourne, 23 March 1883;
(5) Maud Augusta Denison (later Beckett) (1864-1927), born 12 June and baptised at Meanwood, 31 July 1864; took the name Beckett in lieu of Denison in 1886; a Lady of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem; married, 20 October 1886 at St Paul, Wilton Place, Westminster (Middx), as his second wife, Lord Henry Gilbert Ralph Nevill (1854-1938), later 3rd Marquess of Abergavenny, and had issue one daughter; died 15 July 1927; will proved 10 September 1927 (estate £14,578); 
(6) Sir William Gervase Beckett (1866-1937), 1st bt. [see below, Beckett of Kirkdale, baronets]
(7) Rupert Evelyn Beckett (1870-1955), of Stone House, Moor Allerton (Yorks WR) and The Camp, Windlesham (Surrey), born 2 November 1870; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1888); an officer in the Yorkshire Hussars (2nd Lt., 1892; Maj.); a partner in Beckett & Co. of Leeds, bankers, from 1891 (senior partner, 1920), he oversaw the merger of the bank with the Westminster Bank in 1921, becoming a director of the merged company (Vice-Chairman, 1927-30; Chairman, 1931-50) and Vice-President of the Institute of Bankers, 1931-50; Chairman of the Yorkshire Post newspaper, 1920-50; a director of the London & North-Eastern Railway and the Yorkshire Penny Bank; he was a JP and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire and Hon. Treasurer of Leeds University, which awarded him an honorary degree (LLD, 1938); he became a freeman of the City of Leeds, 1930; married, 21 December 1896 at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), Muriel Helen Florence CBE (1878-1941), daughter of Lord Berkeley Charles Sidney Paget (1844-1913), and had issue four daughters; died 25 April 1955 and was cremated; will proved 10 May 1955 (estate £1,202,344).
He lived at Roundhay Lodge until he inherited Meanwood Park, Leeds from his uncle, the 3rd bt., in 1872, but this was later occupied by his cousins. He rented Nun Appleton Hall (Yorks WR) from 1874. His widow lived latterly in London.
He was accidentally killed by a train at Wimborne Minster (Dorset), 23 November 1890; his will was proved 16 January 1891 (estate £460,425). His widow died at Torquay (Devon), 22 November 1896; her will was proved 4 February 1897 (estate £57,965).

2nd Baron Grimthorpe 
Denison (later Beckett), Ernest William (1856-1917), 2nd Baron Grimthorpe. 
Eldest son of William Beckett Denison (1826-90) and his wife 
the Hon. Helen, third daughter of William Duncombe, 2nd Baron Feversham, born 25 November 1856 and baptised at Helmsley (Yorks), 4 January 1857. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1875), but went abroad after one year; travelling again, to France and Italy, in 1882.  He took the name Beckett in lieu of Denison in 1886 and succeeded his uncle as 2nd Baron Grimthorpe and 6th baronet in 1905. An officer in the Yorkshire Hussars (Maj. and Hon. Lt-Col.); Deputy Adjutant-General, Imperial Yeomanry, 1900. He was a partner of Beckett & Co., bankers of Leeds from 1878 until he was sacked by his partners in 1904 after they feared he was spending beyond his means. He also succeeded his father as owner of the Yorkshire Post. As Conservative MP for Whitby, 1885-1905, he was described as 'clever and whimsically independent', although he espoused a number of serious causes during his years in parliament and had a reputation as 'a fearless critic and trenchant debater'. He spent much of his later years abroad, and has been dismissed as a dilettante, but at the Villa Cimbrone he displayed considerable flair as an amateur architect (perhaps more than his uncle had ever done), and he was a patron of the arts and a collector of paintings and objets d'artBy 1906 he was in financial difficulties, perhaps partly because of heavy investments in San Francisco shortly before the earthquake there which destroyed much of the city, and he sold much of his art collection in a two-day sale at Christies.  He cultivated interesting acquaintances, and once invited his friend Oscar Wilde to lunch at Kirkstall Grange in the company of a group of country squires, later recalling that Wilde won over his improbable lunch companions with a ‘play of genial humour over every topic that came up, like sunshine dancing on waves’. He had a lifelong obsession with beautiful women, but he married, 4 October 1883 at St Peter, Eaton Sq., Westminster (Middx) (reputedly with a dowry of $500,000), Lucy (k/a Luie) Tracy (1865-91), only child of William Tracy Lee of New York (USA), and had issue:
(1) Hon. Lucy (k/a Lucile) Katherine Beckett (1884-1979), born 10 July 1884; married 1st, 27 July 1903 at the Brompton Oratory, London (sep. 1914 and div. 1920), Count Otto Rudolf Theodor Ottakar Maria Graf Czernin von und zu Chudenitz (1875-1962) (who m2, 15 February 1939 at Bratislava (Slovakia), Maria Lisa Pfeiffer (1899-1983)) of Dimokur (Austria), an Austro-Hungarian diplomat, and had issue four sons; married 2nd, 29 June 1926 at St Ethelburga, Bishopsgate, London (div. 1941), Capt. Oliver Harry Frost MBE MC (1893-1977), linen merchant, son of Robert Frost of Battersea (Surrey), baker and confectioner; lived latterly at Cascais (Portugal) and died 24 March 1979; will proved 15 August 1979 (estate in England, £57,560);
(2) Hon. Helen Muriel Beckett (1886-1916), born 23 August 1886; died unmarried after a long illness, at Byfleet (Surrey), 16 June 1916;
(3) Ralph William Ernest Beckett (1891-1963), 3rd Baron Grimthorpe (q.v.).
He probably also had illegitimate issue by two mistresses who later also had relationships with King Edward VII. A relationship with Alice Keppel (1868-1947) is thought to have produced a daughter, who was, however, acknowledged by Alice's husband, the Hon. George Keppel:
(X1.1) Violet Keppel (1894-1972), born 6 June 1894; writer and novelist (in English and French); known for her lengthy love affairs with Vita Sackville-West, which lasted from their schooldays until 1921, and with Winaretta Singer (1865-1943), wife of Prince Edmond de Polignac, from 1923-33; married, 16 June 1919 (sep. by 1924), Denys Robert Trefusis (1890–1929), son of Colonel Hon. John Schomberg Trefusis, but had no issue; lived from 1924 at Villa L'Ombrellino, near Florence (Italy), where she died 29 February 1972.
A second relationship, with the Johannesburg actress and hostess Josephine Cornelia Brink (1868-1937), wife of the mining magnate, Col. John Dale Lace (1859-1937), who subsequently adopted their child, produced:
(X2.1) Lancelot Edward Cecil Dale Lace (1895-1942) of Hereford (Herefs), born 25 February 1895; educated at Eton; an officer in the Royal Regiment of Artillery (2nd Lt., 1914; Lt., 1917 retired 1921) and later in the Territorial Army (Capt., 1927; Maj., 1937; Lt-Col.), awarded MC, 1917; landlord of the Swan Hotel, Southampton; married, 1 June 1919 (div. after 1930) in South Africa, Claudine de Villiers Cloete (c.1898-1976) and had issue two sons; said to have had three other known relationships, with Sybil Penelope Wilson (b. 1905), actress, Georgina Nolan (1913-33), and Eveleen McElroy (c.1899-1996), and to have had further issue one daughter; killed in action at sea, 29 October 1942; will proved 26 April 1952 (estate £926).
Finally, between about 1901 and 1905, he became engaged to Eve Fairfax (1871-1978), of whom he commissioned a bust (now in the V&A Museum in London) from Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). However he never married her, and she continued to inspire Rodin's work (and perhaps to be his mistress) over several years.
He inherited Kirkstall Grange from his father in 1890 and Batchwood Hall from his uncle, the 1st Baron, in 1905, but he sold Kirkstall in c.1907 and Batchwood in 1910. Until 1906 he also owned Wood Lee, Egham (Surrey), which he used for entertaining, and he retained a London town house until his death. In 1904, he bought a ruined farmhouse outside Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, which he transformed into a fortified palace with towers, battlements and a mixture of Arabic, Venetian and Gothic details, and called Villa Cimbrone. Between the house and the cliff edge, he built a garden, high above the Gulf of Salerno, that mixed formal English rose beds, Moorish tea houses, picturesque grottoes and classical temples. Today the house is a luxury hotel, and the garden is open to the public.
He died at a sanatorium near Banchory (Aberdeens), 9 May 1917, and was buried at Adel, Leeds (Yorks WR); his will was proved 6 June 1918 (effects in England £33,577). His wife died 9 May 1891 and was also buried at Adel.

3rd Baron Grimthorpe 
Beckett, Lt-Col. Ralph William Ernest (1891-1963), 3rd Baron Grimthorpe. 
Only son of Ernest William Beckett (1856-1917), 2nd Baron Grimthorpe, and his wife Lucy, only child of William Tracy Lee of New York (USA), born 3 May and baptised at St Paul, Knightsbridge (Middx), 12 May 1891. Educated at Eton and University College, Oxford. An officer in the Yorkshire Hussars (2nd Lt., 1913; Lt., 1917; T/Capt., 1917; Maj., 1924; Lt-Col., 1936; retired 1948) who served in First and Second World Wars (mentioned in despatches) and as a T/Lt. in the Royal Air Force; awarded Territorial Decoration, 1930. He succeeded his father as 3rd Baron Grimthorpe and 7th baronet, 9 May 1917. Parliamentary Private Secretary to Under-Secretary of State for War, 1919-20; DL for Yorkshire (NR) from 1935. Master of Middleton Fox Hounds, 1921-27, 1931-39; Steward of the National Hunt Committee, 1952. He and his second wife ran a racehorse stud at Easthorpe Hall, and one of his horses won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1947. He held a pilot's licence from 1931 and was a keen amateur aviator with two aircraft kept at an airstrip near his home. He married 1st, 3 September 1914 at St Martin, York (div. 1945), Mary Alice (d. 1962), daughter of Lt-Col. Mervyn Henry Archdale (1852-1925), and 2nd, 25 March 1945, Angela (d. 1992), youngest daughter of Edward Hubert Courage of Kirkby Fleetham Hall (Yorks) and formerly wife of Lt-Cdr. David Cecil Lycett Green RN, and had issue:
(1.1) Brig. Christopher John Beckett (1915-2003), 4th Baron Grimthorpe (q.v.);
(1.2) Hon. Oliver Ralph Beckett (1918-99), born 21 August and baptised at St John, Paddington (Middx), 13 September 1918; educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge; writer and composer of dance music; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; was a conscientious objector in Second World War and was excused military service; lived at Oxhey Hall (Herts) and later at Goffs Oak (Herts); married, 6 April 1944 at Caxton Hall Registry Office, Westminster (Middx), Hélène Agnes (1915-99), daughter of Constantine Fessas and formerly wife of Richard Tasker-Evans (1919-92), and had issue two daughters; died 22 May 1999;
(1.3) Hon. Bryan Rupert Beckett (1922-43), born 24 July 1922; educated at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (Cadet, 1941); died unmarried when an armoured scout car mounted a bank and overturned, 11 March 1943; buried at Amotherby (Yorks NR);
(1.4) Hon. Lucy Clare Beckett (1926-99), born 5 September 1926; married, 12 July 1957, Wilson Peregrine Nicholas Crewdson (1926-2014) of Oak House, Otley (Suffk), eldest son of Brig. Wilson Theodore Oliver Crewdson CBE (1887-1961), and had issue one son and three daughters; died 13 May 1999; will proved 17 January 2000;
(2.1) Hon. William Ernest Beckett (b. 1945), born 30 June 1945; educated at Eton; an officer in the army (Lt., 1967; retired 1972); married, 15 June 1968, Virginia Helen Clark (b. c.1947), only daughter of Alan Michael Clark Hutchinson MP (1914-93), and had issue one son and one daughter.
He may also have been the father, by his second wife but before their marriage, of:
(X1) Catherine Auriol Lycett Green (1935-2021), born 23 April 1935; married 1st, 22 April 1967 (div. 1980), Raja Ranbir Singh (1919-96), son of Raja Sir Maharaj Singh, and had issue three daughters; married 2nd, 1981 (div.), Patrick Field Till (1937-2017) of York, solicitor; died 29 March 2021.
He lived at Easthorpe Hall, Acaster-le-Street (Yorks NR), which he bought or leased in the 1920s.
He died at the Hotel Metropole, Monaco, 22 February 1963; his will was proved 17 July and 17 December 1963 (estate £247,927). His first wife died following a road accident, 28 April 1962; her will was proved 10 April 1963 (estate £13,984). His widow died 8 February 1992; her will was proved 19 June 1992 (estate £164,617).

4th Baron Grimthorpe 
Beckett, Brig. Christopher John (1915-2003), 4th Baron Grimthorpe. 
Eldest son of Ralph William Ernest Beckett (1891-1963), 3rd Baron Grimthorpe, and his first wife, Mary Alice, daughter of Lt-Col. Mervyn Archdale, born 16 September 1915. Educated at Eton. An officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1936; Lt., 1939; Capt., 1944; Maj., 1949; Lt-Col., 1955; Col., 1960; Brigadier, 1961; retired 1968); Deputy Commander, Malta and Libya, 1964-67; ADC to HM The Queen, 1964-68; Col. of 9th/12th Lancers, 1973-78; appointed OBE, 1958. He succeeded his father as 4th Baron Grimthorpe and 8th baronet, 22 February 1963. DL for Yorkshire (NR) and later for North Yorkshire from 1969. A director of Standard Broadcasting Corporation, 1972-2003, Yorkshire Post Newspapers,, 1973 and Thirsk Racecourse, 1972. He was a keen horseman, was a member of the Jockey Club, and had a reputation as a shrewd gambler at the races. He married, 17 February 1954 at the Queen's Chapel, St James's Palace, Westminster (Middx), Lady Elizabeth DCVO (1925-2020), who served with the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War and was a Lady of the Bedchamber to HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, 1973-2002, second daughter of Lawrence Roger Lumley KG (1896-1969), 11th Earl of Scarbrough, and had issue:
(1) Sir Edward John Beckett (b. 1954), 5th Baron Grimthorpe (q.v.);
(2) Hon. Ralph Daniel Beckett (b. 1957), born 11 April 1957; educated at Harrow and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; an officer in the army (2nd Lt., 1977; retired 1981) and later a stockbroker; head of trading with Odey Asset Management, 2000-18; a director of Beverley Races and of Kirkham & Firby Estates Ltd.; married, January 1987, Susanna W. (b. 1960), elder daughter of Colin Townsend-Rose (1928-2006), and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(3) Hon. Harriet Lucy Beckett (b. 1961), born 18 February 1961; married, 7 December 1985, Capt. Richard Mark Smyly (b. 1943) of Sparsholt and later Kingston Lisle (Berks), and had issue two sons.
He purchased Westow Hall (Yorks ER) in 1957.
He died 6 July 2003 and was buried at Westow, where he is commemorated by a gravestone; his will was proved 10 December 2004. His widow died aged 94 on 15 April 2020; her will was proved 3 December 2020.

5th Baron Grimthorpe
Beckett, Edward John (b. 1954), 5th Baron Grimthorpe. 
Elder son of Brig. Christopher John Beckett (1915-2003, 4th Baron Grimthorpe, and his wife Lady Elizabeth DCVO, second daughter of Lawrence Roger Lumley, 11th Earl of Scarbrough, born 20 November 1954. Educated at Harrow. Worked at the British Bloodstock Agency, 1977-99; racing manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah, 1999-2021, with oversight of the Prince's Juddmonte Farms racing operation; and racing manager for Imad Al Sagar, since 2022. He succeeded his father as 5th Baron Grimthorpe and 9th baronet, 6 July 2003. He became a member of the Jockey Club in 2007 (deputy senior steward since 2021), Chairman of York Racecourse, 2012-21; and Chairman of the National Stud since 2022. He married 1st, 20 May 1992 (div. 2009), Carey Elizabeth (b. 1956), younger daughter of Robin O. Graham (b. 1929) of Stretton-on-the-Fosse (Warks) and formerly wife of Christopher R. McEwen (b. 1954), and 2nd, 14 June 2013, Emma (b. 1963), younger daughter of Capt. Anthony Henry Heber Villiers (1921-2004) and formerly wife of Richard Henry Ronald Benyon (b. 1960), later Baron Benyon, of Englefield House (Berks), and had issue:
(1.1) Hon. Harry Maximilian Beckett (b. 1993), born 28 April 1993; educated at Newcastle University (matriculated 2012; BA 2016); works in financial services sector.
He inherited Westow Hall from his father in 2003.
Now living. His first wife is now living. His second wife is now living.

Beckett of Kirkdale, baronets


Beckett, Hon. Sir William Gervase (1866-1937), 1st bt. Second son of William Beckett Denison (1826-90) and his wife the Hon. Helen Duncombe, third daughter of William Duncombe, 2nd Baron Feversham, born 14 January 1866. He was granted the rank of a baron's younger son when his brother succeeded his uncle as 2nd Baron Grimthorpe, 1905, and was created a baronet, 28 June 1921. Educated at Eton. He was an officer in the Yorkshire Hussars (Capt.), and served in the First World War as Assistant Military Secretary, Northern Command, 1914-16 and Assistant Director of War Trade Dept., 1918-19. He was a partner in the family bank, Beckett & Co. of Leeds, until it was bought out by the Westminster Bank, of which he subsequently became a director; Chairman of the Yorkshire Post group and principal proprietor and editor-in-chief of the Saturday Review until 1924. Conservative MP for Whitby, 1906-18, for Scarborough and Whitby, 1918-22, and for Leeds North, 1923-29. He married 1st, 12 February 1896, the Hon. Mabel Theresa (1877-1913), only daughter of William Reginald Duncombe (1852-81), Viscount Helmsley, and 2nd, 1 November 1917, Lady Marjorie Blanche Eva (1884-1964), elder daughter of Francis Richard Charles Guy Greville (1853-1924), 5th Earl of Warwick and 5th Earl Brooke of Warwick, and widow of his first wife's brother, Charles William Reginald Duncombe (1879-1916), 2nd Earl of Feversham, and had issue:
(1.1) Marion Frances Theresa Beckett (1896-1972), born 8 November 1896; married, 16 October 1919 at the Church of the Annunciation, St. Marylebone (Middx), Vice-Adm. Henry Jack Egerton CB (1892-1972) of Coxwold (Yorks NR), third son of Charles Augustus Egerton of Mountfield Court (Sussex), and had issue two sons; died 2 February 1972; will proved 24 July 1972 (estate £7,298);
(1.2) Cynthia Maud Beckett (1900-69), born 15 December 1900*; educated at Bedford College, London (admitted 1916); married 1st, 19 November 1919 at St Mark, North Audley St., Westminster (Middx) (div. 1928), Capt. John Arthur Davison MC (1897-1942), only son of Maj. Arthur Pearse Davison (1866-1955) of Carlton (Co. Durham) and had issue three daughters; married 2nd, 10 July 1929 (div. 1952), Baron Kurt Hermann Paul Otto Valerio von Stutterheim (1888-1978), author and journalist, only son of Baron Richard Karl Ludwig von Stutterheim of Coburg; lived latterly at East Sheen, London SW14; died 25 December 1969; administration of goods granted 9 February 1970 (estate £743)
(1.3) Beatrice Helen Beckett (1905-57), born 26 July 1905; married, 5 November 1923 at St. Margaret, Westminster (Middx) (sep. 1945 and div. 1950), (Robert) Anthony Eden KG (1897-1977), later 1st Earl of Avon, MP for Warwick and Leamington, 1923-57, Foreign Secretary, 1935-38, and Prime Minister, 1955-57 (who m2, 14 August 1952, (Anne) Clarissa (1920-2021), daughter of Maj. John Strange Spencer-Churchill) and had issue three sons (one of whom died soon after birth); although the marriage did not formally end until 1950, both parties conducted affairs from the 1930s and she lived latterly in New York (USA); died 29 June 1957; will proved 8 October 1957 (estate in England, £8,970);
(1.4) Ann Prunella Beckett (1907-2001), born 16 September 1907; married, 15 April 1936, Lt-Col. Harry Rumbold Bathurst Norman GM MD MRCP (1901-66), son of Rev. Harry Bathurst Norman, and had issue one son and two daughters; died aged 93 on 17 March 2001 and was buried at Kirkdale; will proved 29 June 2001;
(2.1) Sir Martyn Gervase Beckett (1918-2001), 2nd bt. (q.v.).
He may also have been the father, by Sybil, daughter of Sir Alfred Cooper, surgeon, and estranged wife of Richard Hart-Davis, stockbroker, of:
(X1) Sir Rupert Charles Hart-Davis (1907-99), born 28 August 1907; educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford; biographer, editor and publisher; served in Second World War with the Coldstream Guards, but saw no active service; founded Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd., publishers, 1946, and ran this until it was absorbed into the Heinemann group in 1956; Chairman of the London Library, 1957-69; secretary of the Literary Society; knighted 1967; author of a critically acclaimed biography of Hugh Walpole (1952); his long correspondence with his former schoolmaster, George Lyttelton, was published as The Lyttelton-Hart-Davis letters (1978-84) in six volumes, and he also wrote three volumes of autobiography; married 1st, 1929 (div. 1933), Dame Peggy Ashcroft (1907-91), actress; 2nd, November 1933 (div.), Catherine Comfort Borden-Turner (1910-70), and had issue two sons and one daughter; 3rd, 1964, Ruth (d. 1967), daughter of [forename unknown] Ware and formerly wife of [forename unknown] Simon; and 4th, 1968, June Williams (d. 2017); died 8 December 1999.
He bought the Kirkdale Manor estate (Yorks NR) and rebuilt the house c.1904-06.
He died 24 August 1937 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium; he is commemorated by a neo-Georgian memorial tablet at Kirkdale; his will was proved 18 October 1937 (estate £1,026,608). His first wife died 2 April 1913 and was buried at Kirkdale. His widow died 25 July 1964 and was buried at Helmsley; her will was proved 28 October 1964 (estate £12,188).
* Her admission paper to Bedford College gives her date of birth as 15 October 1899 but seems to be misleading: she perhaps needed to make a minimum age criterion.

Beckett, Sir Martyn Gervase (1918-2001), 2nd bt. Only child of the Hon. Sir William Gervase Beckett (1866-1937), 1st bt., and his second wife, Lady Marjorie Blanche Eve (1884-1964), elder daughter of Francis Richard Charles Guy Greville (1853-1924), 5th Earl of Warwick and 5th Earl Brooke of Warwick, and widow of Charles William Reginald Duncombe (1879-1916), 2nd Earl of Feversham, born 6 November 1918. Educated at Eton, Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1940). He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 24 August 1937. He served as an officer in the Welsh Guards (2nd Lt., 1940; Lt., 1942; T/Capt., 1944) in the Second World War, and was awarded the MC, 1945. After the war he trained as an architect with A.S.G. Butler (Dip.Arch, 1951; ARIBA), and commenced private practice in 1952. He built an extensive client base, including work for Kings College, Cambridge, 1960-2001, including the controversial reconstruction of the east end of the chapel; Gordonstoun School, 1954-58; Savoy Hotel Group, 1981-2001; Temple Bar Trust, 1983-2001; Charterhouse School, 1983-2001; Ampleforth School, 1984; Eton College, 1986-2001 and Rank Laboratories, 1987. He was also widely active in the heritage sector, being trustee of the Wallace Collection, 1972-92 (Chairman, 1976-92), the British Museum, 1978-88, and the Council for the Protection of Rural England, 1983-90, and Chairman of the Yorkshire Regional Committee of the National Trust, 1980-85. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, 1982, a Fellow of the Ancient Monuments Society, 1955 and a Freeman of the City of London, 1986. He was a keen horseman in his youth, and later an enthusiastic pianist who performed in several bands raising funds for charity. He married, 20 February 1941, Hon. Priscilla Léonie Helen (d. 2000), youngest daughter of Oliver Sylvain Baliol Brett (1881-1963), 3rd Viscount Esher, and had issue:
(1) Lucy Caroline Beckett (b. 1942), born 10 August 1942; schoolteacher at Ampleforth College (head of English), author and poet; married 1st, 28 June 1962 (div. 1969), Adrian Whitfield QC (b. 1937) of Holtby (Yorks), barrister-at-law and a Recorder of the Crown Court, (who m2, 1971, Niamh O'Kelly, and had further issue one son and one daughter), and had issue two daughters; married 2nd, 1970, Dr. John Hamilton Warrack (b. 1928) of Beck House, Rievaulx (Yorks NR), music critic, author, academic, and editor of Oxford Dictionary of Opera, and had further issue two sons;
(2) Sir Richard Gervase Beckett (b. 1944), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Jeremy Rupert Beckett (b. 1952), born 5 July 1952; educated at Eton; inherited Kirkdale Manor Farm from his father; married 1st, 29 July 1978 (div.), Perdita Rosemary (b. 1955), youngest daughter of Capt. Hugo Francis Guy Charteris MC (1922-70), and had issue three sons and one daughter; married 2nd, 2008, Anna Maria Palmboon of Holland.
He inherited the Kirkdale estate from his father, sold Kirkdale Manor, and built a new house (Manor Farm) in a Modernist idiom to his own design, 1959.
He died 5 August 2001; his will was proved 15 March 2002. His wife died 2 January 2000; her will was proved 8 May 2000.

Beckett, Sir Richard Gervase (b. 1944), 3rd bt. Elder son of Sir Martyn Gervase Beckett (1918-2001) and his wife the Hon. Priscilla Léonie Helen, youngest daughter of Oliver Sylvain Baliol Brett (1881-1963), 3rd Viscount Esher, born 30 March 1944. Educated at Eton, Oxford (Dip. Econ.) and Middle Temple (admitted 1963; called 1965). Barrister-at-law, 1966-2009 (QC 1988). He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet, 5 August 2001. Director of Lochluichart Estate Co., since 1992, Mercantile Investment Trust Ltd., 2009-14, J.D. Wetherspoon plc since 2009. He married, 17 December 1976, Elizabeth (k/a Libby) Ann (b. 1951), only daughter of Maj. Charles Huguenot Waterhouse (1918-2007), and had issue:
(1) Willa Marjorie Beckett (b. 1977), born 27 August 1977; director of development and communications, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, since 2017;
(2) Molly Rachel Beckett (b. 1979), born 17 April 1979; married, 2005, Ludovic David Stirling (b. 1967) of Ochtertyre (Stirling), younger son of Archibald Hugh Stirling (b. 1941) of Keir (Stirling), and had issue one son;
(3) Catherine Rose Beckett (b. 1983), born 3 May 1983;
(4) Walter Gervase Beckett (b. 1987), born 16 January 1987; Page of Honour to HM The Queen, 1998-2001; employed in financial services industry.
He lives in London.
Now living. His wife is now living.

Principal sources

Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 2003, pp. 316-17, 1685-86; R.V. Taylor, Biographia Leodiensis, 1865, passim; P. Ferriday, Lord Grimthorpe, 1816-1905, 1957; M. Girouard, 'A design that alarms the neighbours', Country Life, 19 May 1960, pp. 1139-40; Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Yorkshire - the North Riding, 1966, p. 217; J.M. Robinson, The latest country houses, 1984, pp. 215-16; E. Waterson & P. Meadows, Lost houses of York and the North Riding, 1990, p. 13; G. Meadows, Landscape gardens in West Yorkshire, 1680-1880, 1990, p. 72; Sir N. Pevsner & D. Neave, The buildings of England: York and the East Riding, 2nd edn, 1995, p. 747; P. Leach & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the north, 2009, pp. 491-92, 515; M. Holroyd, The book of secrets: illegitimate daughters, absent fathers, 2012J. Bettley, Sir N. Pevsner & B. Cherry, The buildings of England: Hertfordshire, 3rd edn, 2019, pp. 458-59, 506-07; 
Beckett family of Somerby Park, baronets: deeds, estate and family papers, 1630-19th cent. [Lincolnshire Archives, BACON]
Beckett family, Barons Grimthorpe: deeds, settlements and case papers, 1797-1859 [Doncaster Archives, DX/BAX 61844, 64363]
Some more recent records are likely to remain in the custody of the family.

Coat of arms

Gules, a fess between three boar's heads couped erminois.

Can you help?

  • Can anyone provide photographs or portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
  • If anyone can offer further information or corrections to any part of this article I should be most grateful. I am always particularly pleased to hear from current owners or the descendants of families associated with a property who can supply information from their own research or personal knowledge for inclusion.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 25 August 2022 and updated 26 August 2022. I am grateful to Alex Galbraith for a correction. 

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